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I Hope They Call Me on a Mission

I couldn’t be happier with the announcement that was made at our recent general conference that changes the age of eligible for service for those wishing to serve full-time missions. This is something that as a returned missionary I have longed for for years, especially on the sister missionary end.

I could spend time discussing all of the reasons why this is a good change, but instead I would like to focus on what I think are some of the cultural changes this will bring and some of the ways we as adult women in the church can help to prepare our missionaries who will be going out at a younger age.

As my major at BYU was sociology, my mind immediately jumped to all the vast ways that this announcement will quite literally change individual lives, and as an expansion of that, will ultimately change the culture of the church. I am very interested to hear other’s thoughts on how it will affect things such as: 

  • Focus on marriage versus mission for women. Will a mission become more of a goal than an option for women? Will we flip flop what seems to be the current mindset of many that “if I’m not married by then I will go on a mission” to “I will go on a mission and then start thinking about marriage”?
  • Making temple covenants at a younger age
  • Dating habits between 16-19 years old (for both males and females now)
  • Dating habits for returned missionaries
  • Average marriage age
  • Percentage of LDS women (and to some extent men) who never marry
  • Number of people who find their spouse on their mission
  • Percentage of elders to sisters in missions
  • Marital preparation and success
  • Education choices
  • Career choices
  • Gospel scholarship and gospel leadership for women

I don’t want to go into a whole lot of detail on my thoughts on these topics (and there are many others — this is just a start!) as I would love to hear from you as well. Please comment, and I will chime in with my thoughts as we go along. Suffice it to say, it is my belief that only vastly positive outcomes in these areas will come out of this new announcement. Again, couldn’t be happier! Great changes, not only in the number of our missionaries who can go out and share the gospel with the world, but on how this will impact individuals and families for generations to come.

My thoughts have also turned to how we can help prepare our young missionaries, particularly our sisters. As a former Young Women leader, I see many opportunities to help our young women expand their gospel knowledge and preparation in ways that we have not done before, as that has been largely left up to the Relief Society since sisters normally had several years there before serving a mission. I see great potential in using the Personal Progress program, and in particular, mentoring of our young women in the program to aid them in their mission preparation. At one time, our ward was really trying to establish a mentoring program where young women would be paired up either with their mother or with another sister in the ward who could speak with them regularly about their progress. I see this as a great way to provide an example and a pathway for these young sisters to follow – not to mention that Relief Society sisters can work on Personal Progress too and it is great at any age!

I think there is room for improvement in the YW manuals and their gospel focus, and I have heard (although not seen since I no longer serve there) that there are recent changes that are a step in the right direction.

Gospel scholarship in general (for young men and young women) through seminary and Sunday School as well should be encouraged. Raise the bar. Elder Holland mentioned in the press conference that there are additional resources coming from the church that will help in this area.

One way I would love to see us mentor our young women is to have them visit teach the way our Aaronic priesthood brethren home teach in their teenage years. I hope that the church might move in that direction. One of our home teachers is 15, and he is great! He comes with his dad every month, and often is the one who calls to make the appointment or present the message. He is learning through these experiences many things that will help him in his missionary work. It seems logical to me that we should give our young sisters this same opportunity. Again, I see this as a mentoring thing.

There are many other ways. I would love to hear your ideas.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • MB October 8, 2012, 7:43 am

    “I think there is room for improvement in the YW manuals and their gospel focus, and I have heard (although not seen since I no longer serve there) that there are recent changes that are a step in the right direction.”

    You can read through the new materials by clicking on the young women link on this page if you are interested:

    The page has links to what will be the new curriculum for all YW classes, AP quorums and youth Sunday School classes starting in January.

  • Angie Gardner October 8, 2012, 7:50 am

    Thanks MB. I’ve been meaning to go take a look but the first I heard about the changes was this weekend. 🙂

  • Amy Lockhart October 8, 2012, 9:38 am

    Thanks for the link MB and the post Angie. I have been feeling a need for more meaningful and engaging lessons for the youth. In my brief perusal of the new materials, I felt such a sense of peace. I hope and pray that the leaders in my Branch will accept these and use them to their fullest potential. They have yet to institute the Duty to God Program here despite much noise on the part of the Stake and concerned mothers such as myself. Hoping that will change soon.

