All worthy young men members of the Mormon Church serve a voluntary two year mission at their own expense at any of over 300 missions worldwide. The young men are assigned by inspiration to foreign or domestic missions and do not know where they will serve prior to receiving their mission call. Missionaries are expected to work before their mission to earn enough money to pay for all supplies needed and for the costs incurred during their mission. Most young men look forward to serving a mission their entire lives and even start saving for it in a piggy bank before kindergarten. Missions cost approximately $12-15,000. During their missions, missionaries will have the opportunity to provide hundreds of hours of selfless service, teach thousands of people and families about the Savior Jesus Christ, and invite all they come in contact with to change their life and “come unto Christ.”
During their mission the world is left behind and young men devote all their waking hours to declaring the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. During their missions they are called Elder Pace instead of Levi Pace. They do not date or have girl friends, go to movies or watch tv, do not listen to pop music, work jobs, go home, call home only twice a year. They wake up at 6:00 am and go to bed at 10pm. They study their new language for an hour each day. They also the study the scriptures and the gospel each day during an hour of personal study each day and an hour of companioship study each day.
Every mission is presided over by a mature husband and wife called the Mission President and the Mission Mom. The Mission President councils with the missionaries often and they look after them and care for them. There are usually about 150 missionaries in a mission.
Missionaries are with a companion missionary at all times and will serve with that companion for anywhere from one to several months. Often a missionary will have between 10 to 20 companions during their mission. The missionary is also assigned to serve in different areas during their mission. Usually a missionary will serve in each area from between one to 6 months. Usually a missionary might serve in 5-8 areas during their mission.
Most missionaries will tell you that the time they spent from age 19-21 in complete selfless service of others in a land far from home was the greatest most fulfilling experience of their life. Most would not trade their mission experience for any other experience in the world.