‘The District’: Where Are They Now?

The District 2 missionaries
Image via The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Recently returned missionaries are very familiar with “The District,” a set of missionary training videos, also known to the public as a reality television series on missionary work.

The original “District” came out in 2007, and the missionaries featured were serving in the San Antonio Texas mission. The San Antonio mission was selected because it was known for having a lot of baptisms as a result of the missionaries’ finding capabilities. After the first season was released, the missionary department identified teaching as a concern. Also, they thought that the first “District” looked too perfect and they wanted to expose the reality of tough missionary work. So, “The District 2” was filmed in 2009 and released June 2010, and this time the San Diego California mission was in the spotlight.

As a missionary, I clearly remember watching episodes of “The District” with my trainer and with my greenie. We always looked forward to the days we were able to pop some popcorn and watch our favorite missionaries preach the gospel. After the mission I was curious to know what happened to these powerful missionaries. Where are they now?

Below are updates on some of the returned missionaries featured in “The District,” all of the missionaries below were in “The District 2” with the exception of Elder Reis who was in “The District 1.”

 

Elder J Tyler Christensen

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Christensen will graduate from Brigham Young University with a degree in Economics in April 2015. Christensen has been married to his wife, Jacqueline, for almost a year and both he and his wife are teachers at the Missionary Training Center. Starting in August they will move to Minnesota where Christensen will attend the University of Minnesota for his Masters in Healthcare Administration.

“My mission taught me how to set goals, plan effectively, and keep Christ at the center of my life,” Christensen told LDS.net. “And most importantly, it taught me how to recognize and follow the Holy Ghost.”

 

Sister Janet Zaldivar

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Zaldivar met her husband, Cameron Thorpe, on a blind date set up by Elder Jon Hepworth, another missionary from “The District.” They have been married for a little over 2 ½ years.

Zaldivar will be graduating with a law degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU in April. Her husband Cameron is currently in Medical School at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

The couple recently welcomed their first child, a baby boy. “Life is crazy, but it is great,” Zaldivar said. “I thought I’d never be as tired as I had been on my mission, but I’ve learned otherwise!”

“The mission taught me to have perspective and look at the big picture.” Zaldivar said. “My experience on the mission also taught me that Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us, and as we make him the center of our lives we can overcome anything, and enjoy the journey!”

 

Elder Jon Hepworth

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Hepworth is now married and lives with his wife, Bree, in Rexburg, Idaho, where they recently purchased their first home. Hepworth is a business owner of a medical waste company that he started with his cousin a year and a half ago. His wife Bree is a bank teller at a local credit union in Rexburg. The Hepworth’s have two dogs, a big yard, and they frequently host barbecues for friends and family on the weekends.

“Despite the fact that I still have tumor growths and other medical challenges,” Hepworth explained, “Bree and I are happy and very blessed with a lot to look forward to.”

 

Elder Mike Moreno

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After returning home from his mission, Moreno attended BYU and played on BYU’s soccer team. Moreno later transferred to BYU Hawaii to finish up his soccer career and graduated with a degree in Business Management.

Moreno was married in the Salt Lake City Temple May 2014, and currently lives with his wife in Lehi, Utah. His wife is an office manager with Borboleta, a Utah based company that specializes in eyelash extensions. Moreno currently has two jobs, one with Vivint as a sales representative, and the other is with a non-governmental organization called CHOICE Humanitarian where Moreno assists with business development.

“When I came back from the mission my life was definitely not picture perfect,” Moreno said. “My parents were divorced while I was on the mission and things were much more complicated than before. It was a very difficult few years for my family.”

“However, my mission has taught me so many things and has blessed my life in more ways that I can say, especially in handling difficult circumstances. As time goes on, I feel that one of the biggest lessons I have learned is how much God loves us and how important it is for us to reciprocate that love to as many people as we can.”

 

Elder Jacob Reis

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Since “The District” Reis has completed his Bachelor’s degree at Brigham Young University and has been working at the MTC for the past seven years as a training coordinator, supervising the training of teachers and missionaries. Reis is currently pursuing a Master’s degree and is in the process of deciding which graduate program to pursue.

“I’m loving life,” Reis told LDS.net. “I wake up every morning so grateful for the many blessings and opportunities the Lord has given me to learn, grow, and seek to bless the lives of others.”

 

Sister Laura Voyles

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After serving her mission, Voyles attended Brigham Young University where she met her husband Brad Nichols. Voyles has since graduated in business and her husband graduated in accounting. Following graduation they moved to California where Voyles works in the training department at a health care company and her husband works for an accounting firm. Voyles has been married for about a year and a half.