    As far as the missionary age goes my honest feelings are somewhat mixed. Nothing regarding the revelation, everything to do with being a mom and feeling inadequate in my role to ensure a prepared 19 year old, let alone 18! Super excited about girls! Possibly because my oldest girl is 7, so I am not in panic mode quite yet. I too wonder why the age difference between genders still. As a returned missionary myself I can see great benefit coming as a result of this new and exciting revelation!

    I am anxious to see what comes of this discussion. Angie, I fully expect you to pontificate on all your thought provoking bullet points should fellow readers not. 🙂 and I guess even if they do.
    Amy Lockhart recently posted…Absolute UncertaintlyMy Profile

  • Angie Gardner October 8, 2012, 10:09 am

    Oh yes, my pontification will be coming. 🙂

    Hearing you say you feel inadequate to prepare makes me sad. You are one of the best moms I know! Know I am scared lol.

    Regarding the age difference, that’s the only thing I’m still a little unsure of. After watching the press conference with Elder Holland I feel a little bit better about it, although I can see that there is going to be so much mixing of the ages anyway now it’s not really going to make that much of a difference. At any rate, we are going to have a whole lot of 19- and 20-year-olds of both genders out at the same time. Most definitely, you will have 19-year-old zone leaders interacting with 19-year-old sisters. ‘Twill be interesting.

  • Angie Gardner October 8, 2012, 10:19 am

    Now, not know. Sorry for the typo.

    One other thing I wanted to say is that I certainly hope this opens up a pathway for more mission leadership by sisters. I have heard of missions that have “traveling sisters” or “sister leaders” (similar to AP’s and zone leaders), but my mission did not. I would also like to see the mission president’s wife having a more interactive role with the sisters. In my opinion, it would be really great if all of these new sisters had a female leader they could go to. I know there were certainly times on my mission where I turned to local female leaders in the ward for help with “sensitive” issues that I didn’t really feel comfortable discussing with my 19-year-old district leader or 20-year-old zone leader, or even my mission president. I hope that those avenues open up a lot more now.

  • Paul October 8, 2012, 10:23 am

    Our youngest daughter immediately calculated how fast she could go on her mission. 🙂 (We suggested that maybe her mother and I would go at the same time!)

    In my own mission experience I had very little interactions with sister missionaries — never had them in a district where served. But they were always held up as excellent examples to the elders. I suspect as we have more (and I assume we will), then there is a risk they will be less exceptional compared with the elders.

    I always worry about the relative maturity of missionaries, until I sit in a room where they are teaching. The Lord really does bless his servants — men and women — to rise to the challenge of their call. And there is no doubt he will continue to do that even with younger missionaries.

    We lived in one of those countries that was sending its 18-year old young men on missions (because of military service requirements); it was a blessing to them to be able to serve when they could. It will be interesting to see how young men (and young women) change the way in which they prepare: will 18 become the new social standard for leaving? Will young women feel more pressure socially to serve because they can do so easier? I’m anxious to watch it all unfold.
    Paul recently posted…Now what do I do?My Profile

  • Angie Gardner October 8, 2012, 11:12 am

    Small world, Paul! If I wouldn’t have seen your pic I never would have known it was you. (Paul is a most valuable member of our ward choir, his wife is my daughter’s piano teacher, and his youngest daughter will make a most fabulous missionary a few years down the road. :))

    You bring up some excellent points. My brothers (I have 4 of them) sometimes complained about the sisters in their missions, sometimes jokingly and sometimes not. I do think it’s true that women who are 21+ can be a little more headstrong than perhaps their younger mission leaders expect. Generally, I have often heard that if you look at any mission, your best missionaries will be sisters and your worst missionaries will be sisters. I hadn’t really thought about this even-ing them out in their exceptional ways 🙂 but I think it possibly will do that exact thing. I do see the sister missionary force becoming not only much larger but also much more varied in their skill sets and talents they bring to the mission. So perhaps more of the good, the bad, and the beautiful? Not sure. Again, will be very interesting to watch it unfold.

    I do think that 18 and 19 will become the new standard.

