SYRACUSE -- Two soon-to-be missionaries say a change allowing elders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to use social media as part of their official missionary work will make them better servants for the Lord.
"It will touch more people faster," said 18-year-old Syracuse resident Connor Craythorn, who will leave Aug. 7 for Gilbert, Ariz.
He said missionaries will be able to talk to prospective members more easily online than in person.
"At the fast pace people live their lives, they won't let people in (their homes) unless they kind of know the product being sold," he said.
Craythorn also pointed to an ability to reach a younger generation.
"We believe some of the best souls are saved to the last days," he said. "The spirit will work stronger with them."
Hayden Johnson, also 18 and of Syracuse, said he was really excited to hear the news that missionaries now will be using social media resources.
"It will help us be more in contact with the members," he said, noting that missionaries will be able to share talks made by church leaders and resources readily with those they communicate with online.
If they find out a prospective member is struggling, they'll be able to share inspirational quotes to uplift them.
Johnson said he has a few such quotes and thoughts he'll be able to share with people, but he'll use the time he has between now and when he leaves for San Pedro Sula Honduras on Sept. 18 to collect more of these.
Johnson believes the online resources will help missionaries serve those they meet for longer periods of time.
"If we get to a new area, we'll be able to keep up with those we knew before."