“The mission really defined who I have become,” Voyles said. “It helped me to understand that we truly are God’s children and He watches over us and has a perfect plan for us. If we follow the Gospel, we will be happy and can have peace.”

 

Elder Alex Murray

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Murray will graduate from BYU in April 2015 with both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Information Systems. Murray currently makes a living as an App developer for BYU. After graduation Murray will move with his family to Arizona where he will work for General Motors as a software developer.

Soon after his mission Murray met his wife, Annika, while teaching at the MTC, she had recently returned from a mission and was working at the MTC as well. They have been married for almost four years.

“I definitely married up,” Murray said. “We have a two year old named Peter who surpassed all odds when he was born premature and weighed only three pounds. He is a tremendous blessing to us. My mission has taught me that all things are possible with God’s help and I will forever be indebted to God for the miracles He let me experience on my mission, before my mission, and since returning home.”

 

Elder Steven Bott

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Bott will graduate from Utah Valley University in April 2015 with his Bachelor’s in Business Management. He currently works in the Temple Department for the Church as an Assistant Engineer for the Payson Temple.

Bott has been married to his wife Whitney for over four years and they have two children. Their daughter, Aleeah, is three years old and their son, Hudson, is 15 months old.

“I look back on the experiences I had as a missionary and realize that everything I have in my life today is because I served the Lord,” Bott said. “I’m humbled at the blessings the Lord has given me and my family. I know that the better we live the Gospel the better lives we will have.”

 

Elder Kevin Tuituu

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Tuituu graduated from BYU-Hawaii August 2014 and received his Bachelor’s in Business Management. Immediately after graduation, Tuituu and his family returned to Guam where he is working for the Church in the physical facilities department.

Tuituu and his wife have been married for over four years and have three children. Taysia, their oldest daughter, is three years old, Mosiah, their son, will soon turn two years old, and Maile, their youngest, is three months old.

“My mission has left a huge impact on my decisions that I make in my life,” Tuituu said. “It has been a great blessing to me. It has taught me humility and love for all those who I come in contact with. Being back home with my wife and kids, and seeing how far I have progressed in life, confirms to me each day that I do have a loving Heavenly Father.”

Bridget is a newsroom writer at LDS.net. She graduated in April 2015 from Brigham Young University in communications with an emphasis of public relations. She served a Spanish speaking LDS mission in McAllen, Texas. She is a skilled pianist and an expert baker of chocolate chip cookies.

26 COMMENTS

  1. It´s nice to read these positive & uplifting accounts! Keep on” pressing Forward” . We always love our missionaries too and our prayers still go out to so many ( it´s also amaising to note how some People who are interested in the Church of Christ still have experiences of Meeting up with such after the first Sunday each Month)

  2. Thankyou so much for these updates. I wondered what became of everyone. I still am not sure if I failed to see an update on my 2 favorite female missionaries from Season 1 or if it is not there? Much love in Jesus to all of these awesome guys and girls we love!

  3. So, whatever happened to their investigators? Like Jynx? I heard she is a do not contact now. Just curious. I guess she is the one I am most curious about.

  4. I saw Elder Tuituu here few times at the Gym and at the Heber J Grant Building,,,,, Good to see the update about him..... It was his last year when I got here in 2014...... The story of this missionaries were so amazing.

    I saw Elder Tuituu here few times at the Gym and at the Heber J Grant Building,,,,, Good to see the update about him….. It was his last year when I got here in 2014…… The story of this missionaries were so amazing.

  5. This is so nice to know. It’s good to periodically check back and see how you’re doing. Not to compare, but to take a little moment to celebrate all that’s been accomplished and to prepare to look ahead to an even brighter future. 🙂 I loved my mission, and these guys were definitely (albeit indirectly) a part of it.

  6. Cool article…and don’t forget President Donaldson, who served as a bishop of a singles ward at BYU and still works(ed?) for the church missionary department. He was a fantastic bishop. Moved out of his ward a couple years ago though hence the question mark in there.

  7. Happy i was able to read this. i just love my mission and the principles i learned from the video “The District” and from the Preach My Gospel itself.

  8. Elder Tuituu graduated fron BYU Hawaii in 2014. Contact BYU Hawaii Alumni Office to know where he is now. He is a great guy.

  9. And thus we see that when a person Returns from a mission, they have to go to byu, have an attractive spouse, and hold a steady career at either the MTC or any generic corporate job. If thou doest not these things, the saints of the church will cast judgement upon you, for they know you must not have served well enough. So it is apparently written.

