"Along with the need for young elders and sisters, there is a growing need for couples in the mission field. Older married couples are doing a wonderful work in the missions. Many more are needed. . . . With an increasing number of people retiring while they are still possessed of health and vitality, there are many who can fill a tremendous need in the work of the Lord."
President Gordon B. Hinckley
The Church is in need of couple missionaries. While the minimum age for serving a mission as a couple is 40, there is no maximum age as long as both the husband and the wife are in good health and can financially afford a mission. Many couples in their seventies are successfully serving missions. Couples who desire to serve missions may not have any dependent children at home and are not allowed to bring pets. If a couple has the responsibility to care for aging parents, they will need to make arrangements for the care of their parents while they are away.
Couples may serve missions in the following areas: Leadership, Temple, Family History, or Other Specialized Missions.
Leadership Missions include proselyting missions where they are involved in tracting and teaching people the gospel. It may also include working in the mission office or in a visitors center. Some couples may also serve medical missions where they help attend to the medical needs in an area.
Temple Missions include serving as ordinance workers. We have couples in our ward that serve in the temple each week as ordinance workers. They live at home, but since the travel time to the temple is 2 hours, most of the couples spend a night in a local hotel so they can serve the next day without traveling. We have a couple on our extended family that actually splits time between two different locations so they can serve in the temple for a few days and then spend the rest of the week attending to business and family duties.
Family History Missions may include serving in the Salt Lake City Genealogical Library helping patrons locate their genealogy, or couples may be involved in microfilming, preparing documents, or assisting in family history centers around the world. A member of my ward shared an experience last week of trying to translate some records from Italian and trying to decipher the handwriting.
Other Specialized Missions may include working with the Church Education System helping to set up Seminary and Institute programs, farm and agricultural help, public affairs, humanitarian services, or managing facilities. A bulletin is distributed regularly that calls for help in specialized areas and gives the requirements necessary for service in these areas.
Unlike young, single missionaries, couple missionaries can choose the amount of time they wish to serve. Couples usually serve 12, 18, or 23 months.
While it can be a difficult choice to leave family behind, the Lord needs couples to serve missions. My husband and I both hope to serve a mission together. It may be many years down the road (we’ll have dependent children for a long time) but we’re hopeful that with careful financial planning we’ll be able to serve.
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