We have all seen the Mormons on grounds. They are the ones in suits or skirts, carrying books, wearing name tags. While some of us engage in meaningful conversation, others cross the street hoping they (the missionaries) will not notice. We see them all the time, but who are they?
Hometown: Farmington, UT
Favorite Food: A good burger
Favorite Scripture: Psalms 23:4-6
Hometown: Farmington, UT
Favorite Food: Meat & Potatoes
Favorite Scripture: Jacob 6:12
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Favorite Food: Café Rio
Favorite Scripture: Helamen 5:12
Hometown: Pleasant Grove, UT
Favorite Food: Sweet Pork Burrito (Café Rio)
Favorite Scripture: Philippians 4:13
The Mormon missionaries are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Boys at the age of 18 and girls at the age of 19 are eligible to serve a mission, and if they so choose, are assigned to a specific area, speaking a specific language, for either eighteen months (girls) or twenty-four (boys). Throughout their mission, they will serve in multiple cities within their assigned mission, with Charlottesville falling in the Richmond area. They will also be paired with many different companions, which is subject to change every six weeks. The missionaries emphasized that serve by choice, not obligation.
“I decided [to go on a mission] because the gospel brings me so much joy,” said Sister Pewtress. “I wanted others to have that, because the world is so crazy right now, they need a little more happiness.”
And that it just their message—happiness, what it is, and how to achieve it.
“We believe that Christ set up his church while he was on the earth and that it was lost for a time, but it has been brought back to earth through a Prophet of God,” said Sister Olson. “We just know that the message that we share can bless everyone, that is why we share it.”
“Sharing [their message],” to use Sister Olson’s words, is no easy task.
“The alarm goes off at 6:30 in the morning, we wake up, and we are (supposed to) exercise for thirty minutes,” said Elder Exon. “Then […] we do our personal scripture study [which] begins at 8:00 am, and we get an hour, it’s kind of our personal time with God. Then, from 9:00-10:00 we have companionship study, so we share and go over things that we learned and confirm our plans for the day.”
From then on, each day is a little different.
“We try and go have lessons with people, we are going to go try and find new people, we are going to try and do service, and we are going to just try and do some good in the world,” said Elder Snow.
Each missionary shared that serving a mission has been extremely rewarding, especially having the opportunity to serve here in Charlottesville.
“What I really enjoy about serving at UVa is that, on a street, people will just open up with us and talk, I love the people that will just talk with us,” said Elder Snow. “UVa is extremely diverse, there’s people here from all over the world, and I love talking to everyone about their faith in God and sharing a little about ours with them.”
Sister Pewtress had similar thoughts to share on here experience at UVa.
“I think the greatest part about serving here at UVa has just been the opportunity to talk to so many people. They are just willing to listen, which is always really good because that’s all we want, just people to hear our message of Jesus Christ and to help them all see that they can come closer.”
If there is one thing the missionaries want UVa students to know, it is that “elder” and “sister” are not actually their first names, that they love to talk, want to get to know you and really love guests swipes into Newcomb.