Texas Houston South Mission


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Description

 

Houston skyline at night. By eflon on Flickr [CC-BY-2.0] via Wikimedia Commons.

Houston skyline at night. Photograph courtesy of Charles N. Abbott Photography.

Snapshot of the Texas Houston South Mission –  Texas is the second most populous US state and the largest of the “mainland” 48 states. Once an independent republic, Texas became the 28th state in 1845. Houston was named for popular general Sam Houston, who also served as President of the Republic before it joined the US and is now the fourth-largest city in the United States, with an estimated population of 2.1 million and metropolitan area of over 6 million, making Houston the largest city in Texas. Religiously, Texans have a much higher-than-average belief in God, with 47% of the population attending church at least once a week

The Church

The Texas Houston South Mission covers six stakes in the south-eastern side of Houston, including both inner-city and rural (coastal) regions. There is also a CES Institute located in Alvin.  While not in actual mission boundaries, Houston has a beautiful temple, dedicated in 2000.

Houston Texas Temple. By Jordan Allen (own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Houston Texas Temple. By Jordan Allen (own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Food

Eating out is very popular in the Houston area, with Texas-style BBQ, steakhouses, and Tex-Mex restaurants being especially popular.  Tex-Mex dishes such as fajitas, chimichangas, and Vietnamese restaurants are also somewhat popular due to the large number of Vietnamese immigrants living in the region.

Chicken and beef fajita, a popular example of Tex-Mex cuisine. Photo cca-sa2.0g by Elisa Arteaga at Wikimedia Commons.

Transportation

Like most stateside missions, missionaries serving in the Texas Houston South Mission will generally use either cars or bicycles to get around in their assigned area.  Designations are usually based on the size of the area and leadership responsibilities.  Houston was ranked as having the 4th-worst traffic congestion in the United States, so it is a good idea to avoid driving during rush hour.  The area also has a very extensive bikeway network as well as a light rail and bus system that provide transportation within Harris County.

Safety

While overall crime levels in Houston have fallen in recent years, the area is still prone to  high amounts of illegal drug trafficking and associated violence.  Missionaries should be aware of their surroundings and avoid dangerous neighborhoods.

Coastal areas such as Galveston also face risk from hurricanes during the summer and fall.  Detailed information on how to prepare for a hurricane can be found at:  http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

Customs

Texan culture is a source of pride in Houston, like the rest of the state.  Rodeo culture is quite popular in the Houston Area, with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo being the largest event of its kind, lasting for 20 days during March.  The city of Houston celebrates “Go Texan Day” the Friday before the rodeo parade, where citizens are encouraged to wear western-style clothing.  Sports are also popular in the Houston area, which has professional teams in basketball, football, and baseball.

Another unique event in the Houston area is the Houston Art Car Parade, which takes place every year.

Local Lingo

“Bayou City, H-Town, Clutch City” – nicknames for Houston

“pulsing” – withdrawing money from the ATM

“already (you already know)” – used to agree with or to confirm a statement

“y’all” – you all, you guys

“laws” – police

Additional Info

Houston is also home to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, where astronaut training for NASA takes place.  The Space Center is also commonly referred to as “Mission Control” for its role during NASA missions.

Galveston (also located within the mission) is home to a large number of historical buildings and sites, including the Bishop’s Palace and the Ashton Villa.

Bishop’s Palace in Galveston, TX.

 

Flag of Texas Houston South Mission

Profile

United States
President Brian K. Ashton

602 Eldridge Rd
Sugar Land TX 77478
United States

English, Spanish
2.1 million (Houston proper), 6 million (Houston metropolitan area)
Evangelical Protestant (34%), Roman Catholic (24%), Protestant (15%), Black Protestant (8%)
Humid subtropical: hot, humid summers with averages of around 90 degrees F and up to 90% humidity; mild winters (43 to 63 degrees F) with rare snowfall. Some flooding and tornadoes common.
Southeast Houston (Pearland, Sugarland); Galveston, Victoria

Experiences

Straight from the Texas Houston South Mission field:

*What items were hard to get or not available?
“We could get anything we wanted!”

*What did you eat the most of?
“Southern BBQ.”

*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“Chitlins.”

*What was most surprising about the culture?
“The international diversity of people. It was GREAT!”
—Sheila

*What advice would you give to someone going to the Texas Houston South Mission mission?
“Love the people—members and those who are not members yet.”
—Sheila

*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“I wish I had understood better a normal missionary day. I had little interaction with missionaries prior to my own mission, so I couldn’t really ask them, and everyone else I knew had gone on foreign missions. I loved what I did, but I would have been more prepared if I had understood the day-to-day life.”
—Sheila

*Other comments?

**Did you serve in the Texas Houston South Mission? If so, we would love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at editor@missionhome.com.**