In a courtroom in Utah this week, Elizabeth Smart is revisiting the darkest days of her life's journey. But her testimony comes during a short break from a spiritual journey — one that has shielded her from reminders of her abduction, the nine-month ordeal and the attention that's followed her.
For more than a year, Smart, who recently turned 23, has been in the midst of her LDS Church mission, a rite of passage hallowed by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Serving in Paris, France, she is among the 52,000 Mormon missionaries - most of them young adults; the others retired couples - who are knocking on doors and speaking 107 different languages in 180 countries, according to Lyman Kirkland, a church spokesman.
Those overseeing Smart's mission didn't return a call to CNN to discuss her missionary work. But if her time in the field is typical, here's a glimpse into how she's been living.Comment on this story
She's been cut off from television, barred from seeing movies and prohibited from following the news. The only music she hears is church-approved. She wakes at 6:30 a.m. everyday to study the gospel by herself and with another young woman missionary known as her companion.
Barring the one day a week when she and her companion can do laundry, run errands, write letters home and, time permitting, go sightseeing, Smart's days are spent with her Book of Mormon in hand, reaching out to strangers and teaching those who will listen.