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Missionary work is growing the most in Hispanic areas. Missionaries meet quite a few deaf people so they sometimes have the opportunity to learn sign language out in the field. English speaking missionaries have duties that mainly include tracting to find people to teach. Spanish speaking missionaries mainly work with members to find new investigators.
The most growth is coming out of the Hispanic areas and with the majority of them being members for less than five years. Because of this factor, retention is often a problem. The nearest temple is in Los Angeles and you may have the chance to go twice a year.
What food you eat is dependent on what area you serve in. If you are English speaking, you’re not only teaching to caucasians. You will come across a lot of diversity such as Tongan or Filippino food. In the Spanish areas, you will eat a lot of Hispanic food.
English areas are generally larger and cover more territory so you you will almost always be driving. However, in the Spanish areas that are smaller, you will most likely be biking.
As with any missions in a largely populated area, there are certain neighborhoods known for being less safe but, for the most part, the mission is not a particularly dangerous mission.
When greeting elderly Fillippinos, male or female, you show a sign of respect by blessing them. You take their hand and place it on your forehead. Because Hispanics are very religious, you would often offer a prayer or a blessing on them when you greet them or when you’re leaving them. By blessing them, the phrases would mean things such as ‘Thanks to God’ or “help God to bless you’. If you are communicating with those who are deaf, you can actually step into a conversation and not feel rude. There’s no need to say ‘excuse me’ when joining a conversation.
Learn to introduce yourself in different languages. Be able to adapt because you will encounter several different cultures. There are some telltale signs of those who are foreign. For example, those who are foreign will often have satellites that have three prongs on their dishes so they can receive translation.
Bringing a CamelBack that has a water dispenser tube is a good idea. Many missionary will suffer from dehydration so you’ll want water handy. During the winter months, due to the lack of snow, it rains a lot. It is important to pack a good umbrella. Also, don’t forget good walking shoes, especially if you’re in the Hispanic areas.
Sending a letter takes about a week to get to the mission. It is safe to send mail directly to where the missionary lives but if you’re worried about your particular missionary getting transferred before your letter arrives, send it to the mission office.
23504 Lyons Ave Ste 107
Santa Clarita CA 91321
Straight from the California San Fernando Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
*What did you eat the most of?
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“There were so many different cultures. I loved learning from all the members and non members about there home countries of origin.”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the California San Fernando Mission?
“Work hard. Rely on The Lord. Thank Him everyday for this blessed time in your life. It ends so quickly.”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“What clothes were really needed. I went with nice suits. It was really important to look nice, but you had to be comfortable too. Hard to tract in heels.”
“Always say a prayer with your companion before you set out on any adventure. Love your companion. The hardest thing for me was learning to love my companions. We are all so different. I was from the east but luckily enough I was a military brat and had lived in so many places. I am not saying that I was easy to live with, now that I can look back I know that I wasn’t. I loved my mission and am so grateful I had the chance to go. It wasn’t easy, but it was so worth it. Now I find myself sharing stories with my children. I have a son and I have high hopes that he will want to serve also. Nothing like your Holstein following in your footsteps.”