California Anaheim Mission

Here are free resources about the California Anaheim Mission:

*Other Mission Pages: California LDS Missions.

California Anaheim Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the Anaheim Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.

California Anaheim Mission
2500 North Bristol Street
Santa Ana, California 92706
United States

Phone Number: 1-714-972-3900
Mission President: President David R. Golden

California Anaheim Mission Map

Here’s a link to the mission map for the California Anaheim Mission (LDS). To access the official map for the Anaheim Mission:

  1. Log into your LDS account here.
  2. Click here.

California Anaheim Missionary Blogs

Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the California Anaheim Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.

*Send your missionary a gift (mission-specific shirts, ties, Christmas stockings/ornaments, pillowcases, etc.)

Sister Sophie Evers 2017
Sister Kaitlin Hawkins 2017
Elder Caleb Bailey 2017
Sister Allie Winter 2016
Sister Kendra Green 2016
Sister Alex 2016
Sister Briana Johnson 2016
Elder Hunter Johnson 2016
Sister Alexandra Martinez 2016
Sister Summer Johnson 2016
Sister Smyly Crawford 2016
Sister Lauren Paulson 2015
Sister Savannah Neal 2015
Sister Jaclynn May 2015
Elder Alec Gallego 2014
Elder & Sister Wade 2014
Elder Coleman Spencer 2014
Elder Westin Wong 2014
Elder Dallin Ollerton 2014
Elder Samuel Young 2014
Elder Mason Harvey 2014
Elder Nikko Meza 2014
Elder Adam Wardle 2013
Elder Matthew Arnold 2013
Elder Carson Richards 2013
Sister Briana Layton 2013
Elder Gonzalo Bojorquez 2013
Elder Reinaldo Lopez 2012
Elder William Groesbeck 2012
Elder & Sister Call 2012
Mission Alumni 2012
Sister Chelsee Christensen 2012
Elder Dallen Brooks 2012
Elder Josh Brown 2012
Elder Soren Barker 2012
Elder Jr. Tione 2011
Elder Christian Speakman 2011
Elder Brandon Anderson 2011
Elder Douglas Baldwin 2010

California Anaheim Mission Groups

Here are California Anaheim Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Anaheim Mission.

  1. California Anaheim Mission Facebook Group (1,197 members)
  2. California Anaheim Mission Facebook Group (395 members)
  3. Anaheim Mission July 2010-July 2013 Group (337 members)
  4. The Great Anaheim Mission ’96-’99 Group (178 members)
  5. Anaheim Mission Reunion, Baby!! Facebook Group (139 members)
  6. Anaheim Mission President Van Alfen Group (95 members)
  7. California Anaheim Mission (1986-1988) Group (45 members)
  8. California, Anaheim Mission 1976-1980’ish Group (23 members)
  9. Anaheim Mission Moms and Friends (LDS) Group (9 members)
  10. Anaheim Mission (Glen C. Nelson) 87-90 Group (5 members)
  11. Anaheim Mission (Spanish) – Pres. Hudson ’93-’96 Group (2 members)

California Anaheim Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the California Anaheim Mission!

Shirt designs include California Anaheim 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: California Anaheim missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.

*Click here to browse Anaheim Mission gifts

Anaheim Mission Presidents

Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Anaheim LDS Mission.

  1. 2017-2020, David R. Golden
  2. 2014-2017, Steven W. Taggart
  3. 2011-2014, Bradford C. Bowen
  4. 2008-2011, Steven Bennett Watrous
  5. 2005-2008, Randall Greene Harmsen
  6. 2002-2005, R. Gene Moffitt
  7. 1999-2002, L. Neil Rasmussen
  8. 1996-1999, James B. McDonald
  9. 1993-1996, Blaine T. Hudson
  10. 1990-1993, C. Bruce Chambers
  11. 1987-1990, Glenn C. Nelson
  12. 1984-1987, Curtis N. Van Alfen
  13. 1981-1984, Charles M. Grant
  14. 1978-1981, Lewis S. Livingston
  15. 1975-1978, Rex C. Reeve
  16. 1972-1975, LeRoy Layton
  17. 1969-1972, Marion Coleman
  18. 1966-1969, D. Crawford Houston

California LDS Statistics (2016)

  • Church Membership: 773,762
  • Missions: 20
  • Temples: 7
  • Congregations: 1,357
  • Family History Centers: 222

Helpful Articles about California

Coming soon..

California Anaheim Missionary Survey

Here are survey responses from California Anaheim RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.

When did you serve?

  • 2013-2015 (Berenth)
  • 2013-2015 (Jesse)
  • 2013-2014 (Carson)
  • May 2012-2014 (Mason)
  • 2012-2014 (Weston)
  • 2011-2013 (Alan)
  • 2010-2012 (Khale)
  • 2010-2012 (Anonymous)
  • 2009-2011 (Michael)
  • 2009-2011 (Anonymous)
  • 2009-2010 (BrieAnn)
  • 2007-2008 (Rachel)
  • 2004-2006 (Matt)
  • 2003-2004 (Genevieve)
  • 2002-2004 (Chad)
  • 2001-2003 (Steve)
  • 2001-2002 (Carrie)
  • 1996-1998 (Rodlyn)
  • 1992-1994 (Luis)
  • 1992-1994 (Michael)
  • 1992-1993 (Brooke)
  • 1990-1992 (Brad)
  • 1989-1990 (Glenise)
  • 1986-1988 (Derek)
  • 1986-1988 (Kurt)
  • 1985-1987 (Todd)
  • 1985-1987 (Jeff)
  • 1983-1985 (Mike)
  • 1983-1985 (Scott)
  • 1978-1980 (Jerry)
  • 1978-1980 (Newell)
  • 1978-1980 (Shell)
  • 1978-1980 (Kevin)
  • 1975-1977 (Eric)

What were some favorite foods?

  • Chilaquiles. Enchiladas Verdes. Tinga. Board and Brew sandwiches. Street tacos. (Berenth)
  • I was not very picky and was happy to get any dinner that was provided by members who were gracious to feed us. My only thing I would say I didn’t go for fish. (Jesse)
  • Sopes, tómales, tortas, arroz, frijoles y pollo. (Carson)
  • Sushi (Mason)
  • Tacos Burritos Mole. (Weston)
  • Hawaiian Haystacks, Pizza, and tacos. That is not even half of it. I love everything! (Alan)
  • Chicken, potatoes, Japanese pumpkin squash, lentils, rolls into sandwiches with anything, the Hawaiian BBQ in Irvine, west of town, almost in Tustin, Twin Dragon in Placentia, Gallo’s Deli in Newport Beach, and the Beef Curry Udon at Mitsuwa in Costa Mesa. (Khale)
  • Homemade Mexican food- sopes, tamales, beans and rice, tinga, carne asada and guacamole. (Anonymous)
  • The Mexican food was the best, and I mean the real stuff. (Michael)
  • All of the food was amazing. I really loved pupusas and chile quiles. (BrieAnn)
  • Sopes, posole, enchiladas (real ones), chicken puffs, cocoa puffs. (Rachel)
  • Anything from Wahoos, Korean bbq in Costa Mesa (Matt)
  • Lasagna, zucchini, artichoke, and all kinds of amazing desserts. (Genevieve)
  • China wok (Chad)
  • Enchiladas suizas, sopes. (Steve)
  • A delicious Mexican soup. Rice and beans. (Carrie)
  • Hawaiian haystacks, home cooked roast, strawberry shortcakes, authentic mexican. (Rodlyn)
  • Taco Bell. (Luis)
  • Empanadas and Mole. (Michael)
  • Pozole, helote, carne asada. (Brooke)
  • Street tacos, pozole, home made Mexican food. (Brad)
  • Thrifty ice cream cones. Mexican… New for me. . I’m South African. English muffins, sweet melon, yogurt, and nuts. Any meal with member. (Glenise)
  • Mexican, Pizza, all you can eat everything. (Derek)
  • Grilled meat. (Kurt)
  • Teriyaki rice bowl. Spetzula (German noodles). Hawaiian bread (Todd)
  • Sushi, poly food, Mexican …(Jeff)
  • All of it. (Mike)
  • we lived next a McDonalds and since the Eastern Bloc countries didn’t come to Olympics we ate like crazy. You see, McDonalds had started a promotion prior to those countries pulling out and here’s how it worked When the USA won gold it was a free Big Mac, a silver was a drink and bronze was fries. AND THE USA WON EVERYTHING! (Scott)
  • Anything members cooked a lot of. (Jerry)
  • Carl’s Jr. (Shell)
  • Mexican. (Kevin)
  • Anything Mexican- tacos, burritos, enchiladas, yum! (Eric)

