Quiz: How much do you know about the changing face of Mormon missionary work?

Published: Tuesday, July 30 2013 11:55 p.m. MDT

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Courtesy LDS Church

a. Benemerito de las Americas

Benemerito de las Americas was an LDS Church-owned high school in Mexico City that was converted into an MTC in late June 2013.

Read more about the conversion in this article: "First LDS missionaries arrive for training at Mexico City MTC"

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Cache county, USA

It's freaking awesome

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Gosh I can't wait. We're already the fastest growing, by far, and now this will really make it roll forth.
These guys and gals are going to be so busy, they will have so much to do.

South Jordan, UT

Amazing! It will be interesting this next year to see how these increased numbers of missionaries affect the percentage of newly baptized members around the world. These missionaries are going to need the help of ward members more and more for referrals as well as fellow-shipping of investigators and new members.

Florissant, MO

It is awesome to see this great change, but it also gives these young men and woman a solid ground to be on after high school. They will grow and be great parents, community and ward leaders when they return.

Steve C. Warren

@Ernest T. Bass "We're already the fastest growing, by far"

Actually, in terms of growth rate or in terms of raw numbers, there are other churches that are faster-growing.

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

The other night I was at my home. There was a knock on the door. I opened it and there was a missionary and another man, probably doing splits. The missionary asked me if I was a member of the church and I politely explained to him that I was a former member and had "resigned". He was very troubled to hear that. At this point I would have expected him to move on. Instead he asked me my reasons for leaving. I told him there were many. He probed further. I told him I preferred not to go into it. (When I share my reasons with the faithful, they see it as "anti" behavior. It's a no-win situation for me. And "engaging" prolongs a conversation I didn't initiate in the first place.) He asked if there was a time he could return. No. He asked for Spanish referrals. Again, no. (I actually thought that would one be obvious.) He bore his testimony about answers to prayer, never allowing for the possibility that I am not at all conflicted. How about starting with: Would you like to have a personal conversation with someone you don't know?

Falconer, NY

@Steve C. Warren

Yes, you're right. When a group (or church) of 4 become a group of 6 it's a growth rate of 50%, much higher than LDS Church. Perhaps the "fastest" characterization does not apply anymore (anymore implies it once did and some people are not aware of the latest statistics) or shifts from group to group but our growth seems to be steady with a few hiccups here and there.

byu rugby
Crystal Lake, IL

Have had several of the "Junior Missionaries" already. They are not able to utilize the Teach my Gospel Program. The discussions are mumbled, stammered, halting, and leave out significant elements of the discussion.

I won't let them near friends or contacts until they get this fixed! More bodies in the field isn't going to change things if, they aren't prepared to do the work.

Brother Benjamin Franklin
Orem, UT

I do not belong to your faith, but I am impressed by how much response and rapid growth there is.

The other faiths can say what they want, but there is no faster-growing missionary quantity that is so high in all the world right now.

I am not sticking up for the LDS faith by any means. And I think the missionaries are nuts for skipping out on boyfriends/girlfriends, marriage, college, careers, scholarships, and the prime years of their lives for this.

Especially with all of the stories I see about missionaries dying, getting hurt, and the like. I really don't understand why they bother to go because I feel they are being unwise. They really ought to consider perhaps doing those church service missions in Salt Lake City or something. I don't see why they have to go serve in these places full of problems and crime and danger.

I just think this is an unwise risk to take. There are ways to proselyte your message nowadays through the Internet, social media, blogs, and so forth without putting these young people's lives at risk.

Clovis, NM

@Brother Benjamin Franklin: Like all of society, bad news always travels the fastest. Young LDS missionaries are exposed to less risk serving in most areas than going on vacation to downtown New York. Certainly, there are much more dangerous ways a person can spend their time. If every drug overdose or gang shooting made the news, there wouldn't be enough space to print the news everyday. Because these are good kids, an occasional accident or incident gets press coverage that makes incidents seem commonplace. But in the end, the mortality rate among LDS missionaries is probably low compared to the general young adult population.

About sacrificing school, marriage, etc...it is not much of a sacrifice. When missionaries return after 2 years, they are frequently much more focused, highly motivated, and mature than other students in their college. Most will not be wasting their college time on stupidness. As far as marriage, delay is a good thing. Statistically, couples in their mid twenties are far more likely to have successful marriages, than those who marry very young.

LDS culture also values military service. In many cases, just like a mission, it prepares young adults for life.

Falconer, NY

@byu rugby

Wow! just don't know how to respond to your comments. Ever heard of teaching by the Spirit? The missionaries dont have to be professional Teach My Gospel preachers. The Lord asks us to open our mouths. Stuttering, et al, is allowed.

layton, UT

I know there's about twenty gazillion of them in the airport every Monday when I fly out of town on business. Seems like by now everybody would already be away on a mission.....

As an outsider, my compliments to your raising of these kids - so polite, respectful, yet full of excitement as they head out - I see this every week.

Maybe a short re-cap for them on how to prepare for a flight and the security would be in order; many of these kids seem like they have never been to an airport, much less flown on a plane, but again they are always a welcome sight - as long as there aren't 500 of them in front of me.

Bakersfield, CA

Had to smile at Moniker L's experience. Difficult for her and the rest of us "Exes", but it is the classic repeat on most doorsteps with former members. Ms who wanna be all-they-can-be on your porch (with the Jr. watching), and formers who keep learning over and over that The Church is not going to go away quietly. You feel for these "kids" and don't want to be rude, but they are a product of their training and environment... and parents and leaders...

I love my family and Church friends; they all mean well. They are hurt and shocked when active members leave. They cannot seem to wrap their minds around why you would leave the best that Heavenly Father offers. But if you grew up in the Church, you can better understand why the Ms on your porch usually push more than is polite. They really want to make sure that you are sure, and they really want to do the best they can do as a Church representative.

The stories are endless and not all bring smiles. Reps of the Church need to be receive sensitivity training.

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