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The Utah Salt Lake City Central Mission was created in 2012 as a pilot mission for the Church. The mission focuses heavily on baptizing new converts, and the senior couples in the mission mainly focused on reactivating less active members.
This mission is the smallest geographical proselyting mission in the world. At the time of its creation, this mission was one of the only two missions in the world where each stake had its own senior couple who were called to their stake, from their stake. The senior couples live in their own homes. An unofficial saying in the mission was “retake the valley” due to the high amounts of both less active and non-members in the area.
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Not surprisingly, the Church is very strong in the Utah Salt Lake City Central Mission. Despite the small geographical size of the mission, there are 20 stakes located in the mission boundaries, as well as two YSA Stakes, a Samoan Ward, a Tongan Ward, a Sign Language Ward, and multiple Spanish congregations. There is also a Church Institute located in Taylorsville. Members love the missionaries in this area.
Several temples are also close by (though none of them are located within the mission boundaries), including the Jordan River Utah Temple, the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple, and the Salt Lake City Utah Temple. Missionaries are able to attend the temple every three months.
The Church decided that Facebook missionary profiles weren’t the best fit for the mission.
Food in the Utah Salt Lake City Central Mission is generally similar to that found in most of the United States. Utah does have its own unique foods as well, such as fry sauce (a condiment made from mixing ketchup, mayonnaise, and other spices), pastrami burgers (sliced pastrami served on top of a cheeseburger), and Jell-O salads (Jell-O mixed with fruit and whipped cream).
Like most stateside missions, missionaries will mostly use either cars or bikes in their areas. Designations are generally based on the size of the area and leadership positions. The area is also served by the UTA bus system and TRAX light rail. On public transportation, a recently returned missionary from this mission said, “Sometimes we used TRAX to go downtown to Temple Square with an investigator if we couldn’t find a member to take us, but our areas were so small there was no need for public transportation.”
Missionaries need to acquire their own bikes, either used or new. Members in the area may also have bikes that they let missionaries use. It is best to wait until a missionary is in the field to buy a bike.
One missionary was asked if he felt safe walking the streets at night. He replied, “Yeah, Utah is not as dangerous as everyone thinks it is.” There have been no muggings of missionaries reported in the mission.
LDS Utah culture is very prominent in the Utah Salt Lake City Central Mission area. Local sporting events and other outdoor activities are popular, such as the Utah Jazz (basketball) or Real Salt Lake (soccer), with many parks in the region available for public enjoyment. Utahns in this area tend to be active and enjoy outdoors activities, including hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, etc.
Pioneer Day is a huge holiday in Utah. Missionaries in this mission are allowed to go to events for Pioneer Day and other activities, but mainly to find referrals and work through the members to find people to teach.
Even though the Utah accent isn’t as strong in the Salt Lake City area as it is in other regions, a few things, such as the dropping of “t” sounds from words such as “mountain” or the changing of certain vowel sounds may still pop up from time to time.
In addition to English and Spanish, there are a few missionaries assigned to Samoan, ASL and Thai/Laotian wards. The missionaries do not have to speak those languages to be assigned in that program.
Local residents generally refer to Salt Lake City as “Salt Lake.”
The Salt Lake City area is home to many Church sites, such as Temple Square, the Church History Museum, and This Is the Place Heritage Park (though these locations lie outside the mission boundaries). However, there are also several historic sites located within the mission boundaries. The city of Murray also hosts the USA Rugby high school national championship, and nearby Sandy is home to the Real Salt Lake MLS (Major League Soccer) team.
A special mission rule is that missionaries are not allowed to drink caffeine in public.
Preparation Day in this mission is on Tuesdays, and activities generally include shopping, e-mailing home, and going to a local church building to play dodgeball or basketball.
The daily schedule for this mission is strict to what it says in the handbook. The missionaries focus a lot on talking to everyone they see on the streets. The amount of lessons taught per day vary from day to day, and most companionships spend about an hour per day tracting.
Missionaries receive $120 for an allowance each month to spend on necessary items like food.
Physical and package mailing address:
5735 S Fashion Blvd
Murray, Utah, 84107, United States
Mailing address for letters:
PO Box 571950
Salt Lake City, UT, 84157
What was the most exotic food you ate on your mission?
“I ate green Jello with carrots and hot dogs.”
What was your daily schedule like?
“Strict on what is inside the handbook. We focused a lot on talking to everyone on the streets. Some days a lot of lessons, others not so much.”