View Larger Map
Snapshot of England – The official language of England is English, though Cornish is a recognized regional language of Cornwall. About 60% of England’s population is Christian, at least culturally, though atheism and agnosticism have been increasing in recent years. The Church of England is the dominant religion in the country. English culture has a rich history in architecture, literature, science, and the arts. Many aspects from historical English culture continue to have some influence today, such as the popularity of the Royal Family, tea drinking, and other activities. English drivers drive on the left-hand side of the road. Soccer, cricket, and rugby are the most popular sports in the country. England has several distinct dishes, such as meat pies, sausages (usually called “bangers”), steak and kidney pudding, and fish and chips. A traditional English breakfast is a large meal, involving sausages, bacon, eggs, toast, and other items. Puddings, pies, and scones are among popular dessert items. Indian food is also quite popular in England, with chicken tikka masala being one of the most popular dishes.
Snapshot of Guernsey (part of the England London South Mission)
Guernsey is a British Crown Dependency, and therefore not part of the United Kingdom. While English is the dominant language, French is the official language in legislative functions. Guernésiais and Sercquiais are also recognized regional languages, but they are spoken by a very small part of the population. Guernsey is primarily Christian, with the Church of England, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic churches being among the more popular denominations. Because of its location, Guernsey has long experienced both English and French influences. Victor Hugo wrote Les Misérables while living in exile in Guernsey. While some traditional folk songs and dances remain, many were lost as a result of Methodist and Calvinist influences. Soccer and cycling are popular sports in Guernsey. Guernsey has several distinct dishes, including ormer (a type of abalone), Guernsey Bean Jar (a pork and beans stew), and Guernsey Gâche (a type of raisin bread). Guernsey cattle are prized for both their beef and ability to produce high-quality dairy products.
Snapshot of Jersey (part of the England London South Mission)
Jersey is a British Crown Dependency, and though pertaining to Britain, is not a part of the United Kingdom. The official languages are English and French, with Jerriais being a recognized regional language. English is the most widely-spoken of these languages. Jersey is a predominantly rural area, with most of the island’s land being used for agricultural purposes. Jersey’s population is primarily Christian, with The Church of England, the Methodist, and Roman Catholic churches being the most widespread denominations. Each August, the island hosts an event called the Jersey Battle of Flowers. The festivities include a parade of flower floats, carnival rides, and music and dancing. Indie rock and punk music are currently popular, as well as pop music. Cricket is the most popular sport in Jersey, though soccer and rugby are also popular. Seafood, such as oysters, mussels, and spider crabs are used in many dishes. Potatoes and apples are also used in many dishes, as they are big crop items on the island. Other popular dishes include Jersey wonders (a fried dough snack), cabbage loaf, nettle soup, and bean crock (a pork and beans stew).
We are still collecting information on the England London South Mission. If you served in this mission and are willing to share your experiences with us, please contact us at email@example.com
The first missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to proselyte in the British Isles arrived in 1837. By 1900, as many as 100,000 converts had joined the faith, but most of these early members promptly emigrated to the United States to join the main body of the Church. Beginning in the 1950s, emigration to the United States began to be discouraged and local congregations began to proliferate. The Church claims just over 186,000 members across the United Kingdom, spread out across over 330 local congregations. The church also maintains two temples in England, the first being built in the London area in the 1950s, and the second completed in 1998 in Preston. Preston was also the site of the first proselyting by the missionaries in 1837, and is home to the oldest continually existing Latter Day Saint congregation anywhere in the world. Restored from 1994-2000, the Gadfield Elm Chapel in Worcestershire is the oldest extant chapel of the LDS Church.
As of January 1, 2011, the Church reported 145,294 members in 36 stakes, 258 Congregations (228 wards and 30 branches), 5 missions, and 2 temples in England.
Much of the growth of the church is within immigrant populations from a large variety of countries. Most immigrants baptized into the Church recently are from China and Africa. The London South mission averages 300 baptisms a year.
Many wards in England are quite diverse in terms of age, social upbringing and cultural background – a few are small and ageing. Some very missionary minded members, some will do it but you have to ensure you follow up so they know you treat their support as something sacred. Ensure you respect the members and thank them for their kindness and support – use it!
Traditional English cuisine is comprised of boiled meats and simple vegetables. Breakfasts have blood sausage, kidney beans, roasted tomatoes, eggs and toast. Missionaries should be sure blood sausage is cooked thoroughly. English roasts are flavorful and missionaries are served them relatively often. An English roast is similar to an American or Canadian thanksgiving meal, but is not served on any specific occasion. Former returned missionaries recommend eating iconic fish and chips several times for the English experiences. The fish is fried in a batter and chips are like American french fries.
London also has a large immigrant population, and food can be found from all over the world. London is well known for its Indian food, which is considered relatively inexpensive. There are also many French bakeries and Italian pizza restaurants. Shopping for food in grocery stores of downtown London can be quite expensive. Less expensive prices can be found in marketplaces or outside the city.
Missionaries will mostly get around by foot or by bus; it is, after all, the best way to meet people on the street! There are a couple of bike areas, but they are few and far between. Generally, only the assistants to the president, zone leaders, Visitor’s Centre sister missionaries, office elders and sisters, and senior couples have cars.
