Missionary Availability Date

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Greg4BYU
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Missionary Availability Date

Postby Greg4BYU » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:25 pm

Is it OK for a prospective missionary to list his availability date before his 19th birthday?

He can send his papers in up to 4 months before that date. If he has no other obligations, school, work etc., can he put his availability date a month or two before his 19th?

I have heard of missionaries turning 19 in the MTC, so I know that it might be possible. Just wondering what date to put on his papers.

-Greg

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:11 pm

Greg4BYU wrote:He can send his papers in up to 4 months before that date.


It's actually 120 days, which is not the same thing (I had a couple of families get concerned that an application had not been submitted exactly 4 months ahead of the availability date).

Greg4BYU wrote:If he has no other obligations, school, work etc., can he put his availability date a month or two before his 19th?

I have heard of missionaries turning 19 in the MTC, so I know that it might be possible. Just wondering what date to put on his papers.


From the Missionary Recommendation Help System: "...if the candidate is a young man, the earliest date he is available to serve is normally on his 19th birthday. However, if the candidate is a young man and a recent convert to the Church, the earliest date he can serve is when he has reached his 19th birthday and at least a year has passed since he was confirmed a member of the Church."

That seems to imply that the earliest date is his 19th birthday or later -- not earlier. The only exceptions I've ever heard of involved missionaries who were children of mission presidents.
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Postby lajackson » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:24 pm

Greg4BYU wrote:Is it OK for a prospective missionary to list his availability date before his 19th birthday?


The prospective missionary should counsel with his stake president if he feels there is a compelling reason to list an earlier availability date. The stake president will provide him the necessary guidance.

Otherwise, at least in North America, age 19 is the earliest date. While I am aware of some rare exceptions (aebrown mentioned one), I have never heard of an exception made simply because a prospective missionary was not in school, working, or had no other obligations.

simonawright
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Postby simonawright » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:24 am

Exceptions can be granted by the Missionary Department. Young Men, in the Europe area, from Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Albania and Cape Verde can serve a mission when they are 18 providing they have graduated from High school. The Missionary department may have granted the same exception to other countries in the world, that are not in the Europe area, and so it wouldn't be surprising to have missionaries turning 19 in the MTC.

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Postby lajackson » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:55 am

simonawright wrote:Exceptions can be granted by the Missionary Department. Young Men, in the Europe area, from Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Albania and Cape Verde can serve a mission when they are 18 providing they have graduated from High school. The Missionary department may have granted the same exception to other countries in the world, that are not in the Europe area, and so it wouldn't be surprising to have missionaries turning 19 in the MTC.


I was aware of this exception. In these cases, do stake presidents provide an earlier availability date on the application, or do they put the usual age 19 and then add comments explaining the situation and requesting that the Missionary Department consider the prospective missionary for an earlier date?

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Postby greggo » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:31 am

I know of at least one instance - a missionary that was serving in my ward at the time. In his case, he entered the MTC several months before his 19th birthday. There was no special reason for him to serve earlier, he just didn't want to wait until age 19 and decided to give it a try. His bishop was aware that the availability date was early, but didn't note any special justification on the application. I just assumed the Missionary Dept didn't catch it.

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Postby simonawright » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:45 am

It would be up to the Stake President, or Bishop for that matter, to indicate on the application if there is any reason why there might be a time issue, such as starting University or finishing High School.
Generally there is no statement about the applicants age, the application is submitted with the expectation that it will be processed in accordance with their procedures and that the Missionary Dept know that they can serve before they are 19 if they are from a country where this applies.

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Re: Missionary Availability Date

Postby danshumway » Thu May 22, 2014 7:52 am

Is the 120 day rule still in effect? My stake clerk just told me my daughter cannot access the computer missionary application system until three months before she turns 19. Has anyone else heard of this?

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Re: Missionary Availability Date

Postby lajackson » Thu May 22, 2014 10:43 am

danshumway wrote:Is the 120 day rule still in effect? My stake clerk just told me my daughter cannot access the computer missionary application system until three months before she turns 19.

This is not correct. You daughter can access the missionary application system as soon as her bishop authorizes it. There is not a time limit.

The application actually should be started well in advance of the missionary availability date. For example, she will need to print out medical and dental forms for that part of the application process.

And as far as I know, the completed application may still be sent by the stake president up to 120 days prior to her availability date.

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aebrown
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Re: Missionary Availability Date

Postby aebrown » Thu May 22, 2014 11:12 am

lajackson wrote:
danshumway wrote:Is the 120 day rule still in effect? My stake clerk just told me my daughter cannot access the computer missionary application system until three months before she turns 19.

And as far as I know, the completed application may still be sent by the stake president up to 120 days prior to her availability date.

That's correct. The application process can be worked on well ahead of time. The availability date can't be earlier than her 19th birthday, and the stake president can't submit the application to CHQ until 120 days (approximately 4 months, not 3) before the availability date. But everything else can be done before that.

One of the bishops in our stake has priests start creating an application at age 16 so that the young men get a mission in their plans early. I'm not necessarily recommending that, but I mention it to show that there is no technical impediment to starting the application process even years before a missionary can serve.


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