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‘‘Your appearance matters,’’ says Mario Dias, who manages the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints training center in São Paulo, Brazil, which each year prepares 3,500 young Mormons from all over the world for one-and-a-half-to-two-year missions in the country. A conservative look suits a serious message (faux-hawks and mullets are explicitly prohibited for Mormon missionaries, as are above-the-knee skirts). ‘‘Do not be intimidated or judgmental,’’ Dias says. As a door-to-door evangelist, you will see all kinds of people, from ‘‘drunkards on the road to the richest men you’ve ever met.’’ Approach them with respect and treat them with love.
Beware beginner’s zeal. New missionaries can be overconfident and too focused on the numbers. ‘‘You can’t go out thinking, I’m here to bring as many people as I can into the church,’’ Dias says.
Read more at New York Times Magazine