    As for social pressure, I am of the opinion that this will be a little more in some ways and a little less in others. We will continue to hear that it is OPTIONAL for women to go – and yet the numbers are going to increase so much that it’s inevitable that more women will feel like it’s something they should do or would at least like to plan on now rather than perhaps the old attitude of “I’d love to go if I’m still around at 21”. On the other hand, I almost think there is more pressure for 21-year-old single women now than there will be for 19-year-olds now. I have heard many people say of some of our +21-year-old single sisters who have chosen not to serve missions, “Why isn’t she on a mission?”….like it’s expected if you make it to that magical age without being married. This has made me feel bad, as I don’t think a mission is the best choice for all women. I do think that some of them have felt judged for not going, and that’s too bad.

    In a nutshell, I think the acceptance for women to go will be moderated on both sides now. I think girls who choose to go will be absolutely supported and welcomed, and those who choose not to will realize they aren’t the only ones making that choice and it’s an okay choice to make.

  • Angie Gardner October 8, 2012, 1:32 pm

    Okay, I have a minute so I will start pontificating. These are strictly my opinions and you can feel free to agree or disagree. I would love to hear from you.

    1. (Goal versus option) This sort of fits in to what Paul was saying about social pressure for sisters to go now. I can only speak for myself when I say that my path to a mission started when I was about 15 and someone who I looked up to went. From that point on, I said that I would prepare for a mission and if circumstances worked out when I came of age I would certainly go. Then, as I approached 21 I was dating someone quite seriously and decided to wait and let that play out. When the relationship didn’t work out, I went on my mission – very close to a year later than I could have. I think if I had the option to go at 19, I would have definitely been focused on that as a goal and would not have dated as seriously before that point, and I think a lot of young women will be the same way. I think they will hold off on more serious relationships and plan for a mission, at least many of them. So, the short answer is that I think this age change opens up the possibility to both serve a mission and have opportunities for relationships/marriage rather than an if…then scenario that may have been there previously.
    2. (Temple covenants at a younger age) I went to the temple at age 20 and I think that was a great age to do so. It was a great strength to me at that point in my life as I was making so many decisions. I think this will have some definite impact on a focus to remain worthy through the teenage years since the temple will be right around the corner versus more of a long-term goal.
    3. (Dating habits 16-19) I think this will become much more casual. I hope that it will, at least. Now you will have both young men and many young women actively preparing for missions shortly after high school. I think this will change their focus (especially on the YW end) to where they are holding off on serious relationships longer and we will see a whole lot more casual/group dating (hallelujah!)
    4. (Dating post mission) This is a big unknown and I have high hopes that there will be positive changes due to the new guidelines. Currently, women are returning from missions no earlier than age 22-1/2. By this point, their dating pool is really starting to dwindle. Having experienced this myself (incredible dating frustrations post-mission, much more so than pre-mission. It wasn’t that I didn’t date after my mission – it was that the caliber of men I was finding who were older than me was limited. That’s why I married someone 2 years younger!) I see great hope in the fact that now women and men will be returning home at roughly the same age, and a lot of the younger women who have traditionally been the dating pool for the young male RM will now be preparing for or already on missions themselves. I HOPE that this will open up a whole lot of new possibilities for the young sister RM who can now date a guy near her own age. Hopefully we can get more of our young people dating again and marrying!
    5. (Average marriage age). I think this will go up for women and down for men by just a tad. I do think we will have fewer sisters who never have the opportunity to marry (see above). It seems that the trend is for RMs to marry within 1-2 years of being home. According to wiki, the average age of marriage in the US is 25 for males and 27 for females, but at BYU is 22 for both. Sounds like we may be staying right about average here – with the difference hopefully that more are marrying.
    6. (Those who never marry) Addressed above. Bottom line, I think more women will marry now, as they will return home at a time where there are more eligible worthy men available.

    Since those bullets somewhat go together, I will post this by itself and then move on to the next bullets. 🙂

  • Angie Gardner October 8, 2012, 2:09 pm

    Part 2:

