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Mission Accomplished

Pitchers put service first, find success in majors

Published: Wednesday, May 14 2008 11:55 p.m. MDT

from 1977-99. \"Most of the players who go knew they were going to serve

a mission before they enrolled in school.\"

     

But Guthrie, a pitcher who Pullins said was \"oozing\" with talent,

started having opinions, at times unsolicited, thrown at him — some

advising him to consider baseball as his mission and some saying the

professional opportunity was too good to pass up. Guthrie held firm,

however, and said he received confirmation that a mission was the right

choice.

\"The goal was set prior to having to make the decision,\" Guthrie

said. \"I think what made it most difficult was a lot of feedback from

numerous people ... getting different opinions.

     

\"Ultimately, when I did make the decision ... I obviously felt very good about the decision and relieved.\"

     

Although Lindstrom wasn't drafted out of Madison High School in

Rexburg, Idaho, he did receive correspondence from major league clubs.

But like Guthrie, his resolve to serve had already been solidified, and

he informed those teams not to bother.

     

\"I told them, 'don't draft me because I'm not interested in playing until after my mission,\"' Lindstrom said.

     

Lindstrom did so knowing that the decision might adversely affect

his prospects in professional baseball. He was well aware of the fact

that the mission field was a long way from a major league career.

     

\"It didn't seem like it was going to happen because that route is odd and it doesn't happen very often,\" he said.

     

Lindstrom's conviction was the product of observance. When he was

12, his father began serving as a priest quorum adviser, and Lindstrom

watched those young men go on to serve missions and return as changed

individuals.

     

\"That kind of inspired me,\" he said. \"I wanted to be like those guys.\"

     

Even after a promising freshman season at Ricks College, where

the small-town product was able to bask in a little attention,

Lindstrom left for Stockholm, Sweden, to serve a full-time mission.

     

\"I knew I wanted to do that,\" he said. \"I'm grateful that I chose to do that.\"

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