What areas did you serve in?

  • Mission Viejo Spanish A and D, San Juan, Dana Point, San Clemente, Laguna Niguel, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. (basically the whole mission except Irvine and Santa Ana). (Berenth)
  • Placentia 1 E, Anaheim 6 S, Yorba Linda 4 E, Garden Grove 1 (Jesse)
  • Anaheim 11, Santa Ana 5 and Buena Park 3 (Carson)
  • Placentia 2, Placentia 1, Anaheim 6, Northwood Ward, and North Hills Ward. (Alan)
  • Orange, Placentia, Costa Mesa, Newport, and Irvine. (Khale)
  • Anaheim, Yorba Linda, Placentia, Brea, Fullerton, Newport Beach, Irvine, Garden Grove, Westminster, and a few others I can’t remember. (Anonymous)
  • Irvine,Tustin, Costa Mesa, Garden Grove, Orange, and Placentia. (Michael)
  • Yorba Linda, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Orange, Tustin, Newport Beach. (Anonymous)
  • I served in 9! Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Yorba Linda, Placentia, La Habra, Anaheim, Buena Park (BrieAnn)
  • Tustin, Orange, La Habra, Santa Ana, Brea, Fullerton, Anaheim (Rachel)
  • Garden Grove, Tustin, Placentia, Orange, Yorba Linda (Matt)
  • Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Tustin, Yorba Linda. (Genevieve)
  • Everywhere Anaheim and South. (Chad)
  • Costa Mesa, Santa Ana. (Steve)
  • Fullerton deaf branch (Carrie)
  • Fullerton, Tustin, La Habra. (Rodlyn)
  • San Juan Capistrano, Huntington Beach, Santa Anna. (Michael)
  • Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana (Brooke)
  • Santa Ana, Anaheim, Laguna, Garden Grove. (Brad)
  • Yorbelinda, Fountain Valley.. Laguna Nigal… mmm gone blank!!. (Glenise)
  • Anaheim, San Juan Capistrano, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Irvine, Westminster (Derek)
  • Brea, Huntington Beach, Irvine/Santa Ana, Yorba Linda and Orange (Todd)
  • Santa Ana, Whittier, Irvine, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel. (Jeff)
  • Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Placentia, Yorba Linda, Newport Beach. (Mike)
  • Westminter, Newport Beach, Tustin, Anaheim, CALIF (Scott)
  • Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Elsinor, Anaheim, Cypress (Twice). (Jerry)
  • Santa Ana, Fullerton, CostaMesa, Lake Elsinore, Anaheim. (Shell)
  • Santa Anna, Garden Grove, Cypress, Huntington Beach, Anaheim and back to Garden Grove. (Kevin)

What was a funny experience?

