Here are free resources about the Arizona Phoenix Mission:
- Mission address and phone number
- Mission map
- Missionary blogs
- Facebook groups
- LDS Mission t-shirts and gifts
- List of past mission presidents
- Cultural articles written by returned missionaries
- Survey with RMs
*Other Mission Pages: Arizona LDS Missions.
Arizona Phoenix Mission Address
Here’s a recent address for the Arizona Phoenix Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the mission address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.
Arizona Phoenix Mission
6833 W Bell Rd
Phone Number: 1-623-334-3823
Mission President: President Spencer Griffin
Arizona Phoenix Mission Map
Here’s a link to the mission map for the Phoenix Mission (LDS). To access the official LDS.org map for the Phoenix Mission
Arizona Phoenix Missionary Blogs
Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Phoenix Mission. This blog list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their mission blog was updated.
Arizona Phoenix Mission Groups
Here are Phoenix Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Phoenix Mission.
- Arizona Phoenix Mission- President Beck Group (375 members)
- Arizona Phoenix Mission- Taylor/2011-2014 Group (366 members)
- Arizona Phoenix Mission- President Booth Group (216 members)
- Arizona Phoenix Mission McDougal Group (133 members)
- Phoenix Mission for the LDS Church 1998-2001 Group (132 members)
- Arizona Phoenix Mission- Washburn Era Group (116 members)
- Arizona Phoenix Mission- President Gill Group (66 members)
- Arizona Phoenix Mission President Smith Group (27 members)
- Arizona Phoenix Mission Group Facebook Group (21 members)
- Phoenix Mission- President F.M. Bay – 84 to 97 Group (12 members)
- Mission Phoenix Arizona Facebook Group (10 members)
- Phoenix Mission Moms and Friends (LDS) Group (9 members)
- Phoenix Mission- Pres. Washburn and McDougal Group (4 members)
Arizona Phoenix Mission T-Shirts
Here are T-shirts for the Arizona Phoenix Mission!
Shirt designs include Arizona Phoenix Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL. The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.
*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Arizona Phoenix missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.
Arizona Phoenix Mission Presidents
Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Phoenix LDS Mission.
- 2017-2020, Sean F. D. Collins
- 2014-2017, Spencer R. Griffin
- 2011-2014, R. Scott Taylor
- First Mission President, Francis M. Bay
Arizona LDS Statistics (2015)
- Church Membership: 416,192
- Missions: 6
- Temples: 5
- Congregations: 844
- Family History Centers: 66
Helpful Articles about Arizona
Arizona Phoenix Missionary Survey
Here are survey responses from Arizona Phoenix RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.
When did you serve?
- July 2013-July 2015 (John)
- 2007-2009 (Drew)
- 2007-2009 (Kathryn)
- 2006-2008 (Gasser)
- 2005-2007 (Erik)
- 1995-1997 (Michael)
- February 1995 – December 1995 (Gaynelle)
- 1994 (Jeffrey)
- 1991-1993 (Bret)
- 1991-1993 (George)
- 1990-1992 (Jerri)
- 1985-1987 (Lorin)
- 1985-1987 (Dwight)
- 1985-1986 (Carla)
- 1984-1985 (Michelle)
What areas did you serve in?
- Tolleson, South Mountain Surprise, Cottonwood. (Drew)
- North Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, Flagstaff, New River. (Kathryn)
- Phoenix, Sun City, Sun City West, Young Town, Surprise, Glendale, New River, Anthem, Prescott, Flagstaff, Kayenta, Denahotso, Chilcinbeto. (Gasser)
- Peoria, Glendale, Phoenix, Tolleson, South Phoenix, Flagstaff. Spanish speaking. (Erik)
- Phoenix. Glendale. Prescott. (Michael)
- Flagstaff, Scottdale, Winslow. (Gaynelle)
- Phoenix, Prescott, Glendale, Ajo, Scottsdale. (Bret)
- Scottsdale, Glendale, Avondale, Showlow, Sanders. (Jeffrey)North Phoenix, Phoenix, Cottonwood, Flagstaff, Eager, St John’s, and Sedona. (Jerri)
- Phoenix, Cottonwood, Prescott, Glendale, Scottsdale, Pinetop, St Johns, Gallop, Window Rock, Sawmill. (Lorin)
- Eager, Springerville, Avondale, Polocca, Flagstaff, Cottonwood, Winslow. (Dwight)
- Phoenix, Flagstaff, Arizona and Grants, Farmington and Aztec, New Mexico. (Carla)
- Phoenix (the eastern and southern parts) and Litchfield Park, Avondale and Durango, Colorado. (Michelle)
What were some favorite foods?