Buses are reliable throughout the mission. Trains are used for long distances and to leave the area on transfer day. Inner-city missionaries regularly ride the tube (the English subway, or Metro, system). It is not uncommon to use multiple forms of transportation to arrive at a destination. For example, a missionary could walk, take the tube, then catch a bus to reach a destination.
Missionaries should be careful about petty theft in congested city areas, such as the tube (also known as the subway/metro). Very rarely, a missionary will be mugged by a group of teenagers or traveling gypsy seeking his or her wallet. These incidents have not lead to violence in the past and missionaries are advised to take only small amounts of cash on their person. Missionaries who use common sense and stay in safe areas with companions do not historically have many problems.
“I had few personal safety concerns over my mission – just watch out in quiet areas at night and use common sense to avoid most concerns.”
The biggest shift for English speakers from the US, Canada, Australia, and other English-speaking countries can be the vocabulary change. Many words change meaning across seas. For example, telling a woman she has a beautiful lawn can be offensive. In England, a lawn is called a garden. England also tends to be less modest in apparel than some missionaries anticipate. People may lay out nude in city parks.
A frequent ELSM tradition was a ke-baptism. When missionaries successfully baptized a brother or sister, they would sometimes celebrate by buying a doner kebab for dinner! Bonfire Night (5th Nov – fireworks a’plenty). Most Christian festivals celebrated but not a big Thanksgiving focus unless you go to a US family’s house (or a very generous Brit’s house!). Because the London Temple is within the boundaries of London South, if you were nearby on a Bank Holiday Monday (which was P-Day), you’d get to visit for an endowment session.
“taking the mic” (or “mickey”): “joking”
“bonnet”: “hood of car”
“queue”: a line (as in, a line at the cash register)
“pants”: “underwear”- not universal, however
“bin”: “trash can”
“fit bird”: “pretty girl”
“Innit” – abbreviated form of “isn’t it”
“Chav” – usually a local term for an anti-social or poorly behaved youth; occasionally used for adults.
Waterproof items are essential (shoes, bags, umbrellas). Bring long and short sleeved shirts as the weather does change year-round – thermals in winter are a magnificent blessing! A filtered water bottle may be pleasant in some areas where the water doesn’t taste as great.
A lot of warm clothes built to withstand humidity. Many missionaries buy their clothes in London so that their suits and clothing to blend with the Europeans. Most Elders gradually lose or give away away American-cut suits in favor of European-cut suits. Formal wear coats are also available in London and are built to withstand the cold humidity.
Royal Mail is fairly reliable. 1st Class stamps cost almost $1 and depending on when you post can be next day or two days to deliver. Packages are best sent to the Temple – leaders visit the temple a couple of times during transfer cycles and can deliver packages to Elders and Sisters from there. Letters can easily be sent to missionaries’ home addresses with little trouble. Don’t send things too expensive or the mission is charged at customs.
The London Temple, West Park Road
England RH7 6NB
Straight from the England London South Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
*What did you eat the most of?
“rice, cold cereal, beans and toast”
“pasta and noodles”
“Fish and chips”
“For ourselves, cheap noodles/pasta/rice and sandwiches for meals. At dinner appointments, we had from pasta bakes to curries to roast dinners. You’d get a pretty diverse mix at dinner appointments!”
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“Peanut butter and Jelly Sandwiches, I am a UK Elder so this was new to me.”
“Pickled pigs feet”
“Toad in the hole”
“Shaki – or Nigerian cow intestine”
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“The were speaking English, but I could not understand them!”
“Nothing really, I have known England to be Multi cultural, it was just some of the food like Jolla-frise”
“Depending where you served, incredibly diverse. Coastal towns tended to have traditional British fare and customs (although Southampton had a huge Polish population) but as soon as you hit Maidstone or Wandsworth stakes (which included London areas), completely different cultures hit you. So many wonderful people to meet and teach in all situations.”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the England London South Mission?
“Nurture only positive thoughts! Anything else will drain your enthusiasm.”
“Read and get to know the Book of Mormon like the back of your hand. Study it well and become well versed in it. Also, learn about the Old and New Testaments. You will need them.”
“ALWAYS watch what you say. Even if you go to a place that speaks the same language as you, their everyday words can/will have a different meaning then are used to.”
“Pray with faith, work hard, don’t give up. Prepare for spicy food and learning African tribal languages if you ever serve in London itself. Know your Bible as well as your Book of Mormon. Above all, be respectful and courteous at all times to the people even if they are against you.”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“Don’t let discouragement stop you from looking everyone in the eye and sharing your testimony sincerely.”
“Studied the Book of Mormon more”
“The level of joy, frustration, and exhaustion that I would be dealing with on a daily basis for 18 months. No one can adequately prepare for dealing with it, beforehand.”
“I wish I knew a) how to simply share positive church experiences without appearing pushy and b) a lot more about my New Testament so I could respond to questions in particular environments.”
“I enjoyed my time, but that is a chapter of my life which is closed. I look back with fondness but I have new chapters ahead of me.”
“Have a firm testimony before you leave, and watch it grow as you serve!”
**Did you serve in the England London South Mission? If so we could love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org**