Since President Monson's historic October General Conference announcement that Mormon women are now eligible to serve fulltime missions beginning at age 19, there has been a flurry of excitement as instantly eligible female members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have eagerly submitted applications and are now receiving calls to serve throughout the world in what is speculated to be record breaking numbers!

One sister on Facebook reported, "In our tiny branch of less than 100 people, we have 5 sisters who have been called since Pres. Monson's announcement, and one more who is expecting her call this week! None of them were old enough to go before Oct."

Another friend reported that his daughter, currently serving  in the Florida Tampa Mission, wrote to say that over the next three months 80 new sister missionaries will be arriving and she will be involved with their initial training.

And yet another friend shared that his sister ,who is serving in the California San Diego Mission, reports that 120 new sister missionaries are scheduled to arrive during the months of December and January.

If you've been paying attention to what's going on with these faithful younger women of the LDS Church and how they are responding to a prophet's invitation to serve the Lord as fulltime missionaries, you've got to be blown away by their faithfulness, enthusiasm and willingness to jump right in and get to work. These young sisters seem to have come from the pre-mortal world wired to respond spontaneously to the voice of the Lord at this very time when He is hastening His work, and in need of all hands on deck. One has to believe that this generation of Mormon women were truly sent to earth "for such a time as this"!

One of these incredibly valiant women is Ali Nicole Vincent, of Pleasant Grove, Utah, newly called to serve in the Argentina Bahia Blanca Mission. (pictured above) Ali will report to the MTC on February 13, 2013. Ali recently joined a brand new Facebook group: Many Are Called... But Few Are Sisters. (Don't you just love that!) The group description: "For those sisters about to submit papers or those who have already received calls, so we can share our experiences and help each other prepare". Well, I'll let Ali tell you what happened next...

In a period of about 4 days over 1900 future sister missionaries joined the group from all over the world. We shared our mission calls with each other and some advice on where to shop, what to study, etc. One girl, Anna Finneran, had the fantastic idea that we should all meet up together at Temple Square to send a picture to the First Presidency to show how excited we are to serve. About 50 other sisters gathered at the Rexburg Temple at the same time in Idaho as well. As we gathered we sang hymns, took the picture, and found other girls going to our same missions. It really was such a spiritual experience to be surrounded by so many worthy young sisters who are so enthusiastic about serving the Lord in their designated area. The world is changing and the work is hastening. We are all needed in God's army whether we're going on missions or not. I honestly am so excited about my call that I received to Bahia Blanca Argentina. I can't wait to get out and serve the people there and I'm sure all the other sisters feel the same way!

FYI: To date the group formed on December 5, 2012  has now 2231 members and growing...

I asked Ali if she wouldn't mind inviting this outsider into the group so that I could have a quick look around, and I have to tell you it was an amazing spiritual experience! Truly a vision! Scanning down the news feed, entry after entry, it read something like a beauty pageant roll call of sorts, but of course these were daughters of the King, officially called to His service... (They have even created a Google Doc where each girl has recorded her name and mission.)

Newly Called Sister Missionaries Roll Call:

Meghan DeLee Simonson, Peru Lima North Mission

Jessica Tew, Colorado Denver South, Spanish Speaking

Loa Chantelle Thompson, Billings, Montana

Ariel Halton, Finland Helsinki

Sara Nicole Hansen, Guatemala, Guatemala City Central Mission

Emily Warren, California San Fernando 

Lauren Simpson, Beijing, China Mission - Update: I have no excuse for not questioning this, other than the fact that I was writing this post at 1am. But it seems as though Lauren is somewhat of a prankster and basically punked me, so to speak, by posting this as her mission call prior to posting the actual call right below --  which is to... drum roll please....  California San Fernando! All I can say is San Fernando is going to have their hands full with Sister Simpson! ; )

Madeline Macey, Vina del Mar Chile

Kelsie Jo Anderson, Leeds England Mission

Katie Jensen, California Anaheim Mission

Bryn Lewis, Ukraine, Kyiv Mission

Alli Wright, Montreal Canada Mission

Katelyn Bytheway, Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission

Steffany Dudley, Portugal Lisbon Mission

I wish I could list them all but you get the idea.

Now, stop and watch this amazing video before you read any further....

Video: Called to Serve - Future Sister Missionaries Unite

If that didn't send goosebumps up and down your spine, as it did mine, then I don't know what will! I hope that you will share this video with your family and friends, because we've all got to find our own way to make sure that we, too, are on the Lord's mission to hasten His work -- and this new force of missionaries, male and female, are going to require a great deal of member assistance to accomplish their task.

Here's something else you might find interesting to know about Ali: A year ago she actually wrote the First Presidency, requesting that they consider lowering the age requirement for women to serve fulltime missions. Oh yes she did! You can read more about that on her personal blog, here. Thank you Ali, for sharing your story with my readers and for making this wonderful video, certain to go viral throughout the LDS community. You are an inspiration to us all, along with all of these wonderful, newly called sister missionaries who will be serving throughout the world.

I'd also like to introduce you to Jessica Carlson, who was with Ali on the day they made the video and who actually took the adorable picture of her that I've used for this post. I tracked her down to get her permission. Jessica is currently waiting to receive her own mission call on Wednesday, and is anxious to see where the Lord needs her to serve. I asked her if she wouldn't mind sharing some of her thoughts about her own experience with the making of the video and for her specific feelings about the lowering of the age for missionary service for women in the Church?
I was in the video Ali made. I am one of the girls who was taking pictures and actually am the one holding the tripod in the first couple of shots with the big cream colored scarf and gray/green backpack. Ali and I were already friends, and we drove up together. 
Being up there with all those future missionaries was, to say the least, incredible. Standing with others fully invested in the Lords work is an amazing feeling and the spirit burned within my heart knowing that what we were all doing was good, and it was right. Being able to serve a mission is a great blessing that I have been offered and I cant wait to get out into the field to let people know there is a Savior and he invites all to come unto his true and everlasting gospel. 
I think that being able to serve at 19 is a great opportunity for girls. Many find it hard to get to 21 with out being seriously involved in a school program or boyfriend relationship. This now gives us the option to go and serve before things, like the ones I mention, get too serious; allowing us to serve but to also come home and not of missed out on anything. And also, as it was said by Elder Holland, "the Lord is hastening his work," and as you saw in the video, we sisters are proud and ready to heed the call.
I'll definitely update this post on Wednesday when we find out where Jessica has been called to serve!

Update as Promised: Sister Carlson has been called to serve in the Germany, Frankfurt Mission! This is where her brother also served. Congratulations Jessica! We are so happy for you!

I think what these sisters are doing is fantastic! I am just so inspired by their goodness and desire to make incredible things happen. I've been reflecting on the words of President Kimball all day as I've thought about this generation of women in the Church, and I am humbled to have the opportunity to observe them in action.

"Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different-in happy ways-from the women of the world."

Photo of Newly Called Sister Missionaries in front of Salt Lake City Temple
Taken for First Presidency

(I'm not sure who to give credit for this photo -- if you know please speak up)

A brief scan of the group right before I published this post turned up this amazing photo, posted by Anna. From what I'm learning, these newly called sister missionaries had similar meet-ups at various locations on the same day as the Salt Lake City group!

Here are all the locations! Salt Lake, Provo, Rexburg, La'ie, and Logan.

God speed to all of our missionaries throughout the world. Our prayers of love and support are with you as you give of yourself in the service of the Lord. Thank you!

Kathryn Skaggs

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