Over a year ago, Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave people a glimpse into the process of how Church leaders assign missionaries to their particular missions. He called it a sacred responsibility and described the process as follows:
I recently assigned missionaries, a sacred responsibility for which we always come fasting. I assigned 240, my share of the 1,047 (which includes young missionaries, senior couples, and senior sisters) whose papers were ready for assignment last week. We are assisted in this sacred experience by a member of the Missionary Department staff, who keeps records and manages the computer screens on which we view the essential information on elders and sisters and the needs (including languages) of our more than 400 missions in the world.
These pictures show Dwayne Saviano and I at work in that missionary assignment meeting.
To those of you who have served or will serve missions, thanks for your willingness to serve. We pray that the Lord will bless you in and for your missionary labors.
Along the same line of thought, Elder D. Todd Christofferson recently shared another look into how missionaries are assigned—one that testifies that these missionaries are assigned by the Lord, who knows them perfectly, and not by man.
Occasionally as I travel, I am asked questions about how missionaries are assigned to their missions.
I know that the Lord deeply knows each one of us perfectly. Individual missionary callings bear witness of His infinite love. I feel that each time I have the opportunity to assign missionaries to their particular field of labor. Some missionary assignments are revealed instantly, and others take a while, but the Lord always tells His authorized servants where His missionaries should go.
As I look back on my own mission to Argentina as a young man, I can easily see the profound effect it has had on my life. I’m so grateful for the opportunity the Lord gave to me to serve where He did.