Six young people are putting their faith into action as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
It’s the most ever to serve Dickinson at one time, LDS Bishop Michael Cartmill said.
“They do a couple of different things to spread the gospel,” he said. “Their main role is teaching the gospel to friends and acquaintances of members; and they may go door to door to share.”
The six are Sister Brittany Caldwell of Perry, Utah; Sister Karaly Carter of Enoch, Utah; Sister Sara Jaramillo of Littleton, Colo.; Sister Cait Miller of Farmington, Utah; Elder Steven Bell of Laguna Beach, Calif.; and Elder Nathan Lougy of Clinton, Utah.
They are among more than 80,000 missionaries world wide, according to the October count by the church.
Cartmill said the Mormon missionaries look for service opportunities in the community, such as raking leaves, helping at the food pantry or sorting clothes at House of Manna. Women commit to 18 months of service and men to 24 months of service. They pay their own expenses.
“They love the Lord - that’s the biggest reason they’re out here,” Cartmill said.
Dickinson’s LDS Church has undergone two expansion projects in recent months. Cartmill credits some of the growth to its missionaries.
“The missionaries help members who might be struggling and they help people get re-excited about their faith,” he said.
Miller attended Weaver State University in Ogden, Utah, before coming to mission. She arrived in Dickinson Oct. 1.
“I came here to help others come unto Christ and obtain greater peace and joy in their lives through living the restored gospel,” she said.
Her goal is to receive a master’s degree in professional communications and to obtain a job as an employee wellness director.
Miller said the mission is helping her grow in her faith, to set goals and to be organized by following a daily routine.
“These are all vital characteristics of an employee wellness director and coach,” she said.
Caldwell arrived in Dickinson July 9.
“The reason I came on mission is because I love the Lord and the gospel so much,” she said. “It’s blessed my life, and I wanted to share that happiness with other people. I left my family for a short time so others can be with their families for eternity.”
Caldwell wants to finish college after she completes her missionary service.
“The mission has already helped me so much,” she said. “I’m learning to have good relationships with people, how to lovingly serve others and how to share something that’s so special to me.”
Carter grew up 50 miles north of St. George, Utah and attended Canyon View High School. She started mission in June 6, 2012, and arrived in Dickinson July 9.
“I am here to share what I know to be true with those I meet,” she said. “I’ve had many experiences where I’ve felt the love of our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. The knowledge I have of the gospel brings me so much peace, joy and comfort and I want other people to have that as well.”
Carter plans to resume her studies in music when she returns home.
“I don’t know exactly what I’ll do with a commercial music degree, but I know that’s what God wants me to do,” she said.
Her primary instrument is the violin, which she has played for worship services.
Jaramillo started on mission on Aug. 21 and arrived in Dickinson Oct. 1. She was called to serve the Porto Alegre North Mission in Brazil, but was assigned to the Rapid City, S.D., mission while waiting for her visa application to be approved. Dickinson is part of the mission area.
She attended Brigham Young University in Idaho before starting mission. Two of her brothers have served missions. She is the first sister missionary in the family.
“I want everyone to feel the joy the gospel brings in my life,” she said.
With completion of mission, Jaramillo plans to return to college to study nursing.
“Mission might not play too well with my career goals, but it plays in the goals of the person I want to be when I am fulfilling my career,” she said.
Bell entered mission July 25, 2012, and has been in Dickinson since July 10.
“If someone like Moses is on the Earth with God’s authority and permission, I feel like it is necessary to share that with others,” he said.
When his mission service is complete, Bell wants to resume his interest in traveling. He has traveled through 30 states, 15 countries and five continents, including Antarctica. He wants study graphic design or to become a motivational speaker.
“Out here on mission, we try to help people fill their lives with joy and increased hope and faith, and I believe a motivational speaker should be able to do that as well.”
Lougy arrived in Dickinson July 9 after completing a semester at the LDS Business College in Salt Lake City.
“I wanted to show my devotion to God and Jesus Christ by helping others find happiness,” he said.
Lougy is no longer in Dickinson, having recently been transferred to Detroit Lakes, Minn. He was exchanged by Elder Nathan Edwards from Hyrum, Utah.
The missionaries described a typical day as starting at 6:30 a.m. with exercise and breakfast, followed by personal study and companionship study.
After lunch until evening, they are out in the community with their mission of teaching and looking for service opportunities. The missionaries rely mostly on word of mouth for contacts.
“Door to door is a lost art in today’s age,” Bell said.
Carter is confident that missionaries make a difference in people’s lives.
“I’ve seen a lot of lives change,” Carter said. “We are a vessel here. There’s a lot of really good times and there’s a lot of hard times as well. We get a lot of rejection as compared to how much acceptance we get, but it’s completely 100 percent worth it.”
Caldwell hopes to grow in faith as well.
“I have five brothers who were all in the missions,” she said. “Seeing them come back, they are still the same person yet completely different. They are so much stronger. They love God and the gospel so much more and they seem to have this glow about them.”
To speak with the missionaries, call Cartmill at 701-690-7156.