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For week ended January 31, 1999 Posted 2 Feb 1999
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Mormons walk the walk for their faith

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."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information