Latter-day Saint Missionary Work Presses On, Online
Many Latter-day Saint missionaries from around the world have returned home and others are adapting to virtual missionary work as the pandemic has led to major changes in the missionary program for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In April, Katrina Bosworth’s son Niles came home from his Latter-day Saint mission in Argentina due COVID-19. In June, he was reassigned to Scottsdale, Arizona.
"He really just wanted to get back out and serve the Lord and teach the gospel," Bosworth said. "Even though it's harder and more challenging, only having distance contact, you know trying to find people to teach he just wanted to get out and finish serving the Lord.”
While Niles was switching missions because of the pandemic, Katrina’s second son Kyle was thinking about submitting his missionary application. Despite the uncertainty, he decided to submit his papers and is waiting for an assignment.
The main purpose of Latter-day Saint missionaries is to teach people about their church and to baptize those they teach. They also provide community service and support to local congregations. Right now, Niles is doing this work digitally and it’s likely Kyle will as well. Katrina said she believes this will be a very different experience for each of her sons because of their personalities.
"My younger one, that's put in his call (does not know) whether he'll do online at home MTC (Missionary Training Center,)" Katrina said. "But he has done a lot of his schooling online, so for him, I think it would be not as difficult as some. My other sons who are more social and have a harder time focusing when they're having to do it on their own.”
And while there are lots of questions about how missionary work will continue amid the pandemic, Katrina said she doesn’t think it’s keeping prospective missionaries like her son from wanting to go.
“I see people continuing to submit and wait and get their calls and just be excited and want, hoping that everything changes," Katrina said. "Just quickly so that we can go back to the normal way of things, but just want to find a way to serve the Lord."