Monday, May 13, 2013

April Update on Missionary Calls Posted to YouTube

2013 April YouTube Callings

This post updates findings on missionary calls using YouTube videos to track changes in the size and composition of the missionary force as our youth respond to President Monson’s October 2012 announcement that the Church was changing the age requirements for missionary service. The graph, “Mission Calls Posted to YouTube,” separates the calls to young women and men from November 2011 to April 2013.  In April, the total number of posted calls reached 199; 61.3% of posted calls were to young men and 38.7, to young women.  The number of calls to both groups initially climbed and appears to have plateaued.


2013 April YouTube Callings to Sisters

2013 April YouTube Callings to Elders

The graph, “Mission Calls to Sisters” and “Mission Calls to Elders,” compares the year-to-year number of calls to sisters between November and April.  November was the first month selected because it is the first month that could show a response to the announcement.  Calls to young women have increases 1,752% over the previous year and calls to young men, 389%.  Several factors might explain why the posted calls have increased by a greater rate than actual calls.  My YouTube search skills might be low.  I simply can’t find older posts of calls.  Posting to YouTube has increased as the technology has become more familiar,  Finally, missionaries are younger and more likely to open calls at home where their parents record and post the videos.

2013 April YouTube Callings by Region

The graph, "Three Month Moving Average of the Location of Mission Assignments," shows a three month moving average of the percentage of calls read on YouTube to seven geographic regions. They are the regions reported by the Church on the “Facts and Statistics” page of the “Newsroom” with one exception. I divided the North America region into two groups: the United States and the rest of North American (North American not US). As demonstrated in the March graph, the influx of applications does not appear to have precipitated a major change in the percentage of missionaries called to each region.

The queuing problem many speculated might result from the increase in callings has not happened.  I tracked the preparation period for seven months: in October, the preparation period was 106 days, in November, 97, in December, 98, in January, 106, in February 99 in March, 112 days, and in April, 103 days.

I will end on a personal note.  My son is part of this month’s data, having received a call to the Brazil, Natal Mission, one of the 58 new missions created in February 2013.  He is excited to serve and the mission will acquire an energetic and talented missionary. 

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