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Since its earliest days, the mormon church (a.k.a. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) has sent out missionaries to all parts of the world. Missionary work is talked about in Mormon congregations and mormon's are encouraged to share the gospel with their friends and neighbors. However, when one thinks of mormon missionaries they usually think of 19-24 year old men and women serving full-time missions.
Full-time mormon missionaries
The mormon missionary program is perhaps the most active missionary program of any world church. As of December 31, 2004, there were more than 51,000 full-time missionaries serving around the world at any given time. Missionary work is a fundamental principle of the Church, and has become one of the most readily identifiable characteristics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All missionaries have been assigned by Church headquarters to their area of work, which can be in any part of the world where governments allow them to preach. They contribute to their own support for up to two years, frequently learning another language.
Quick Facts about mormon missionaries
Formal Missionary Service
The formal missionary program for the Church is responsible for sending out over 56,000 missionaries to approximately 330 organized missions around the world. Missionaries are a common sight in many areas, often seen in white shirts and ties, riding bicycles through neighborhoods or doing service in communities small and large. These young men, typically 19 to 24 years old, are not the only missionaries that are fielded by the Church. There are missionaries who are old, young, male, female, proselyting, and service oriented.
Missionary Training Centers
Before leaving on a mission, each missionary attends a missionary training centers for a short time. These centers help prepare missionaries to teach the gospel and to orient them to missionary life. There are currently seventeen missionary training centers (MTCs) around the world:
* Provo, Utah (USA)
Missionary training centers are like small universities or communities where missionaries learn teaching skills they will need while serving. If the missionary already knows the language of where they are going, then they will normally stay in the MTC for about three weeks. If they need to learn a foreign language, then the training time extends to eight weeks, with extensive language training being added to their studies.