- Porch Chops, Steak and potatoes, Grilled Chicken Breast, Corn chowder, M&M Pancakes, homemade hamburgers, and sauteed Mushroom sandwiches with J-Dawg sauce from Provo. (John)
- Fried bread, Mexican food. (Drew)
- Navajo fry bread, sloppy-joe biscuits, and sandwiches. (Kathryn)
- Stake, salmon, mutton, frybread, ahcí-eíí, zucchini and hominy stew. (Gasser)
- Carne asada, tacos al carbon, tamales, chiles rellenos, enchiladas, posole. (Erik)
- Fajitas. (Michael)
- Navajo fry bread. Navajo tacos. Strawberry, rhubarb pie. (Gaynelle)
- Flat bread, REAL Mexican food. (Jeffrey)
- I would have to say Cheese Crisps were something I had never seen before and liked them. I remember we frequented a place called “Pete’s fish and chips” I liked the food there and was introduced to Fajitas while I was there. (George)
- Navajo tacos. (Jerri)
- Fry bread, McDonald’s burgers from the Holbrook McDonald’s. (Lorin)
- Mutton stew, piki bread, Navajo tacos, Mexican. (Dwight)
- Navajo tacos, Mutton, fry bread, and Ramen noodles. (Carla)
- Chimichangas, Enchiladas and Empanadas (that my companion made!!). (Michelle)
What was a funny experience?
- My companion had to use the restroom, but no one was home and we were far from our house so we ended up walking into a hospital to use the bathroom. (John)
- Our ward mission leader fell asleep in a lesson. (Drew)
- Tracting/street contacting on route 66 and Olive Ave. (Kathryn)
- My companions every day. (Gasser)
- While tracting, an elder I was living with kicked over a jug full of motor oil which splashed all over his clothes right before church. (Erik)
- My favorite times were when people freaked out and slammed the door in our faces. (Michael)
- My companion and I accidentally flooded our kitchen one night with soap from the dishwasher because I put the wrong kind of soap in it. We had a very clean kitchen floor. (Gaynelle)
- Sometimes Sister McDougal, in her motherly desire to prepare us for the adventures ahead, would tell stories about when she and President McDougal met and their first few years of marriage. It was the only time I saw President McDougal get a little red. (Jeffrey)
- Yes. (Bret)
- I got into an argument with my trainer Elder Oleson, he had this little dartboard in our room, so I took a picture of myself put it on the board and made it look like he had thrown arrows at the picture, He really freaked out, I thought it was funny. (George)
- Driving backwards to lower our miles on our car. (Jerri)
- A group of us were driving and the driver decided to take a quick turn and drive up the runaway truck ramp off the freeway. We didn’t know that those are basically made of gravel and the car sunk to the floor of the car. As we are trying in vain to dig the car out, a highway patrolman came along. He was less than happy, but pulled us out. No ticket just a mad police officer. (Lorin)
- On more than one occasion my companion and I got our pick up stuck out on the Hopi reservation, my companion was standing up in the back of the truck changing into jeans to dig us out when a school bus come barreling around the corner as he was standing there in his underwear mid change, he jumped off the back of the truck into the mud and promptly was covered head to toe. (Dwight)
- One area I served in during the Spring was very windy. When we walked outside from my apartment building my skirt blew up over my head for a second. Not that funny at the moment, but we had a good laugh afterwards. (Carla)
- Had lots of little, funny experiences, but I can’t think of any… (Michelle)
What was a crazy/dangerous experience?
