The newly released film, The Saratov Approach, takes place fifteen years ago, when two LDS missionaries started a normal day proselyting, but was turned into five days handcuffed and blindfolded, unsure of what tomorrow would bring for them.
“These guys were going to take missionaries either way, ” said former missionary, Andrew Propst, “so it was a really good scenario that it happened to us because both of us had been out on a mission a long time.”
However unfortunate the situation may have seemed for the two elders, they were never alone.
“It was the perfect scenario for the worst type of scenario,” said former missionary, Travis Tuttle, “to have this guy with me and be able to really have another voice in the room.”
After their escape from their captors, Propst and Tuttle returned to their missions and forgave those who had held them hostage.
“The fact that we were able to understand the situation that we were in and find a way to forgive the kidnappers before we even knew if we were going to live or die and kind of put that behind us really lifted the burden of the whole tragic experience,” said Propst.
The movie based off of their experience gave Rexburg the chance to see a different perspective of what it means to serve an LDS mission.
“I was amazed by how they handled the situation and everything that went on,” said Andrew Woestman, a junior studying mechanical engineering. “I was surprised that those kind of things actually happen, you hear about them but you don’t actually think those things are going to happen to missionaries.”
Propst and Tuttle acknowledge what happened to them, but try not to let that experience define who they are.
“Put it in the past, take what we can get from that experience, those learning moments, learn from those and move forward,” said Propst.