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Missionaries tackle Nepalese language to serve 20,000 refugees in Ohio

Four missionaries in Columbus, Ohio, are learning the Nepalese language in order to assist the large number of Bhutanese and Nepalese refugees and immigrants in the area.

According to Mormon Newsroom, many of the more than 20,000 refugees and immigrants from the two Himalayan countries struggle with finding employment and transitioning into the community due to the language barrier.

Missionaries from the Columbus Ohio Mission have been assisting the refugees for some time, but four have started learning Nepalese to help the refugees integrate more easily.

The assignment has been a unique challenge for the missionaries. With no teaching materials or prior training in the language, they have had to go forward with their studies by themselves.

"I didn't know how I was going to learn the language," Elder Keith Pells said about receiving the assignment. "There are no teaching materials for this language. But still — I was excited to learn."

Taking the challenge in stride, the four elders have seen a growth in interest and need for more Nepalese speakers. The missionaries have established a friendly, trustworthy relationship with the refugees and continue to serve them in several ways.

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