  • Once, we were contacting in San Juan at la Zanja and these groups of little kids were playing street soccer. I knew 2 of them and after we passed them, I heard them calling me and I turn around and saw the soccer ball coming towards me and they were asking me to kick it back to them, so I get on position and kick the ball has hard as I could and the ball just flew away and landed on this lady’s car parked right in front of the kids, the lady came out and I apologized, the kids couldn’t stop laughing and me as well, nothing happened to the car or the ball… afterwards we contacted the lady of the car 🙂 Lol (Berenth)
  • Driving with my companion and he sneezes and the lady in the car next to us, with both are windows up, we could see her say bless you. (Jesse)
  • My trainee and I were at an intersection and it was his first day. He was so excited to be on a mission and to find investigators. One person went by and I let him loose, I didn’t give him any help, I just let him do all the talking. He had a good contact. He came back to me and said “how was that?!” I said he did great, and asked if he got her number. No he responded. I asked if he had gotten her address. Again, he said no but he gave her our number. I told them it would be unlikely that she would call us back. Then he started running after her, I stopped him and said it’s okay that we would find someone else. Haha typical greenies. (Mason)
  • Sharing experiences about funny things people said to us. (Weston)
  • One night, in my second area, the Anaheim 6th ward, my first week there, my companion and I went to the Relief Society Birthday dinner because whomever sighed up for that night just told us to go to that dinner instead. So we did. My companion introduced me to Sister Greene one of the ladies in the ward, and she said: “Its nice to have you here with us.” Meaning in the ward. I don’t know what was going through my mind, but I replied back saying: “Its nice to have you here with us too.” As soon as I said that, I started laughing really hard, and couldn’t stop for a really long time! (Alan)
  • My companion and I had pizza for five days in a row, one night he threw up a lot, and I woke up long enough to ask, “Are you okay?” And then to hear his reply as he weakly shouted, “Don’t come in here!” And slammed the door. Or one morning, when I was in a trio, and one of my companions was a sympathetic puker. Even the sound of fake puke noises put him on edge. One tense morning, the third member of our trio got up to pour out water into the sink from a pot that had been soaking, and made a heave sound before pouring it out and our other companion literally ran to the bathroom dry heaving. He locked himself in there for ten minutes, and told us we were the worst. But he knew we loved him. Another time, we were teaching a man who was living with a member. He had been listening to a dramatized Book of Mormon on cassette tapes. One night we showed up as he was getting out of the shower, and his roommate told us that the day before he had been out in the back yard shouting at the dog, “Back! Do not touch me, or you will be smitten down! I have a message!” Alma was his favorite. When Alma died, I remember he cried. He is an excellent man. (Khale)
  • I remember one time we were out tracking and ran into a guy and he looked at us and said, “Hey you guys are the Mormons right? Yeah, yeah, you guys… guys eat your babies right?” I had no idea what to say to that. Definitely never heard that before. (Michael)
  • We saw a person using ASL on the side of the road, so we parked and walked till we caught up to her. After we talked to her we continued around the block so she wouldn’t know we weren’t just on a walk. (BrieAnn)
  • My companion stepped in dog poo and then tracked it all over this new investigator’s house. We weren’t invited back. (Rachel)
  • Showing up to a dinner appointment soaking wet because we got caught in the rain riding our bikes. (Matt)
  • We started a very small water balloon fight with the other district once. The next week was the last one before transfers and they absolutely showered us with revenge. They all had huge super soakers and balloons and we were left with pretty much nothing. It was a great memory! (Genevieve)
  • Teaching a lady who was drunk. She pulled a hot pan of chicken directly from the oven with no mitts or pad and kept hitting on my companion. She remembered nothing the next day. (Chad)
  • When I saw a guy riding my stolen bike and I thought he would stop if I yelled, “Hey that’s my bike!” (Steve)
  • Singing hymns while riding our bikes. (Rodlyn)
  • Waiting at a red light to cross the street and the Bat-mobile from the Tim Burton batman movie came zooming down the street. Also Gordon Jump popped in a baptism and stood in while we confirmed a convert. (Michael)
  • We were playing Pictionary with some investigators and members and the whole game we were laughing especially when one of the members drew faith. (Brooke)
  • When we were tracting and a family was trying to tell us that all the kids had lice and we didn’t know what they were saying. We were sitting comfortably on the couch until we finally put the kids shaved heads with what they were tying to tell us together and got out of the house as quickly and politely as we could. (Brooke)
  • One time riding our bikes in Santa Ana, a member of one of the Polynesian wards stopped their van, and gave us a fully cooked Turkey. It was July. It was a good turkey. (Brad)
  • On Preparation day, the elders used to challenge us to play tennis….Big Gulps would be on the line… and we somehow beat them every time. (Glenise)
  • My companion and I locked our car keys in the car while it was running. A man came to our aid saying he was used to breaking into cars! (Derek)
  • First day out on my bike with full suit on went over handle bars at a busy intersection and all my pamphlets fell out all over the road. (Kurt)
  • Crashing into my comp while riding bikes, flying over my handlebars, doing a shoulder roll and landing on my feet, laughing as people rushed to my aid asking if I was alright. The bike was a total loss since the forks bent and the frame cracked. I didn’t like the bike anyway. 🙂 (Todd)
  • First ride in a mission car was a Plymouth K car that was lowered and had a chain steering wheel. We piled our whole district in that car and had feet and bodies hanging out all over, driving down Bristol St. (Jeff)
  • I had a comp who was allergic to chocolate. A sister in the ward made him a triple chocolate cake for his birthday. Not wanting to hurt her feelings, I gobbled my cake and my companion drank his milk and pushed the cake around. When the sister wasn’t looking my comp and I did the plate switch-eroo. So the sister kept seeing my plate empty and would give me more cake. I ate 5 HUGE pieces. Later I got sick. (Scott)
  • Eating so much at three members homes that I could not get on my bike to ride it home. Telling Elder S that if he put peanut butter on the bath tub, leave it for an hour and then take it off-the tub would be clean. We picked one area that was very dirty and put some peanut butter on it. As we went to play basket ball, one set of missionaries cleaned that little area so when Elder S came back he was amazed. He coated the entire bath tub with PB and to his amazement it didn’t auto clean like the other area. He couldn’t believe it. (Jerry)
  • Less active member identifying himself as a “80 or 90 or something” during a door approach. (Newell)
  • Bike wrecks. (Kevin)
  • The mission president was assigning three sister missionaries to our area on a temporary basis as their visas to Brazil were delayed. My companion, Elder Louder and I were to open a new apartment while they were there. They stayed for 4-5 weeks and left when their visas arrived. We closed the temporary apartment and moved back into our original apartment which had a better location for us… Everything smelled like perfume and powder … It was very distracting for a missionary! (Eric)

What was a crazy/dangerous experience?