- There were a lot of javelina in my mission so we had to be careful not to cross paths with a wondering piglet and his mother. (John)
- We found ourselves in a drug cartel house transferring large amounts of cash. (Drew)
- Tracting/street contacting on Route 66 and Olive Ave… Running into a guy at a bus stop near Olive Ave who told us he killed people. witnessing the start of an arrest that had potential to turn into a shoot out. (Kathryn)
- Getting picked up, while hitchhiking, by a guy drunk, drunk off of ocean water, that was driving 95 mph. And wouldn’t let us out the car. And he talked his way out of a sticky situation with the cop. And the cop let us drive away. (Gasser)
- Witnessing several drive by shootings including one a block away from our house in South Phoenix. (Erik)
- There’s been more than one, but the most memorable was when my companion and I were leaving from a dinner appointment on a ranch in the rain. It was dark and muddy and when we were almost to the main road the car slid in the mud and over a deep ditch. We couldn’t see but got out anyway, then realized that the front bumper was on the opposite side of the ditch. The tires were over the ditch but everything worked out just fine. We weren’t hurt and the car wasn’t damaged. We were very blessed. (Gaynelle)
- So Elder Thomas is showing me around the neighborhood my first day or so in the area. We see a little boy about 10 or so riding his bike in circles and we go talk to him. “Hey man, what’s up?” “Oh, there’s gonna be a drug bust,” says the kid. We kind of look at each other and ask “wow, how do you know.” He starts pointing at a delivery van and several other nondescript vehicles. “That’s a cop, that’s a cop, and that’s SWAT.” Then he says “over there, that’s my house. My uncle lives there and he’s a drug dealer.” I should add here that our neighbor in the apartment complex we were living in was also a dealer. (Jeffrey)
- Getting hit by a car is always exciting. Wasn’t hurt, though. (Bret)
- Every missionary who served while I served has hitchhiked and had been picked up by a drunk driver. We would hitchhike with our sleeping bag. That way if we were trying to get back to the trailer at night and couldn’t get a ride, we could walk away from the road and stay the night and then hitchhike back in during the morning. It only happened a couple of times. I wouldn’t suggest this. (Lorin)
- My first companion and I drove from Eager, Arizona to Socoro NM in an ice storm for a baptismal interview, a very stupid move on our part, but it all worked out in the end. (Dwight)
- Had multiple during the month I was training a new missionary. But the one I’ll share is when we were driving home one night just before we got to our trailer, a car was on our side of the street. Something just took over my hands for a few seconds and got us out of the way. A few seconds of fear and shock, but we were ok. Thanks to the Lord. (Carla)
- Not really dangerous, but a little scary for me… climbing up the ladders alongside the cliff at Mesa Verde (where the cliff dwellings are). A member took our district there on a P-Day, when I was assigned to the Durango, Colorado area (my last two months). (Michelle)
What was a spiritual experience?
- I got to go to the Gilbert Temple Open House with a couple less active members and after that experience Brother Spencer decided that day that he was going to work to be worthy so that he could one day be a temple worker, and he did! (John)
- Having a witness that this man would go on and do great things. (Drew)
- Trying my best despite things not going according to my best laid plans and seeing the Lord work through those things that were going “wrong” with the plans. Also, the first prayer of a sincere investigator. (Kathryn)
- Every single day I woke up and saw the sun rise and got to teach the gospel. (Gasser)
- Watching the spirit transform people’s lives. Taking investigators to the Mesa Temple for the Easter Pageant. (Erik)
- Taking a new member to the temple was an incredible spiritual high. (Michael)
- We were in an area that had two wards and a branch. The branch was on an Indian Reservation so we went to it once a month. One Sunday my two companions and I were the speakers in Sacrament. They were both new out in the field, their talks were a little short. I didn’t know how how I was going to take up the time but when I got up to speak the words just came so easily that I didn’t even remember some of the things I said. It was an uplifting experience. (Gaynelle)
- The first time I told the Joseph Smith story to an investigator. At that moment it all became real for me. Not just a story in a book or a lesson in seminary, REAL. (Jeffrey)
- Yes. (Bret)
- How close I became to Heavenly Father when my companion hated women (thus me) and how I learned to love her. I ended up being with her longer because we did so well together. (Jerri)
