Elder Carpenter came to Harrisonburg for the first time on September 9, and as soon as he dropped off his belongings at the missionary house, he and his companion, Elder Braunberger, set out to go door-to-door to speak to people about the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Missionaries work in a ward, or territory, for six weeks at a time, with the possibility of transferring somewhere brand new within the same geographic zone at the end of that period. These photos lend insight to what the life of full-time missionaries is like during one transfer period in the Shenandoah Valley. I really appreciated the elders letting me follow them along, especially on the tracking: I know it would be enough for me to engage in a thoughtful religious conversation on my front porch, much less dealing with a photographer documenting the occasion. Thank you, Elder Braunberger and Elder Carpenter, for allowing me to show the work you do.
Elder Carpenter moves his belongings into the missionary apartment on Park Road on the first day of his transfer to Harrisonburg.
Elder Carpenter holds a copy of The Book of Mormon during a meeting, along with Elder Braunberger, with a Baptist preacher in Broadway. Full-time missionaries are refered to as Elders, and all male members of the Mormon church become elders at age 18.
Elder Braunberger (right) and Elder Carpenter go tracking, which is going door-to-door in a nieghborhood within their ward, on Chicago Avenue on Elder Carpenter's first day in Harrisonburg.
Elder Carpenter closes his eyes durng a prayer at a baptism ceremony in front of a painting of Jesus at Machu Pichu in Peru inside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Harrisonburg.
Elder Carpenter (left) and Elder Braunberger laugh with Olin Bliss in his home in Broadway. Bliss is a former Mormon and has not been to a service at a church for more then 40 years, but he visits with any missionaries in his community.
Elder Carpenter (left) lunges to keep a set of racquetball going inside the Rec Center in Westover Park on their off day, which is Monday every week.
During dessert at the Double Dragon Chinese restaurant in Timberville, the elders get into a conversation with another diner named who asked only to be identified by her first name, Mini, who inquired about where they were from. Both Carpenter and Braunberger are from Utah, and say they have enjoyed doing mission work in Harrisonburg. "Everyone is very friendly, no matter what religion they are," Braunberger said.
All of the missionaries say a prayer outside of their apartment before Elder Braunberger prepares to transfer to a ward in Norfolk after doing mission work in Harrisonburg for four months.