On Christmas Day, Zachary Wetzel walked 20 miles through the mountains and jungles of Paraguay to a hotel that could receive phone calls from the United States. He made the journey to receive a call from his parents in La Cañada.
Wetzel is one of 28 Mormon missionaries from La Cañada serving around the world, the most ever at one time, according to Jay Johnson, a father of another student serving as a Mormon missionary. The missionaries only have two chances each year to take calls from their families — on Christmas and on Mother's Day.
"When you only get two chances a year to speak with your family, it's worth it," Mick Wetzel, Zachary's father, said of his son's trek.
Nineteen-year-old Christian Frandsen, a 2009 La Cañada High School graduate, became one of the 28 La Cañada missionaries when he left for his mission in Paris, France on Tuesday. Christian said being a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been the best part of his life.