Sisters Serving Missions

Sisters Serving Missions

Below are some quotes from the prophets regarding young women and sisters servings missions.

When President Monson announced the lower age requirement for young women to serve as sister missionaries, he said: “We affirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty—and we encourage all young men who are worthy and who are physically able and mentally capable, to respond to the call to serve. Many young women also serve, but they are not under the same mandate to serve as are the young men. We assure the young sisters of the Church, however, that they make a valuable contribution as missionaries, and we welcome their service.” (Welcome to Conference, President Thomas S. Monson, October 2012)

Regarding this same announcements, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “those [women] who do serve are stunningly successful and we enthusiastically welcome your service…Personally, I am absolutely delighted if this change in policy allows many, many more young women to serve.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “Regarding single sisters serving as missionaries: We need some young women. They perform a remarkable work. They can get in homes where the elders cannot. But it should be kept in mind that young sisters are not under obligation to go on missions. They should not feel that they have a duty comparable to that of young men, but some will wish to go. If so, they should counsel with their bishop as well as their parents” (“To the Bishops of the Church,” Worldwide Leadership Training).


sister missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsHere are some other posts related to young women and sisters serving missions that you may want to check out:

43 replies
    • Karina
      Karina says:

      I was 22 when I submitted my papers and just turned 23 and starting my mission in 1 and a half weeks to the California Los Angeles MIssion!! I seriously couldn’t feel happier about it!

      • Lydia
        Lydia says:

        1 year later exactly,

        I don’t know how long it takes to get you B.A. I’m not from america.

        Woman can go on a mission at any age. there is no age limit for us, and we can also go on a mission multiple times before reaching retirement age (as long as were not married ofcourse. but after serving 1 mission we should give ourselves time to find a suitable husband and get married because that is our ‘duty’.

        I am happy to say that i am 24 and start my mission in 8 day’s to the England London Mission

  1. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    Hi Jimmy! This is a great website you have here. I have searched and searched and am looking for the answer to this most important question! 😉 I served a mission at 21 and am not married yet. At what age can I serve another mission in the next 20 years?

  2. Brandie Sump
    Brandie Sump says:

    I am 27 and I do want to serve a mission but I not finacially able to and I may not be finacially ready until next fall. Am I or will I be too old to serve a mission next year?

    • Jimmy
      Jimmy says:

      Brandie, I could be wrong, so double check this with your bishop or stake president, but I’m pretty sure there is no upper age limit for single sisters to go on a mission. God bless.

    • Keith
      Keith says:

      Hello Brandie,

      This is from the handbook about age of sister missionaries:

      Single women ages 21 through 39 are usually called to serve for 18 months. These sisters can make a valuable contribution in the mission field, and there is a continuing need for them to serve.
      Single women ages 40 and older are usually called to serve for 12 or 18 months. Those assigned to serve outside their country of residence are called for 18 months. Bishops and stake presidents make sure these sisters are in good enough health to serve effectively as missionaries. These sisters are called only to nonproselyting assignments.

      And about financing:
      Missionaries and their families should make appropriate sacrifices to provide financial support for a mission. It is better for a person to delay a mission for a time and earn money toward his or her support than to rely entirely on others. However, worthy missionary candidates should not be prevented from serving missions solely for financial reasons when they and their families have sacrificed according to their capability.

      • April
        April says:

        I was ecstatic to see this. I was raised in the church and wanted to go on a mission when I was younger, but things happened and I fell away. I’ve only reactivated in the last year and it has wrought such a massive change on me. I want to share His light with the whole world, that they may feel the peace and joy I have felt. I am going to be 30 in just under 3 months and am very happy that there is no age cap to prevent me from submitting my papers.
        Lol, I bet I’ll probably be the oldest non-senior sister on my mission. Wish me luck!

  3. myra
    myra says:

    jimmy,i have a disire to go on a mission but the problem is my family didnt allow me to go on a mission beacuse of i have an ashma,but is not totaly happen of my sick.but i have realy a disire and its difficult for me,what can i do..i know that if you have a disire go on..but my family discourage me..its so bad to me…

    • Jimmy
      Jimmy says:

      Myra, I’m sorry your family is discouraging you from serving a mission. Your asthma condition does not prohibit you from going, but it may influence where you are able to serve a mission. Continue to seek the Lord’s help and pray that the right things will happen with your family. Perhaps talk to your bishop about the situation and see what advice he might have. Good luck, and may God bless and be with you. -Jimmy

      • Denise
        Denise says:

        Hey Meg,

        there are exceptions… your Stake or the Mission president (of the Mission you live in) can approve 1 month earlier. If you want to go with 20 however, your Bishop and Stake president have to approve it and state a reason (school… other personal reasons). So it’s possible to go before 21. I am planning to go with 20 3/4 and already talked to a mission president about it. He gave me this information.

