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Canadians are known for being kind and polite people. They are a very inviting culture, and are always very polite to missionaries even when they are not interested.o in learning more about the church. The Calgary mission hosts a vast variety of landscapes, from flat tundra to rolling hills, farms, mountains, or inner city areas.
The Calgary mission can be best described as divided into five major areas: Calgary, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, British Columbia (or BC), and Southern Alberta/Cardston area. Each of these areas differ in culture. Calgary is extremely diverse, and by simply walking down the street one can be exposed to multiple cultures in a matter of minutes. The economy in Calgary is strong, and the city is fast-paced. This is where the majority of the missionaries are located. However, Medicine Hat is full of history and older buildings, and is a growing town that is seeing major development and growth. British Columbia is perhaps known as the prettiest part of the mission, filled with breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife. Although BC has a more mild winter, BC is also the area with the deepest snow, and is known worldwide for its world class ski resorts. BC is also a more laid-back area that is spread out with far fewer people. The Southern Alberta Cardston area is also a very laid-back area, and relies mostly on farming as its primary source of income. The church is the strongest in the Cardston region, and hosts the Cardston Temple, which was the sixth operating temple of the church. The Lethbridge area is a bit more fast-paced, and is home to a population of around 90,000. The church is bigger in this area, but not as big as Cardston. There are also Native American Reserves in the mission.
For the most part, the further south you go in the mission, the larger the population of LDS. Cardston was settled by members and hosts a temple. Another temple was dedicated in October 2012 in Calgary. Missionary work is at an all-time high in the Calgary mission, particularly with the dedication of the new temple. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons missionary work is so successful in the Calgary Mission is because of how helpful the members are, and are extremely dedicated in their efforts to help refer and teach new converts. The majority of investigators are a result of member referrals, and thus tracting or street contacting is not the primary source for finding investigators. The members also always do a good job supporting people who are learning about the church, and they are very up-to-speed with missionary efforts.
Because there are so many cultures in Calgary, there are subsequently many diverse foods. Filipino food, African food, Mandarin food, European food, American food- these are just a few of the many ethnic foods you can expect to find. Calgary also has a lot of East Indian people and many from Nepal, which serve unique foods such as curry. Poutine, which is french fries with gravy, is a well-known Canadian dish. While in BC, wild game such as deer and elk are common dishes.
Every mission companionship has a car, and Calgary is one of the few missions in the world that does this. You are limited in how far you can drive each month. This makes things convenient because you can accomplish what you need to without having to factor in a long amount of time for travel. In Canadian winters, a car must be plugged in with a chord at night to keep it warm and to keep it from freezing.
The Calgary mission is a very safe mission. Like anywhere else, there are areas that are recommended to be avoided. Follow the mission guidelines and recommendations of your mission president, and you will be fine.
One must always take off their shoes when entering someone’s home.
Touque (pronounced “took”) is a hat. A “loonie” is a one-dollar bill and a “toonie” is a two-dollar bill. People often say “hey” or “eh” after just about everything.
You will need a good pair of shoes that are waterproof. You will need a big overcoat that is rated for -30 degree weather, and it should run as far down as the middle of your shins. You will also want a good pair of gloves and a Toque (hat) to keep your ears warm. Most missionaries, however, do not buy their winter equipment until they get to Canada (this is because the Canadian-made equipment is better suited for the area). Also, bring good thermal underwear is advisable.
There is a strange popularity among the mission for old polyester ties, typically from second hand stores.
7044 Farrell Rd SE
Calgary AB T2H 0T2
What items were hard to get or not available?
The two most common items missionaries have sent in were Mountain Dew as well as Dr. Pepper soda pop and Oreo cookies, all of which you cannot find in Canada.
What did you eat the most of?
Most common dinner I ate was lasagna, and the most common dessert we ate was apple crisp.
What is the craziest thing you ate?
Some Filipinos fed me a duck egg that was starting to hatch called Balut. I cracked the duck egg, slurped out the juices, then ate the baby duck whole. That was the only time on my mission I lost my appetite. Overall the food is very similar to American food.
What was most surprising about the culture?
How similar they were to the United States.
What advice would you give to someone going to this Mission?
If you love the gospel dedicate yourself to following every rule and try your hardest mentally and physically; it won’t be the hardest two years, but the best because you’re doing something you will love. Canadians really respond to your positive attitudes, so keep positive. Your attitude is absolutely crucial in this mission. Its also the only place you will go where 5 degrees celsius feels like a hot day.
What do you wish you had known before you served?
I wish I would have understood the doctrine of christ. This mission is more of a mental struggle than physical (we had a car) and its a matter of working smarter rather than harder.