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The Mentor

The Mentor

The student news site of Manhattan High School

The Mentor

Manhattan Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to go on mission trips


While some students plan to lounge by the pool this summer, a few Manhattan High students prepare for something a little different.

Five MHS students plan to go on church-guided mission trips to various countries around the globe. Three MHS students have their locations and are ready to go.

“This fall, I’m going to be leaving on a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I was assigned to serve in Estonia,” senior Tyler Durtschi said.

Durtschi leaves in September to serve his church in Estonia.

“I’m a little nervous, but very excited,” he said. “It’s just a huge change.”

Senior Andrew Kenney plans to go to Quito, Ecuador, to teach about his religion and church.

“I’m a bit nervous to be in a different country I’ve never been in before, speaking a language I’m not fluent in, but I’m excited, it’ll be fun,” Kenney said. “I’ve been living in Manhattan my entire life, so it’ll be nice to experience something new.”

Senior Tyler Hafen is graduating one year early to go see many different parts of France.

“I’ll be doing lots of service for people, teaching people about my church and my religion,” Hafen said. “I’ll be around Paris, but I can also move around. I’ll be in the northern half of France, plus the French speaking part of Belgium, and all of Luxembourg.”

However, the trip is not just a vacation in a picturesque location. Each student will have a packed schedule during the week.

“A typical day has me waking up at 6:30 every day pretty much and doing some language study,” Hafen said. “I will also be talking to some people about my church, and will also be doing lots of service stuff.”

To prepare for the adventure, the students start out their mission with a specialized training session in a training center, where they can spend up to 5 weeks learning the basics of what they are doing when they start the trip.

“The training center that I’m going to is in England, so I’ll live in England for five weeks and basically learn the language and how I’m supposed to teach things,” Hafen said.

Furthermore, all of the missionaries have certain rules they have to obey when they go on their trips.

“There are a lot of specific rules,” Kenney said. “We can’t swim, we can only talk to our parents on Mondays, and we can’t drink a lot of drinks.”

The students feel many different emotions about their upcoming journeys these next two years. Despite the nervousness the students are ready to begin the next step of their adventures this upcoming summer and fall.

“Some days I’m super psyched about it and I can’t wait to go live in another country and teach people,” Hafen said. “And other days I’m nervous, you know, living on my own in a foreign land, speaking in a whole new language… I’ve never done that before.”

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