TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


February 12, 2018

Alumni Watch: Besaw on a mission


During her senior year, Class of 2015 Alumnus Annaka Besaw spent her days as a Student Board Member in ASBL, serving as a bridge between the schools in the district and making sure every student had a voice.
After Besaw graduated, she began serving as a missionary in Chile teaching others about her religion with the help of a female companion.
In fact, Besaw and her partner are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as Mormons.
All Mormon missionaries work with a companion of the same gender and for Besaw, her companions came from countries like the United States, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.
Besaw serves in Rancagua, a city in the middle of Chile. Going from door to door, Besaw dedicates her day to helping Chileans and teaching her religion.
Besaw begins her day by waking up at 7 a.m. to get ready for the day’s work. Afterwards, she studies her teachings until 11 a.m. and then visits homes from door to door until lunch. After lunch, she continues her visits until 9:30 p.m., and then returns home to prepare for the next day’s work.
“I have loved every minute of my mission,” Besaw said. “Yes it’s hard being away from home and my family, but the experiences you gain from living in another country, learning another language and getting to dedicate all of your time and efforts serving God and others is amazing.”
Besaw, like many other devout Mormons, spends up to two years on a mission. More than 70,000 Mormons serve as missionaries in more than 400 missions throughout the world. The majority of Mormon missionaries are male and begin their mission in their late teens while female Mormon missionaries begin their service in their early 20s.
“At the beginning of my mission, I expected things to come easy to me, but it required a lot of work for me to change and become the person God wanted me to be,” Besaw said. “Now He uses me to help and bring light into the lives of others.”
Besaw began her mission in Aug. of 2016 and will be back in Temple City in February, having spent a total amount of 18 months on her mission.
“One of the biggest obstacles was learning the language,” Besaw said. “I had to learn to not worry about what others thought and not be afraid to make mistakes if I was ever going to learn to speak Spanish.”
Mormon missionaries do not get to choose where they will serve, as their church assigns them a location. Missionaries spend time at one of 15 missionary training centers throughout the world learning how to teach the gospel and the language of the people they will be teaching.
During their service, missionaries have limited contact, communicating with letters and occasional phone calls to their family on set days.
Missionaries avoid entertainment, like parties or other activities so they can focus on their main mission, allowing others to learn about their religion.
“Being able to work with people at TCHS is what really helped me,” Besaw said. “From group projects to collaborating in ASBL, I had a good foundation for working with others and learning how to serve others too. The 100 hours of community service helped me learn the importance of caring for others and that is a necessary attribute to be a missionary.”

About the Author

Michelle Zhang
Michelle Zhang is a staff writer that enjoys listening to music, eating, socializing with friends, and sleeping.


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