  • Once, we were just driving to the mission office and this guy cut us off at high speed and we almost crashed with him, but while we were braking to not crash against him, this biker just slammed unto our trunk and destroyed his bike and broke his leg…it was a crazy situation…the guy got better later on, Interesting fact, his bike broke in 2 parts and our bumper/trunk had no more than 1 scratch. Driving in California can be tricky because of the high speeds. (Berenth)
  • Talking to a drunk guy outside our apartment complex. Something didn’t feel right about him and he was getting pretty angry at someone. So we pretended we didn’t live there and went somewhere else for a bit. (Mason)
  • Being threatened in a guys rented out room. (Weston)
  • I rode my bike across the street illegally on accident, and it scared the sin out of me! (Alan)
  • One day while out on a Preparation Day mountain bike ride in Carbon Canyon, my companion decided the way around the mountain would be faster than retracing our steps… We ended up getting lost on the trail, with only the light of the moon to get us back to our car. We traveled in a close line and the person in front shouted “bumpy!”, or “left/right” to avoid holes, rocks, and big dips in the trail. We showed up to our dinner appointment an hour late, covered in dirt, and our ward mission leader had decided to join us as a surprise… That was terrifying. (Khale)
  • There was a ton of rain one week and my companion was driving in flooded streets. One street we went down had like over a foot of water in it and almost covered the wheels. She said she felt like she was driving a boat! (Anonymous)
  • We once were knocking doors and we met this girl who asked us to come back when her dad was home. We came back and her dad was standing in his garage and was drunk and before we could even make it up the driveway to say hello, he grabbed a bat and started beating it on the pavement. He screamed at us to go, and when we tried to say something he ran after us, so we just turned around and left. Thankfully he stopped coming after us after that. (Michael)
  • We were encouraged by the assistants to the president to knock and night, so one night we were praying before we started knocking and I looked up during the prayer and had a very bad feeling about one house. When we got to it I said we aren’t knocking here and one of my companions (we were in a trio) felt the same, so we skipped that house. I don’t know what the reason was, but I’m glad I had that feeling and didn’t find out. I can still picture it and feel the same feeling just thinking about it. (BrieAnn)
  • Saw a police chase and guns cocked and ready to fire. We were about 50 yards away. This happened in La Habra. (Rachel)
  • White washed into Placentia and having a crazy girl stalking us everywhere we went! (Matt)
  • When we were tracting at a pastors doorstep and he tried to lay his hands on our heads so we could “Get the Holy Ghost”! oh boy. (Rodlyn)
  • Having a gang banger telling me never to come back to his neighborhood. (Luis)
  • There was an earthquake as well as riots when we were there. We worked with many gang members on dangerous streets, but we’re always looked out for by so many people who loved the Savior. (Brooke)
  • We were late driving to a leadership meeting and drove a bit too fast. We believe a general authority noticed us by the copy of the Book of Mormon in the rear window. (Derek)
  • Went over my handle bars by crashing into companion at high speed. Luckily didn’t get hurt. (Kurt)
  • A young girl was hit in front of me and my companion. We administered a blessing. She and family were taught and baptized. (Jeff)
  • Getting met at the door with a gun. (Newell)
  • I got mugged in Santa Ana. (Shell)
  • Bike wrecks. (Kevin)
  • Our district arranged for a member to take us up to a location on a nearby mountain where we would have lunch and then bike down. Of course it was a competition to see who was fastest. I found that I could go faster than my companion if I coasted and reduced resistance by tucking myself close to the bike frame while he peddled furiously and gradually fell behind. Woo Hooo! (Eric)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • Well, once we opened a special space in our agenda to go contacting in a specific place for 1 hour and after not contacting anyone for 55 minutes, we were about to start walking back to our car and then we saw this young lady walking to us. My companion didn’t hesitate and ran to contact her…she was the one! We baptized her 3 weeks later. (Berenth)
  • My second convert I got to do his baptism and my first convert I got to go with her for her Endowment. (Jesse)
  • Every part about it. I felt the spirit most when someone I was teaching knew that they were forgiven after they had repented and gave up everything. Very tender and sacred moments. (Mason)
  • Testifying and feeling the spirit back up my words. (Weston)
  • I had a lot, but one that comes immediately to mind was when I was in the hospital, I gained a testimony of God’s love for me, and knew that he knows me, and knows where I am, and really cares about me! He loves all his children so very much and watches over all of us whether we deserve it or not. (Alan)
  • Attending the temple was a powerful experience every time. Going with my district helped me feel really close. Also, seeing direct answers to prayers, such as the challenging task of passing investigators into the ward they need to be in. It’s amazing how the Spirit works on people and helps them learn from any missionary. Regardless of how much love you have for a person, they are going to thrive in the area they belong. Trust God, and do your best. Praying so much, and feeling the Spirit so powerfully guide you to do things, was always a great blessing. (Khale)
  • There was a time we were knocking doors and we met a family that was interested in the gospel. We taught the oldest son a lesson at the door and made an appointment to come back and teach the rest of the family another day. We had an appointment to get to after that and were running late, so we hopped on our bikes and rode off excited to have found someone. However, we forgot to write down the street address before we left. The night before we were supposed to see them we realized what we had done so we planned on spending most of the day looking for them. I thought it wouldn’t be too hard because I was sure of where it was. However, when we began to look we could not find their house. I remembered what it looked like but the area where my companion and I thought it was wasn’t the right place. My companion became very frustrated so I said a prayer asking Heavenly Father for forgiveness of my stupidity and asked Him to guide us to that family’s home if they were truly ready for the gospel. Immediately after saying “Amen”, I began to ride away from the area I thought their house was. My companion confusingly followed. We rode for quite a long time and I was turning here turning there not having a clue of where I was going. Eventually we ended up at the family’s home five minutes before our scheduled meeting time. My companion looked at me and asked, “What happened?”. I just shrugged my shoulders. It was then that I truly learned and understood that this is the Lord’s work and He is in charge of it. He will not let His imperfect servants fail if they are working hard and doing their best. (Michael)
  • We were in a zone meeting and were doing role plays. Our mission president asked us to come up and pretend like we were our investigators being taught. I was in a trio so my two companions were teaching me and my role was the mom of an investigator we had. She was against her son being baptized and wouldn’t give her permission and he was not 18 yet, so we needed her permission. I had an amazing feeling that she needed to be taught in Spanish and I was the only one in our trio that really knew Spanish. I ended up translating and talking to her in Spanish every time we met after that. She gave her permission for her son to be baptized. Her daughter was also baptized. Her son just returned from his full-time mission! (BrieAnn)
  • Seeing the atonement take affect on a less active endowed member as his son took the missionary lessons. (Rachel)
  • In my first area we went tracting and found a woman who joined the church in AZ but moved to Garden Grove. and because of her job taking care of elderly of people, she couldn’t to church or find anyone to contact. We knocked on her door and the first thing she said was “Elders I can’t believe you found me!” It was the first real testimony builder of prayer on my mission. We prayed to know which street to knock doors on. It took us one door to further find that lost sister (Matt)
  • There were a few times we had investigators pray to know if the church was true and if they should be baptized. The Spirit would come in so strongly and it was the goal after that to help them remember that feeling. (Genevieve)
  • The first woman we prepared for baptism was at the beginning of my mission. Over the following months we taught and baptized her friends and grand kids. And right before we went home we got to teach and baptize her husband. It was great to see the importance of a whole family living the gospel. (Carrie)
  • So many to name…we were following up on a contact and they ended up not being there for our appointment. The Spirit told us to knock on a door in the same apt complex. We got to a door and it was a lady who answered she was soft spoken and invited us in. In speaking with her that day we found out that she was an inactive member and had not been to church in over 15 years. She had two daughters and wanted is to start teaching them. It surely was a testament of following the prompting of the Holy Ghost. While there in that area we got to see her older daughter get baptized. (Rodlyn)
  • Baptizing 25 people in my zone on one Sunday. (Luis)
  • Each and every baptism, getting to go through the San Diego Temple. (Michael)
  • Feeling prompted to knock on a door late at night and finding a family who had been contacted years ago by missionaries at a bus stop and had been wondering what church they were from. They were so prepared to hear the gospel. (Brooke)
  • Watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean was always a powerful experience. (Brad)
  • Dreaming about the father of a 20 year part member family being baptized by his son and then seeing it all come true. (Glenise)
  • We taught a lady whose husband was a member. We taught them both the discussions and had challenged for baptism. A couple of days later she rang me up and asked me to baptize her. It was a journal entry I looked back on many times. 28 years later we are still in touch. (Derek)
  • As a zone leader in my second to last area I was able to attend the baptism of the very first individual I taught from my first area. Incidentally, she ended up attending BYU, serving a mission to Quebec, marrying in the SLC Temple and having a beautiful family of two boys and four daughters. Years ago during her wedding luncheon she introduced me last. She said I was the reason we were all celebrating her wedding that day. Priceless!! (Todd)
  • When President Benson came and spoke to us about his great relationship with his family and his wife. He blessed us and I felt that blessing so strong! (Jeff)
  • Strengthening my own testimony, and being more understanding towards others differences. (Mike)
  • There were so many great spiritual experiences but one I vividly remember is when I was in Elsinore CA,(no longer in the mission) and one night as I was praying I felt strongly that Jim would be baptized that month. He had been taught by many missionaries for 8 plus years. He was married to a very faithful wife who was LDS and supported her in her callings. He attend church regularly but would not make the commitment. We approached him with the challenge to be baptized but he declined but said he would be happy to take the lessons again. After a few lessons the next day or two he confirmed that he was not ready to be baptized. I went back to the Lord and once again was told that Jim would join the church if we were faithful. I went back to Jim and asked the Bishop to interview him for baptism in 10 days. Bishop agreed but after the interview he said Jim would not be getting baptized, not because of worthiness but because he didn’t have a testimony. I reluctantly approached the Lord again to be chastised and reminded that I must have faith. I went forward with faith to Jim and the Bishop. Both denied the chance to have Jim baptized but I felt better at disagreeing with them than the Lord. The Sunday came and Jim was still not feeling that he wanted to be baptized but I asked him to drive, with his family, to the baptism 45 miles away. He declined. I again bore testimony that the Lord wanted him to join that night and extended the offer to come to the baptism again. At 6:55 Jim and his family showed up and as we greeted them, I escorted Jim to get his “whites” on. He followed me back and dressed in his baptismal cloths. After he was baptized, Jim said that he felt compelled to follow my lead and it was not until he came out of the water that he had the Spirit bear witness that the Church was true. He took his family to the temple a year later and the last I knew, he was still very active with his family. I learned not to doubt the the promptings of the Lord. (Jerry)
  • Learning to identify when the Spirit was testifying to an investigator. (Newell)
  • My first day I got to plan on where we would tract and  we tracted a person that got baptized. (Shell)
  • Finding a lost contact late at night on the side of the road…..will never forget that prayer. (Kevin)
  • On my first day I was paired with the Zone Leader’s companion in his area. It was my door so I rang the bell, no answer. I rang it again, and still no answer. So I gave it one last try, and a bleary eyed guy opened the door. I introduced us as missionaries and why we were here, and told him about prophets, and that there were prophets on the American continent anciently, and that we would like to leave him with a copy of The Book of Mormon so he could read about Christ in America. He said he would like that… He then said that he had worked the night shift and had gone to bed shortly before we woke him. Also that he dreamed of two angels giving him a book to read…So when we offered him The Book of Mormon he really wanted to know more about it. I have no idea what happened after. We passed the address and name along to the missionaries whose area we were working. (Eric)

What are some cool facts about the Anaheim mission?

