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The Georgia Atlanta North mission is one of three missions in the state of Georgia and as the name suggests, covers primarily Atlanta and areas northward. The University of Georgia also resides within the mission boundaries. The mission area is split about evenly between urban and rural areas with the geography consisting of lots of hills, trees, and red clay, as opposed to the flatter, and more sandy southern areas.
While the church doctrine itself is of course the same as it is in all other areas of the world, the unique presence of religion in Georgia can add some interesting cultural aspects to being a member in the Atlanta North mission. Georgia has a strong Southern Baptist presence. The principles and doctrines found in Southern Baptist religion have also similarly blended somewhat with the general culture. As a result, a religious lifestyle is more accepted there than in other areas and most religious disagreements exist in doctrinal interpretations, rather than the value of religiosity itself.
A good amount of misconceptions exist about the LDS faith. In some areas, anti-Mormon sermons are occasionally taught from the pulpit. This can make member life a little more challenging at times, but it also provides lots of opportunities for teaching and clarification, especially among missionaries. Having a strong knowledge of the Bible and the New Testament in particular is a great asset in this area, especially when it comes to showing the strong similarities and restorations between the LDS faith and others.
outhern cooking is alive and well in Georgia, but less prevalent in more rural areas. Chicken is plentiful and prepared in just about every imaginable way, along with lots of other fried foods. Cornbread, BBQ (which always means pulled pork), biscuits, collard greens, watermelon, sweet potatoes, cuces (cucumbers) and tomatoes (chopped up and thrown together in a way similar to a salad), buttermilk pie, black eyed peas, and of course peaches are other staples of Georgia, Atlanta North. Coca Cola’s Atlanta headquarters contributes a strong presence in the area as well. Sweet tea is often consumed like water, and for some reason macaroni and cheese just seems to taste better.
While it can be quite common in other areas, in the Atlanta Georgia North mission, missionaries don’t use any public transportation. Mission areas have either bikes (treks) and/or cars (Chevy Cruisers, Toyota Malibu, Corollas, or Ford Fusions). Walking of course occurs in all areas, but is predominant among missionaries serving in the university areas.
Safety is comparable to many similar areas in the United States. Let common sense prevail and follow the mission rules.
Southern hospitality does exist in many areas, and while it may be less applicable to missionaries given the large numbers of misconceptions about them and high religious atmosphere of the area, those that do practice it are very willing to help, give (particularly food), and serve when asked or needed. Tent Revivals also happen on occasion.
While the South (and it doesn’t get any more South than Georgia) may speak American English, enough local lingo exists that some missionaries have started making their own dictionaries. A few of the best Georgian words follow:
Y’all – you all
All y’all – all you all
ustedta-could – something you once knew how to do
fixin’ to – something you would like to do
dressing – the food generally known as stuffing
rernt – when something is ruined beyond repair
right quick – quickly
commode – toilet
Mash a button – to push a button
grilling out – where hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. are served, typically known as a BBQ.
A raincoat is a must considering how often it pours, and light, breathable clothing that can tolerate the sweating high humidity is sure to bring. Plenty of water to combat dehydration and bug spray for the friendly critters. A GPS is also quite helpful as roads and city layout at times can be less than straightforward.
Lots of bugs exist in the area.
1150 Cole Dr SW
Lilburn GA 30047
Straight from the Georgia Atlanta North Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
*What did you eat the most of?
“Rice, beans, tortillas, and meat”
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“Menudo, which is cow stomach”
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“Hispanic people are so humble”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the Georgia Atlanta North Mission?
“Be prepared for the heat!”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“how hard its was going to be”
**Did you serve in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission? If so we would love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org**