NYC

Mission Impossible: Mormons Take Harlem

06/20/2013 05:56 pm ET
Courtesy Jeff Tyson

The police appeared without warning one December night in Harlem, hustling five passing young men against the front wall of the Mormon Church at 128th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard. Just feet away, a Mormon missionary, wearing her long black coat and tall boots, was dispensing hot chocolate from an orange Gatorade cooler. She was adding to an already alluring display of steaming paper cups, laid out on a table next to blue pleather copies of the Book of Mormon. Two male missionaries in white collared shirts, black jackets and ties continued their animated conversations with passersby who had stopped at the table for a warm drink. And a fourth missionary, hymnal in hand, led a spirited group of young Mormons in singing Christmas carols.

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