- My companion and I collected Christmas gifts for a family that was struggling in St. John’s. My companion dressed up as Santa, and we delivered the gifts. (Lorin)
- WOW, so many to choose from. My companion and I spent a night out under the stars on a father and son’s outing for the branch at Polocca AZ- yes we had permission. The early morning testimony meeting that included testimonies in English, Spanish (my companion), Navajo, Hopi, German and Thai was a close second to being in the MTC and hearing the hymns sung in all the languages. (Dwight)
- There were many of course, but the most memorable was when we were planning to talk to a family about baptism or not going any more because it had been so long. My companion were wondering which one of us should speak to them? We said a prayer and after our prayer something happened to her voice and she could barely speak. So when we went in, I spoke of course. Not only did I speak but the words were so profound that I could not remember exactly what I said just that they were what the Lord wanted me to say and they were awesome. Just remember thinking, wow, I said that. (Carla)
- Ushering (twice) for the Easter Pageant at the Mesa Temple. All the baptisms I attended (especially those of the people I taught). When I was in the mission field, we weren’t allowed to attend the temple, except right before we were going home. We had a family that we had taught and baptized, be sealed in the temple a year later… I happened to be with the very same companion (who had taught them with me) again at the time of the sealing. We weren’t allowed to attend the sealing, but the Mission President gave us permission to wait there at the temple for them, and the Temple President invited us to wait in his office. Amazing experiences!! (Michelle)
What are some interesting facts about the Phoenix mission?
- My mission was one of seven test pilot missions that began using iPads and Facebook to proselyte and it was very effective! In my mission we had the Phoenix Temple Open House that we were able to take all our investigators to. (John)
- I had three mission presidents. I never made it above Cottonwood. (Drew)
- We were not allowed to fast from water during the summer if we were going to be tracting, street contacting, etc. The drunks and drug addicts on the street listen really well but are often not the investigators that progress. (Kathryn)
- It’s awesome. And there is every climate you can think of. From the cactus filled low deserts to giant pine tree filled mountains to the red rock cliffs to the tumbleweed blowing high deserts. (Gasser)
- Monsoon season is awesome. It’s illegal to cut down Saguaro cactus in AZ. You can go from 90 degree heat in the valley to snow in Flagstaff in the same day. (Erik)
- At the time it was the only mission that covered just Arizona. Sister missionaries never rode bikes because Sister Smith said it wasn’t appropriate. Even though the temple was not in our mission, President Smith took us twice a year then bought every missionary lunch. (Gaynelle)
- While serving in the Sanders area we went through the records of the church there and discovered hundreds of Lamanites had been baptized over the years. Strange to us the branch there had only a dozen active members. We asked the branch president about it and he said for a long time they would have socials and invite everybody to come get a hamburger. This was before the structured discussions and interview process we had when I served, so many people were baptized right there at the socials. We spent most of our time searching for these people who had been baptized in this manner. (Jeffrey)
- Kachina dolls by the native Americans were awesome and the locals gave me a real turquoise bracelet. (Jerri)
- I’m from the Ogden area of Utah. I spent most of my mission closer to my house than the mission home in Phoenix. The mission covered the four corners area all the way to the Salt River. Also the Durango area of Colorado. (Lorin)
- You could be in snow in the morning and desert in the afternoon by driving from Flagstaff to Phoenix, you could be in the valley at 100 degrees at midnight and the next night in the mountains an the 40’s in Eager or SHOLOW. The Grand Canyon and petrified forests are both within the mission and the number of cultures was amazing. (Dwight)
- Served on the Indian reservation. Some Elders spoke Navajo. We had some great zone activities. Had many Hispanic people in Phoenix and New Mexico. There are Indian ruins in some areas. (Carla)
- I was there when the Phoenix Mission was first formed (I originally was called to the Arizona Tempe Mission, but the Phoenix Mission was formed when I was assigned to the areas west of Phoenix: Litchfield Park & Avalon during my second month in the field. (Michelle)
What was the weather like?
