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Young men on a mission

Living in a small apartment in West Rutland, the missionaries begin their typical day by rising at 6:30 a.m. to exercise, eat breakfast, and then study scripture. By 10 a.m., they are out the door, either meeting with interested residents or doing community service.

"We go most anywhere to help people," said Christensen. "Part of our day is spent doing community service. We'll help shovel snow, rake leaves, stack firewood. We even go out when it's 20 degrees below zero. It's all the Lord's work-wherever we are needed."

Both missionaries share a clean, late model automobile with a trunk packed with colorful LDS religious literature and DVDs-all free for interested seekers.

The men say they don't do much door knocking, but sometimes it's required. When out and about, the missionaries say they love soaking up Vermont's northern Appalachian landscape which is green and lush compared to Utah's semi-arid clime. However, the men find Vermont's mountains are mere "foothills" compared to the rugged timberline peaks of the American West.

"Vermont is a very beautiful place. And we have found that most people are friendly," said Christensen. "We've never had a door slammed in our faces."

The missionaries work out of the local LDS meeting house located at 637 N. Shrewsbury Rd. in Clarendon. They invite curious seekers to attend a weekly scripture study class, held Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Seekers are also invited to Sunday services at the Clarendon meeting house at 10 a.m. The elders are in attendance to meet newcomers.

When there missionary work is completed, the young men plan to return home and pursue college careers.

Christensen has a scholarship to attend Snow College where he plans to major in music. Harmon, who also enjoys music, said he plans to study engineering and will enroll at Salt Lake City Community College to start.

For now, college is on the distant horizon. There's work to be done before returning to Utah's deserts.

"There are prophets on the Earth today," said Christensen, "but which one is true? That's where missionary work and the study of scripture helps to guide us."

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