MTC ready for tours, media get first glance 29

Missionaries spend some time in the sun outside the new MTC buildings are seen during the media day tour of the new Missionary Training Center buildings in Provo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Sammy Jo Hester, Daily Herald

It will cost more to serve as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints starting July 1, 2020.

Young adult full-time missionaries for the church volunteer their time and pay their own way to serve a mission. Young men serve two years and young women serve 18 months.

On Thursday, the First Presidency of the church sent a letter to all church bishops, stake presidents and mission presidents, indicating the monthly cost will go from $400 to $500 a month, a 25% increase.

“After careful consideration, missionaries — and those who provide financial support — will be asked to pay a monthly amount of $500 (or the local equivalent) beginning July 1, 2020,” the First Presidency wrote in the letter.

The last time the church raised mission costs was in 2003.

“We love and are most grateful for the many young men and young women who answer the call to serve the Lord as full-time missionaries and express appreciation for those who support them We know that many sacrifice greatly to help share our Heavenly Father’s love and the Savior’s restored gospel,” the First Presidency stated.

Countries that will cost more to serve in include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

LDS full-time missionaries do not choose the country they serve in.

“As the First Presidency letter mentioned, the monthly amount a missionary, family, or ward or branch pays to help cover the missionary’s living costs has remained unchanged since 2003. This adjustment will better help cover costs for missionary needs,” said Daniel Woodruff, church spokesman.

Those items include housing, food, utilities, furnishings and transportation within the mission.

“This will affect all missionaries serving as of July 1, 2020. We hope that missionaries will use the time provided before this increase takes effect to carefully plan for meeting the expense of serving a mission,” Woodruff said. “They should counsel with their families, ward or branch members, or others who may choose to assist.”

This increase will include missionaries already serving when the increase happens next year.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

A 32-year veteran of covering news in Utah County, Genelle covers Provo, Orem, Faith/Religion, including the LDS Church and general assignments.

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