What to Expect When Applying for a LDS (Mormon) Mission

The Missionary Application Process is Now Streamlined and Digital

Prospective sister meeting with bishop
Bishop Shane Pace greets Alli Wright at the door to his office. The first step for a prospective missionary is a meeting with his or her bishop to discuss the mission call process. Photo courtesy of © 2013 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Once you are prepared to go on an LDS mission, you are ready to fill our your paperwork. We still say paperwork, even though everything is now online.

This article details the basics of what to expect when applying, and becoming, a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including filling out the application, receiving your call, preparing for the temple and entering a Missionary Training Center.  

The Missionary Application Process

The first thing you need to do is meet with your local bishop. He will interview you to evaluate your worthiness and readiness to serve as an LDS missionary. He will guide you throughout the application process.

Once your paperwork is complete, your bishop will have you meet with your stake president. He will also interview you. Both the bishop and stake president must approve your application before sending it to church headquarters.

Filling Out the Missionary Application

Detailed instructions will be included with the missionary application, along with the requirements for a physical examination, dental work, immunizations, legal documents and a personal photograph of yourself.

Once your application is submitted to church headquarters, you must await your official call in the regular mail. This will take about two weeks or longer for you to receive it.

Receiving Your Call as a Missionary

Waiting for your mission call to arrive is one of the most anxious parts of the entire application process.

Your official call from the office of the First Presidency, will be delivered in a large white envelope and will state which mission you have been assigned to labor in, how long you will serve there, any language you might be expected to learn and so forth. It will also tell you when you to report to an Missionary Training Center (MTC).

Also included in the envelope will be guidelines for appropriate clothing, items to pack, required immunizations, information for parents and whatever else you will need to know before entering a MTC. 

Preparing for Your Mission Assignment

Once you have been called as an LDS missionary and know where you are going, you can do a little research about your mission.

You may need to purchase items and essential resources. Appropriate clothing, suitcases, and other essentials can often be found in excellent condition second hand.

One thing to keep in mind is that the less you pack the better. You will literally be dragging your stuff with you throughout your entire mission.

Preparing to Enter the Temple

Your bishop and stake president will help prepare you for your first temple experience. When you enter the temple you will receive your own endowment.

If available, attend a temple preparedness class where you will read the booklet, Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple. Also see, 10 Ways to Spiritually Prepare to Enter the Temple.

Opportunities to attend the temple will be limited while on your mission. Attend the temple as often as you can before you leave for the MTC.  

Being Set Apart as a Missionary

A day or two before you leave for the MTC your stake president will set you apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ.

From then on you are an official missionary and are expected to keep all rules outlined in the missionary handbook. You will remain an official missionary until your stake president officially releases you.

Entering the Missionary Training Center

Most missionaries from the United States and Canada attend the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah. If you will be a Spanish speaking missionary, you may be assigned to the Mexico City MTC, even if you will be serving inside the United States. Other MTC's are located around the world.

Upon arriving at the MTC you will attend an orientation where the MTC President will speak to all new missionaries who have arrived that day. Next you will process some paperwork, receive any additional immunizations and be given your companion and dorm assignment. Learn more about What to Expect at the MTC.

Traveling to Your Mission

Missionaries stay in the MTC for a short time unless they are learning a new language, in which case they will stay for longer. When your time is almost up you will receive your travel itinerary. It will give the date, time, and travel information for your departure to your mission.

For the rest of your mission you will work under your mission president. He will assign you to your first area with your first companion. This first companion is your trainer.

You will also be given your certificate to preach the gospel as an official representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Learn additional details about LDS missions and what life as an LDS missionary is like.  

Returning Home With Honor

Once you have completed your mission, you and your family will both receive a travel itinerary giving the dates and information for your return. Your mission president will send your bishop and stake president a letter of honorable release. Once you arrive home your stake president will officially release you from your calling as a missionary.

Serving an LDS mission is one of the greatest experiences you will ever have. Commit to careful preparation so that you can be an effective missionary.

Updated by Krista Cook with assistance from Brandon Wegrowski.

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Your Citation
Bruner, Rachel. "What to Expect When Applying for a LDS (Mormon) Mission." Learn Religions, Mar. 4, 2021, learnreligions.com/what-to-expect-applying-for-a-mission-2159483. Bruner, Rachel. (2021, March 4). What to Expect When Applying for a LDS (Mormon) Mission. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/what-to-expect-applying-for-a-mission-2159483 Bruner, Rachel. "What to Expect When Applying for a LDS (Mormon) Mission." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/what-to-expect-applying-for-a-mission-2159483 (accessed March 27, 2023).