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Mormon missionaries may serve on a full- or part-time basis, depending on the assignment, and are organized geographically into missions.
Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are responsible for assigning missionaries to a particular mission.
A prospective missionary receiving the call to serve is generally considered to be a major event in LDS culture; family members, friends, and members of the prospective missionary's congregation often gather together when a call arrives, which the prospective missionary opens and reads aloud to the group.
All missionaries must meet certain minimum standards of worthiness.
Among the standards that a prospective missionary must demonstrate adherence to are: regular attendance at church meetings, regular personal prayer, regular study of the scriptures, adherence to the law of chastity (sexual purity), adherence to the Word of Wisdom (code of health and nutrition), payment of tithing, spiritual diligence and testimony of God.
All Mormon missionaries serve voluntarily and do not receive a salary for their work; they typically finance missions themselves or with assistance from family or other church members.
Throughout the church's history, over one million missionaries have been sent on missions.With the usual starting age of 18–20, a mission provides a clear event or marker for the traditional age of adulthood, but is not necessary for continuance in church membership.
In the same speech where he called for "every young man" to fill a mission, Kimball added, "we realize that while all men definitely should, all men are not prepared to teach the gospel abroad." Apart from general issues of worthiness and ability, there are a number of specific situations that will disqualify a person from becoming a full-time missionary for the LDS Church.The mission assignment could be to any one of the 421 missions organized worldwide.The LDS Church is one of the most active modern practitioners of missionary work, reporting that it had more than 70,000 full-time missionaries worldwide at the end of 2016 Most full-time Mormon missionaries are single young men and women in their late teens and early twenties and older couples no longer with children in the home.Missionaries are often assigned to serve far from their homes, including in other countries.Many missionaries learn a new language at a missionary training center as part of their assignment.Missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church)—widely known as Mormon missionaries—are volunteer representatives of the LDS Church who engage variously in proselytizing, church service, humanitarian aid, and community service.