    7. (Number of people who find their spouse on their mission) I think without a doubt, this will go up. Some will see this as a negative. I don’t, although I once did. Without making this way too lengthy, bottom line, I think as long as you are living the mission rules and focused on serving the Lord wholeheartedly, why not? It’s a way to meet people. I met some of my dearest friends on my mission, as long as you follow the rules why not meet your eternal best friend there too? Okay, I know many will disagree with this, and I certainly am not advocating for the mission to become the new dating game. However, mission romances do and have always happened. I dated elders from my mission after we were both home. Some of my comps married elders from the mission. As long as they are good missionaries and doing what they should, I say who cares? It’s another way to meet people. Having said that, I do still agree with President Kimball to “lock your heart” while out. Serve the Lord, make friends, and if when you are home you pursue those friendships into something more, more power to you.
    8. (Percentage of elders to sisters in missions) This one is going to be very interesting to see play out. When this announcement was made, at least 5 of my young female Facebook friends said “I’m going!”. I think within a few years we are going to be pretty close to 50/50. Can you imagine that? Reason being…moving the age up a year for young men will help them greatly in planning their lives, but I am not sure it will necessarily get many of them out who wouldn’t have gone already (Yes, there will be some, especially due to worthiness…that first year away from home seems to be tough for a lot of our young men)…but for women – holy moley I think this opens up a HUGE potential for many, many more women to go. Consider the difference between a 19-year-old woman and a 21-year-old woman. Marriage aside, you also have to consider that at age 21, many women are: In relationships, in careers, in their senior year, applying for grad school, in internships, on and on. These are things that are very hard to leave. At 19 though, you are just getting started. With a new focus on a mission, you perhaps have your freshman year behind you and maybe you’ve found Mr. Right in that year but most likely not (especially if your focus is on serving a mission now that you know you can very shortly). I saw someone estimate that the numbers of sisters going will at least quadruple, and I agree. It is going to be just as common to see the sisters as the elders out there. I am very excited for that prospect.
    9. (Marital preparation and success) I looked for studies on success of marriage when both spouses are RMs and didn’t find any right away. However, anecdotally I will say that most marriages I know of where both served missions are still intact. This is probably due to many factors (and there are certainly many successful marriages where one or neither served missions as well) but as a general rule, I think having a mission experience does make you a better marriage partner. Perhaps that is due to the age you marry, learning to work as a companionship and get through your differences, learning to make sacrifices, etc. Certainly, these are things you can learn without having served a mission, but in general I do think a mission helps prepare you for marriage. And if more are prepared for marriage, it would make sense that they would make better marital choices and then stick with it more than perhaps they would have otherwise. Marriage is hard, RM or not, so I’m not sure that there will be a huge difference here, but I think it never hurts to have any extra experience before you get married – be it college, travel, career, etc. You learn to be a better spouse by growing up, and a mission helps you grow up.
    10. (Education choices) We will see a lot of 20-year-old freshman, and these will be freshman who have 2 years of good study habits and hard work behind them. I think they will be more serious about their education when they return than they otherwise might have been. Most likely, they will also be more certain of what they really want to do with their lives and thus more likely to get in, declare a major, and get to work without a whole lot of changing their mind – although the mind changing will still happen, of course. I also think you will have more who decide to go to college in the first place. Your companions and mission president can have a great impact in this regard. I know of several from my mission who didn’t think it was all that important before they left but who went straight to college when they got home. I think that 20-year-old freshmen who are more mature and certain of their life path will be a very good thing.
    11. (Career choices) There are a lot of missionaries who completely change their minds about what they want to be when they grow up. This is true even of sisters who may already be very close to graduating or already in a career. I know of several sisters who came home and went into more service-oriented careers such as nursing, teaching, or social work due to their experiences on a mission and seeing how they really could make a difference in the lives of others. That’s not going to happen to a huge percentage of the missionary population, but it will definitely happen for some. Your future lawyer or businessman may very well come home a future counselor or teacher. Or it could work the other way too, I suppose. An odd aside…a lot of missionaries I know come home and follow the path of their mission president. Perhaps they see from working with him that it’s an obtainable goal. Who knows.
    12. (Gospel scholarship and gospel leadership for women) Could not be more excited about the possibilities here, and this could provide an entire blog post in and of itself, but in a very brief nutshell: Serving a mission forces you to investigate things and find the truth. You will be challenged with anti-Mormon sentiment and you will need to have the answers. You will study and learn and memorize and teach and apply and teach others to apply. Sure it’s possible to do this without serving a mission, but it’s very hard to serve a mission without doing it, if that makes sense. So, you are going to have more people who have really figured all of this out. As a sister, you don’t have a whole lot of opportunity for leadership while on your mission (unless of course they move to sister leadership, which I very much hope they will), and yet you are gaining skills that will help you to be a great leader when you are called – testimony, time management, communication skills, letting go of fear are a few I can think of. And even if sisters aren’t leading meetings they certainly attend plenty of them and see how things are done. They will come home more ready to lead, and hopefully they will be given more opportunities to do so, both on the mission and after they return.