  • It’s super small but full of the coolest places I have ever been in my life! The whole place is beautiful. You will love it so much! (Berenth)
  • It is to my best knowledge the third smallest mission in the world geographically and also has the most languages spoken in one mission in the states including English,Tongan, Samoan, Vietnamese, Korean, Spanish, and American Sign Language. (Jesse)
  • We use iPads and Facebook. We were about to start JustServe when I left. It’s very small geographically. We have like 7 language programs. (Carson)
  • Its one of the smallest missions and for how small it is, there are a ton of languages. A couple set of missionaries would cover the entire mission. You became very close to other missionaries because of how close your areas were, sometimes even splitting wards. (Mason)
  • It is tiny. (Weston)
  • Disneyland was in the mission. The mission boundaries were about 25-30 minute apart, from North to South and East to West. (Alan)
  • It is a tiny, nearly claustrophobic mission boundary that has only gotten smaller. But, there are so many people, you will never be able to meet everyone there! (Khale)
  • Tons of people live there, so the areas are small. Also like 8 languages are spoken by missionaries, so lots of overlap with different language wards/areas. (Anonymous)
  • At the time ours was one of the smallest missions in the United States. It took 45 min to get from the top to the bottom of the mission. Yet we had a lot of missionaries, which shows the great amount of work to be done there. And now it has been split into two new missions. (Michael)
  • While I was there, we had 9 different languages we taught in. It is one of the smallest missions so we didn’t ever take a bus or train when transferred. We just meet at the mission office and switched everything to our new car with our new companion. We were able to attend the temple often. (BrieAnn)
  • It used to be the second smallest mission in the world. It had 7 languages, but because of an Iranian person being baptized and a need for it, Farsi was added to that list. (Rachel)
  • It was the 2nd smallest mission not including temple square. (Matt)
  • It was geographically really small, which I loved because that helped the whole mission stay pretty close. (Genevieve)
  • They started the New port temple while i was there. A rock with my favorite scripture was used in the baptismal font mixture. (Chad)
  • It’s very small. Disneyland! (Steve)
  • A ton of deaf people live in Orange county. They are more concentrated than in almost any other area. While we were there the mission had 7 different languages. Including ASL. (Carrie)
  • It was in that time the smallest mission geographically. We had Disneyland in our mission boundaries. (Rodlyn)
  • Very small. Mile Square Park was a hub for P-day. Disney Land was in our mission. (Michael)
  • There were so many different languages and it was one of the smallest missions geographically. It was split right at the end of my mission when the Carlsbad mission was formed. We could see the Disneyland fireworks nightly in some of my areas. The monsoon rains were crazy. Some of the kindest, humblest people I have ever met and worked with. (Brooke)
  • We were encouraged to sing .. After dinner…For members After lessons or before…. Sometimes to visit less active members we would walk in with our hymn books only…always leave a song…If we could…We would say a prayer also. We called it the California singing mission. It is one of the ways to draw down the powers of Heaven and it did. Our whole mission would also pray for the hearts of the people to soften and the elect to seek us out. The month we got all the members in the wards in our mission to pray with us…. was the highest baptisms ever… people were walking into the chapel. (Glenise)
  • It was a rich mission. Plenty of California coastline. It has been split at least twice since my mission. We baptized about 100 people a month. It covered 13 stakes from Fullerton to San Clemente. (Derek).
  • At the time it was the smallest geographical mission in the church. There were three million people in Orange County. Elder Oaks spoke at the Santa Ana stake conference and said the stake was the most diverse in the church. Tongan ward, Samoan ward, Spanish ward, deaf branch, Cambodian branch, Vietnamese branch and several other wards including a young adult ward. (Todd)
  • At the time I was there, we were the smallest mission in the church. (Jeff)
  • When our mission was split to the Anaheim mission, we were the smallest geographical mission in the world. (Jerry)
  • Tracting when it was 126F. (Newell)
  • Smallest geographical proselyting mission in the world. (Shell)
  • It does get cold in the winter months. (Kevin)
  • As missionaries we were allowed to go to Disney Land and Knoxberry Farm amusement parks on Mormon night during the off season. As long as we had a ride from a member. On one such occasions, a pretty young girl said that she would sit with me in the back seat..I promptly replied, “no, I’ll be sitting in the back seat with my companion, thank you.” (Eric)

What was the weather like?

  • Perfect! (Berenth)
  • Mostly sunny all year round. (Jesse)
  • During the summer it’s pretty much 80-100 degrees all the time. During the winter it probably ranges from 40-70, with few storms, only rain during the whole year. (Carson)
  • 70’s and sunny the entire time. Maybe one or twice a year it would rain. It would be cool in the morning, get warm and sometimes hot during the day, and then cool right back down. In the winter it got between 50-60 degrees. (Mason)
  • The weather in California was great. In the summer and Spring, the weather was always between 60 and 110 degrees. The weather in the Fall and Winter was between 50 and 110, I think. I do remember that in Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Brea and Placentia on Wednesday, 10/12/2011, it was 107 degrees outside! (Alan)
  • Beautiful all the time, even during rainy season and the Santa Ana winds. It’s gorgeous. But if you adjust to weather easily, make sure you bring a big coat for when it gets down into the 40s-50s. It feels like Alaska when compared to the rest of the year. (Khale)
  • No need for a winter coat, all you need is a light jacket. Hot most days, but when it rains a jacket will be good. Only had one day I needed an umbrella. (Anonymous)
  • Most of the time the weather was beautiful. May, June, and July were the best times. It wasn’t too hot or too cold and there was a nice breeze each day from the ocean. In August it got a little hot and September was really hot, but compared to Florida it wasn’t bad cause it’s a dry heat. The winters were super rainy and a little cold. But it’s not like a heavy rain it was just a constant mist for 2 or 3 weeks. That was interesting. But for the most part it was really nice. (Michael)
  • Usually sunny and mild. Some rain and chilly in the winter, but not too bad. Sometimes sunny and warm in December and January. “June bloom” (or June gloom) is fog lasting until about noon all month. Summer gets hot. (Anonymous)
  • The weather was always perfect. I only remember it raining for a couple days. It gets a little warm in the summer months but it didn’t ever seem that bad. (BrieAnn)
  • Cloudy every morning and then can get hot in the day during the summer. Lots of rain in the winter. Almost always beautiful. Watch out for the Santa Ana winds that come around in October, it will literally try to blow you away! (Rachel)
  • Perfect. (Matt)
  • Pretty wonderful. There was one summer that was exceptionally hot and the winter I left it was unusually cold (but it was Southern CA–we couldn’t complain too much). (Genevieve)
  • Warm and beautiful. (Chad)
  • Two seasons: warm then warmer. (Steve)
  • Mostly sunny. It got mildly cold in the fall/winter and pretty hot in the summer. Especially away from the coast. (Carrie)
  • Beautiful and sunny most of the time. (Rodlyn)
  • Amazing! (Brooke)
  • Sunny and warm. (Derek).
  • Perfect! I bought a rain coat in February of my second year because there was finally enough “bad weather” to warrant one. I think I wore it five times. 🙂 (Todd)
  • It was beautiful! (Jeff)
  • One good rainy season. Mostly sunny. (Mike)
  • Snowed once in two years. Most of the time it was 85-90 degrees in the summer and winters were 70-75. (Jerry)
  • One week in Palm Springs, the temperature was over 100F by 8:00 A.M. every day of the week. (Newell)
  • It never rains in Southern California. (Shell)
  • Great! (Kevin)
  • Hot and dry in the summer. Chilly in the winter nights. Our mission was an all bike mission for the Elders, with few exceptions. The assistants, zone leaders and sisters had cars. So when it was hot…We were hot. When it rained, we got wet… (Eric)

