Mormon Missionaries

SUITS. These young Mormons are on their mission in the Seattle area, and they're too busy with their proselytizing to talk about their clothes. This we learned on our own: When a prospective missionary receives his assignment from the Missionary Department (about 75 percent of all LDS missionaries are young men), he is also given a list of recommended clothing. According to the LDS Mission Network, missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are generally encouraged to bring two conservative, dark-colored suits to missions in cold climates. All expenses incurred while preparing for and serving on missions are covered by the elder—which is what Mormons call their missionaries, despite the fact that they are usually very young. And limber.

SWEATERS. Two to three V-neck sweaters in matching dark colors are recommended.

HAIRCUTS. Soon after prospective missionaries arrive at the Missionary Training Center (2005 N 900 E, Provo, UT, 801-422-2602), they receive their first "haircut inspection." If they don't pass, they get a haircut.

TIES. Five to six ties, which should be "conservative in color, width, and design." No bolo ties.

BACKPACKS. Missionaries are supposed to purchase "church-approved" backpacks at the Missionary Training Center.

NAMETAGS. Elders Malan and Larson are both sporting shiny nametags.

GARMENTS. You may be curious about these young men's special Mormon undergarments. We sure were. But since they didn't call, this is all we can tell you: The list of clothing for "elders" (young men) includes 8–10 "garments." The list for "sisters" (young ladies) includes "garments" and "underclothing." Are these boys wearing anything besides special Mormon garments beneath their conservative suits? Only Elders Malan and Larson know for sure.