She’s allowed to email relatives weekly, but as a Mormon missionary, this is the most contact will she have with her family, during her 18 months of overseas service.
“I come from a family of 10, there’s four brothers and four sisters, so I miss them a lot,” says Sister Wolfgram, who was raised in West Valley City, Utah, a majority Mormon state.
Her family is originally from Tonga, another heartland for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — home to more Mormons per capita than any country in the world. Statistics show that nearly 60 per cent of the population belongs to the church.
She is one of the 80,000 voluntary missionaries currently serving an 18 to 24-month placement assigned and organised by the church and, like all female missionaries, she’s given the title ‘sister’.
Male missionaries are called ‘elder’, regardless of age.
Today, Sister Wolfgram is preparing to go ‘street contacting’ with fellow missionary Sister Lu.
It’s her fourth day working in the Sydney CBD a YSA ward, which means she’s focused on serving young single adults, aged 18 to 30 years. It’s quite a shift from her last posting in suburban Castle Hill, where ‘door knocking’ is the preferred method of making contact.
“Door knocking is a bit easier because you have them then and there; they can’t run anywhere else except slam the door,” Sister Wolfgram laughs.
And does that happen often?
“[There’s] plenty and plenty of those experiences, and it’s all just a matter of not taking it personally, just moving on,” she smiles.
Her companion Sister Lu is — unexpectedly — a natural at talking to strangers.
With her soft accented voice, little more than a whisper, Sister Lu takes passers-by off guard with her gentle approach to proselytising — if you could call it proselytising at all.