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EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: Australian rugby star Will Hopoate did it; so did former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney and of course the Osmond brothers. They all embarked on a two-year stint as Mormon missionaries, spreading the word of God according to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Tens of thousands of young men and women are currently on missions around the world seeking converts. In Australia alone, there are more than 1,000. Lateline’s Ginny Stein went along for the ride with two modern missionaries in the Outback town of Broken Hill.
GINNY STEIN, REPORTER: Two by two, they venture out on bicycles. Armed with knowledge gleaned from American Bible colleges, these young men are on a mission to take on the Outback.
ELDER WARNER, MISSIONARY, CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF THE LATTER DAY SAINTS: My name is Elder Warner. I’m from Salt Lake City, Utah. 20 years old. And I’m here as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Broken Hill.
ELDER HENDERSON, MISSIONARY, CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF THE LATTER DAY SAINTS: I’m Elder Henderson. I’m Hawaiian by blood, but I was born and raised in South Korea. And I’m here in Broken Hill and it’s just so amazing here. I love it. …
… A lot of people do ask why we’re wearing white shirts and ties and riding around on the pushbikes in 30-plus degree heat and I’ll admit it does feel a bit weird. (Blows fly away from face with right hand)
GINNY STEIN: The flies are a problem?
ELDER HENDERSON: (Slaps forehead with right hand) Yes, the flies are definitely a problem.
Read the rest and watch the VIDEO here: ABC News Lateline