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The Church is very strong and mature in the Washington area. There are seven stakes within the Everett mission boundaries. There is a CES Institute in Bellingham, a Bishop’s Storehouse and Home Storage Center in Mt. Vernon, an Employment Resource Center in Arlington, and Spanish-language congregations are also present in the mission area. The stakes are (from the north):
- Mount Vernon
The state of Washington has over 275,000 members and three temples. The nearest temple is across the Canadian border in Vancouver, British Columbia and was dedicated in 2010; the Seattle, Washington temple falls within two hours driving of the majority of members in the mission. There are over 50 stakes and 500 congregations overall in Washington, and the numbers continue to grow with the expansion of missions.
Missionaries can expect to find a wide variety of foods while serving in the Washington Everett Mission. There is a great emphasis on eating local food in Washington, and the rural parts of the state take pride in working together to provide all types of fresh produce and fruits to the city areas. Typical American foods are present, and vegetarian, gluten-free, etc. style dishes are also widely available.
The more urban areas also have several types of foreign foods available, with Asian and Mexican markets being common. Teriyaki restaurants are extremely popular and widespread throughout the region.
Like most stateside missions, missionaries will generally use either cars or bikes in their areas. Designations are generally based on the size of the area and leadership positions. Public bus and train systems are also available in Everett and the surrounding area.
Safety is not a big issue for the most part, but missionaries should be cautious and obey mission rules, especially while working in more urban areas. Everett’s overall crime rate is higher than most cities in the area, being ranked as having 104th highest crime rate in the United States. Sister missionaries should be especially careful when working in poorer urban areas.
“Everett is really an extension of Seattle, and as such most of the mission is urban and suburban. It’s a very suburban environment. There are people from all over the world in the Everett area. If you’re not familiar with saying “hello” in various languages, or if you struggle trying to understand heavily-accented english, you may initially struggle. The further north and east you go, the more rural things get.” – Coleman
Warm winter clothing and rain gear (rainboots, rain jackets). Take shoes that are easy to slip on/off, as many people expect you to take off your shoes when entering their home.
There are plenty of things to do in Everett! The city is home to a historic district, an extensive waterfront area and several parks.
Another popular tourist site in the mission area is Deception Pass state park, located in the Puget Sound area.
“Preparation Days are all dependent upon where you are. Most of my mission was spent in urban/suburban areas so we were afforded the opportunities to meet other missionaries at the local church building. When I was in rural areas there were opportunities for us to go hiking. The further north you go you’ll be able to see the Tulip festival in Mt. Vernon, or go across Deception Pass, and see many other beautiful sights.” – Coleman
Mill Creek WA 98082-1390
President and Sister Bonham’s unofficial blog: http://washingtoneverettmission2013to2016.blogspot.com/
Facebook groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2326762926/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/206442042736892/
Straight from the Washington Everett Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
*What did you eat the most of?
“Chicken and loads of home-grown vegetables.” – Heather
“Because of the huge amount of ethnic diversity in the area we would have members from all over the world cook us dinner. So we occasionally ate food from central Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.” – Coleman
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“Nothing really too crazy. Goat stew and homemade Shabu-Shabu (a Japanese dish) were probably the most unique meals I had.” – Heather
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“Everyone expects Washington to have a coffee stand on every corner…what they DON’T expect is to have a teriyaki shop on every corner…so much fantastic teriyaki…” – Heather
“IT DOES NOT RAIN NEARLY AS MUCH AS PEOPLE SAY. When we say it rains in the Northwest we’re saying it mists, or very lightly drizzles. It is certainly overcast, but it’s not rainy. Also, don’t use an umbrella and certainly don’t wear a trench coat. The locals will know you’re not a local, and they will harass you to no end.” – Coleman
*What advice would you give to someone going to the Washington Everett Mission?
“Follow the White Handbook. Take boots/shoes that are easy to take on and off, because EVERYONE will always expect you to take your shoes off when you go into their homes. Have your parents send you an electric blanket for winter, don’t bother packing an umbrella, and just say no to leadership cliques. Sisters especially: don’t take a black coat…grey, brown, yellow–doesn’t matter–just anything but black…otherwise you’ll look like a funeral every day!” – Heather
“The Everett area is very diverse. Learn to understand how to talk to people who speak poor and accented english because you encounter a vast population of such people.” – Coleman
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“Every pain you go through before and during your mission is worth it.” – Heather
“The members in that area are the key to success.” – Coleman
Did you serve in the Washington Everett Mission? If so, we want to hear from you! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your unique experiences!