- Very warm and dry, but in some of the areas I served in there were a lot of pine trees and it would snow in the winter months. (John)
- Hot and hot. (Drew)
- HOT! Dry and hot! With seasonal downpours known as Monsoons (very dangerous for traveling). (Kathryn)
- Cold, Hot, blistering Hot, Hotter, Hotter than …(Gasser)
- Scorching. Humid during monsoon season. (Erik)
- Hot. (Michael)
- In northern Arizona during the winter it was cold and wet. In the summer it never got over 70 degrees. In southern Arizona in the summer it was very hot and in the winter it was very pleasant. (Gaynelle)
- Hot in the valley, cold in the mountains. (Jeffrey)
- Hot in Phoenix! (Bret)
- HOT! (George)
- Summers were Hot in Phoenix and winners were cold in Eager. (Jerri)
- It varied from over 100 degrees while riding a bike in Phoenix and I sweat so much the die in my tie stained my shirt. Then it got so snowy that while in Prescott we couldn’t dig our car out of the driveway and there were so much snow, the town shut down. (Lorin)
- Mostly fair, summers in the valley were hot and winters moderate. (Dwight)
- Cold and snowing in the winter, up North. Nice and warm in the Phoenix area. Very hot in the summer in Phoenix. Highs as high as 117 degrees. Windy in some parts of New Mexico in the Spring. (Carla)
- The winters were wonderful (in the Phoenix area), but the summers were HOT!!! (Michelle)
Any things you really like about the area/people?
- I was meant to meet them, because many of them became life-long friends and I still communicate with them to this day! (John)
- They are always willing to help. (Drew)
- Most wards were super on board and involved in missionary work. They are so humble and willing to be a help to the missionaries. (Kathryn)
- They are family. (Gasser)
- How incredibly warm the Latino community is. (Erik)
- Most of the people were wonderful and very accepting. I loved the Native Americans. I loved the mountains and the dry air (no humidity). I’m from Georgia where the humidity is awful. I don’t know if we were supposed to, but we climbed up one of peeks in Phoenix and just loved it. (Gaynelle)
- Everything. (Bret)
- People seemed very genuine. (George)
- Everything! I’d love to relive my experience. (Jerri)
- Hey, we’re fun and very good people. (Lorin)
- Mostly friendly every where I served, easy to get along with and cordial, even if not interested. (Dwight)
- The variety of people to serve. Different cultures. The spirit of the Indian reservations. The warmth. I just loved the people. (Carla)
- The people were amazing!! Very loving and giving. (Michelle)
Any packing/clothing advice?
- Yes, roll your clothes and pack them in tight in your suite case to maximize space. (John)
- Minimal packing if you are a Spanish-speaking missionary due to being in Phoenix. (Drew)
- Bring more shirts than the number recommended in your call packet. I would sweat through a top before lunch and then have to change to a fresh one for the afternoon/evening work. Bring some warm clothes for the monsoon and rare cool seasons. (Kathryn)
- Thermals, take only what you need. The Lord will provide the rest. (Gasser)
- Don’t bring heavy coats. Short sleeve shirts. Lots of sunscreen. (Erik)
- Short sleeve shirts. (Michael)
- For the southern part of the state, light clothing. No jackets or blazers. Dress appropriate for the area. Keep down to two suit cases, if possible. (Gaynelle)
- Pack some winter gear in case you get assigned to the mountain areas. People usually only think “hot” when the hear Arizona. (Jeffrey)
- Up north in AZ, bring winter clothes. (Bret)
- Avoid long sleeved shirts. (George)
- Prepare for monsoons! And awesome lightning shows! (Jerri)
- For the Rez, get some sturdy pants and I used black hiking boots or black ref shoes. Have city clothes and have Rez clothes. (Lorin)
- Pack a good sleeping bag and extra white shirts- if you are in the valley you will want to change regularly due to sweating. (Dwight)
- Yes. Make sure you know the different climates of all areas of the mission to be prepared. Even though I went to the Phoenix mission there were areas up north that were very cold. So I had to get a coat and boots while out in the field. (Carla)
- Light summer clothes. In the Phoenix area, I never needed a very heavy coat, though I did wear a lot of blazers in the cooler months (I had a nice long raincoat that had a warm zip-out lining… that was all I needed, as it didn’t get below the 50’s). (Michelle)
What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?