    So there is my very expanded 2 cents. Sorry for my long response but you might have noticed that I am very excited about these changes. I see much good from this and very little bad. I am thrilled to know that we are going to have so many female RMs out there. Good in every way.

  • Amy Lockhart October 8, 2012, 4:57 pm

    Thanks Angie! I loved your expanded two cents … now off to figure out a way to make it all happen for my boys a year earlier than expected 🙂
    Amy Lockhart recently posted…Absolute UncertaintlyMy Profile

  • Tracy Maurer October 8, 2012, 6:48 pm

    Part 1
    Thanks Angie for bringing to the table some interesting points. I’d like to comment briefly on just a couple of them (not all of them). Firstly, I think that we need to be careful not to over inflate this whole thing. I know of many young women (probably the majority) who are 21+ and still have no desire to serve a fulltime mission. For many girls it is just not on their radar – and rightly so if that is not a priority… So, while I believe that this announcement will open the flood gates for girls to serve missions at age 19, and indeed may even outnumber the intake of 18 year old men initially, I don’t think that every young women at the age of 19 will necessarily take up the option. I served a mission and had my papers in well before my 21st birthday, but there is no way I would have considered a mission at age 19 – I was far too immature and would have laughed at anyone who had suggested it.
    3. (Dating habits 16-19) – This may be different worldwide. I find that here in the Pacific, dating is already extremely casual, if not non-existent with the 16-19 year olds.
    4. (Dating post mission) – I actually think that we will see a big change in the views of many of our young men as they begin to see the caliber of young women returning home from their missions. They will be motivated to up their standards when choosing who to date. Like you, I think that we could see some positive changes occurring over time with this as these young men discover just how valuable it is to marry a returned missionary.

    However, I still maintain that there will still be a lot of younger age girls around who have chosen not to serve a mission.
    5. (Average marriage age) – Not sure what it is currently like in the US, but in the Pacific we are finding that generally the average marriage age is increasing already – probably around the current US ages you have quoted above. I have heard church leaders state that generally the church follows the trend of the rest of the world but at a lesser amount and slower rate.
    6. (Those who never marry) – Agreed, and I think that we may find more older women marrying than younger because the culture will shift to recognizing the value of a returned sister missionary.
    Tracy Maurer recently posted…Where to from here…My Profile

  • Tracy Maurer October 8, 2012, 7:16 pm

    Part 2
    8. (Percentage of elders to sisters in missions) – This is where I might differ with you a bit Angie. I agree that initially there is going to be a huge influx of sister missionaries taking up the option – more so than the boys even. I also maintain that these numbers on the whole will forever be greater than they are now. But I also think that over time, as the boys sort out how it all works with their schooling, finances and overall preparations that their numbers will increase, and probably exceed the girls. I don’t believe that it will ever be maintained at 50/50 – but I am happy to be proved wrong on that one ☺

    9. (Marital preparation and success) – I don’t have much to comment on this as such, but what I do know as being valuable is to teach our girls that if they are preparing for a mission then they are also preparing for a marriage. To me it is one and the same thing. If we can focus our girls on the things it takes to prepare for a mission and entering the Temple, then they will be on track for either experience.

    10. (Education choices) – Totally agree with you Angie on this one. If there is one thing that my mission did was to instill in me a love of study and the tools to know how to do that. I came away far more focused on what it was I wanted out of life. A mission earlier in life will certainly polarize a missionaries plan for their future.

    12. (Gospel scholarship and gospel leadership for women) – I believe that the most important outcome for a sister serving a mission is the skills she learns to become a mother. They are skills that will allow the next generation to benefit from, creating even more prepared missionaries than the generation before. Fulfilling her greatest role on earth will only be more enhanced by the fact that she has served a mission.

