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We are still collecting information on the California Fresno Mission. If you served in this mission and are willing to share your experiences with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The church is well established in the California Fresno Mission. Most English wards have been around for a long time, and Spanish and Hmong branches are growing. Currently the CFM is the largest mission in California.
The members were amazing. As a whole, they were willing to do missionary work as we helped them through the Spirit. I would tell new missionaries to pray for their members, and to know which members are ready to help them in their missionary work and to work in connection with the members!
The valley in which the California Fresno Mission resides is considered to be one of the greatest fruit baskets of America. Meals were constantly filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Staples were avocados, a variety of citrus fruit, almonds, and pistachios.
Tri-tip, a special cut of beef, is also very popular.
The heavy Spanish culture in the valley also means there is great, homemade Mexican food readily available. A favorite of the missionaries is the “Viva Taco,” or as most missionaries knew it, “the taco bus.” It’s a renovated school bus in Turlock, California that sells fresh Mexican favorites for a cheap price. Some elders of the mission kept what they called a PTF: perpetual taco fund, as most Mexican food trucks only take cash.
Pretty much everything is used in the California Fresno Mission. Typically most sisters’ area have a car, and elders either have cars or use their bikes. Regardless everyone was required to have a bike in the CFM. Public transportation is available but rarely used.
As with any big city there are some things to be aware of and certain areas of the city are prohibited after dark. Obey mission rules for safety and stay close to the Spirit. If you feed uncomfortable in any situation, communicate with your companion and follow the direction of the Spirit and you will be safe.
One of the best parts of the church in the CFM is the church’s vineyard. It’s the only LDS vineyard in the country, and if you serve close enough you get to go harvest the grapes that are used for the church’s welfare system. It’s a cherished memory for all missionaries who get to go and spend a day in the vineyard.
Abbreviations! Both member and missionaries a like use abbreviations a lot.
Most essential items are listed in the missionary packet you received with your call.
One missionary mentioned, “having a robe and an extra towel was always great, and so was a CD alarm clock. That way you could listen to music instead of a terrible ringtone at 6:30 am every morning.”
Mailing to the California Fresno mission:
“The mail service is great. We use the standard USPS, and mail and packages worked just fine. One little trick we had was writing on the envelope for “letter teasers.” We aren’t allowed to open mail until 9:30, so the notes on the outside would tie us over until the night.”
1814 N Echo
Fresno CA 93704
*”What is the craziest thing you ate?
“Persimmon bread! So interesting!”
*”What was most surprising about the culture?
“I think the most surprising thing about the California Fresno Mission is the diversity of culture. In one area you’re surrounded by mansions, and in another there are people with much more humble circumstances. In one city you can have English, Spanish, and Hmong cultures.
I am very grateful that I could meet so many different people with so many different circumstances.”
*”What advice would you give to someone going to the California Fresno Mission?
“While I was serving under President Larry Gelwix, our mission motto was “Never surrender. Never quit. No regrets.”
“Never do anything on your mission, or in your life, that would bring you regrets. The California Fresno Mission is an obedient, loyal, and hard-working mission. We go the extra mile and don’t cut corners. Dedicate yourself 100% to your service, and you’ll not only be entertained by your mission. You, and the people you meet, will be changed forever.”
*”What do you wish you had known before you served?”
“I wish I’d become more accustomed to listening and following the Spirit. It was a part of my life of course, but on a mission you cannot do the work without a very intimate understanding and relationship with the Holy Ghost. I would have wanted to cultivate and honor that relationship before my mission.
I also would have wanted to get used to just talking to people, even if it wasn’t about the gospel. Talking to the cashier. Saying hello to the person on the street as you pass. Always looking to how you can serve. It would have lessened the shock of tracting and street contacting, and made total consecration easier.”
“The California Fresno Mission was the best experience of my life!”