- My testimony of the Savior, Temple, and The Book of Mormon grew tremendously! Some other blessings I received was that I got to learn how to use modern technology in safe and effective ways that will help me in my career and social life. (John)
- I don’t even know where to begin to answer this… Relationships with companions, members, less-actives, investigators, etc. I gained memories for a lifetime of tender mercies from the Lord. I grew in confidence through practice teaching and preparing to teach on short notice. I had experiences that taught me about diversity and other cultures (living with a brand new missionary from a foreign country). I grew my testimony of God’s love for me and others. The list could go on for days. (Kathryn)
- Everything. A true understanding of the gospel, direction in life, and a foundation that cannot be shaken. (Gasser)
- An unbreakable testimony. (Erik)
- The ability and confidence to talk to anyone. (Michael)
- I have a better understanding of the Gospel and how to apply it’s teachings in my life. And it has helped me to share the gospel here at home. (Gaynelle)
- Setting the tone for the rest of my life, I think I became less self centered. (George)
- I found my best self and the confidence to approach my Heavenly Father in a real way, not ceremonial. (Jerri)
- Those are different for everyone. There’s a lot. The spiritual experiences, the friends, the maturity. (Lorin)
- Work ethic, spiritual understanding, and how to listen to the spirit. How to slow down and listen to what people are saying and hear just what the words are- this has proven to be an asset to during my entire life. (Dwight)
- So many, but the main one was confidence in speaking to more people and in front of people. Also, I healed from a back injury. Many lasting friendships. (Carla)
- Too many to name, actually. I know my mission prepared me for my marriage to my wonderful husband. I know that my mother was blessed in numerous ways (she is not a member) because of my service. I gained a very strong testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and my testimony of The Church was reaffirmed and strengthened. (Michelle)
What are some skills you gained?
- Learning how to use an iPad and social media to coordinate and plan big events. Also, we had a former Marine teach us some exercise that help me a lot with my physical wellness. (John)
- Learning how to speak Spanish. (Drew)
- Teaching, studying with a variety of methods, and confidence to approach people and difficult situations. (Kathryn)
- How to be a world class fry bread maker. (Gasser)
- Teaching and conversational skills. Street smarts. (Erik)
- Studying better. Preparing talks. (Gaynelle)
- The ability to talk to people. The mission experience changed my personality- I became a little more modern because the missionaries were about six years younger than I was. I enjoyed the fun I had with the other missionaries I served with. (George)
- Talking to strangers, building stronger relationships, teaching effectively, navigation and scheduling skills, and listening/solving problems. (Jerri)
- Studying, patience with others. (Lorin)
- The ability to adapt and instruct in any situation, and the ability to find ways to get along with everyone. (Dwight)
- Public speaking. Managing finances. Being more independent. Planning lessons. (Carla)
- One major skill was learning how to get along with all types of personalities, especially when you are together all the time. (Michelle)
What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?
- I wish I would have read through Preach My Gospel a lot more because there are many keys to missionary success in there. (John)
- I wish I would’ve talked more to everyone and knowing the lessons more completely so as to be able to teach by the direction of the spirit. (Kathryn)
- Learned Navajo. (Gasser)
- Attempt to speak more Spanish. (Erik)
- Studied Bible more. Learned to keep a journal better. (Gaynelle)
- As a new member of the church, I wish I had been coached on some of the mores and norms of the LDS culture. I had no idea it was improper to pass the sacrament with your left hand, I had a lot of catching up to do. (George)
- The discussions and BRT method. (Jerri)
- That I’d be homesick at first. Nobody warned me about that. Also there are some days that really are not fun, but overall it’s a good experience. (Lorin)
- That some people are just hard to live with. Trying to get along with your companion is a skill that you learn as a missionary. (Dwight)
- Set more goals. (Carla)
- That you always need to resolve your issues with your companion (in the beginning, I was in several threesomes, and many little problems never got resolved), so that you will have the spirit with you, so that you can teach others about the Gospel. You really can’t teach without it!! (Michelle)
Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Phoenix?
