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College grad heads for missionary training

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image Sacia Mullins, 22, of Ruskin is headed for Denver, Colorado, to do 18 months of missionary work.

“Life is about service,” Sacia said, sounding more like a 40-year-old than a newly graduated college student.

A year ago Sacia Mullins of Ruskin was finishing her last year at the University of South Florida, where she majored in theater and minored in psychology.

She was doing a thesis that required combining her studies and had come up with the idea of forming and training a Justice Dramatics Theater Group for middle-school students ages 10 to 14.

She had worked with children before at her church, teaching four-year-olds, but the dramatics project introduced her into one-on-one work to help the kids learn not only about theater but, because of the justice element, also about proper behavior and respect.

After graduating in December, she worked as a customer service representative at M&M Printing Company (owner of The Observer News and The Current), where her father, Wes, is the CEO.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life,” said 22-year-old Sacia in a recent interview before packing up and leaving for missionary training. In one way, she had always thought she would do the missionary work, she said, but that she wasn’t sure until recently. Elders in the Church of Latter Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormons, advise that all boys spend a time in missionary work, but it is not something many girls consider, she said.

“We believe women are more geared to home and family, so we are not heavily encouraged to go,” Sacia explained. “But I was wondering what I wanted to do, I didn’t really know. Then one day I turned to this Scripture in First Corinthians with a chapter heading that seemed just right for me. It’s the one about true saints being perfectly united in the same mind and that the Gospel is preached by the weak and simple.”

Sacia said her mother, Karina, never did missionary work and instead had chosen to stay at home until she and her two sisters and one brother were older. Then her mother worked in the office at Ruskin’s Mary & Martha House,  a shelter for abused and homeless women, some with children.

“Life is about service,” Sacia said, sounding more like a 40-year-old than a newly graduated college student. It was while reading the Scripture that she decided to go on an 18-month mission experience. “Missionary work is going to be a little about everything,” she said, “helping people with their needs, whatever they are.”

She began her adventure with her parents taking her to Provo, Utah, April 9, for preliminary instruction and meeting members of her group. In about three weeks the group will head for Denver, Colorado, where she will spend the rest of the time.

In the first email sent back after her arrival in Utah, Sacia said, “I feel like I’ve finally found my place in the world, if that makes any kind of sense. It’s so spiritual, and I can already feel myself growing. I’m exhausted, but it’s worth it.”

We hear so many stories about how troubled and troublesome all the young people are today. That’s one reason why The Observer News and The Current focus on the good ones, and there are many. Residents who “catch young people in the act of doing something good” are always encouraged to send in a photo and a caption from an event. Or, in the case of something really big — like spending 18 months in missionary work — email news@observernews.net with a possible story idea.

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