It seems like an unlikely thing for the LDS Church to do - create a reality TV series about missionaries. 'The District' airs on cable on BYU-TV.There is no script. Everything is real and shows the compelling stories of eight missionaries and the people they teach.
The project started back in 2009 when the Missionary Department shot a video in San Diego to help train missionaries in missionary training centers and in the field.
The video was broken down into dozens of training segments, based on Preach My Gospel. They're still seen today by all missionaries who serve, in zone conferences and other meetings.
But church leaders thought there could be "more" and that's how 'The District' came to be.
There are eight episodes of the show and each focuses on one of the missionaries. There's no acting or script.
"If their mistakes are real, then their successes are real," said Michael Buster, a writer for the show. "And that's what I think makes this show so powerful."
The Missionary Department felt the real life experiences of these eight missionaries would be good for members, non-members, and especially prospective missionaries to see.
"We have received quite a bit of feedback from young men or women who are thinking of serving a mission and they have kind of a vision now of what it'll be like and they feel very motivated," said Greg Droubay, media director of the Missionary Department.
For a schedule of airings of 'The District' or to watch it online CLICK HERE.