NPR's 'All Things Considered,' The Gainesville Sun talk LDS missionaries

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 22 2013 7:00 p.m. MDT

Sisters Leen Nauta Bora Bora and Noelle Longhurst of the California Carlsbad Mission walk outside. NPR ran a four-minute segment about the increase in LDS sister missionaries on "All Things Considered" on Monday.

Alan Gibby, Deseret News Archives

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On Monday, NPR’s news radio show “All Things Considered” featured LDS sister missionaries in a four-minute segment by Stina Sieg called “At A Younger Age, Mormon Women Are Eager To Share Their Faith.”

"There are 11,000 more female missionaries around the world now than there were a year ago. Women account for 24 percent of all Mormon missionaries, up from 15 percent before the change," Sieg said in the feature. "Like their male counterparts, they're disconnecting from worldly belongings and focusing solely on their faith. No hobbies, no school, no social media — unless it relates to their mission."

The clip quotes three sister missionaries who are leaving soon or are currently serving a mission because of the missionary age change made last October. It also quotes Cindy Packard, a spokeswoman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“There's something about these young, vibrant, loving women that I think can touch hearts in a different way than sometimes the young men can do," Packard said in the segment. "I think that the world will only be so much better because these young women are now able to serve at a younger age."

Last week, LDS missionaries were also highlighted in an article titled “Young Mormons gain much perspective from their missions” by Morgan Watkins for The Gainesville Sun in Florida. The piece explains the missionary lifestyle, as well as some life lessons missionaries learn.

“They've learned not to judge people by their appearance,” Watkins wrote in the article. “(Elder) Goodrich remembers approaching a man with a teardrop tattoo leaning against a Crown Vic who got emotional during their conversation, even though he looked like a tough guy.”

The Gainesville Sun piece also talks about the surge in sister missionaries in the Florida-Jackson Mission, which increased from comprising 10 percent of the mission earlier this year, and will shortly be up to 45 percent.

Abby Stevens is a writer for the DeseretNews.com Faith and Family sections. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho. Contact Abby at astevens@deseretdigital.com.

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