  4. Heidi
    Heidi says:

    Hello, what other “personal reasons” besides school would qualify a sister to be able to go early? I have wanted to go since I was 13 and am barely 20. I am DYING to be able to go as soon as I can. I was under the impression that women could put their papers in up to 4 months before they turn 21… Is that correct?

    • Keith
      Keith says:

      Hello Heidi,

      This is from the handbook:
      The bishop and stake president ensure that all missionary recommendation forms are prepared completely and accurately. The bishop or stake president sends these forms to the Missionary Department up to 120 days before the birthday or availability date of the candidate (whichever is later).

    • Lydia
      Lydia says:

      A woman can turn in her papers 4 months before she turns 21, she is ‘allowed’ to turn 21 in the mtc or when she just arrived in the field (depends on how long your stay in the mtc would be). i would say turn them in 4 months ahead and let the brethren be inspired about you call and when you will be leaving on your mission.

      Good luck

      • Katie
        Katie says:

        I’m 23 years old and have always been quiet and kind of shy. I’ve always loved the gospel and had a super strong testimony. And of course, have always loved and looked up to the missionaries serving around me. I never thought I’d go on one though– because of my wekanesses. I graduated college last May and got out in the real world and had no idea what I wanted to do. I just continued to waitress. Well recently, I’ve been going out with the sister missionaries from my ward. I have been learning so much from them and have LOVED every second of going out. Every time I get home from being with them, I promise myself that Im going to make an appointment with the bishop to discuss it. But as the week goes by, I let all these negative thoughts entering my mind, every possible reason I could not serve. Lots of people have told me I would be an awesome missionary and I’ve prayed about it but got no direct answer. I just felt nothing. This last time out with the sister missionaries though, I just broke down and started crying and just knew that is where I was supposed to be. But i was scared. I have been praying harder than I ever have before and it just feels so right. A big problem for me though is my finances. I don’t exactly have any savings. At all. And my family struggles for food sometimes; I know they could not suppoort me financially. I made an appointment to talk to my bishop this next week but I almost feel guilty for wanting to serve when I don’t feel like I have the resources. I never thought I’d serve though. I never even thought to save up. Now it’s hit me. I could work and save but I know it’d take a few years. And what if, during that time– I found a career I loved or found the boy I am supposed to marry? I feel so confused and lost. Any advice

        • Jimmy
          Jimmy says:

          Whether or not you decide to go on a mission is a personal decision, and I would advise continued prayer and fasting to receive that inspiration. Also, continue to talk to your bishop about the financial situation and I bet he will have some good advice for you. As a general principle, if people are willing and able to serve a mission, individuals, families, wards, stakes, and others can usually come together to make it work financially. If you decide to go on a mission, and then prince charming comes into your life and you want to marry him. Well great. Don’t worry about. Follow that inspiration at that time.

          These are some very important questions you are wrestling with. And getting inspiration on these matters can often be difficult to recognize. May I suggest reading Elder Richard G. Scott’s April 2012 conference talk, How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life.

          Good luck, and God bless.

        • Felicia
          Felicia says:

          You have no idea how much you and your family can be blessed by your service as a missionary. I have had and seen others have remarcable experiences where the Lord has blessed families financially and in other ways through dedicated service. Do not feel like you serving a mission would put financial strain on your family. I know several people who have recieved help from their wards to serve a mission and through the course of their missions things have turned around for their families and their families have recieved sufficient means to always have what they needed. I’m not saying your family will get rich, but the Lord will look after you as well as them. You will never regret not serving a mission, but if you dont go you may wonder what if. Pray and fast. If you feel that you have recieved an answer, follow it. Dont let fear change those tender feelings you were sent. Good luck!

        • Carolyn M
          Carolyn M says:

          Hi Katie,
          It is so funny because your situation sounds exactly like mine! I am wondering what you decided and what has happened throughout this year? I am meeting with my Stake President tonight and my papers might be in this week!! I would love to talk with you about how the process went, the financial struggle, the internal struggle on what to focus on, what God wanted for me.
          Best to you.

  5. Megan
    Megan says:

    I returned from my mission almost 5 years ago, and I haven’t even come close to getting married. Can I serve another mission?

  6. Russell Hicks
    Russell Hicks says:

    “Wrestling for a Call”

    [A young adult, considering a mission call, wrestles in the Spirit with fasting and prayer.]

    The rain came softly in the night,
    Its music gentle to my ear.
    I heard it falling out of sight,
    To form cool pools which seemed so near.
    Yet in my soul a thirst remained,
    Which earthly water could not end.
    So on my knees I called His name,
    And prayed my Father swiftly send,
    Me solace in this grievous test,
    A trial which has left me weak.
    For lacking sight, I can but guess,
    The outcome of the call I seek.