    Great discussion….
    Tracy Maurer recently posted…Where to from here…My Profile

  • Sandy Grant October 8, 2012, 11:16 pm

    I guess having 2 girls who are in their teens this announcement really hits home- for many reasons some more “holy” than others. I have always been of the mindset that when my girls reached 21 they could pray about a mission and act accordingly. My husband was more of the mindset of if they aren’t married by 21 they should go on a mission. (FYI when I turned 21 I prayed about a mission- I had no prospects of marriage at this point but I felt impressed to just continue on in my schooling for now. I was married and pregnant before the end of that summer.) Now DH is so excited for his girls to go on missions- I am still of the pray and see mindset. That said I do think that it is much more likely that my girls will go on mission. I am SO glad that it doesn’t have to be a marriage or mission option any more. It is much more practical to do both. Financially it is kind of scary thinking that we might be paying for 3 missionaries within the next 5 years. Though I am a firm believer that if we make that a goal the Lord will provide a way. And as a side affect of the announcement my oldest daughter will now have a much greater chance of getting into BYU now that a good part of her male peers will not be applying for a couple more years 🙂 That helps us to be more optimistic about those prospects.

  • Angie Gardner October 9, 2012, 6:23 am

    Sandy, I hadn’t thought of the BYU aspect and it being easier to get in next year. Good thought! And then there will be a big wave of RMs coming home and it might be harder. Interesting.

    I saw this clip on KSL this morning:

    Made me think that next semester might be a little sparse as well. I know my nephew is planning to go early now (from SUU, not BYU). He was originally going to attend next semester since his birthday is in April, but now he’s in the process of getting his papers ready and going as soon as he can after this semester is over. I suspect it is going to be that way for a lot of young people.

  • Angie Gardner October 9, 2012, 6:39 am

    Tracy, thanks for your thoughtful and insightful comments. A few additional thoughts:

    “Firstly, I think that we need to be careful not to over inflate this whole thing. I know of many young women (probably the majority) who are 21+ and still have no desire to serve a fulltime mission. For many girls it is just not on their radar – and rightly so if that is not a priority… So, while I believe that this announcement will open the flood gates for girls to serve missions at age 19, and indeed may even outnumber the intake of 18 year old men initially, I don’t think that every young women at the age of 19 will necessarily take up the option. ” – I think that perhaps the true numbers will lie in between. To really know, I think we would have to know the reasons why some single 21-year-old women don’t serve, and those reasons are extremely varied. I personally think that 19 is such a more convenient age to serve (for lack of a better word) that it really will make a difference for many people. The same girl who goes at 19 now may not have necessarily gone at 21 due to marriage or other reasons. I had several companions who were well into careers or had already graduated from college when they came on a mission. It’s much harder to leave that than the relative lack of things that tie you down at 19. And there are a whole of girls who get married between 19 and 21 who will now be on a mission instead. So I do think it will be quite a jump. As for maturity, that’s a very individual thing, but I think especially in future years we will have young women who know they can go at 19 and will prepare accordingly. They will be ready. Most 19-year-old girls I know already are, and if they aren’t that’s okay too. They can wait or choose not to serve. But this opens up a whole lot of new options and I am loving the buzz I am hearing from the women in this age group that I am hearing. They are excited, and I think they will be out in force in the next while and will maintain that.

    “I find that here in the Pacific, dating is already extremely casual, if not non-existent with the 16-19 year olds.” – What I consider to be real “dating” doesn’t happen much any more, and that’s sad to me. I had so much fun as a teenager doing fun things. Oh, the days when a guy would actually call you up, ask you out, dress up and pick you up, open your doors, etc. Sigh. I don’t see much of that anymore. So in that sense, yeah dating is pretty much nonexistent. However, what I do see and do not like at all – at least here – is that kids are getting into really serious relationships quickly and intensely. They “hang out” as groups (which is fine by me) BUT then pair off, and there is seemingly no in between – the dating and getting to know each other before we change our Facebook status to “in a relationship”. It’s seems very all-or-nothing to me right now, and I’m looking for that in between. I am hopeful that as more young men and now young women are preparing for missions in the very near upcoming future that they will put the serious relationship thing to the back of their mind and just have fun and focus on their mission prep.

  • Angie Gardner October 9, 2012, 8:38 am

    So, I get on Facebook just now and see this: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765610196/New-missionary-policy-impacts-LDS-students-as-they-change-college-plans-and-lives.html?pg=1 posted by our own Alison.

    It explores this education issue quite well.

  • Angie Gardner October 9, 2012, 8:53 am

    On a lighter note, the dating pool at BYU next semester and next year will be significantly better. Fewer pre-mission males and far less competition for those elusive dates as so many of the women are out serving. What more could a BYU co-ed ask for than more returned missionaries and fewer girls there?

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