When I moved to Louisiana in 2014, I crossed paths with Mormon missionaries who live in my apartment complex. Having been raised in the Mormon Church, I expressed interest in documenting their ministry in an effort to show a private dimension of their lives that is unknown to many. Over time the work has evolved into a self portrait of sorts, that has helped me explore my identity as a Mormon artist.
At eighteen years old, Mormon Elders are still developing physically and spiritually while working to share their gospel in a culture far from home. Most of the missionaries I have photographed have been from the Utah Valley—places like Provo or West Jordan; Also Southern California (Temecula, San Diego); Eastern Oregon; and Boise, Idaho. Notably, Elder Nabulivula came from a small village in Fiji, where Polynesian culture is rich with Mormon history. Serving for a period of two years, these young men postpone activities that others their age experience, such as college, dating, television, social media, and time with family. And they encounter the same growing pains as other young people traveling far from home to attend college or serve in the military.