Hours before daylight, the lights were on in a tiny apartment on North Lane Street. It's the one with a photo of Jesus on the front door and a large American flag hanging in the living room. Two Mormon missionaries sat facing each other at desks, studying scripture and Samoan language and planning their day in Mountain View. The day has begun in this way for missionaries at similar apartments here since the creation of Anchorage's first Samoan ward in 2005. Many have carved their names in the desk.
Elder Kyle Offley read a passage from the official Missionary Handbook to his partner for the day, Elder Lorenzo Matamua. Missionary partners should not leave each other's side, it instructs. They are to stay together to protect one another and help each other avoid distractions. The apartment's one bedroom has two mattresses. There's no TV or computer. Missionaries are restricted from listening to music that isn't church-produced or similarly spiritual.
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