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Posted 20 Jun 2001   For week ended June 15, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 13Jun01

By Kent Larsen

Missionaries Make the News in Kansas, Texas

GARDEN CITY, KANSAS -- Newspapers in Garden City, Kansas and in San Antonio, Texas both looked at missionaries serving in their areas, covering their day-to-day lives and the rigors of missionary work. In Garden City, the Telegram met Elders Derek Waldron and Sean Cowley, serving Spanish-speaking missions in the Colorado Denver South Mission, while the San Antonio Express-News talked to Elders Cory Hunter and Keith Arbuckle, serving in the Texas San Antonio Mission.

The Garden City Telegram's Diane Lewis was surprised at the missionary's 6:30 am to 9:30 pm schedule an the amount of work involved, but she found Elder's Waldron and Cowley dedicated to the work, "It all comes with being a missionary," Elder Waldron said. "I can and will give it my best and do everything I've been asked to do. I just want to let people know about the happiness that we know."

She also found how missionaries are transferred to different areas from time to time, and how the missionaries look at the transfer night, every six weeks in the Colorado Denver South Mission. "It's an exciting night (transfer night), because sometimes you get a call and sometimes you don't," Elder Waldron said. "Sometimes you want to see what the next place is and sometimes you want to stay."

Elder Waldron is from Costa Mesa, California, while Elder Cowley is from Medford, Oregon. They also told Lewis about their experiences in the MTC, and the difficulty of learning Spanish.

In San Antonio, Elders Hunter and Arbuckle seem clueless to reporter Daryl Bell. They don't know how the San Antonio Spurs basketball team fared in the NBA playoffs, and didn't know that Ed Garza is San Antonio's mayor. Bell finds that the Elders are simply focused on their work, and ignore these distractions.

In the missionaries' apartment he doesn't find a television or radio, but does see a Bible and a Book of Mormon, and a set of weights. "We have to stay in shape," explained Elder Hunter. But Elder Arbuckle added, "We do a lot of riding on our bikes and that definitely gives us a lot of exercise." The pair use mountain bikes, purchased from previous missionaries, to cover their area, figuring out their route the night before based on the appointments they have. They cover up to 15 miles a day on the bikes.

Bell looks a little more at the overall LDS Church missionary program in his article, discovering that 75% of missionaries are young men from 19 to 26, and that the number of missionaries serving has increased in recent years. 333 Missions cover 162 countries around the world. In the San Antonio mission, 180 missionaries serve in an area that stretches from Waco, Texas to Del Rio, Texas.

Elder Hunter is from Vernal, Utah and returned home after completing his mission on May 22nd. He says he will be surprised if he ever gets back to San Antonio, but says his mission was a great experience, "This has been an experience that I will always remember," Hunter said. "I have grown up so much from this. I've learned about people and about myself. It's almost hard to describe what this has been like."

His companion, Elder Arbuckle, is from Bloomington, Minnesota and has only been on his mission for a few months, learning in that time that warm weather in San Antonio means short sleeves. He hopes that his mission will help him become a better person, "When this mission is over, I want to be a man," Elder Arbuckle said. "I want to know more about myself. I want to become a better person."


Keeping the faith
Garden City KS Telegram 11Jun01 N1
By Diane Lewis: Staff Writer

Simple life on mission to Texas
San Antonio TX Express-News 7Jun01 N1
By Daryl Bell: San Antonio Express-News


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