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Los Angeles which means “The Angels” in spanish is one of the most populated cities in the United States and is the most populated in California. It is located in southern California and is known for the sun and beach. L.A. is home to more than 16 million people and continues to grow every year. Almost half of the population is of Hispanic descent and that number continues to grow every year. Los Angeles is also home to the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles which combine to almost 80,000 students. L.A. is also known for having the most sports teams located in one city in all of the United States. It has the L.A. Dodgers (baseball), L.A. Kings (Hockey), L.A. Clippers (Basketball), L.A. Lakers (Basketball), L.A. Sparks (Women’s Basketball), and L.A. Galaxy (Soccer), but no professional football team.
This melting pot of a city comprises of people from more than 140 countries who speak more than 200 languages. It has ethnic communities known as: Chinatown, Koreatown, Filipinotown, Thai Town, Little Tokyo, and Little Ethiopia.
Los Angeles is one of the biggest cities in the United States and is a melting pot of cultures. As this is the case, there are influences from all around the world. There is a lot of food from latin america such as: Mexican, Salvadorean, and Colombian. Other cultural restaurants and small shops include Korean, Chinese, Cajun, and Polynesian.
Los Angeles is known to have some of the most congested traffic in the United States. It is known for heavy traffic which in turn leads to more and more people using public transportation. Los Angeles has extensive bus routes, a subway system, and light rail lines.
Missionaries use bicycles and cars the majority of the time.
For those who ride bikes, it is not uncommon to have a run-in with cars and public transportation where accidents can occur. The resulting damage most commonly is a bent bike frame or other minor repairs. To avoid such accidents, never assume as a pedestrian that you have the right of way.
Like most American cities, Los Angeles has been experiencing significant decline in crime since the mid-1990s, and reached a 50-year low in 2009. Los Angeles is known as a “gang city,” most of which are limited to a small geographic area. Most gangs, however, do not bother missionaries, and there is usually a mutual respect between the two. Obedience is the biggest key to maintaining safety as a missionary.
Los Angeles has a very dominant Latino community. It is a huge melting pot and ahs cultures from all over the world such as: Samoa, Tonga, French Polynesia, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras,Philippines, and many more.
It is important to be open to other cultures including the food, the customs and the lifestyles. Each area and investigator could be a new culture and could have completely different customs. Look to the members to help on cultural “faut-pas.”
There is a lot of Spanish influence in Los Angeles and may here many spanish terms integrated among the latino-american population. Even the name itself “Los Angeles” means “The Angels” in Spanish.
Standard Missionary supplies, a good raincoat for the winter, and a bike repair kit, helmet and U-Bar bike lock.
Because of the high frequency of theft and accidents, bike insurance is a plus.
1591 E Temple Way
Los Angeles CA 90024-5801
Unofficial mission website: http://www.mission.net/california/los-angeles/index.php
Straight from the California Los Angeles Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
“Everything was available because I went state side”
“Because of the diverse cultures found in Los Angeles, most comforts can be easily found in your local grocery store or market.”
*What did you eat the most of?
“Rice and beans and tortillas”
“Depending on the area you are assigned to, the diet can vary. In predominantly Spanish-speaking areas, the diet typically comes from Central America, consisting of Mexican or El Salvadorean food. In English-speaking assignments, the diet usually is pastas and salads. Those assigned to Korean-speaking missions can expect Korean food.
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“Nopales, or cactus. It is a very delicious part of the Northern Mexican diet.”
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“the food that I ate and the culture of the people that I worked with but it was also very exciting because you meet so many people from different countries.”
“Hispanics are some of the more friendly people living in Los Angeles. They are very respectful and deeply religious, and it s very easy to feel at home with them. However, you will typically meet people from over 70 different countries, which makes it a very exciting hybrid of cultures with a mix of different rules. A typical day could start off with a lesson with a Hispanic family from Mexico, followed by a lesson with a Russian immigrant family, followed by a lesson with a Chinese student with no religious background.
*What advice would you give to someone going to the California Los Angeles Mission?
“Learn to love the people that you work with and study the gospel and obey the mission rules and you will be a very successful Missionary”
“Because of the distractions and attractions that make Los Angeles famous and exciting, obedience is the most important thing you can cling to for safety and missionary success. The best way to handle the different cultures is to be open to all differences and show interest in learning more.”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“I wish I would have known the Old Testament and the New Testament better and Spanish.”
“Because of the diversity in Los Angeles, any previously -earned language will be used even if it is not the official language to which the missionary is called.”
“I loved being a Missionary and serving my Brothers and Sisters in Los Angeles for two years”