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
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