Samuel Clegg is the second of four young men from the Dayton area to return after serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His mission call took him to the state of Idaho where he worked as an English-speaking missionary in the cities of Salmon, Idaho Falls, and Pocatello.
“I know there was someone in each of those areas that I was intended to meet,” commented Clegg when asked about his service. “One of my most memorable experiences was seeing two sisters baptized after being taught for 7 weeks.”
Clegg’s parents, Ray and Patricia, and sister and brother-in-law, RJ and Becca Busby, drove 26 hours to Idaho to greet their missionary and bring him home after his service was complete. Their only contacts with him for the past two years were once-a-week emails, phone calls on Mother’s Day, and Skype calls on Christmas Day.
“I’ve always been impressed with the sacrifices these young missionaries make,” his father said. “I was worried about my son driving in winter conditions, something he had never done before, but we were confident that the Lord would take care of him because Samuel is His son also.”
Ray Clegg says he’s seen a change in his son. “He is more mature and has really learned to study, which I know will help him in his schooling ahead. I know his life will be blessed for his service.”
Clegg says he knew from a young age that he wanted to serve a mission, and began saving for it when he was about 6. At the age of 17 he said he received a confirmation through prayer that he should serve.
“I’m so very thankful that Samuel was able to go on a mission. I know that we as a family have received blessings because of it,” said his mother, Patricia.
When young men and women become missionaries for the LDS church they leave the world as they know it behind in exchange for rigid schedules and mission companions who are by their sides 24 hours a day. Clegg entered the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah, in July, 2011, and was immediately assigned a male missionary companion. After 3 weeks in the MTC, Clegg traveled to Idaho where he received a new companion in each of his service areas.
Every mission day begins at 6:30 am with exercise, followed by dressing for the day, and studying scriptures and teaching materials individually and with a companion. From 10 am to 12 pm, missionaries proselyte in neighborhoods, give service to community and LDS church members, and attend periodic training meetings with local LDS church leaders. After an hour for lunch, it’s back to teaching lessons and seeking new contacts until 5 p.m. Local church members often provide dinners, and missionaries stay just one hour so they can continue working during the evening. At 9 pm missionaries return to their apartments and plan for the next day before they retire to bed at 10:30. Part of one day a week, known as “P Day”, or “Preparation Day”, is used to prepare for the coming week. Missionaries use this time to shop for groceries, do laundry, write letters or emails, and occasionally enjoy a little fun time with other missionaries serving in their area.
Upon his return, Clegg addressed his congregation in Liberty, “It was the best two years of my life thus far. I would go and do it all over again if I could. It has changed my life for the better.”
Clegg is a resident of Dayton and a 2010 graduate of Dayton High School. He is also a proud Eagle Scout. He will return to his studies at San Jacinto College North this fall with the goal of becoming a nurse anesthesiologist.