Details about David leak out from blog posts: “He is way cool.”
By David Burger | The Salt Lake Tribune sltrib
Murray native and “American Idol” finalist David Archuleta began his journey to become a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by entering the Missionary Training Center in late March.
It was thought that once he went inside the doors of the secretive Provo institution, the 21-year-old would be out of the public eye for about two years, spending about 10 weeks at the MTC and then the rest of his time in his assigned mission, reportedly in Chile.
But this is an age where social media breaks down ramparts and bulwarks, no matter how much Elder Archuleta desires his pious privacy. As a consequence, the public and his fans have been able to read about his experiences through blog posts written by fellow elders and sisters at MTC.
“I’ve been officially star struck,” wrote Sister Emily Lewis. “I just drooled over him when he was on ‘American Idol.’ ”
“David Archuleta entered the MTC yesterday, and I’ll try to get a picture with him,” wrote Elder Abel Hemenway, assigned to Paraguay. “But it won’t be an easy task since all the sister missionaries are always around him and everywhere he goes … I can tell he doesn’t like the attention because he wanted to have a normal mission, but hey, what did he expect, I mean, he is famous.”
“Last week as Wednesday approached, the rumors started flying that the great DA would be entering the MTC,” wrote Sister Elise Marquitta Leavitt. “When Wednesday came, I was literally sick to my stomach thinking that the ONLY ‘celebrity’ I have ever loved or cared about would be here!”
Elder Tanner Browning, assigned to Moscow, on April 4, wrote: “For all of my girl cousins back home I can say yeah, that I have briefly talked to him haha.”
“I feel bad for him sometimes because people come up and talk to him alot and one guy asked for his autograph,” Joyner wrote.
Most of those who encountered him said that he was shy and humble, as well as being much shorter than they expected. Some take advanced Spanish with him, and others jog with him. Sister Hermana Goimarac wrote that Archuleta “wears the tightest missionary pants, haha.”
Sister Kelsey Whitaker, assigned to Nauvoo, even seemed a bit irritated. “I was so caught up with the spirit, I didn’t even notice Elder Archuleta,” she wrote. “He’s a pretty big deal amongst the mormons. No one wants to hear what WE’RE doing, they just want to tell us what the latest is with David. Its a little out of control how many people are talking about him.”
But once elders and sisters move past rumors, they seem to all agree that Elder Archuleta is genuine and goes out of his way to be normal. “Just yesterday, he was in the salad line with me and so I talked with him for about 5 minutes,” wrote Elder Ryan Moffet. “He’s pretty awesome, but he said he hates having everyone know who he is. I wasn’t like AWE-stricken when I saw him, but he is way cool. Usually he sits by us at lunch so it’s an interesting experience … He’s a great guy.”
Sister Leavitt calls him her “love, the great Elder Archuleta,” and adds that “he is THEE most humble, shy, wonderful thing ever and so delightful, and it was basically the most blissful minutes of my life [talking to him]. Heavenly Father truly does smile down on His missionaries. “
Elder Joseph Gibbons, assigned to Bangkok, wrote that Archuleta is “very nice, respectful, and humble.”