I thought it would be important to lay down how a Mormon mission works.
As of October 2012, the age requirements for missionaries have been altered. Now, men can serve two-year missions beginning at age 18 and women may serve eighteen month missions beginning at age 19. These ages are minimums and many missionaries will not begin to serve until they are a little bit older.
My mission will be a bit like this:
1. In May, I will come back to Provo and enter the Missionary Training Center. There are MTCs all over the world, even one in the Philippines, but that one is exclusively for Filipinos. I will be in the MTC for about a month and a half where I will learn how to teach about the Church as well as the Tagalog language.
2. From the MTC, I will leave with other missionaries and fly to the Philippines. When I get to the Philippines, I will travel to Laoag where I will be assigned another sister missionary. Her role will be to train me. During my entire mission, I will be partnered with another sister missionary.
3. What will I be doing with my time? My role as a missionary is to share the Gospel with everyone I can in attempt of bringing them to Christ. Also, serving the communities around me will take up a lot of my time. During my mission, I will serve in different areas in the Philippines. My mission president will assign me and other missionaries to different areas with different companion missionaries. My mission boundaries extend through the north of the Philippines and I expect to live in many different places.
Missionaries live by extremely high standards. In the heat and humidity of the Philippines, I will be expected to look my best and be a representative of Jesus Christ. This means no dating, no Facebook, no personal cell phone, and only one day a week to take care of personal needs like shopping and laundry. I have heard so many missionaries describe the time they spent as a missionary as "not the best years of my life, but the most important years for my life." I am a little scared but a lot more excited to see what the Lord has in store for me in Laoag.