University Newspaper Discovers Sister Missionaries
KINGSTON, ONTARIO, CANADA -- Sister Donahoo and Sister Kuhn,
currently serving in Kingston, Canada, find serving in a university
town is a great opportunity to speak with others about their beliefs
and the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"It's quite intimidating. We're the same age, but we're doing
completely different things. It's very intimidating to go up to
someone's door and just say `hey!'" said Sister Kuhn. Donahoo, from
Idaho and Kuhn, from Utah, aren't pushy, and while many people are
not interested, the door is generally not slammed in their faces.
"We've been doing a lot of work down around Queen's," said Donahoo,
"and we've done a lot of work with students, and we find that people
are generally open-minded and willing to talk about things, you know,
[even if] they're not interested [in converting]."
With the up-coming Olympics, Mormonism is getting a lot more
attention. A Time magazine cover report compared the church to a
corporation. The article estimated the Church has a $5.9 billion
(U.S.) gross annual income and would fall midway in the Fortune 500,
larger than both Nike and the Gap. Some of the church's holdings
include the world's top beef ranch and America's top producer of
nuts. While the Olympics are providing welcome media attention, the
current prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley has asked members not to use the
games as an opportunity to proselytize visitors and hand out copies
of the Book of Mormon.
While the church has changed over the years adding "Another Testament
of Jesus Christ" to the title of The Book of Mormon and giving all
worthy male members over the age of 12 the priesthood regardless of
race, women cannot expect to receive this privilege. Sister Donahoo
believes it is a matter of theology, not social order. "[Woman] still
have opportunities in the Church. We take on different roles in the
Church. The men don't hold that priesthood authority to rule over
women or anyone else. We feel the two roles complement each other.
You can't do it without each other. I've never felt I hold a lesser
position in the Church," she said.
Kuhn and Donahoo admit their religion is demanding, especially for
missionaries. All members abide by a law of health which forbids
alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea. As missionaries they also give up
TV, radio, movies, newspapers and many of the forms of entertainment
enjoyed by 22-year-olds. On their preparation day, they do chores and
write home, but they do take some time for fun. "We go bowling.
People would probably consider us to be very odd, but that's our time
to kick back and relax, [when] we don't really have to think about
all this other stuff. Last week wasn't too bad. My high was 99 - I
almost broke 100."
Is Christ in your Life?
Kingston ON CA Queen's Journal 22Jan02 N2
Features talks to two members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, and finds out that missionaries indeed have style.