One of the major highlights of the most recent General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the announcement by Church President Thomas S. Monson that the minimum age for full-time missionary service would, effective immediately, be lowered for young men from 19 years to 18 years, and from 21 years to 19 years for young women.
This is huge, to say the least, but now we have some numbers to illustrate just how huge these changes really are. In a recent statement, the Church announced that whereas prospective missionaries were beginning their applications at a rate of 700 per week, that number has now jumped to 4000 new applications begun per week. That's nearly six times the applications!
My own mission to the Samoan islands, partially described on this blog and my Samoan language blog, had a very profound impact on my life. I'm excited for the missionaries that are beginning their own service at this time, including, before too long, my sister-in-law, and eagerly await the reports of their success.