Photo story: Hazmat suits necessary for pandemic mission call opening

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Missionaries have been affected in a number of ways by the pandemic. At the beginning of the pandemic, many missionaries were sent home to avoid the disease. Other missionaries began their missions with an at-home MTC experience.

For BYU student Kylie Lundquist, her mission call opening experience had to be altered due to a positive COVID test two days before she opened it. While she had not experienced any COVID symptoms, she got tested after being exposed to a COVID positive friend a few days earlier at a mission farewell.

Her family and friends gathered at a church parking lot near her home in Alpine, Utah, to watch her open her call on Sept. 26. The night before Kylie’s mission call opening, her parents, Amy and Rob Lundquist, felt uneasy about not being able to hug their daughter after opening her mission call. So they bought disposable hazmat suits specifically for the mission call opening.

In addition to her positive test, several friends in attendance, many of whom are BYU students, recently tested positive from the same COVID exposure and moved back home with their parent to quarantine. Friends and family attended her mission call opening but watched from inside or on top of their cars to best implement social distancing guidelines.

Kylie was called to serve in the Chile Osorno Mission and leaves Feb. 9. Family and friends congratulated her from a distance by honking their car horns and cheering out their car windows.

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