Any things you really like about the area/people?

  • Everything! The people is the best! (Berenth)
  • That it was close to home and know I can visit them very easily because it’s still in the same country as home. (Jesse)
  • Everything. The thing I miss most about my mission is probably all the people I met. I loved the relationships I formed with the people I served with and the intricacies I learned about their life and how I could help, even if it was just to listen. (Carson)
  • The weather. The people were really chill, didn’t care too much about anything, as long as you didn’t act weird, you were okay and no one really got angry at you. (Mason)
  • They became family. (Weston)
  • I lived the scenery. Very beautiful. I took a lot of pictures of the mission.I also grew to LOVE the people I served, served around, and served with. The members were really excellent. I love and miss them all! (Alan)
  • There is good to find in everybody. And I liked that the members were so supportive and helpful. Working with them, I saw some of the greatest triumphs in people’s lives. A ward that works together spreads the gospel powerfully. And missionaries that can help facilitate that are an indispensable resource. (Khale)
  • The people love and embrace missionaries. They honk when they see you riding your bikes. Even those that aren’t interested are most of the time still polite. There are MANY opportunities to serve your community (most of the time through helping them move). (Anonymous)
  • I loved how loving and inviting they were. Even if they hated Mormons, they always offered us water and sometimes even invited us in to just chat for awhile. The Spanish people always gave us food and would listen to what we had to say whether or not they planned on excepting it. Many of the areas were beautiful and there were a lot of rich homes. Christmas time was the coolest because the Christmas lights were really nice. Freeways are a little crazy to navigate so be careful there. But all in all very nice areas, some even had mountains and big hills that were cool to explore on preparation day. (Michael)
  • English and Spanish areas were great, but different. I loved the openness and friendliness of the Latino people. The wards had wonderful mission leaders and families in all the areas I served in. They gave us dinner most of the time and it was a great opportunity to get to know the members and find people to help with teaching and fellow-shipping. (Anonymous)
  • I like everything about my mission. The people were very kind. We came across only a few who wanted to argue. Most every one was very respectful. The members in the wards always welcomed us and fed us amazing dinners. We got to walk and drive past Disney Land. (BrieAnn)
  • There was so much diversity and the members are amazing in every Ward you serve in. (Rachel)
  • The members were very strong and very kind to all missionaries. Everyone we taught will always have a special place in my heart! I miss everyone from my mission. (Matt)
  • People who wanted the best for their communities and neighbors. Strong members that really tried to live the gospel everyday. (Genevieve)
  • Everything, I love California. (Chad)
  • Mexicans. Never had trouble making friends because they’re so welcoming. (Steve)
  • Deaf people are awesome. And very loving. (Carrie)
  • I grew to love the members in the mission and grew closer to the Savior and Heavenly Father in a way I would not have been in any other place. (Rodlyn)
  • People were humble. (Luis)
  • Served from the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich. All baptisms came from member referrals. Loved the members and am still in contact with several. (Michael)
  • I just loved the people in general! Everyone we met invited us in before we even told them who we were. They were so kind. (Brooke)
  • Disneyland was cool. I also liked learning about people from lots of different countries in central and south America. (Brad)
  • I loved all the people. They were friendly and welcoming… it did help to get into doors having an accent. (Glenise)
  • People were friendly. They liked English people. Homes were nice. Dinner appointments were plentiful. (Derek)
  • The members were awesome! Very supportive! We lived in member’s homes and had dinner appointments every night. We did the majority of our teaching from member referrals. (Todd)
  • I loved being able to teach all kinds of ethnic groups. (Jeff)
  • Pleasant. Not too anxious or overly excited. Positive. (Mike)
  • Greatest people that were so open. There is a lot of anti-mormon groups in the area, but that opens the doors for great discussions to people that are really searching. If a missionary works hard he will find many that join the church. Members are wonderful and very helpful. Meals most nights and many members are willing to bring over friends who are not members. (Jerry)
  • Good people who were trying hard to do what is right. (Newell)
  • Everything, they are great people, all of them. (Kevin)
  • The weather was dryer than what I was accustomed to in NH which made the heat of summer- though hotter on some of the very hot days- much more tolerable. The winter was great. The mountains had snow, but where I served was pleasantly warm. (Eric)

