We’ve all heard the anecdotal tales about BYU bishops being flooded with interview requests from newly prospective missionaries. And now we have quantitative confirmation of the coming surge, as church spokesperson Michael Purdy released some startling numbers tonight:
“Typically approximately 700 new applications are started each week. The last two weeks that number has increased to approximately 4,000 per week. Slightly more than half of the applicants are women.”
That’s an increase of almost 6X! DesNews reminds us that these are “not submitted applications, rather online applications that have been opened and started.” Nevertheless, the ginormous spike will surely translate to a ginormous spike in submitted applications. Which raises lots of fun questions. For instance:
- How will the reporting dates be distributed? How gradually will the surge be deployed?
- How will the infrastructure handle the surge? Specifically:
- MTC dormrooms, cafeterias, teaching staff
- Mission presidents
- Apartments and cars
And then there are the gender-specific questions:
- Will baptism rates increase proportionally to the increase in missionaries?
- Will tracting efficacy be increased by a higher percentage of sister missionaries?
- More interestingly, might an increase in sister missionaries positively impact the effectiveness of elders?
- And lastly, how sustainable is this surge going to be? Should mission presidents be short-term leasing all those new cars and apartments?
Fun questions to be facing, even if they’re unanswerable for now. And from what I’ve heard (some of it first-hand), this isn’t all figured out yet. So feel free to speculate on the answers (or add more questions) in the comments.