When I convert to the Mormon Church when I am 18 can I become a missionary when I am within the age limits?
You certainly have the opportunity to qualify yourself to become a missionary after you have joined the Mormon Church. As I’m sure you know, the qualifications to become a missionary are very strict. Fist of all, before being allowed to serve as a missionary for the Mormon Church you must have been a member for at least a year. Next, one must be in full compliance with all the principles of the gospel. That would include regular attendance at Sacrament and Priesthood meetings, compliance with the Word of Wisdom, the payment of a full tithing and living a strictly upright and moral life.
To be an officially called representative of the Lord, Jesus Christ, is a heavy responsibility, and requires strict compliance with all the principles of the gospel and an anxious willingness to devote oneself wholly and completely to the work of the Lord for the assigned period.
While in the mission field there will be a strong dependence upon the Spirit of the Holy Ghost to put into your mind the places you should go, the people you are to meet, and what you are to say that will bring them to the Lord. In order to receive the continual influence of the Holy Spirit one must live a pure life.
During the time from now, even though you are not yet baptized, until your mission call is the time for your preparation for this very important assignment in our Father’s Kingdom. That preparation should be centered around living a pure life and becoming as familiar as possible with the contents of the Book of Mormon. You may consider the Book of Mormon as the Handbook of the Restoration. Joseph Smith said of the Book of Mormon that
“the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and that a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”
Regardless of the good that you may accomplish in bringing the gospel into the lives of many people, nevertheless, the greatest benefit from the mission experience will be to your own self. First, your testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and of the sacred mission of our Lord and Savior will become firm and sure in your heart, and you will be prepared by that experience to continue to influence people for good, and to fulfill with honor any position of responsibility in the Lord’s Church that you will be called to fill. Depending on where the Lord will send you to labor, you may learn a new language and become acquainted with the culture of a new people. You will gain a significant measure of self confidence with added speaking and communication skills. Because of the required close association with your assigned companions you will gain much in interpersonal skills. In summary, a mission is the technical training center for those who dedicate their lives to the service of the Lord.
Congratulations on your desires to become the Lord’s servant and to devoting your life to the building of his Kingdom. We wish you well.