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Jacksonville is a heavily-forested area that is also extremely hot. The people there are very religious, the cities are very populated but there are a lot of people that live out in country homes as well. There are different kinds of people from all over, Jacksonville is a drop-off point for refugees from all over the world from Bosnia to the Sudanese.
A mix between older more established families who have had long memberships in the Church and new single converts.
The food in the area consists of typical American Southern cuisine. People cook low southern boils, gumbo, and cookout. Classic American food and food chains are available in all locations. Hamburgers, fried chicken, pizzas and pastas are normal.
Most elders use cars and bikes. Jacksonville has a bus system, but it cannot reach everywhere. A lot of the homes outside city limits would be difficult to get to without a car, and members from the wards were a resource for transportation.
The larger cities are more prone to crime than others like downtown Jacksonville but missionaries usually followed rules that kept them safe.
Many people say “yes sir” and “yes ma’am” when addressing others. Most people shake hands when they meet a new person.
A native English speaker will be able to understand everything.
A Camelbak or some sort of hydration pack, a good lightweight rain coat, and ventilating shoes. An umbrella is optional. Polyester ties, because silk ties will get ruined in the rain.
It is safe to mail things to Florida, and American shipping rates apply.
8663 Baypine Rd Ste 102
Jacksonville FL 32256
Straight from the Florida Jacksonville Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
“I had add-ons and not take-aways. introduced to grits, boiled peanuts etc.”
“Temperatures below 50 degrees”
*What did you eat the most of?
“I always bought cereal and ramen noodles.”
“Whatever was on sale at Wal-Mart”
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“being in the states it was not too crazy. We had clams, after being boiled you open it up and eat the stuff in the shell.”
“Alligator, snake, squirrel and raccoon.”
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“Really intense humidity, super nice people”
“I was naive to ‘project housing’. That was new to me but also fun. Unexpected would be how the kids/youth in the south speak to their elders with Sir and ma’am.”
“How respectful the gang members and drug dealers were to us “church people.” We tracted in some pretty rough neighborhoods and even the members were concerned for out safety, but I’ve never felt safer in my entire life (I wouldn’t go back there now).”