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The Church in the Ventura California Mission has a strong community. There are 10 stakes to which missionaries can be assigned. There are also quite a few Spanish-speaking wards and single adult wards (due mostly to local universities such as University of California, Santa Barbara) to which missionaries can be assigned. The nearest temple is the Los Angeles Temple, which is located in a neighboring mission. Missionaries are given the chance to attend the temple once a year, which is a huge blessing. Missionaries can expect to stay very busy working with both investigators and members both active and less-active to help further the missionary work in the area.
Missionaries who serve in the Ventura California Mission can expect to eat lots of foods that a typical American family would eat, such as lasagna, pot roast, spaghetti, and casseroles. There is a high population of Hispanic people, especially Mexicans, so missionaries will often eat Mexican food in the mission, which is mostly authentic. Missionaries can also expect to eat out quite a bit both on their own and with families who are providing their dinner.
Most missionaries in the California Ventura mission use bicycles and cars to get around the mission. Public transportation is available, mostly in the form of buses, but it is rarely used by missionaries.
There are always parts of bigger cities that are less desirable, but for the most part the Ventura area is pretty safe, with Oxnard having an extremely low crime rate. The Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo areas also have a reputation for being very safe. Overall, the Ventura California Mission is one of the safer areas to serve in. There are always occasional crimes throughout the mission, but nothing missionaries need to worry about particularly. All throughout California there are high possibilities of earthquakes happening. Missionaries should be aware of the high potential for earthquakes and know how to react if one were to occur. Occasional mudslides and fires also occur.
Every Sunday in Santa Barbara there is an art festival that is held along the beach. Booths are set up with both local and famous artists showcasing their artwork as people stroll up and down the beach.
There is also an Old Spanish Days Fiesta week celebration where Spanish culture and heritage is celebrated for a few days in August. Booths with food, music, and art are set up.
Most Californians are known to live life on their own terms. When you are in the streets of downtown Ventura, the beaches, or surrounding areas, don’t be surprised to see an old man singing and dancing in the street somewhere.
If you happen to be In the city of Ventura on the 4th of July or on the first Sunday in December, there is a Street Fair that closes down Main Street and creates a festive pedestrian walk around.
Get used to lots of surfers and enjoy the amazing scenery!
Lots of the local lingo in the Ventura area comes from Surfers. Here are a few:
“Amped”: “To be excited”
“Beached”: “to be stuffed with food”
“Off the Richter”: “to describe something extremely awesome”
“Dude,” “bro,” etc.
Sunglasses, sunscreen and lots of short-sleeved shirts. It is hot and sunny almost all year round!
3301 W Gonzales Rd
Oxnard CA 93036
Straight from the California Ventura Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
*What did you eat the most of?
“Spaghetti, and Baked casseroles”
“Cereal, eggs, Ramen Noodles.”
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“Cow tongue, Pig intestines, Squid”
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“The diversity of cultures that there were”
“The big city was hard for a born and raised country boy”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the California Ventura Mission?
“The church is prominent in the California Ventura Mission and many members love to share the gospel there. Build trust with them and ask them for referrals. Also, since so many people know members in their own neighborhoods, be sure to spend time tracting (I found great success with it).”
“Love every even those that persecute you.”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“The importance of wearing not only a helmet when riding a bicycle, but also wearing gloves”
“Serving the Lord by going on your mission will provide you with a lifetime of blessings. It was on my mission that I really began to understand the direct correlation between my own efforts of working in faith and the Lord’s blessings provided to me. We always fall short in our own works compared to what the Lord blesses us with; however the greatest blessings are reserved for the faithful and only come after we have endured through the “trials of our faith.”