It was a modern-day army of Helaman.
Seventy full-time missionaries from the Colorado Colorado Springs Mission marched on the streets of Monument, Colorado – located at the foot of the Rampart Range just north of Colorado Springs – during the annual Monument Hill Kiwanis parade this month.
The missionaries greeted thousands of on-lookers handing out candy and pass-along cards to the crowd as they represented the Church.
"I think the day was an absolute success and worth our time," said Elder Jackson Lewis from Lai, Hawaii.
"It was super cool to see their faces light up as we were ministering one-to-one as the Savior did," Elder Lewis continued. "We were there to spread the good word."
Daniel K. Stevenson, President of the Colorado Colorado Springs Mission, and his wife, Ann Marie, also marched in the parade alongside the missionaries in the 90-degree heat.
"I think it's a great opportunity to put the face of the Church out there in the public eye," President Stevenson said. "It opens the door for us and helps build a better relationship between the Church and the community."
New to the parade this year was a JustServe entry. JustServe is a clearinghouse website that connects local organizations in need of service with local volunteers. The website is maintained by the Church.
Several young men and young women from the Colorado Springs Colorado North Stake marched in the parade representing JustServe. They wore JustServe T-shirts and handed out candy, plus nearly 2,000 stickers with website information printed on them.
The annual parade has been organized by the Monument Hill Kiwanis club for the past 30 years.
The organization welcomes any parade entry whether it's religious or secular said Harry Brandon, Lieutenant Governor for Division 4 of the Rocky Mountain District Kiwanis Club.
"The parade is a community function and there is a feeling of camaraderie, brotherhood and togetherness. It is obvious that everyone is very happy to be here," he said.
The Family of Christ Lutheran Church and Monument Hill Church were also represented in the parade.
The celebration also included a Palmer Lake Fun Run, pancake breakfast, children's parade, Fuel Church Kid Zone, live music and Monument Street Fair with more than 100 booths.
The Church occupied two booths in the fair, one manned by the full-time missionaries. The second booth represented the Colorado Springs North Family History Center. Charlyn McAllister, stake temple and family history consultant, and her husband, Neil McAllister, talked to members of the community from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
"The Family History booth was a great success. We talked with many people who were interested in learning more about their family history," Sister McAllister said. "I felt like it was overall a positive missionary experience."