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By Chloe Gordon
Behind Ballet
The blog of the Australian Ballet
January 6, 2014>/span>

Corps de Ballet member Jake Mangakahia goes on a hiatus in 2014. He’ll travel to Toronto, Canada, as a missionary for the Church of Latter Day Saints, or Mormons.

Jake Mangakahia, Australian Ballet (photo by James Braund)What will your mission involve?
Basically it’s looking for opportunities to serve people and communities. And while you’re doing that, they’ll ask you why you’re there and what you’re doing, and that’s when you can teach them about the values and ethics of Jesus Christ and what we believe in, if they want to hear it. For me, having the church in my life has been really awesome. I want to share that with people. Going on this mission is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities where you can forget about bills and all the mundane things, and totally focus on people.

I was walking in Sydney with a friend who had been on a mission, and we walked past this community school. It was all grown-over, and I said to him, “So if I was on a mission, could I walk up to them and say, ‘Could we help? Could we mow your lawns?’” And he said, “Yeah, that’s what it’s all about.”

I love being able to contribute to a community and make it beautiful – that’s what I love about the arts. It contributes to society in a way that not many people notice, but they can feel.

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© 2014 The Australian Ballet

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