Summarized by Kent Larsen
Mormons walk the walk for their faith
Walnut Creek CA Contra Costa Times 29Jan99; Page A18
By Michael Pena: Times Staff Writer
East Bay missionaries hit their stride in spreading the word about their
church -- door to door, day and night
Elders Jason Jones and Dustin Tanner were interviewed for this look at
missionary life. These Elders serve in the California Oakland Mission, which
currently has 190 missionaries covering an area that stretches from
Brentwood to Berkeley and from Livermore to Union City. The mission includes
24,000 of the 785,000 members throughout the state of calfiornia.
Elder Jones, who has worn out two pair of Doc Marten boots since he began
his mission in April 1997, comes from Perrysburg, Ohio while Elder Tanner is
from Springville, Utah.
The Elders have faced their share of difficult situations. "I had a guy in
Hayward allude to the fact that he could kill me," said Jones, 21. "I guess
we caught him on a bad day."
They also serve others, like missionaries worldwide. Jones has tutored
illiterate children in youth centers and spent time in nursing homes. "We do
it because we have a deep belief that the savior would have us do this,"
Jones said. "It's great to be able to fill that need for someone else."
"It's better that they serve outside their hometown," said Mission President
Malcolm Warner. "As they do that, they're getting the experience of being
away from home, being on their own."
"My eyes have really been opened up," Tanner said. "We leave our family, our
friends -- everything that's comfortable for us."