Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

    Gap Year

    The Trailblazer’s Samantha Cheng interviewed Ana Maria Marin, a graduating senior of the class of 2012, on her plans for taking a gap year. A gap year is a delay between graduating high school and beginning college. Popular gap year programs include studying abroad, providing community service, or following dreams like going to LA or NYC to get discovered.


    What will you be doing during your gap year?

    As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon Church), we are allowed to serve a mission from the age of 19 +. Men are allowed to serve at the age of 19, women at the age of 21. Besides young adults, retired seniors or married couples are also able to serve. Missionaries serve from eighteen months to 2 years. As missionaries we are official representatives of the church full-time.


    By the way, it’s completely voluntary to go on your mission. I guess you can say we aim to proselytize, provide church service, and humanitarian aid.  Some countries require a certificate to proselytize. The four years I’ve been going to seminary (religion class at 6am) certifies you to serve in those countries.


    Where will you be going this gap year?

    You don’t get chose. You have to submit papers to the headquarters of the church in Salt Lake City, Utah, and they decide where you go. It can vary from a small town in Kentucky (basically, anywhere in the U.S.) to… Thailand.


    Is there any preparation you need to make before serving on a mission?

    There are seventeen missionary centers worldwide. The biggest center is the one in Provo, Utah, which is the one you go to if you live in the states.  The amount of time you spend there varies depending on mission. You might be there from two to eight weeks to learn a different language. After you receive your training, you are sent to your mission location.


    Do you think that you’ll be very busy during your gap year?

    Totally! Let me give you an example of a typical day as a missionary: Get up at 6:30. Eat breakfast/exercise until 7.  Scripture study either independently or with a companion until 9. Leave the house at 10 to preach door-to-door or go to meetings. There is then an hour break for lunch and dinner during the day. By 9pm, you will be home to plan for the next day. Lights go out at 10:30pm, and then repeat. It’s an intense day, but you’re always with a companion.


    How long have you been planning to go on this mission?

    Well, you don’t really plan on going on a mission. I’ve always wanted to serve on a mission ever since I was a little kid, but there are others who don’t plan on going on a mission; these people end up doing it last minute because something happened in their lives. You don’t really prepare for a mission… the mission prepares you, if that makes sense. Like I said before, you fully prepare at the MTC (Missionary Training Center).


    How are you scheduling this with your college years?

    Well that’s my debate with my parents right now- either take the year off and serve my mission or complete my four years, and then go on my mission. As of now, I have decided to try and graduate in 3 years, that way I can use that last year to go on my mission. I’m already taking summer courses, and will be taking online classes in the fall, so hopefully it will work out!!! If not… well, I can always pray!


    Will you be traveling a lot on your mission?

    Yes and no.  The area you are assigned to is more like a region. In that region, there are sectors that you will serve. You serve the churches in the region. If there are say 20 churches in that region, you will most likely serve in all of them and rotate. Other times, you are sent to a different region as well, but that’s usually towards the end of your mission.

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