12 Kinds of Missions You Probably Didn't Even Know Existed
We all expect LDS missionaries to street contact, knock on doors, and wear a white shirt and tie. But many of us have no idea that there are at least 14 other kinds of missions out there for young people eager to serve!
“Men and women of mission age who are unable to serve a proselyting mission can counsel with
parents and leaders to consider options for a service mission. While service missions vary in terms of
assignment and length depending on the missionary’s abilities, they involve real work, real service,
and real sacrifice that make a difference in building the kingdom of God on earth.”
Elder Adrián Ochoa of the Seventy
I'm not a third-party observer, after returning home early from a proselyting mission, I had the opportunity to serve as a Young Church-Service Missionary. It changed my life and enabled me to continue to serve the Lord and do His work!
Visit my website for missionaries who
come home early: www.earlyRM.com
This post goes hand-in-hand with an article I had the opportunity to write for the Ensign entitled, "Catching the Vision: All Missions Bring Souls to Christ."
1. Online Referral Missions
With the Church's emphasis on spreading the gospel online, there are missionaries called to serve in the MTC and other locations to teach the missionary lessons online.
2. Temple Square Missions
For those who live in Utah (or live with relatives in the area), there are a variety of missions available through the Church Office Building and on Temple Square:
Priesthood and Family Department
Seminaries and Institutes
Cafeteria [Guaranteed to see many general authorities - just sayin'!]
Church History Museum
Tending Temple Grounds
LDS Motion Picture Studios
Manning the Front Desks and Giving Tours
3. Online Family History or Indexing Missions
Although there is not a video yet of young missionaries with this call, this was the mission I was able to take part in. I helped people index names through FamilySearch Indexing. It was a joy and I met people from all over the world!
4. Facilities Missions
Missionaries can help maintain Church buildings, such as chapels, bishop storehouses, and mission homes.
5. Mission Office Missions
It is kind of strange to say I have a "favorite" mission in this list, but this kind of mission is amazing! You can work with your local mission president to see if you can serve in the mission home and/or go on splits with the proselyting missionaries when possible.
What I love about this option is that you can continue to take part in proselyting and this mission opportunity is not limited to areas where there are a large number of members - this opens the doors for international Young Church-Service Missionaries!
6. Temple Missions
A friend of mine in my last ward served as a grounds keeper for the Provo Temple and then served inside regularly, doing the work for our ancestors. Again, this is a mission call that can work with Saints from around the world!
7. Addiction Recovery and/or Prison Missions
One of the stories in Catching A Vision: All Missions Bring Souls to Christ is about a sister missionary who serves both with those overcoming addictions and those in prison. When I interviewed this sister, she said that she had never felt the love of God so strongly as when she was helping those who were yearning for hope and relief.
8. Social Media Missions
9. Seminary and Institute Missions
A variety of missions are available through Seminaries and Institutes. Missionaries can help with the administrative side of the work, serve with students with disabilities, and teach classes like mission prep.
10. Welfare Square, Deseret Industries, and Bishop Storehouse Missions
Sister Baker, who served on Welfare Squre, said in a Deseret News article that she was able to be open to a Church-service mission when:
"Looking at the Savior, and His ministry, I realized that
He wasn’t just teaching and organizing His church; He served!
He healed people, comforted them, brought some back to life and,
of course, the biggest service He did was the Atonement.
He was all about service."
Elder Eves served at Deseret Industries after a car wreck changed his plans for a mission. Read his story here >>
11. Community Service Missions
Young Church-Service Missionaries can set up missions with community organizations. One elder plays the piano at local care centers and retirement homes. Another elder works at Primary Children's Hospital. A sister served in a homeless shelter. My dear friend, Ashley Millsap, knitted an innumerable amount of baby hats to send to Africa.
12. Serving Missions with Family Members
There are many missionaries who serve with family members. One elder serves alongside his father who is on the high council. He travels around the stake and smiles. Two sisters serve alongside their parents in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
Missions with a Variety of Service Opportunities
Many missionaries serve in more than one of these areas and find a good combination of opportunities to serve, develop skills/talents, and share the gospel! Some go on splits with the full-time proselyting missionaries or serve as ward missionaries in their wards and branches.
If you want to learn more, contact the YCSM office or go to lds.org/ycsm. Talk to the senior missionaries over the YCSM program to craft a mission opportunity that best matches your strengths & needs.
Contact me if you have any questions about my experience! :)
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