Ready to serve a mission: Responses from around the world

Young Men and Women tell how change in age affected their plans

Compiled by Christine Rappleye Deseret News

Published: Friday, Jan. 4 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

— Mariana Stephens

I am 20 years old, and I am preparing to serve a mission sooner than expected due to the changing of age. I have always desired to serve a full-time mission. Ever since I was a little girl, being a missionary was something I wanted more than anything in the world. I wanted to serve those around me and show others why this gospel brings so much joy into my life. With the inspiration from Young Women leaders, friends in the church, and family I am determined to be the best missionary that I can be.

— Molly Johnson, 20, California

I had been praying for where I should go to university and what I should study. But the (answer I received was) to wait … Now I know he wants me to go on a mission. I know that I am in a good place in his hands and he will direct me throughout my life, if I will be faithful. I believe Thomas S. Monson said what he had to. … The announcement is a very good example for me that God answers our prayers.

Sometimes, we do not know how, but we have to trust in him that he will lead us.

— Olivia Kis, Eger, Hungary

Wow, I was in my ward watching conference, and when I heard about it my mom and I began crying. It was a moment that I would never forget! And I know that my family and I are going to be blessed. … I'm the youngest in the family, but my brother and sister didn't go on a mission, so I'm going be the first. That's why my mom felt so grateful and me, too ... I'm 18 now, but I'll be 19 in March, so I'm going to prepare all my papers before I turn 19 to leave near my birthday ... There's no doubt that announcement changed my life and my family's, too.

— Alba Saraí Rodriguez Espinal, Dominican Republic

Well, I was having problems with deciding what I was going to do after I graduate from high school, because I am going to graduate early and didn't know what could happen between high school, college and a mission (I have always felt like I needed to go on a mission). So one day, I was praying and I told Heavenly Father that I was willing to do whatever he wanted me to, but I needed his help to accomplish it. … The very next day, they announced the change in age. My life just kind of fell into place.

— Emma Esther Roberts

I was attending school this year and was going to finish getting my AA degree heading toward the medical field. But once the announcement came on at conference it has changed the plans. I'm not going to enroll in classes, but instead fill out all the paperwork and plan to leave in July. I'm ready to do the Lord's work and I want to go. I'm so excited now with this new change!

— Jordan Merrill, Pasco, Wash.

When I heard about the new missionary age, I was shocked and excited. I had ALWAYS planned on going on my mission at 21 and started saving half my money about a year ago so I don't have a whole lot saved. The new age introduces new questions such as how long will I go to college? How will I earn more money? Obstacles that I'm sure will be overcome with the Lord's help.

— Krysta Lynn Clipp

I'm currently 18 and have been impatiently waiting to turn 19 to leave on my mission. I enrolled in my first year of college and my plans were to just endure through my 18th year. So when the news came from President Monson that the age requirement changed, I was ecstatic. I got hold of my bishop that same day to start doing my papers and I finished them. … My second semester of school is not even a question anymore — I'm going to serve the Lord!

— Joshua Daniel Chronis, Provo

I didn't know if I would go on a mission or where I would be at 21, so I just didn't know if I would get the chance to go on a mission. But as soon as they changed the age from 21 to 19 I knew I would be going.

— Stephanie Hathenbruck, Farmington, N.M.

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