As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my husband and I have encouraged our children to prepare for missions. Until recently, young men could serve starting at age 19 while young women served at age 21. Now the age requirements have changed to 18 for young men and 19 for young women. It may not seem like a big change for some, but for me, it means that I could potentially have two children serving missions within the next two-and-a-quarter years. Yikes!
One of my concerns, as a parent, is that my children are adequately prepared for the challenges of being a missionary. When Benjamin White asked me if I'd like to review his book, 10 Questions to Answer While Preparing for a Mission, I was hoping it would be the kind of book to help them prepare. I was very impressed with the book. It's a quick read, straightforward, and honest. It's written for young people who are already interested in serving a mission. (In other words, it's not the kind of book you give someone to convince them to go on a mission. That book would be The Book of Mormon. The author also recommends that youth familiarize themselves with Preach My Gospel.)
Since the book contains a lot of good scripture stories and quotes from General Authorities, I plan to use parts of the book in Family Home Evening lessons. I loved all the chapters, but one of the most insightful chapters for me was "Question 8: Do I know what success really means?" (I wish I'd read it before my mission. Oh, well, my mission was awesome anyway.) The book also helps missionaries plan for what they'll do after their missions--something that is often overlooked as we help young people prepare for missionary service.