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The church is progressing wonderfully in Ogden and its neighboring cities. As of 2011, Ogden encompassed Davis County up to Soda Springs Idaho and Star Valley Wyoming. Now, Salt Lake City North has been created and absorbed most of Davis County, and Wyoming is now swallowed up by a more northern mission. The mission has shrunk–but it is is still progressing. There is a greater focus not just on baptisms, but on less-active member reactivation as well. You will get to attend the temple, every preparation day if you like. P-Day is on Tuesday for just this reason (because the temple isn’t open on Mondays). The members are very helpful and supportive of missionary work.
Members feed you often and they feed you well. Prepare for lots of roasts, potatoes, jello, and casseroles. Be wary of portions. Average weight gain on the mission is 40 pounds for those aren’t careful!
Around half the missionaries use cars in their areas, but many areas just have bikes or walk.
The area is generally very safe. Snow is heavy in the winter, and is perhaps the greatest concern while driving. Occasionally, the mission declares car fasts during heavy snowstorms, meaning that driving is prohibited for safety reasons.
The people are wonderful. Utah missions are among the highest-baptizing missions, not because the missionaries do a better job than others, necessarily, but because the members’ light shines so clearly for so many people. People from all nations gather in Utah, and the people who come to Utah are surely brought by inspiration. So many of them see the peace, direction, happiness, and joy in members’ lives, and they want that. The Ogden area of Utah is a fairly America-focused place, very patriotic, and there’s a good family emphasis.
This is an English-speaking mission, but Utahns have a distinct dialect with glottal stops replacing t’s in the middle of words. For example, “mountain” is pronounced “moun’un” and “Layton” is “Lay’un,” especially amongst older and more rural populations.
Standard missionary equipment, like a suit and side bag. Be sure to bring heavy coats and boots for winter.
Weather – Northern Utah is a semi-desert climate, with dry summers, distinct spring and fall seasons, and usually heavy snowfall in the winter. The rainy season is typically from mid-July to mid-September. Snowfalls start occurring in late October or early November, and don’t usually end until April.
4380 S Orchard Ave
South Ogden UT 84403
Straight from the Utah Ogden Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
“In Utah we had pretty much everything you could think of. But since I am from Hawaii, I missed having easy access to Hawaiian/Asian/Polynesian food!”
*What did you eat the most of?
“Jell-O, Ha! I was introduced to Dutch oven cooking, which was delicious.”
“Roast and potatoes!!! It was like eating Sunday dinner every day. That and JELLO!!!”
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“Jell-o with beets in it.”
“Buffalo and a jello salad that was plain Knox gelatin with carrots, radishes and celery inside, sitting on lettuce and topped with sour cream!!!”
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“I had only been a member for a year so it was a real eye opener to be right in the middle of Mormon culture. It was so educational and so good for me.”
“I was surprised that there were so many non-members in Utah. I also was shocked that the members in our areas could either be our worst enemies or our greatest help when dealing with non-members. They either had a thick wall up because their Mormon neighbors would have nothing to do with them, not allow their children to play with theirs, etc… or they would be ready to take the discussions because their member neighbors and friends were such great examples. Also, we were treated sooooooo well in Utah… it was like we were famous, haha! People would honk constantly, stop us to talk, give us money, buy us food… it was amazing how much we were loved and supported :)”
“The amount of women inviting me to join their make-up demonstration or telling me my colours!”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the Utah Ogden Mission?
“You must work with the members and let them see you for who you are and that you are a good missionary. They must trust and like you to be able to turn their friends and neighbors over to you.”
“Make sure you know the gospel, doctrine, and scriptures because the non-members in Utah usually know as much or more than we do about the church. Also to prepare to work with a lot of children and part member families. They don’t count as ‘baptisms’ but they need us just as much as the investigators do!!!”
“That Utah has its own culture and to embrace it.”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“I wish I had known that I would have my highest highs and my lowest lows. It is heartbreaking when someone you love rejects the gospel, but everyone has their free agency and we must love them even when they make poor choices.”
“I wish I knew how fast the time really would go and to treasure every minute.”
“A better understanding of the gospel.”
“I’d do it over again in a heart beat ;)”
“It was a tremendous opportunity and I am so grateful that I served a mission.”
**Did you serve in the Utah Ogden Mission? If so, we would love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.**