    Not long ago I closed my fast,
    With gratitude for Spirit’s peace.
    But answers for the questions asked,
    Remain unknown–I cannot cease
    To wonder at the future years,
    Which beckon me to give my life.
    Despite my many prayers and tears,
    I fear I may remain in strife–
    Held captive by my earlier days,
    An awkward time of anxious youth.
    For though I’ve come to seek His Way,
    I still feel far from His full truth.

    I’ve never tried so hard before,
    To learn His will and find my place.
    I’ve offering all I have, and more,
    That Christ would all my sins erase.
    So many days I’ve fasted here,
    So many prayerful nights I’ve cried.
    So many times I felt like there,
    Were unseen angels near my side.
    But even when I gave my best,
    I learned it cannot be enough.
    By mercy, will I pass this test,
    By grace, I’ll feel my Savior’s touch.

    (c) [Ether 4:12] by Russell B. Hicks; “All rights reserved.”
    Sisters, recall that the Spiritual Gifts of the Almighty are apportioned TO ALL. Yes, we need more Sisters, whose superior charity and purity are just part of their divine contribution to our weary world.

  7. Brisa
    Brisa says:

    Hey Jim!
    Just wanted to say thanks for this awesome site! It is helping me answer my questions for my mission like none other! I reccommended it to my friends who have decided to go!! I turned 19 at the end of August, and to have President Monson announce the new ages for missionaries a month later truly answered my prayers! I should have my papers sent inless than two weeks! If anyone has any advice to further prepare, I would sure appreciate the help!

  8. valmay
    valmay says:

    hi Jimmy!!
    1st NEWS
    i love this website!……it really helps me alot this week. Last week i was @ the hospital doing my medical check up, then the day after that i found my fomr got soaked up in the heavy rain just outside out the drive way…. Man i felt sooo hopeless, i ran up to our branch president if he has any extra form, unfortunately he doesnt. then i said to myself ohh maybe the lord doesnt want me to go on mah mission. just now as i came accross this website, i promised myself that i will go…….
    2nd NEWS
    President Monson’s talk did even brought me to tears coz ive been complaining why are the new members going on their mission, whlie im still waiting for mah 21st birthday……. sooo when i heard that i was so excited. thankx be to the Lord and his prophet i love the gospel so much
    thanks and FAFETAI LASI
    i cr

  9. vhanesza
    vhanesza says:

    Hi .. jimmy .. I want go on a mission and also to spread the gospel of jesus christ but I do not allow my mother .. Due to problems in the study of my brother .. What do I do?

  10. Sabi
    Sabi says:

    I want to have the possibility to serve, but i m engaged and don’t have the money for a mission. I do really want to go on a mission but my boyfriend which are a return missionary is not so happy about the fact me going 18 month away. I m not sure, do you have some suggestion?

  11. Matty
    Matty says:

    Hello there- If you have the desire to serve a mission, then I can’t think of many good reasons not to do so! If your boyfriend worries about the effect of your mission on your relationship, then don’t worry- missionaries often put their relationships on hold temporarily. Send me an email if you could- I’d love to hear where you’re from, and what your plans are! Best of luck Sister!

  12. Louisa Mcmillan
    Louisa Mcmillan says:

    Thanks Jimmy for your information especially about the sister missions. I feel sad and a litte dissappointed how the church doesn’t use some experience sisters.

    I am a senior sister, who has a degree in social work and education. Life experience, I think you need experience people in alot of roles in the church. Especially when most men and woman the missionaries meet are struggling with something.

    Health issue for older people. I have met alot of missionaries in my life who were un well . My health was better than their. Figures show is an ageing population. I feel at times its all about younger men and woman doing missions. When in the real world its fare from this story. In fact its a cross range of people from different back grounds and skills.
    There some very famous woman in the bible , especially the old testament. Ruth, Esther, Hannah, Sarah. Debra in judges , she had a very high profile in the judges. The Catholic bible, the stories that werent selected for the bible. There was another famous woman called Suzahana, a woman who was treated badly and unfairly by the Elders of her faith. She prayed to God/Heavnly father for the truth to be revivled and it was.
    I have prayed often about this situation. Please give me some advice on why sister missionaries are not viewed as equally as mssionaries males. Especially older sister missionaries who have alot of experience and skills to deal with people from all walks of life.
    Sister in the spirit
    Lousia Mcmilllan

    • Jimmy
      Jimmy says:

      Louisa, I’m sorry you feel that way about the church and the role of sisters. The proclamation on the Family clearly states that men and women are “equal partners”, but this doesn’t mean that they have the same roles. In fact, men and women have different roles, responsibilities, and duties given them by God. I know that the Lord needs all of us, and there is a great work the Lord has in store for you, in this life and the next. If you will study the scriptures and be prayerful, I think you will come to know the will of the Lord for you. And as you study and pray about the words of the prophets, I think you will come to realize that as you follow the prophets, you will be following the Savior Jesus Christ. I wish you the best. May God bless and be with you.

