Mormons Come to Help Immigrants

Gigi Lehman, Miami Herald, January 19, 2008

One of the churches most known for missionary activity, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is evangelizing Haitians and native Spanish speakers without Mormon missionaries ever leaving the United States.

The LDS church has 150 missionaries in South Florida, many of whom work with immigrant groups, said Noel Reynolds, president of the church’s Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission. “One group teaches Haitians; one group teaches Spanish speakers; another does Portuguese for Brazilians,” Reynolds said.

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Mormons are known for their work ethic and success in business, but the Fentons [two “senior missionaries”] stress that good training makes good workers out of non-Mormons as well as church members. From January to November of 2007, 390 people were placed in jobs through the LDS Employment Resource network that stretches from Jupiter to Key West, Garnett Fenton said.

“We don’t just tell people, ‘Here’s a job.’ We tell them how to find work and how to work. One of the things we stress is being on time and putting in a full day’s work,” she said.

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