Saturday, January 14, 2012

What the heck is a "Mission?"...

~Beautiful Lake Bled, Slovenia~ Is he lucky, or what?!!

So...P.J. has been gone for three days (Why does it seem so much longer???) and I know some people have had some questions about what he is doing and why he is doing it. So, I decided to include a post with questions and answers about what he will doing for the next TWO years. Please understand that I am not an official representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the Missionary Training Center, just a mom who is answering some basic questions. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask them in the comment section. None of us will be offended...

Q: What is a Mission?
A: I'm quoting from the Missionary Training Center (MTC) for this one... "Missionaries begin
their service at a Missionary Training Center, where they prepare to become messengers of
the Lord, bringing glad tidings to families around the world. As representatives of the
Church, missionaries believe that people throughout the world can obtain life's greatest
happiniess from following the teachings of Jesus Christ." (, 2012) He's
basically out there to teach people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That's a lot for a 19
year old, right?

Q: Does your church require him to go?
A: I've had this question a lot... No, the church does NOT require him to go. It is voluntary.
We did not pressure him to serve, either. P.J.'s dad and I both strongly feel that anyone
who chooses to serve a mission should be there because they chose to be there. Therefore,
we did not pressure him to serve a mission, but rather he chose to serve a mission. We
found out a few weeks back during a talk at church that P.J. made that choice after careful
prayer. Yep...we are proud of him. Then again, we would be proud of him even he
chose not to go because he's a pretty good guy.

Q: How long will he be gone?
A: A mission for guys is for 2 years...yep, two whole years! Girls serve for 18 months (I don't
know why...).

Q: Will he come home for summers?
A: Nope...he will be gone for two whole years! (wow...that's a long time, Dore! yes, yes it

Q: Can he date girls?
A: Ummm...NOPE! Yes, it's a sacrifice. He's there to serve the Lord and the people of Slovenia..
not date the women. He had a bishop at BYU who said, "Men, if you don't take a look at
a woman, you're not a man. If you take a second look, you're not a missionary. So take ONE
LONG look!" He was kidding, of course (kind of...). I thought he was funny.

Q: Did he choose where to serve his mission?
A: No...he was assigned to Slovenia. I'm not sure about the process involved in assigning
missionaries to different countries (did you know missionaries for our church serve in
120 countries around the world? courtesy of, 2012), but we do know
he was meant to go there. It takes a tremendous amount of faith to go to a country you
know nothing about (and probably couldn't even find on a map) and live there for
two years, don't you think?

*A friend (Mike Stark) sent a link (in the comments section-it won't let me copy and paste in here, for some reason) that explains the process for how missionaries are assigned. Thanks, Mike! :)

Q: Where is he now?
A: He is currently at the Missionary Training Center (MTC) for eight weeks. He is spending
most of his days there learning the language (Slovenian), learning communication skills,
and learning teaching skills. He also gets time every day for gym and personal study time as well as intense relious training. It's a busy day.

Q: Why doesn't he have his cell phone?
A: Because his little sister now owns it. :) He has the ability to write and receive mail (I
think he posted his current address on his FB) and he is able to e-mail us once a week.
other than that, we will be able to speak with him I think a total of five times in 2 years.

Q: WHAT?!? Five times in two years????
A: I told you there was some sacrifice involved! Yes, for parents who are close to their son,
this has been a tough one for the past three days. P.J. is not a "Mama's boy" by any
means, but we were usually in contact at least once a day while he was at BYU (what
can I say? We are cool parents... ha!). This three days without speaking with him has
been probably the TOUGHEST thing so far. I heard it gets better... I've heard
that the phone is limited because it cuts down on distractions. We're good with it, even
though it's hard.

Q: Will he have to ride the ever famous bikes?
A: Nope. The stereotype of missionaries on bikes is not a religious's a practicality
thing. P.J. will be serving in a place where he will be using public transportation and
trains for the most part. That and his two legs. We've heard he could log about 12-15
miles a day on foot. Let's just say he now owns some REALLY expensive shoes... :)

Q: Can you go visit him?
A: Eh...too distracting for missionaries. They are busy from sun-up to sun-down. We are
contemplating going there at the end of his mission to bring him home. We'll see.

Q: Why would someone do this voluntarily with NO PAY?
A: Because he REALLY believes in what he is doing.

Q: Will he be different when he gets back?
A: It is said that return missionaries are a little socially awkward and geeky when they get back
but that doesn't last very long. Because he will be immersed in another language for 2 years,
his English will be difficult for a few weeks but then we can all laugh at him and make fun of
him. He will have a deeper love for Slovenians, pastries, and the Lord, but other than that,
he will still be P.J.

Q: Why are they all called, "Elder?"
A: I don't know why, exactly. He will know. I'll ask him and put it in later. He will officially
be going by the title of, "Elder Quinn."- that's the enlish version, of course. I don't know
what it will be in Slovenian. They don't have a "Q" in their alphabet so I don't know how
his last name will be pronounced. The reason P.J. will know why "Elder" is used for
missionaries is because he knows trivia things like that. If any of you know...feel free
to post it in the comments.

Anyways, I hope this answers some questions for you. If you are really curious, feel free to check out for more info. There's pictures and everything! Also, you may check out As soon as I get an e-mail from him, I'll post it. I've previewed this post and for some reason it's formatting weird...Sorry. I'm not saavy enough to know how to fix it. Sorry!

Meanwhile, be kind to the missionaries you see biking around town...they aren't getting paid!!! :)


  1. Dore and Phil, congrats on your missionary! I'm looking forward to following his journey over the next two years!

    In response to your question about "Did he choose where to serve his mission?" I immediately thought of a general conference address Elder Rasband delivered in the Priesthood session of April 2010 General Conference. Thought you (or your interested readers) might like it!

    1. Ahhh!!! Thank-you, Mike! I've heard people reference this talk, but I didn't know where to find it...I will include the link! Thanks so much!!! ~Dore

  2. at least I think that was Mike... ~Dore

  3. Be sure to let us know when you found out how they're going to pronouce your last name.