LDS Mission Question

I am the first person to serve a mission for the LDS Church in my family and am very excited, but don’t really know how it works. I have been called to the Lima Peru East Mission and will report in late June.

My stake president texted me today (I have had my call about 2 weeks) and said that he needed to talk to me about my mission papers. He was sure to note it was nothing bad. I asked if I should keep getting foreign immunizations and he said yes “everything is moving forward but the missionary department needs something clarified.”

I was just wondering what this clarification could be? The only things I said in my papers were I have a few non-visible tattoos, I had back issues two years ago but not since, and I have ear tubes.

Anyone with experience in this realm’s ideas on this would be much appreciated. I am just so thrilled to be about to serve I am worried something will go wrong. Thanks!

I’m a little confused why you’ve brought this question to us?

How could we possibly know what clarification he seeks? How could we be more familiar with the concerns and expectations of this particular stake president, than someone actually involved in the organization?

(This just seems like something to take up with someone in your LDS community, rather than a bunch of strangers on a message board, to me!)

But, okay, maybe you can start by explainng what a stake president is and what ‘stake’ designates.

I’m also curious what the ‘mission’ is exactly? Are you building schools and hospitals? Or just looking to make converts? Is it just a glorified travel experience for like minded young people? Or is there a specified goal?

A stake president is the presiding officer for a stake. A stake is the group of wards and branches in the geographical area designated as the stake’s area. Local congregations are usually called wards; however, some–typically smaller ones–are called branches. The leader of a ward is called a bishop, while the leader of a branch is called a president.

There are a few types of full-time missions for the church. Young men 18 or older and young women 18 or older may apply (“Put in their mission papers”) and will be assigned to a proselytizing mission or a service mission. Theoretically the applicant is completely honest with his bishop and stake president so that there will not be any surprises, so to speak, due to the applicant not actually meeting the requirements (be chaste, pay tithing, attend church meetings, and a few other things that are typical for someone wanting to be a minister) for being a missionary. There can be issues on the consular side if the prospective missionary needs a visa for his or her assigned mission.

That’s a quick run down and I left a few things off, such as upper age limit for singles to serve missions, couples or senior missions, mission president, and a few others. This should cover the basics, though.

To answer the OP, the tattoos may be an issue depending on what the current policies in the mission area assigned are. The ear tubes may be an issue depending on the state of health care in the assigned area. I echo the post made by elbow: none of us here can tell you for sure because we are not involved in the selection and assignment process for you. I’m active LDS and I cannot give you any more advice other than, “Meet your stake president and honestly discuss the issue he highlights”.

Because the SDMB, though not the *only *source, is the first, last, and ultimate source of info on any/every subject known to humanity (and animals, too) (and extraterrestrials, too).

As the second post in this thread demonstrated.

Check out the user name. I think that might answer it!:smiley:

I made a slight mistake in post #3. It should read “Young women 19 or older…”.

In my experience, LDS missionaries are always very neatly dressed. The young men I see on occasion are always wearing suits and ties, even in the midst of summer. If they have any tattoos (which I doubt), these are covered up.

I would never open my door to anyone wearing a suit and tie.

Suits and ties? I thought their uniform was shortsleeved white shirts and a necktie. I sure saw a lot of men in that uniform that July when I was in SLC for a couple of days and a friend there took me for a tour of the city. Particularly that office building just across the street from the Temple grounds.

Yes, that is correct. Shortsleeved white shirts and tie. Now that you say it. And it said “elder” on the name tags the men were wearing which I found strange since they looked really young. But they were very pleasant and polite.

Okay, but at least put on a robe.

“Elder” is the lowest rung within the Melchizedek priesthood, to which pretty much all male members of the LDS over the age of 18 belong. Full-time missionaries and those serving in the upper levels of leadership are normally called Elder Surname (e.g., “Elder Donnerwetter has a question for us today”); other adult males are usually referred to or addressed as Brother Surname.

For all we know, you wrote something illegibly on the form.

On the other hand, keep in mind “nothing bad” may apply to the church, or to your stake leader, and not necessarily to you.

Like the military, the LDS missionaries’ “uniform” varies by season, region, and gender.

I believe you’re referring to the Church Office Building (catchy title, huh?).

It is possible they want details about the back issues from two years ago. My youngest sister just left for a mission to the Rome area of Italy (there have been a bunch of Facebook comments along the lines of “Watch out, Pope Francis!”) and it seemed like they wanted to make sure she was healthy before she drove up to Provo and started her training at the Missionary Training Center.

Hopefully the OP knows by now and everything is OK.