Odds and ends: The curiosity that follows missionary work

Published: Monday, April 2 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

The work of an LDS missionary is a curious thing for those unfamiliar with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Media outlets around the country are taking interest in the daily routines and aspects of a Mormon missionary's life in their respective publications. Here are a few examples.

Doug Erickson, a reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal, recently interviewed Latter-day Saint missionaries in the Madison area. He asked them about their daily schedule, mission rules and how missions are financed.

"We've had quite a few conversations that start with Mitt Romney," said Vanessa Vernon, a 22-year-old sister missionary from Farmington, Utah.

The Osceola Sentinel-Tribune, a newspaper in south-central Iowa, posted a story by Jennifer Nelson about two young men serving in the area. Michael Sauer and T.J. Hinman, both of Washington, told Nelson about their making the decision to serve.

"Basically, the men of the church feel a certain duty to go," Sauer said. "We show people we're normal people who are trying to follow Jesus Christ and live good lives."

Kendra Evensen of the Idaho State Journal recently wrote about Gary and Karlene Dance, a couple on their way to serve for 18 months in Kyiv, Ukraine, and other parts of Eastern Europe. Even though the Dances have never been to Eastern Europe, they are trying to learn the Russian language.

“We know that it will be quite an adventure and that we will come back with a greater appreciation for our own country," Karlene told Evensen. "But (we) are sure that we will always have a love for the people and the culture of that area."

The Spectrum in St. George, Utah, recognized a blues band that won an area band contest. One of the group's members, Max Henderson, is leaving for Capetown, South Africa, to serve a two-year mission. He will be missed by his fellow band members.

"Max is the heart of the band," Mic Henderson told the Spectrum. "He keeps us in check with this rhythm stuff."

For more information about the LDS Church and its missionary program, visit LDS.org.

Email: ttoone@desnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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