Summarized by Kent Larsen
The Mormon mission
Los Angeles Times 20May00 D1
By Andrew Glazer
During the course of the day, Elders Wilkinson and Bryan tell not
only what they gave up, but also how they do their work. The Elders
tell how they have essentially cut off ties to the world outside of
missionary work, "No movies, TV, radio or newspapers. The only music
we can listen to are hymns or classical. No dates or girls. We can
only call our families twice a year. And every half-hour of every day
is planned out," said Bryan.
But they also told Glazer that they had looked forward to their
missions, "This mission is something you anticipate your whole life,"
said Wilkinson. "You don't start anything serious in your life until
you're finished. This is your big opportunity to give back to the
Both Elders also describe the challenge of learning Spanish and Latin
culture. Wilkinson, in particular, had trouble adjusting, "People
were inviting us to have dinner at their homes, but I wasn't used to
the chili peppers," he said. "I threw up eight times in my first
Meeting one man at his door, the Elders learn he is from Puebla and
try to connect with him by talking about his native town, but the man
says he can't talk to them at that time. Bryan says that they've
learned a lot about Mexico. "We've learned about areas all over
Mexico, where there are ranches, the native foods, etc.," Bryan said.
"It sometimes helps to gain their trust." Trust they say is
essential, because people must trust the missionaries to let them
into their homes, and to be open to Mormonism.
The article also tells how the Elders visit a woman who has had a
miscarriage and would like a blessing of comfort. After the blessing,
Elder Bryan tells Glazer, "My friends back at home ask 'How can you
do that, give up everything? But if you give 100%, then you'll get a
lot back. Some days can be ragged. Others, very rewarding."