Missionaries generally begin serving when they are from 18 to 21 years old. Many retired seniors, men, women, and married couples also serve missions. Missionaries serve from 18 months to 2 years. Missions are voluntary, and missionaries are not paid for their service. Missionaries come from around the world, and they serve wherever the Church calls them. While serving full-time, missionaries are official representatives of the Church.
As is done with every single perspective missionary, Sister Lake first had to fill out her paperwork stating her desire to serve with recommendations from her ecclesiastical leaders of her worthiness in order to serve a mission. This paperwork was then sent to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The perspective missionary then waits for the special letter to come with the particulars of his/her "calling." This calling and the place where the missionary will serve is done by revelation through the Lord's servants, the prophets. A member of the Quorum of the Twelve assigns prospective missionaries to one of more than three hundred missions of the Church throughout the world.
There were many family and friends in attendance to hear the exciting news! In addition to Sister Lake's immediate family, many grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends were tuned in through phones to hear where she would be serving the next 18 months of her life.