Mormon missionaries return to Ozarks early due to COVID-19 concerns

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missionaries around the world want to be in communities not airports. Rick McGee knows the pandemic isn't giving his church any other choice.

"They announced we're bringing home all of our missionaries from all over the world. About 67,000," said Rick McGee with the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

One Mormon missionary already home in Nixa is Christian Barker.

"I'm missing it. I'm still in contact with the mission leaders in Thailand," said Christian Baker.

Barker was assigned to a mission in Thailand 15 months ago. This month he found out he needed to come home to stay safe and healthy.

"Since I was little it was one of my biggest goals to serve a mission," said Baker.

A return home to Branson was the latest mission for Isabel Holloway. Her time in Chile was cut short.

"I didn't want to go home," said Isabel Holloway. "I loved being a missionary and showing people the light."

Both Holloway and Barker are now in quarantine for two weeks forced to serve like this through a computer screen.

"As soon as things clear up we'll be able to go out and do our normal missionary stuff," said Baker.

"Our understanding is that they'll come home and serve in their home country," said McGee.

Christian and Isabel are staying positive during a time of uncertainty.

"There's definitely a lot of people helping us through it," said Baker.