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Snapshot of the Texas San Antonio area – Texas is the second most populous US state and the largest of the “mainland” 48 states. The mission includes San Antonio (Texas’ second-largest city, seventh overall in the US) and Austin, the state capitol. Once an independent republic, Texas became the 28th state in 1845. The people of Texas have a deep love for many things: their state, God, and all things football. They are known for their southern hospitality, and San Antonio in particular boasts some fascinating historical sites, including The Alamo (where, in the 1830s, the Mexican armies of Santa Anna fought against Texan settlers). It was a pivotal battle in the Texas Revolution. Another popular attraction is the San Antonio Riverwalk, a network of pathways along the San Antonio river in downtown. Texans are very friendly, and most have a great respect for the work you will be doing. This mission includes Austin, a fairly liberal college town that contrasts with the rest of highly conservative Texas. Mission areas in the San Antonio mission are fairly evenly split between urban cities and rural towns.
The Church is growing in San Antonio. In fact, this mission was the site for the first series of “The District,” which follows a mission district through the rigors of daily mission life. Most missionaries are called Spanish-speaking; however, there is usually only one Spanish-speaking ward per Stake, so English-speaking wards usually have one companionship assigned to it, while Spanish-speaking wards have multiple companionships. Be prepared for the possibility of serving in an English-speaking area for the majority of your mission. You will meet Spanish-speaking people daily, but unless you are serving in a “Spanish area,” you will refer them to the Spanish-speaking elders. Roughly half of the Latinos you will meet will be Mexican, but there are also a wide variety of other nationalities in the mission as well.
Member-missionary work is the most successful way to find new investigators, but you will still most likely tract for part of each day. Part-member work is a big part of this mission, and you will likely be working with families whose children or spouses are not yet baptized. Your focus will be on finding, teaching, and baptizing others into the church of Jesus Christ.
There is one temple in the mission boundaries, the San Antonio temple. Missionaries who are serving close to the temple are allowed to go there on P-day or with investigators.
In most areas, you are fed dinner every day. There is a great variety of foods in the area, one of the best food items is Texas BBQ. Also, on account of the heavy Spanish influence, you will find no shortage of tacos, accompanied with some sort of meat, beans and rice and other famous “Tex-Mex.”
As of 2011 the majority of areas in the mission had cars. There are a lot of “car-share areas”, where you will switch with another companionship either every other day or every other week. When you are not driving a car, you will be riding a bike.
Driving cars and bikes are the biggest safety concerns for missionaries, but as long as you pay attention to the road and the drivers around you, you should be fine.
The people are very polite and will be quick to offer you water or food.
“Ya’ll” is really common, just a shortened version of “you all”; “all y’all” is sometimes a plural form of this.
“Fixin” and “Fixin’ta” are both verbs that mean “getting ready to.”
Bring good shoes, good socks, and short sleeve shirts for summer; but, it also gets fairly cold in the winter so you will want a good thick jacket. Bring a water bottle or camelback, but check your mission guidelines to see what kind of water device you can bring (it is very important to drink a lot of water while tracting).
404 E Ramsey Rd Ste 105
San Antonio TX 78216-4665
Straight from the Texas San Antonio Mission:
*What did you eat the most of?
“Lots of hot dogs and pastas.”
“Rice, Beans, Mac & Cheese.”
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“Barbacoa de Cabeza (cooked cow head) and Ceso Chili (cow brains in chili).”
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“The term “fixin.’”
“The culture wasn’t too foreign to me and not much was “shocking” or even particularly remarkable. I loved the people I worked with. They came from a range of backgrounds, but each person was similar and remarkable in key ways. I love and miss them terribly and frequently dream that I am back among them. I think of them still at least once weekly. Can’t wait to meet them again after mortality.”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the Texas San Antonio Mission?
“Love the people all of them all the time.”
“Milk every minute of time you have in the field. Work every available minute with as much energy and effort as you can muster, because it will end and it will end too soon.”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
Mmore gospel teaching—though it’s never enough, I guess.”
“I wish I had known more about people and how to attune myself to them, to their needs, etc. I was too focused on teaching lessons and not enough on teaching people.”
“This is an amazing time in the history of the world and the Church. The work is hastening in preparation for the Second Coming of the Savior and the urgency is palpable. Throw yourself into the work and love the whole experience from the lowest lows to the highest highs of missionary service. You are building your own legacy of faith and your own story that will be worth telling for generations to come. Don’t miss a minute of it.”
**Did you serve in the Texas San Antonio Mission? If so, we would love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.**