Serving an LDS mission is a voluntary service for young men from the age of 19 and up and young women from age 21 and up (women only serve 1.5 years). They are not paid to go, in fact they raise money themselves to help pay for the expenses before they leave. They do not get to choose where they are sent, they receive a mission call from the 1st Presidency of the church telling them where they will serve.
During their mission they do absolutely nothing but share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If they are sent to a foreign mission they learn to speak that language fluently. They are able to write letters and emails to friends and family during this time. They are only allowed to make 2 phone calls per year to their family on Christmas and Mother's Day.
They do not date during this time at all nor have girlfriends.
As of this year, there are over 53,000 LDS missionaries serving in over 348 missions throughout the world.
my friend Lindsay A.,
is why you see them EVERYWHERE!
13 years ago tomorrow My Lover left for his mission to Russia for two years.
Along with a crying Jessica, he left this letter that I'd like to share with you...
(click on the letter to enlarge and read)