Locals may see a couple of young men around town dressed up in suits knocking on doors or giving their time to help others.
Michael Sauer and T.J. Hinman, of Washington, are in Osceola and Chariton completing a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The two stopped by the Osceola Sentinel-Tribune office earlier this month.
Members of the LDS are allowed to go on a mission as soon as they turn 19.
“We let our church know we want to go on a mission, and they assign us somewhere in the world,” said Sauer. “Elder Hinman and I were assigned to the Midwest.”
The missionaries won’t spend the entire mission in Osceola and after a few more months will be transferred to another region of the Midwest – to be determined.
Why they serve
Sauer and Hinman said they choose to go on the missions to serve others and share their message about Jesus Christ.
“We do our best to share our message with others inside and outside of the church,” said Sauer. “We love to serve people whether it’s spiritually or physically. We love to serve even if they don’t want to hear our message about Jesus Christ.”
Sauer and Hinman said it is not a requirement for LDS members to go on missions but it is recommended, especially for men.
“Basically, the men of the church feel a certain duty to go,” Sauer said.
The two missionaries said one of their goals in spreading their message is trying to “shut down any misunderstandings about their church.”
“We show people we’re normal people that are trying to follow Jesus Christ and live good lives,” Sauer said.
Life as an LDS missionary
Both elders rent an apartment in Osceola. They had to raise money before leaving for their two-year missions. Once the mission is completed Sauer plans to go back to college where he is pursuing a degree in biochemistry.
For now their lives have transformed into a full-time service commitment for Jesus Christ, they said.
Typically, the elders wake up about 6:30 a.m. and get ready for the day. After studying the Bible and Book of Mormon they spend the rest of the day knocking on doors, completing community service and teaching others about what they believe.
The missionaries have given their time to help others around the community and in the local LDS church. They have also volunteered at the animal shelter and Cross Ministries.
Sauer said the mission has “refined him in all walks of life.”
“Not just spiritually but mentally, physically and socially too,” he said. “It has helped me in every aspect of my life. And has opened me up to experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”