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • Don’t worry about a lot of your clothes (suits, pants, white shirts, sweaters, raincoats, dresses, skirts, blouses) we have a lot of really nice clothing in the mission office that was donated by members in the mission. There is new stuff and used stuff that it is in excellent condition! (Berenth)
  • Pack light, bring an excess amount of garments, and avoid getting attached to “stuff” because if you don’t mail it home or through it away your going to be caring it during your mission and/or it will cost you extra at an air port and paying customs fees if you’re traveling to a different country. (Jesse)
  • For elders. Lots of ties. No umbrella, but yes a waterproof jacket for those few times it does rain. (Carson)
  • Bring regular sheets. My packet said to bring flat sheets but the stretchy sheets were okay. The flat sheets always came untucked. Not cool. If I needed anything it was pretty cheap for my parents to mail something to me.The standard of living there is really high. There are only a few Walmarts and a couple of Targets, but its pretty pricey down there.I didn’t need the first aid kit I brought, the Mission Home gave me all of that. (Mason)
  • Don’t skimp on white shirts. (Weston)
  • Get rid of a lot of junk as you pack. Send things home if you need to so that you don’t have to carry it all though your mission. (Alan)
  • If you adjust to different weather/climate quickly, bring a coat for the “winter”. Also, have a good rain coat. The rain is serious for a couple weeks every year. Or don’t, and be soaked! It can be an interesting conversation starter too! (Khale)
  • See weather. Short sleeve shirts for elders. Most days will be at least 70 degrees. (Anonymous)
  • Just follow what is given in the mission packet. That was sufficient for me. Also, get your shoes at the missionary mall in Utah if you can because they’ll end you a new pair during you mission when your first pair gets all wore out. That was a big help for me. (Michael)
  • Wear layers, it changes from warm to cold a lot especially in winter months- have a sweater and jacket maybe gloves. (Anonymous)
  • We were advised to wear nice jackets to all our meetings. (BrieAnn)
  • Have a good, warm coat for winter and a couple pairs of shoes. (Rachel)
  • Buy a bike when you get to the field don’t order one before hand. Buy plenty of ties, you’ll need them. (Matt)
  • It’s really not cold very often. Anything lightweight is a blessing. (Genevieve)
  • Short sleeve shirts and light material for suits. (Chad)
  • Ross Dress for Less. (Steve)
  • Short sleeve shirts. Sunglasses. Long shorts for p-day. Prepare for warm weather. (Derek)
  • Buy extra white shirts. (Luis)
  • Plenty of white shirts, I changed shirts at lunch many times. (Michael)
  • Lots of light weight clothes to layer. (Brooke)
  • You can buy anything you need, so there was no pressure if you forgot or lost something. (Brad)
  • Don’t over pack.. have fun and swap clothes with your companions ..especially outfits that you are bored with. (Glenise)
  • Travel light. (Todd)
  • Nights do get cool in the winter but a light coat or suit jacket is usually ok. (Jerry)
  • In the desert, wearing a suit coat is actually cooler than not wearing a suit coat. (Newell)
  • Take the liner for your rain coat, no joke. (Kevin)
  • Pants wear out faster when you ride a bike. Bring some extra. When it is foggy or misty, the smog combines with the moisture and stings the eyes. I found that eye drops helped soothed the irritation. Gloves were nice when biking in the cold nights of winter. (Eric)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • A lot! (Berenth)
  • I became more mature, my desire and thirst for the gospel increased alone with my understanding and testimony of the scriptures and prophets in these days, and seeing people chance and swing my first convert receive her Endowment was very special to me. (Jesse)
  • A wife, a good work ethic, lots of friends for life, business contacts, a place to stay when I go to Disney land. (Mason)
  • Self confidence/ reliance on the Lord. (Weston)
  • When I entered the MTC, I did not have a big appetite, but as I continued out my mission, my appetite grew. I was also kept safe on my bike while traveling. (Alan)
  • Experience working with many dedicated folks my own age, and gained a lot of respect for our Church leaders who live a missionary lifestyle everyday. We each have it easier one way or the other. But, man… The experience of serving a mission was something I could never replicate. (Khale)
  • I don’t think I received many for myself personally. I did see the Lord pour out his blessings upon my family and those whom I taught. You get to witness people change their lives for the better. (Anonymous)
  • For one, I got to learn Spanish which has been a blessing for me in getting certain jobs since I’ve been home, but more importantly it’s allowed me to communicate with my grandmother on my mom’s side better. She speaks Spanish and doesn’t speak English very well, so I can now talk to her in Spanish and communicate with her. It has deepened my relationship with her. I am in school now and the things I learned about studying and time management has been a lifesaver with all the stress and work that comes with school. It’s helped me keep an eternal perspective and prioritize things better which has made me much happier. I learned how to set goals and achieve them and that has made a huge difference since being home. Most importantly I drew closer to my Savior and I learned how to continue drawing closer to Him each day. I learned in a very real way that He loves all of Heavenly Father’s children regardless of their circumstances or past faults. He is always there for anyone who reach out to Him. (Michael)
  • Increased confidence, faith in the Lord, direction for the future, greater testimony and love of the gospel, friendships with companions and converts, great lessons learned from my Mission President and his wife. (Anonymous)
  • I received so many blessings from serving a mission. It really helped me to not shy away from people asking questions about my faith. I’ve been able to use that so much. I learned what it is really like to have a relationship with Heavenly Father and that has helped me in my most trying times. Learning Spanish has helped me to have a better understanding of people from other countries, and be able to understand many accents better. (BrieAnn)
  • The list is too long, but here are a few: I learned about and understood the Atonement more then ever. Made great friends Learned about leadership Learned about faith and the power of prayer Gained a personal and wonderful relationship with Heavenly Father. (Rachel)
  • Too many to count. (Matt)
  • I actually learned how to be healthy on the mission. I also finally learned about the Atonement and true repentance on a personal level. (Genevieve)
  • My strong testimony. (Chad)
  • Confidence, new language, memories. (Steve)
  • The biggest one was a lifetime friend. My companion and I were the only ASL missionaries, so we served together almost the whole mission. We still talk on the phone regularly. (Carrie)
  • Countless many blessings I even got to bear my testimony with my biological father who lived in the last area I served in. (Rodlyn)
  • Learned self confidence. (Luis)
  • Too many to name: lifelong friends, testimony, skills for my job, knowledge of the importance of service, etc.. (Brooke)
  • I speak Spanish fluently. I also made some good friends. (Brad)
  • I think The Lord has never stopped blessing me. A wonderful wife, 4 wonderful children, a grandchild. As well as more confidence, gospel knowledge and strong testimony. (Derek).
  • I have leaned on the lessons I learned from my mission for over 28 years! Leadership, patience, Christ like love, etc. Wonderful experience! Like anything, you get out of it what you put into it. (Todd)
  • Prepared me for the rest of my life. Not a day goes by I don’t think about it. (Michael)
  • Beautiful life and beautiful wife in a great ward with great kids. (Jeff)
  • Increased desire to be closer to my Heavenly Father, and to become more Christlike. (Mike)
  • I found my relationship with my God and Savior. I continue to be blessed for my service. I learned how to be more obedient and have fun in obedience. I was worthy of my wife because of following rules that I learned on my mission. I can teach my sons and daughters my love for missionary work. (Jerry)
  • A sure knowledge…(Newell)
  • Not enough room…..suffice it to say, the best 2 years of my life. (Kevin)
  • Blessings come as your heart is in the work and an effort is made. Whatever your weakness is, it will be made stronger. I was blessed in my weakness to learn the names of the church members quickly. At one time I was given permission to return to a previous area and attend the baptism of an investigator with whom we had worked. I had been gone for only a couple of weeks. I had learned most of the names of the people of my new ward, but couldn’t remember the names of most of the people that I had so recently left. A very strong feeling came over me, that it was ok that I was there, but only as a visitor, my area was elsewhere. I have found that we are blessed by the Lord in all our callings as our hearts are dedicated to the work and we give it all we can. (Eric)

What are some skills you gained?

