"For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sharing the Gospel is one of the most important and rewarding ways we can spend our time. Thousands of young men and women leave their homes and families each year for this purpose. There are currently approximately 50,000 full-time missionaries serving all over the world.
The geographical area that a missionary is assigned to is referred to as a "mission". It is presided over by a mission president and his wife. It is this couple's job to coordinate the efforts of the young missionaries by assigning them to “companionship's” (two or three missionaries who live and work together), providing training and leadership, and making sure that the missionaries have their material needs cared for.
Young men and women in The Church of Jesus Christ are not required to serve a mission, although many do. Missionaries are not paid for their service and, in fact, pay all expenses incurred during their missions, often with the assistance of their families and/or members of the church where they live. Young men (between the ages of 19 and 27, but mostly 19-21 years old) serve for two years; young women (usually 21-24 years old) serve for a year and a half.
A missionary will usually spend his/her entire term of service within the boundaries of one mission, but will be transferred by the mission president every 1-6 months to a different area. A missionary may work in anywhere from three to ten different areas during his/her mission, and may have over a dozen different companions.
Senior couples are also encouraged to serve missions once their children are raised and they have the financial means to do so. Senior couples typically serve for 1-1/2 years, and have proven invaluable in many areas, including training, reactivation, fellowshipping, temple service, etc., as well as proselyting.
For more information about The Church of Jesus Christ, please refer to the Church’s official World Wide Web site, see the Deseret News LDS Info Page, talk to one of your Latter-day Saint friends, or look under The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the telephone directory.
You may obtain a free Book of Mormon by calling 1-800-528-2225 (local missionaries will deliver the book and answer any questions you may have), or contact the local congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ."- http://www.mission.net/en/main_missionfaq.html -
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations..." (Matt. 28: 19-20).
"The Lord needs every able young man to prepare and recommit, starting tonight, to be worthy of a call from the prophet of God to serve a mission" - Ronald A. Rasband Of the Presidency of the Seventy from his talk, The Divine Call of a Missionary(April 2010 General Conference)
Going on a mission is important to me for several reasons. First of all, it is a commandment from God that every young man should serve a full time two year mission. I know that obeying the commandments of God will bring me and those around me happiness in life. I also know through personal prayer and answers I have received, however they may come, that going on a mission is the right thing for me to do in my life right now. I have always wanted to go on a mission since I was a kid and I used to sing...
I Hope they Call me on a Mission
I hope they call me on a mission
When I have grown a foot or two.
I hope by then I will be ready
To teach and preach and work as missionaries do.
I hope that I can share the gospel
With those who want to know the truth.
I want to be a missionary
And serve and help the Lord while I am in my youth.
Recently I have had to actually figure out if I really wanted to go on a mission or not and every time I think about it, it goes something like this... "Why do I want to go on a mission? Why don't I just stay home and go to school? What am I going to get from going on a mission? I want to go on a mission because it is going to be one of the best and most memorable experiences in my young life. I am going to have the opportunity to learn and grow in the gospel free (well, more free than normal) from worldly distractions.
Although I am excited to be able to grow spiritually, I am a thousand times more excited to be able to serve other people, help them to know of the truth, and be a friend to those in need. The teachings of Jesus Christ are all about service to others. "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God" Mosiah 2:17. What better way to serve others than to go on a mission to serve and teach, the only things that missionaries do!