- YOU are called to YOUR mission because the Lord needs YOU there and because only YOU will be able to connect with some of the Lord’s choice children in your areas that you’ll be serving in. (John)
- Go out and don’t be afraid of the language barrier. (Drew)
- If you let the Lord have all of your time, obedience, and heart, no matter what difficulties you face in the work you will not regret your investment of time or resources. The work could be done without you, so this is really an opportunity for the Lord to tutor and mold you to become more polished than you perhaps ever have been. Few people get to immerse themselves in such selfless service at that age in life without a mission. Enjoy every minute of the mission as it flies by so quickly. Work diligently to keep those skills and habits post-mission. Serving a mission gives you tools, rather than invincibility, against the devil. (Kathryn)
- Get over yourself and be ready to put your own wants aside and do what the Lord wants you to do and go where he wants you to. (Gasser)
- Embrace change. Be open minded to others’ way of life. No matter what successes/disappointments you have, The Church is still true. (Erik)
- Know the Book of Mormon. Know it’s true. (Michael)
- Study the scriptures all you can. Save money. Learn to pack lightly. Be self disciplined. Pray, pray, pray!! (Gaynelle)
- Be honest with yourself, we are not perfect and perspective members need to see the REAL you. I also think that if you have any doubts or situation that might cause you to lose focus, don’t go. (George)
- Do it! Be humble, so God can make you an effective instrument in his hands. (Jerri)
- Just go work hard and have fun. (Lorin)
- Work hard and play hard, all in the Spirit. Don’t be afraid to do something because you might get dirty. I cut and stacked wood, helped install motors in a car, changed tires, put up fences and pulled barb wire, all in a white shirt and tie. (Dwight)
- I just set a goal to bare my testimony at every zone conference, and I did. It was a blessing and keeps you focused, plus helps you to be more spiritual. Also set goals for yourself to accomplish during your mission. Read the scriptures daily, and pray earnestly. (Carla)
- What I said to the previous question… try to work things out with your companion, and always stay worthy to have the Spirit with you, or you will not be able to teach (not effectively, anyway!!). (Michelle)
What was a funny language mistake?
- My companion spoke Albanian so we learned how to sing happy birthday in Albanian with our district and our Mission President found it hilarious that we sang it to our district. Not really a mistake, but it was funny. (John)
- I said I was pregnant in Spanish to the Bishop. (Drew)
- Companion meant to say he was embarrassed in Spanish but used the wrong word and said he was pregnant instead. (Erik)
- An Elder told my investigator you had to be born in The Church to be the prophet! (Jerri)
- I was a Spanish-speaking missionary. This is a story I heard about a sister missionary who was giving a talk (in Spanish) during sacrament meeting. She meant to say she was embarrassed about something the Bishop had said, but what she actually said was basically, “I am pregnant (estoy embarasada… she thought she was saying “I have embarrassment”) and it’s the Bishop’s fault!!” (Michelle)
Emily (Arizona Phoenix Mission)
–Paraphrased from Emily’s mission interview–
The boundary is north of Phoenix and doesn’t actually include the city of Phoenix. It’s mostly English and Spanish missionaries with most of the Spanish down in the valley. I got to serve in the valley and up north and I got to serve English and Spanish speaking. When Flagstaff came into the mission, a couple of the missionaries spoke Navajo.
Most people speak Spanish in the valley honestly. It felt very new to me because so many people were speaking Spanish in the stores and on the street. It felt a lot different than where I’m from in Colorado. Up north it’s a lot more rural and a lot more spread out. It can make missionary work more difficult. I was in one area that was very different and very spread out. It’s the best place in the world. There aren’t a lot of paved roads so you go mudding every day because it rains a lot. No one goes out there so they think you’re crazy because no one does that. Down south near Buckeye there is a lot of farming down there, but other areas down south are more suburbs and more city.
Tyler (Arizona Phoenix Mission)
–Paraphrased from Tyler’s mission interview–
It’s English speaking and Spanish speaking. The summers are really hot, but the weather in the winter is fantastic. In the summer, it will be 90 degrees and sunny and then within a few minutes clouds will come in and it will pour rain and the temperature will go down. If you park your car over a waterway, it can get swept away. If that happens and you have to get rescued, you have to pay for it, because it happens so often.
