SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The missionary program for the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-Day Saints changed forever during October's general conference. The age requirements changed for when young people could leave and now the number of people signing up to go, has exploded.
President Thomas S. Monson announced Young Men can now leave when they are 18. Women can go on their missions when they turn 19, two years earlier.
Sarah Bejarano was listening that day. Bejarano told ABC4, "As soon as I heard that I starting crying. I didn't know it was going to happened, it got me excited and scared."
Bejarano had been planning to go on a mission, but the change in age for when young women could leave meant she can go now.
Bejarano said, "It made everything about six or seven months sooner than it would have been. It is scary, I had things planned out. I'm excited about it."
Bejarano had her mission papers finished in a week and will find out where she is going Wednesday.
Sarah is not alone, since the change in age for missionaries the church has seen a 471% increase in people signing up to go.
The missionary department was receiving 700 applications a week, that has now increased to 4,000 applications a week.
Besides the increase in young people getting ready to go, the dynamic of who is serving changes too. Of those who have turned in their papers for missions since the announcement, the majority are women.