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Sydney Byington, at left, and Emily Walker currently are serving as missionaries from the Madison Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. CONTRIBUTED

Teenagers to retirees can serve in LDS Missions

MADISON – Most people are familiar with young men going door to door to witness during their service or ‘mission’ for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

However, missions are not exclusive to teenage males. Young women and older individuals who have retired also can volunteer for a mission assignment.

“Our church members serve missions as young adults and also retired people,” spokesperson Carol Walker said. “We currently have several young adults serving in a variety of locations like Brazil, Nicaragua, New York (Mandarin Chinese speaking), Idaho (Spanish and English speaking) and California.”

These missionaries range in age from 18 to 21 years old. A mission lasts from 18 to 24 months.

The church’s missionary department in Salt Lake City, Utah, arranges all assignments, housing and transportation during the mission. Members pay to go on their missions.

Youth missionaries who are 18 to 25 years old pay a flat rate of $500 per month. Senior mission costs vary by location.

To serve on a mission, church members fill out an application, obtain the necessary medical clearances (for checkups and current immunizations), indicate their availability and send this information to the mission department in Salt Lake for assignment, Walker said.

Senior missionaries can serve in various areas. “From teaching and fellowshipping, to (completing) service missions, to helping people with their family history . . . many opportunities are available,” Walker said. “Senior missionaries are retired members who would like to serve the Lord by serving their fellowmen.”

“The length of time varies but is usually 18 to 24 months, both in the United States as well as worldwide. There is a list of needs listed on the church’s website that members can select from,” Walker said. (seniormissionary.churchofjesuschrist.org/srsite/catalog?lang=eng)

Currently, several members are serving missions from local congregations: Sydney Byington, Newport Beach, Calif.; Blake Forester, Oaxaca, Mexico; Joshua Frey, Rancagua, Chile; Juan Garnica, Xalapa, Mexico; Jacob Henrie, Mesa, Ariz.; Anabelen Lopez, Lima, Peru; Troy Macfarland, St. George, Utah; Zach Mendenhall, New York City, New York (Mandarin speaking); Trey Moulton, Anaheim, Calif.; Michael Nichols, Fort Collins, Colo.; Michelle Soh, Pocatello, Idaho (Spanish speaking); Leif Swenson, Salt Lake City, Utah; Emily Walker, Pocatello, Idaho; and John Weyenberg, Gilbert, Ariz.

For more information, visit churchofjesuschrist.org/callings/missionary/faqs?lang=eng.

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