When future missionaries submit their mission application to the Church, they are generally on pins and needles for the next couple of weeks as they await their mission call. Last year, when our daughter submitted her mission application, she was texting her bishop or stake president almost every day, asking if her application status had changed. You see, once the potential missionary has completed and submitted their paperwork, they have no visibility into the status of the application until they get a text and email a few weeks later that they mission call is available for viewing on the Missionary Portal. The bishop and stake president, however, have access to an online system where they can view the status of each missionary’s application.
Why the Church doesn’t grant the future missionaries access to this status information, I don’t know. Seems like doing so would be a win win, giving potential missionaries access to the information they want, while taking a big burden off the shoulders of priesthood leaders. One thing I learned when I worked for FedEx years ago what that information about the status of the package is as valuably important as the delivery of the package itself. Taking advantage of that fact and giving tracking information to the consumer made FedEx an industry leader. Maybe one day the Church will provide a similar mission call tracking feature to missionaries. Until then, the following is some information about the mission application status options that bishops and stake presidents can see and relay to future missionaries and their families.
As far as I have been able to determine, there are four status options for mission applications once they have been submitted to Church headquarters by the stake. They are:
- Submitted. This means your Stake has submitted your mission application forms to the Church. Based on what I’ve seen, the status on your application generally stays in the “submitted” state for a few days before being changed to the next phase.
- In Process. This means the application is being reviewed and vetted by staff and doctors at Church headquarters. Your application could stay in “In Process” for a few days or a few weeks, depending on circumstances. With our daughter (see her mission application timeline example here), it was a week and a half. For many of her friends, it was less than a week. If you have unique circumstances such as mental or physical health challenges, then the application may be processing for many weeks.
- Ready for Assignment. This indicates that the application is cleared and will be presented in next meeting where mission calls are assigned by prophecy and revelation.
- Mission Assigned. This means your mission call has been made and is generally sent out on he following Tuesday (see my article on the day of the week calls are sent out).
Since I am not a bishop or stake president, I cannot say with 100% certainly that these are the status options, but they seem accurate based on information I have been able to gather personally and from other people. If you have first hand knowledge of anything different, including screen shots, please leave a comment or contact me.
Trick for Checking the Status Yourself
There is a backdoor trick that many people have discovered for future missionaries themselves to figure out the status of their mission call. Our daughter and many of her friends have effectively used this technique. The trick is for the missionary applicant to log into their Church account and then direct their web browser to mail.missionary.org. If the mission call has not been issued, there will be an error displayed at that website, but if the mission call has been assigned, then the email account loads properly into the web browser and that means you will receive your call letter the next Tuesday when mission calls are sent out.
When our daughter Hannah found out about that trick, she was checking the missionary email system daily to see if her missionary email address has been created, thus knowing her call had been issued. Indeed on the same day that Hannah’s bishop informed her that her mission application had changed to “ready for assignment” she found that her missionary email account was up and running and she did in fact receive her mission call on the following Tuesday.
Another trick to know if your mission call assignment has been made is to check the Church online donation website. This option only works people in the same ward as the future missionary, so if your son or daughter is in a college ward, as was the case for us, then it doesn’t work. In the Church’s donation website, members see a list of all the missionaries serving from their ward which is designed for parents and others to make the monthly mission cost payment. As soon as a missionary is ready for assignment, they will appear in that list of missionaries from the ward.