    • Thanks so much for your comment ‘Johnny!’ I think you make a great point. As a writer I wanted to focus on their triumphs, but I’m sure if I asked them to share their failures, they would have plenty to share. I personally know tons of awesome returned missionaries that didnt attend BYU and aren’t married. Thanks again for your comment 🙂

      • As an RM, myself, I’ve experienced plenty of blessings as a result of my service, but I’ve also been victim to the judgements and poor treatment of others because I “don’t quite fit the mold”.
        I have an attractive spouse, we’re active in church, and we both hold callings. But these blessings didn’t come till 8 years later, after struggling through community college, part time job after part time job, and rejections galore in the dating scene of Mormon Salt Lake City.
        We’re setting a poor example to those who follow our example, especially in a time when missions are available sooner in life than ever before. We talk about our success stories and our happy times as if they were daily occurrences, and we shy away from stories about our trials and our struggles as if they make us worse people. A great number of the youth of the church enter the field with high expectations for great success, but I feel that they are I’ll prepared for the rocky road ahead.
        When they return home, if they aren’t in the right group of friends, they hop from singles ward to singles ward in a constant disappointing cycle as if The Friend Zone will be their home forever. And the faithful members in communities outside of Utah? Completely different story. Would you like to date and marry another member of the church? Enjoy struggling through regional singles ward activities. If you thought Utah’s LDS singles scene was horrible….
        Mission reunions are unwelcoming if a person isn’t married or on the fast track to a successful career.

        I feel that the youth of the church are being led to hold high expectations for not only their time as a missionary, but also what life should be like when they return. If they don’t serve, but they are intent on dating an RM, expectations are set unrealistically high, whether by parents or fellow church members.

        Please done get me wrong, I understand your stance in this article, and that there are people interested in this content. As a writer myself, I can appreciate and respect your ability and your style.
        I only hope to influence others’ thoughts in a more open and fair manner.

        • @Johnny–I hear ya man, but lighten up. This was never meant to be an exhaustive biography or an active cross-section of Mormon culture, and that’s aside from the fact that you’re reading way too much into it. It was an interesting and enjoyable read, and actually shared some pretty candid facts.

        • I have to say I’m on Johnny’s side. I’m happy for all of these District alumni for the success they’ve had after their missions. But I couldn’t help but feel disappointed in how my own RM story turned out by comparison. That I’m still not married and don’t have the perfect cookie cutter job and 2 degrees from a prestigious school. Oh yeah, we’re not supposed to compare! Hah! Try it. I’m serious, I want you to try not comparing your life to someone else’s. Let me know how that goes.

          Yeah, I know I sound a little flippant. Let me explain. When you watch something like The District so much, you start to feel like you’ve developed a connection with those people – the missionaries and the investigators. That’s the whole reason for this article – because we feel that connection and a desire to continue what, to our subconscious, seems like a relationship. Well, there are some of us here who read over these updates and feel a bit like the best friend who’s been asked to put on the bridesmaid dress yet again and we’re tired of the way it makes us feel left out and behind the curve in life.

          Yes, everybody’s different and yes, we’re not supposed to compare our lives and experience to others’. Most days we’re fine. We get out of bed and go about our business and hardly think twice about anyone else’s relative success or our relative “failure”. It’s not like we go skulking around social media looking for “happy mormon” articles to troll. I don’t mean to be a downer and depress everyone else here, and I’m sure Johnny doesn’t either. Social media sites like this just seem to be the place to vent, especially when a particular article touches on what, to us, is a sensitive nerve.

        • Relax! This article is about a few of the missionaries and where they are now. If you don’t like what they have experience, then go read another article. You’re just as bad as you accuse the “them” to be. You’re judging and forcing your schedule of conclusions. Tone down your sensitivity and smile for a minute.

    • Little Johnny, I wonder if you and I read the same article. My brother’s bio didn’t read anything like that. In fact I know some of them have had some real struggles, but because of their missions and testimonies the Lord has been able to bless them . Keep your tips up Little Johnny, and count your blessings. I’m sure the author could write some great things about you too. Remember It’s never a good idea to compare others best blessings to our own journeys in life. It’s not a clear picture and unfair to do so.

  10. Wasn’t Elder Tuituu one of these missionaries? Is he the same as Elder Jacob Reis? He just looks different is why I ask:)

    • Yup! Elder Reis is from the first season of “The District.” I’m currently in the process of communicating with Elder Tuituu, I’ll let you know when we have an update 🙂

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