SALT LAKE CITY — Three months after announcing he was planning on serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, pop singer David Archuleta has entered the Missionary Training Center.
Archuleta, who made the announcement before an encore performance on Dec. 19 at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, began his two-year missionary service Wednesday, entering the MTC in Provo.
It's a decision everyone knows about, but it's a very personal thing. I wanted to keep it that way, so I hope you guys respect that.
While the exact details of his mission are unknown, Archuleta released a video on YouTube Wednesday to his fans, informing them he would be serving somewhere in South America. A family friend of the Archuleta family said he will be serving in one of the missions in Chile, but the family intends to keep his mission a private matter.
"It's a decision everyone knows about, but it's a very personal thing. I wanted to keep it that way, so I hope you guys respect that," the 22-year-old said. "I've been able to bring you guys on this journey so far, but I hope that you guys will respect that this will be more of a personal thing; that I'm trying to focus on something else now, not my career, not trying to do music."
Archuleta thanked his many fans for their support over the years, saying numerous times that he appreciates everything that has been done for him along his singing career.
"I wouldn't be here without all of you guys, doing what you do," Archuleta said. "It just meant a lot to have been able to bring you guys — it's more like you have brought me on this journey — and I appreciate being able to share everything I've learned and experience — with you guys — because of you guys."
Archuleta said it has been an emotional week leading up to the beginning of his missionary experience, but was ready to focus on his religion and his experience with his Heavenly Father.
"I'm going to be trying my best to focus on the people over there and more one-on-one experience," he said. "It's going to be a big sacrifice, but I'm doing this to be able to have more of that one-on-one time with my Heavenly Father — with God. I hope that you guys will respect that it's time for me to work on my relationship with him and the time that I need to give him."
While Archuleta is serving his mission, he said his road manager will be running his Twitter account, informing his fans of all the recent updates in his life. Archuleta also mentioned new songs that will be released while he is gone.
Archuleta's parting words to his fans were: "I will see you all in two years. God bless. Take care."
Contributing: Andrew Wittenberg