“I want to go,” said Peter Cote, of Lincoln, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Talladega. “I really want to do it.”
Cote, who turns 19 on Nov. 17, said serving as a missionary is something many Mormons do.
“It is kind-of a thing that all the guys of the church do when they turn 19,” he said. “The girls can serve as missionaries at 21, but it is more of an obligation for guys.”
Cote said although serving is somewhat expected, it is something he really wants to do.
“I have a buddy going to the Brazil mission,” he said. “I got a lot of friends going on missions all over.”
Cote said he was first interviewed by his bishop, who then submitted Cote’s application to the church leaders.
“They choose where you go,” he said. “I was called to go to Utah.”
Cote said not everyone who serves two years of missionary service begins that service on their birthday. Missionaries are single men between the ages of 19 and 25, single women older than 21 and retired couples.
“They wanted to know when was my earliest time was (to start the program),” he said. “You have to be 19, so I put my birthday down.”
Cote said he will first go to the missionary training center in Provo, Utah.
“I will be there for three weeks,” he said.
Cote said since he will serve in the United States, his training time is three weeks. Missionaries who serve overseas and have to learn a foreign language train for three months at the missionary training center.
“I believe after that they will send me to see my mission president, who is basically my boss,” he said. “I think I will go to the field office in Salt Lake City, Utah.”
Cote said his coverage area will include the Salt Lake City area, and as far east as Rawlins, Wyoming and as far west as Wendover, Nevada.
“It is really strict out there,” he said. “You can’t date or get married (for that two-year period).”
Cote said he is not allowed to watch TV, read books or watch movies other than church-published books or movies or listen to music except church hymns.
“It keeps you on track and not distracted,” he said.
Cote said he will also get a missionary companion, another guy serving at the same mission area.
“He will probably have been out in the mission a few months to a year, because I am new,” Cote said. “And he can be from anywhere in the world.”
Cote said he and his missionary companion will work as a team.
“We will support each other doing mission work,” he said.
Cote said the mission work includes going out and teaching people the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
“We have a message to share with people,” he said.
Cote said he and the other missionaries work to convert people to the Mormon faith.
“We won’t be paid while we’re serving,” he said.
Cote said the missionaries pay for the mission themselves.
“I saved up and my parents are helping out a lot,” he said. “And we will be on a tight budget for rent and food each month.”
Cote said he is allowed to write letters to his family and call on Christmas and Mother’s Day. Although he will have a work phone, Cote won’t have a personal phone of his own.
“It’s all a part of keeping us on track and keeping us focused,” he said.