LDS Church-service missionaries: 'A dedicated, passionate work force'

For the past six months, Larry and Casi Smith have been living in a trailer on the windy plains of Wyoming. As church-service missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they assisted 18,500 pioneer trekkers — mostly LDS teenagers and their adult leaders — among the Mormon Handcart Historic Sites, specifically at the Willie Center/Sixth Crossing Site, about 60 miles from Martin's Cove.

It's been a physically demanding six months, filled with long hours meeting the needs of trekkers and other visitors to the sites, including sharing pioneer stories, building and maintaining restroom facilities and teaching square dancing. Along with 19 other church-service missionary couples, they also found time to tie dozens of quilts, which they donated to local charities, and build — with a little help from a handful of skilled professionals — a 9,500-square-foot log visitor's center, three stories tall, looking down on the Sweetwater.

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