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We are still collecting information on the Florida Tampa Mission. If you served in this mission and are willing to share your experiences with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Church in the area is strong and growing. Florida has a very diverse spread of religions being in the thick of the Bible belt. Most of the people are affiliated or are at least familiar with a Christian denomination. The LDS church fits in comfortably with that mix and people are generally friendly and receptive to church representatives.
American fast food and grocery stores. Pizza, pasta, hamburgers, sandwiches, cereal, red meats, southern cooking (deep fried foods), collard greens, grits and alligator tail were common.
Most people commute and travel with cars and public transportation. Because it’s so flat there are a lot of bike trails. Most missionaries are required to provide a bike, yet a substantial portion of the mission includes cars provided by the mission home. Bus travel is easily accessible but generally not recommended because most areas are small enough that missionaries can bike within the limits of their area fairly easily. There are some areas that are full bike areas and some areas that are full car areas, and others that are car share (one week bike, one week car shared between two companionships). More than likely missionaries will experience all of these.
Downtown Tampa is a relatively safe city but does have typical inner city crime. Outside the bigger cities are generally smaller suburbs and farming towns which are safe and welcoming.
Florida houses lots of immigrants from Puerto Rico, and other caribbean countries. In addition many people retire and move to Florida so it is consequently one of the most culturally diverse states in the United States. Customs vary from city to city and include religious holidays, international celebrations including American holidays and celebrations.
Florida’s cultural linguistics vary on what part of the state. Southern accents are pervasive throughout all of Florida but also accents from other countries as Florida is a melting pot. Any English speaking native could understand everyday conversation.
Missionaries should prepare to travel to Florida like they would prepare to go to any tropical location. Appropriate clothing from extreme temperatures, sunblock, umbrellas, etc. Fortunately anything overlooked can be purchased from any local department store which are ubiquitous throughout the mission.
Florida is prone to extreme weather, including hurricanes. Harsh rain storms, lightning, and wind are all common, especially throughout the summer.
13510 N 42 Street
Tampa, FL 33613
Straight from the Florida Tampa Mission field:
What items were hard to get or not available?
“Red meat was very expensive often beyond a missionary budget.”
“Everything was available, because there was always a Walmart nearby, but we only had $140 a month so we had to budget quite a bit when we bought groceries.
What did you eat the most of?
“Fish, rice, black beans”
“My mission was such a melting pot. I ate a lot of rice and beans, fish, southern food.”
“Cereal, Fast Food, Top Raman, Pasta, and deep fried southern food.”
What is the craziest thing you ate?
“African food with fish heads in it.”
What was most surprising about the culture?
“The diversity of it. Florida is a true melting pot of people and cultures.”
“The humidity as well as the accents.”
“How friendly complete strangers were and how respectful they were to ‘servants of the Lord’”
What advice would you give to someone going to the Florida Tampa Mission mission?
“Keep an open mind and an open heart to the people and places in your mission.”
“Prepare to melt because of the weather.”
“Work with the members. They have a unique culture and relationship with missionaries and will give you referrals if you are involved in their life.”
What do you wish you had known before you served?
“That there are a large mix of people and cultures and that I should embrace them, not fear them.”
Enjoy the experience. Every day is unique. Look for the little things and enjoy them.”
Your mission is a lot for you to convert your self, your companion, and the elders and sisters around you too. You’ll never have another opportunity to live a life that similar to the Lords life, never for
**Did you serve in the Florida Tampa Mission? If so we would love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at email@example.com**