When Sam and Andrea Junker of Princeton served as the first humanitarian missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Macedonia and Kosovo in 2010-2012, their work also prepared those nations to receive future LDS missionaries.
What they didn’t know was that one of these future missionaries would be a young member of their own Minnesota congregation.
Jacob Watson, 19, of Isanti has been assigned to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ in the Adriatic South Mission, which includes the countries of Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Macedonia.
Unlike the Junkers, who performed humanitarian work and did not proselyte, Watson will teach the gospel of Jesus Christ full-time for two years in these countries. He joins more than 80,000 missionaries worldwide, mostly young people, who represent the Church in their assigned areas, teach about Jesus Christ, and serve in the community.
He reports for his mission on Jan. 29, at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, where he will stay until March and receive training in Albanian, the language he will speak on his mission.
Islam is the religion most popular in this part of the world, and a number of different enthnicties make up the population there. Despite this different culture, Jacob is eager to gain a broader perspective of the world.
“I also hope to learn more about the love that God shows to all of His children, regardless of where they live or what language they speak,” he said.
Watson graduated from Cambridge-Isanti High School in 2012 where he was involved in Math League, Business Professionals of America, Band (Trombone), National Honor Society, and the Boy Scouts of America (Eagle Scout).
After high school he attended his freshman year of college at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and has been employed since then as a machine operator at Metal-Matic, Inc.
Watson is the son of Ron and Dawn Watson of Isanti and an active member of the Princeton Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.