Drew Horne has decided to put his life on hold for the next two years so that he can do something he has long been passionate about: helping to spread the word and teachings of Christ.
Horne, a Rindge resident, departed recently for Utah so that he can undergo a three-month training session, a preamble to his Mormon mission trip to South Korea.
“I’ve felt that in my life it has been such a blessing to be a Mormon,” said Horne, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints congregation in Peterborough. “I’ve found true joy and fulfillment through Christ. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to serve this mission and help people find Christ.”
Horne is one of over 74,000 full-time missionaries currently serving the Mormon church. During his mission trip, Horne will proselytize by visiting homes and meeting people in the street, and will also provide service in the community.
Much of Horne’s training in Utah will be around learning the ins and outs of the missionary lifestyle, as well as the Korean language. Horne, who has learned French and Arabic, says he is up for the challenge learning a new language and being a part of a foreign culture.
“I love learning new languages, so I know it will be a rewarding experience,” said Horne, who said he did not choose where he was going on his trip.
While a rewarding experience, a Mormon mission trip is not without its challenges. In addition to learning a new language, Horne will not have much communication with the outside world, as he will only be able keep in touch with family and friends through email and two calls home per year, on Christmas and Mother’s Day.
Horne also faces a very structured week, which includes a lot of studying scripture, proselytizing, and community service projects.
“It will be a challenge, but it will allow me to focus without distraction,” said Horne. “On a personal level, I’m very excited to experience a new culture.”
The trip is also self-funded, meaning that Horne has been working tirelessly to save money for the trip. Horne has worked most recently with the Rindge Recreation Department, working with the before and after-school programs.
A few days before departing for his trip, Horne admitted that a number of emotions were running through his head, ranging from excitement to being so nervous that he felt sick.
“It’s a huge blessing,” said Horne, of his opportunity. “I have been trying to plan my last hurrahs with friends and making sure that I spend time with my family.”
While Horne doesn’t know exactly what to expect on his trip, he is in communication with someone currently going through the process: his brother, Trey, who is currently serving his mission in Texas.
“He has been really helpful,” said Horne. “His big advice is that it isn’t about me, it’s about Christ. If I focus on him, things will work out.”
Horne, who was valedictorian of Conant HIgh School’s class of 2015, said that upon his return, he plans to go back to Brigham Young University to complete his degree in international relations.
“Going to South Korea fits wonderfully,” said Horne, speaking of the crossover between his mission and future job opportunities. “I want to work to help communities across the globe grow.”