Wisconsin has one of the smallest per-capita populations of Mormons in the United States, but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is hoping to change that. Producer Seth Jovaag walked around Madison with a pair of Mormon missionaries, Elder Schultz from Ogden, Utah, and Elder Anderson from Monticello, Utah.
“As a missionary you’re kind of forcing yourself to talk to a lot of people every single day,” says Schulz “It feels really uncomfortable.”
“I remember the first person I talked to kind of went crazy and just started shouting at us and just ran away,” says Anderson. “So that was pretty nerve wracking.”
Everyday, the pair wake up at 6:30AM, exercise for an hour, study for 2-3 hours, and then leave the apartment at10:30AM for a whole day of talking with people. Their day ends at 9PM.
“Every night at 9 o’clock, we take 30 mins to plot out our next day. And so when we do that, we first pray and ask god for help to help like guide us in where we should go,” explains Schulz. “Sometimes names come to mind of streets we should go to, and so we write those down and go to those streets if we’re knocking the next day, or names of people we need to go help, or whatever it might be.”
It’s hard work. Schulz and Anderson say it often feels like “endless rejection.”
“Many people close the door, slam the door, and so you have to learn to just be very resilient,” says Anderson. “You know, you leave your family, you leave everything, to come to a new place to share this msg. And you believe it’s true, and you even feel like you know it’s true, and then you face endless rejection over it and you feel like, is this true? And you have to decide.”