The amount of people there is huge. Some places have quite a bit of members. My first area was in a city called Surprise. My ward only covered a couple blocks, but the members were fantastic. We usually had a dinner every night with the members, so we got to meet them all and enjoy a lot of good food. It was normal food for me: tacos, fajitas, lasagna, casserole. It was really good. I really appreciated getting to know the members in the ward. I eventually started to treat those member meals as special and important. During monsoon season, my favorite part about the weather was these gorgeous evenings where it would be raining just a little and off in the distance there would be a thunder and lightning storm in the distance.
Prescott (Arizona Phoenix Mission)
–Paraphrased from Prescott’s mission interview–
Mormons in Arizona
I believe the church presence there began with settlers that came down from Utah. There is a very large church presence. There are a lot of stakes. Surprise and Peoria have very dense populations of church members There are a lot of churches everyone, not as many as Utah, but probably second.
The wards in Arizona are really good and they do a lot. I feel like the youth were very active in the church and just doing things in general. They were active players in what was going on. The attendance for most of my wards was 200-250 people, which is a lot. In Surprise there is over 50% attendance, but if you go up to Flagstaff, you are on the border of the reservation where about 90% of the Navajos there are members of the church. The teachings of the church really click with them and their traditions. A lot of them got baptized, but not many are active. Attendance there is probably 25%.
The megachurch thing is very big. CCV is Christ Church of the Valley. There is also Calvary Valley. There was another church with a tower in the middle of it and you could walk to the top of it and it was supposed to symbolize ascension. CCV is the biggest one and they sell all of these stickers. Everyone down there is religious, pretty much. And they’re mostly all Christian. There are a lot of Romanians down there. They call themselves Babylonians because they are Christians from the Middle East leaving for obvious reasons, but a lot of them turn up in Arizona. It’s good that everyone has a Christian foundation, but it was a struggle because everyone thinks that they’re right.
Nondenominational churches will have classes on how to deal with Mormon missionaries. I don’t think they taught them tactics, but people felt like they already knew us and they felt like they were above us. We ran into a lot of good people too. The Phoenix mission baptizes a lot. It was third or fourth outside of Utah I think.
The mission goes from Phoenix up to Flagstaff. When I first got there it didn’t include the Flagstaff stake, but there are five missions in Arizona. We would go to the temple in Mesa, but if you’re up in Flagstaff you might have members go to the Snowflake temple. One of the areas I served in was just two miles away from the temple. The entire mission is in the Phoenix temple district I think.
If I Could Serve Again
I started in Surprise and then went to North Phoenix. I then went to Flagstaff when it first became part of the mission and then I went to Peoria and then Prescott Valley.
Alex (Arizona Phoenix Mission)
–Paraphrased from Alex’s mission interview–
Mission Geography and Demographics
The Arizona Phoenix mission used to have the Indian Reservations in it, but right before I got there they created a new mission for those. Flagstaff also was removed from the mission while I was there, although it was added back after I left.
My two mission presidents had two very different styles. One was very laid back, while the other was more strict. We averaged between 150 to 200 missionaries, with more in the summer and winter months. The culture there is actually somewhat similar to that of Utah. For one thing, it is close to Utah, and beyond that, it was settled by a large number of early saints. Some areas were over a half hour drive from one side to the other, while others were only a couple blocks long. Besides the descendants of latter day saints, there was a large population of Hispanic immigrants. Most were very nice, and the blending of the cultures created a strong melting pot. Because of these demographics, about a third of the missionaries were Spanish speaking.
Life in the Phoenix Mission
My first mission president aimed to house all of the missionaries with members. While I was there, he succeeded in placing 60-70% in member homes. I liked it because it kept us on our toes… the members were watching. In the mission, there were quite a few cars and even a few trucks for desert areas. If missionaries didn’t have cars, they had bikes or a bus pass.
Weather in the summer was really hot, but it the winter it got pretty cold. It didn’t rain much, but you could tell when it was finally going to. When it did finally rain, it poured. Even more interesting were the dust storms. They can get so bad that you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. Be sure to pack for cold, heat, and the dust!