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The California Irvine Mission is a relatively small mission with great weather and great people. The mission is filled with affluent people who are willing to speak with missionaries about the gospel. Southern Californians are generally professional people with a large majority of people who are successful in their jobs. However, there are many people in this mission who are middle- to lower-class.
Missionaries stay active in the Irvine Mission. The Newport Beach California Temple is now included in the mission boundaries. The temple was dedicated by Gordon B. Hinckley in 2005. There are many active members who are strong in the gospel and willing to help missionaries with whatever they can. Members frequently like to have missionaries over to their homes.
Southern California is abundant with food options and known for its popular restaurants. From American cuisine to Indian cuisine, there are endless options. Many missionaries enjoy classic California favorites like In-n-Out Burger or Baja Fish Tacos. Members are also very willing to welcome missionaries over for dinner.
In most of the areas in the mission, missionaries are provided part-time cars that they share with another companionship 3-4 days out of the week. Missionaries typically drive or ride bikes to an appointment. Many areas in this mission are located in hilly areas where walking is required.
Irvine is a generally safe mission. Like any other area, there are certain places where it is advisable to stay out of, and missionaries are instructed to do so. Follow the instruction of your mission president, who is inspired to know when you need to be inside. Therefore, it is important to follow the curfews and guidelines and be in the appropriate places at the appropriate times.
“Animal Style” (In-n-Out Burger secret menu)
“Tressels” (found it helpful to know surf spots and where people surf as a point of conversation)
One strap backpacks are popular on the mission; however, some missionaries complain about back pain. Instead, one suggestion is to use your pockets as a way to keep your belongings rather than struggling with a backpack.
A military copy of the Book of Mormon fits great in a back pocket and is a great resource that you can always have readily available.
Suit jackets are typically only worn during the cooler temperatures or on Sundays. During the day in the summers and warmer weather, it is too hot for multiple layers.
Short-sleeve white shirts are best for this mission because they are cool enough for the warmer temperatures.
Quality shoes are needed for the hilly terrain in this mission. It is also important to invest in good walking shoes that are breathable for the amount of walking done.
There are many stores and people willing to help you get anything you may need during the mission.
The California Irvine Mission is a “new mission” as of July 2013 after the boundaries were re-established with the California Carlsbad Mission.
23 Lake Rd
Irvine CA 92604-4579
What items were hard to get or not available?
“You can get whatever you wanted. Everything is right there.”
What did you eat the most of?
“In-n-out. Ward council meetings are held there, mission leaders love to go.”
What is the craziest thing you ate?
What was most surprising about the culture?
“Southern Californians are more busy than the average person and are always trying to do so many things.”
What advice would you give to someone going to this Mission?
“The bible is not common ground, it’s battleground.” There are a lot of Christians in California that read and study the bible who might want to debate on the meaning of what something means in the Bible. As a missionary, focus more on the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and the spirit will be stronger and will give them a chance to learn.”
What do you wish you had known before you served?
“How to study better.
1. Get a good study journal that is able to be expanded upon. I organized my study journal alphabetically and would use sheets of paper to continually add to it. That way I would have everything written about a subject in one place. Organize it well, whichever way works best for you.
2. When you are studying, ask questions. If I had a question about faith I would write down in the faith subject so that I could find answers later when studying. I would also write investigators questions there so that I could go back and find answers to those questions and always have those answers available.
These made me more efficient as a missionary, and helped me to make better use of my personal study time and companion study time. This also allowed me to have a better day and feel more prepared during appointments because I was studying with a purpose.”