  13. Blessing
    Blessing says:

    This is awesome.ive been waiting to turn 21 in november 2011,then my things didnt go wel with work and am 22,wel,wil be turning 23 in november.and last year december,i knew if i slumber,i wil miss the opportunity to serve mission as a single sister.1st week of jan this year,i was up and down to doctors and completed my form and have already handed it to the my biggest worry is finance.i told myself i wl save up for mission.i left my previous job and left my art school.i v been working since jan til date and only get paid once and that s the money iv put to my mission and i really feel its too small.but i do sales and earn on commision,what must one do?my fam wont be financially supporting me and now am busy looking for another job that is a basic salary.and my best friend who i much adore wanted us to date.oh,jea,wrong timing,and just got marriage proposal which i turned down cos our standards are nt the same.and my so called best friend i so adore,is a returned missionary who adores me as much as i do…wel,i hope so.but should i drop the papers and save up to go to his country?motherhood is a wonderful service ,but serving a full time mission is my greatest doesnt sound any better to drop mission so that u can date a guy with whom things might not be as expected or fullfil the desire to serve and come back desperate.wel,as am writing now,am starting to realise that we have different callings here on earth.and a reason for each of us to be born.i might be required to serve mission before i get married/before serving your own family and one is required to get married before serving mission.there are lots of people discouraging me,but i feel like if i dont serve mission,i wil end up getting married to a non member and fall s hard to know the truth and deny or ignore it.i admire kids and i admire mission work.but to put everything together,i wanna serve the lord for the rest of my life and He knows that.i want my kids to grow in the gospel and ithis cant come to pass unless i build that foundation.and i cant do that alone.oh,i talk too much,.big thanks to Jim for the group and to all wonderful sisters,to serve,to teach…is the greatest call.remember that,the devil wil come up with lies and excuses to stop you from serving the Lord and spreading the restored gospel.stand His will..not our will but his wil be done.for His thoughts are higher than u all:)

  14. Justina
    Justina says:

    How much money should I prepare if I want to put in my paper in US next year?
    I am now in Taiwan but I will go to byui to study next year (and also put in my papers there)so I need to expect how much money should I gather here

    • Jimmy
      Jimmy says:

      Missions cost $400 per month, and it is best to have it saved up in advance.
      For sister missionaries going on an 18-month mission, that means saving $7,200.
      Good luck.

  15. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    I am turning 19 in October, but I’ve heard that I can turn 19 in the MTC. Would I put my availability date three weeks before my birthday? Would that also mean that I could turn my papers in three weeks earlier as well?

    • Jimmy
      Jimmy says:

      I have heard rumors like that for years as well. And though it may have happened, it is not the general rule. The instructions given to priesthood leaders regarding the mission application is pretty clear: “The date given in the “Date available to serve” field should not be earlier than the birthday when the missionary reaches the minimum age for service.” Therefore, your earliest availability date should be the day you turn 19. Good luck, and God bless.

  16. Amy
    Amy says:

    Hello, just wondering how long of a time gap there needs to be before serving a second mission. I returned about 3 years ago and would like to go again. Am I eligible?

  17. Sis Miss
    Sis Miss says:

    Good luck to all the new Sister Missionaries going out at the new age of only 19! We love how this has enthused and built a fire of spirit for Mission work. We will always make sure to carry LDS Women’s Clothing and Sister Missionary Clothing that is attractive, cute and will last your whole mission! This site is a great resource for all missionaries and whoever dedicates the time, whether it is a calling or not we thank you for it! Come by and see what cute sister missionary clothes you can find and let us know what we can do better!

  18. Prosper
    Prosper says:

    Im so grateful with the later day saint,lm 18 now but lm planing to start A level next 2 years befor mission. Is it ok if l go first to school or …?

  19. sarah
    sarah says:

    I am currently dating a boy who treats me like a queen. We’ve been dating for awhile now, and he wants to marry me. The idea of marriage makes me nervous and tbh I don’t know if I am ready to make such a commitment, even if I do love him. I just turned 21 and I recently felt inspired to serve a mission…The thought of leaving him is really scary…but I don’t want to live with regret about not serving… IDK WHAT TO DO

  20. jenni
    jenni says:

    It may be in the discussion already, but how long does a sister have to wait before she can serve another mission for the LDS Church?


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