Alva Review-Courier -

Mormon missionaries return to Alva


Bailey Pittl of Kearns, Utah, and Annalee White of Menan, Idaho

ALVA, Okla. – Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have returned to the Alva area.

Sisters Bailey Pittl of Kearns, Utah, and Annalee White of Menan, Idaho, have been assigned to serve throughout Alfalfa and Woods counties in Oklahoma and Barber County in Kansas, which is served by the Alva Branch. The area had been without any full-time missionaries for about a year.

"We are so happy to be here in Alva," Pittl said. "We have received so much kindness from all of our neighbors and people we have met while sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Pittl, 20, has been serving for 12 months in the Oklahoma City Mission. White, 20, has served for 14 months. Both have been assigned to several other areas of the mission before coming to Alva.

The two women can often be seen biking around Alva, where they live during their time of being assigned to the Alva congregation.

"Even though it is hot, we love biking," White said, "because we are doing it for a good cause. Plus it's great exercise."

The two bike every day to appointments around town, visiting with church members and anyone interested in learning more about the church and the gospel. "It can be extremely hot but it makes us happy to share the gospel that we love," Pittl said.

Why go on a mission? White said she always wanted to go on a mission. "I saw the example of some of the girls in my community and how much a mission helped them to grow," White said. "I wanted that kind of an experience as well."

Pittl said she didn't always want to go on a mission but decided to go shortly before she was sent to Oklahoma. "When I came to realize the Book of Mormon was true and made me happy, I made the decision to go on a mission," she said. "The Book of Mormon and the gospel was making me happy, and I wanted to share it."

Both said that although they miss their families, they have grown to love the people of Oklahoma. "The people of Alva have become our family away from home," Pittl said.

White said she has developed friendships with so many people that she will treasure. "I have met so many people who have helped me when I was homesick," she said, "and made me feel part of their families. I have appreciated that so much."

Pittl and White are happy to meet with anyone wishing to hear more about the church and the gospel of Jesus Christ. They can be reached at 580-278-5592.

Young women, who must be at least 19 to go on a mission, typically serve for 18 months. Young men, who can begin service at age 18, serve for two years. Their families financially support them during this time. Some couples and single adults who are retired also can serve missions if they choose.

Pittl and White are among the more than 67,000 missionaries serving throughout the world in 421 missions of the LDS Church. The church has more than 16 million members worldwide in 30,506 congregations. The Oklahoma City Mission, which covers most of the state of Oklahoma as well as small portions of southern Kansas and northern Texas, usually has about 180 young adult missionaries as well as eight senior couples and five single seniors. President Darren Mansell and his wife Shilane from Sandy, Utah, supervise the mission.

Visitors are always welcome to attend services of the Alva Branch, located at 1467 Thunderbird Road, in Alva (next to the Alva Recreation Complex). Sacrament meeting (worship service) begins at 9:30 a.m. each Sunday, followed by Sunday school for teens and adults and Primary for children, and then Relief Society meeting for women, Young Men and Young Women meetings for teens and Priesthood meeting for men.


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