  • How to have patience with the traffic jams. (Berenth)
  • I can be self reliant, and to organize and Rae leadership. (Jesse)
  • Working on and with councils. (Carson)
  • How to get along with someone. Spanish. How to parallel park. Interpersonal skills. New way to mark my scriptures. Work ethic.  (Mason)
  • Better communicating skills. (Weston)
  • Communication skills, sense of direction and being able to work with others, whether it be other missionaries, members, investigators, or people we talk to while tracting. (Alan)
  • Scripture study and note taking skills. An increased ability to recognize what a prompting is telling me to do, when helping someone or talking things out with them. Skills to deal with interpersonal conflict. Ability to love people, including myself, despite mistakes and flaws. (Khale)
  • Communication skills, and reading situations for what they actually are. (Anonymous)
  • A new language, time management, listening skills, problem-solving skills, I learned how to flip a pen around my finger because everyone in ward council meetings did that so I learned it (not that it’s anything important), how to follow the Spirit, and study skills. (Michael)
  • While I was on my mission, all of my talents were stronger. I’ve learned to share my talents and when I have had certain callings, I learned that you are able to gain different talents more easily. (BrieAnn)
  • Drive in California! (Rachel)
  • Compassion. Patience. Love. (Matt)
  • Driving–I was definitely an amateur before the CA freeways. (Genevieve)
  • God relationship and people skills. (Chad)
  • Spanish, leadership. (Steve)
  • ASL, interpreting, listening, driving in traffic. (Carrie)
  • Over coming shyness, learning to love unconditionally, serving alongside the saints. (Rodlyn)
  • Spanish. (Luis)
  • People person. I teach now for a living, and my mission prepared me for that. (Michael)
  • Spanish, empathy, public speaking, building relationships, working with different types of people. (Brooke)
  • Spanish language, basic sales skills. (Brad)
  • Stronger in the gospel. The ability to talk to and teach any age group. A stronger testimony. Knowing what I want for myself and my children. (Glenise)
  • Speaking, Leadership, Debate skills, Patience. (Derek)
  • Sales skills galore. Ability to build relationships of trust. (Jeff)
  • Some Confidence. (Mike)
  • How to deal with people that I meet. How to live with others that have a different opinion than I do. Love people who don’t agree with the way I think. (Jerry)
  • Ability to talk to anyone anytime. (Newell)
  • Patience, following people less qualified than myself, and working for no obvious and immediate gain, leadership. (Shell)
  • Can fix any bike. (Kevin)
  • I learned how to maintain and tune up my bike. Teaching about the Gospel is a joy in my life. I gained a deeper testimony and broader understanding. I learned how to listen the Spirit. (Eric)

What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?

  • I wish I could have gone to mission prep before going out. I also wish that my first companion wasn’t busy with office work. (Jesse)
  • Don’t give up on someone if they can really change, but there are people ready for you when others aren’t. If someone isn’t progressing, go out and look for someone that is ready to progress. Sometimes this will require that you don’t focus on someone you’ve grown to love, but you’ll find someone else just as great that is ready. Talk to as many new people as you can to find someone that’s ready. (Carson)
  • Love the mission, be obedient but don’t stress about what is out of your control. (Weston)
  • I feel like I could have done a lot more talking while contacting in the streets, or door contacting. More prayers. (Alan)
  • I wish I had studied the scriptures more, and preach my gospel, before serving. It would have given me the book knowledge and stronger testimony that would have helped me start off in a better footing. (Khale)
  • I’d recommend bringing extra money for the first transfer. It’s cheaper to buy larger quantities of things such as water/laundry soap, than to buy them in small doses each week. Most missionaries buy water, as in some cities legally you can’t drink out of the tap. Also although it’s a culture shock and things are happening all around, I would just say take it slow, one day at a time. Learn as much as you can, and realize although struggles might happen, you won’t be with that companion or area forever. (Anonymous)
  • I wish I didn’t worry so much about my imperfections and just focused on doing my best. The Lord will make up the difference if you just put in your absolute best effort and trust in Him. If you focus on your imperfections, then you’re not trusting in Him and you won’t be as successful as you could be. (Michael)
  • Be more open and honest with the Mission President because he could’ve helped me more. Later I learned that. (Anonymous)
  • I wish I would have been more understanding of my companions. My trainer worked so hard to help me and welcome me and I wish I would have been more supportive and helpful to her. (BrieAnn)
  • I wish I studied and practiced the language more. Been not so nervous! (Rachel)
  • Wrote in my journal more. (Matt)
  • How to work with members effectively. It’s the best way to be a missionary. (Genevieve)
  • Just focus on the work. Ignore the petty stuff. Play hard on p-day. (Carrie)
  • Bore testimony to everyone not let anyone pass me by in any instance. (Rodlyn)
  • Learned more church history. (Luis)
  • Memorized the scriptures better. (Michael)
  • Trust The Lord more. Rely on him rather than my own wisdom. Be bold. (Derek)
  • I wish I knew that there was going to be a lot of adversity. (Jeff)
  • How to listen to the Spirit. A much better work ethic. (Mike)
  • Served better. (Scott)
  • How to deal with people that I meet. How to live with others that have a different opinion than I do. Love people who don’t agree with the way I think. (Jerry)
  • How to work members better for referrals. (Shell)
  • Don’t try to be a Super Greenie…..Be yourself and remember that it was you, the real you, that was called to serve these people, not Super Greenie. (Kevin)
  • Setting aside the world and freedoms I had enjoyed. Being willing to limit my travels to a confined area. I am a convert to the church and was baptized at age 18. I did not have the lessons of Primary, MIA ( what is now Young Men’s), Seminary and most importantly the LDS home life. It would have been nice to have had that background training. (Eric)

Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Anaheim?

  • Enjoy every single day the most you can! Be happy doing your job and be humble all the time. Enjoy even the bad things and see the good in all your companions! Remember that everyone is different and that no one is perfect. (Berenth)
  • Studying preach my gospel it is going to be your greatest tool and as an aid to it get a holy tabs kit for your scriptures to organize buy topic. (Jesse)
  • It’s great. Love it and stick with it the whole time. Be obedient and work hard. Either way you’ll be there the same amount of time, might as well make a difference in your life and the life of those you serve. (Carson)
  • Get to know the members! They are your support, your friends, and will help you with almost anything from dinners to finding investigators. Goals and Plans are your friend. Find out how to use them quick and everything becomes clear. (Mason)
  • Go with the right purpose. (Weston)
  • My advise would be to be very obedient and work really hard! Build your testimony forever strong so that it will never waver! Learn the lessons you will be teaching! Pray for the spirit at all time! DO NOT TEACH UNLESS THE SPIRIT IS THERE! D&C 42:14 I have a testimony of this gospel. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ did appear to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove. I know that to be true! I know that Joseph Smith, with the power of God translated the Book of Mormon. I know Heavenly Farther has a plan for each of us. That plan is tailored just for us as individuals. I know that God has called President Thomas S. Monson as His prophet here upon the earth today! (Alan)
  • Stay strong in the face of temptation. Do everything you can to avoid worldliness while out there. There are billboards and posters and magazines and books everywhere that depict pornography in some form or the other. Not to mention, many people that chose to wear immodest clothing everyday. If you keep a focus on Christ, and take care of your bodily, spiritual, and mental needs, you will be able to stay focused on your message rather than your hormones. I recommend every young man go through the ARP manual, and do some talking with their parents or leaders about sex so they aren’t just playing around in imagination land when they face these things that might be totally new, or lead them back into old habits. Also, talk openly with your companion when you are struggling with bad thoughts or actions. Catch it before it even has a chance of becoming a problem. (Khale)
  • Make sure you have a solid testimony of prayer and the Book of Mormon. You won’t be perfect and neither will your companion. The only thing that matters at the end of the day is where your heart is at. Are you actively trying to share your testimony? Do you leave the apartment? Would your Father in Heaven be happy and proud of how you spend your time? (Anonymous)
  • Just go and serve. Put all other worries and cares away. Don’t worry about your girlfriend/boyfriend back home, don’t worry about school and work, just serve the Lord with all your heart for 2 years or 18 months and don’t hold back. If you do I promise that you will see miracles happen and that land will become sacred ground to you. It has been for me and I saw miracles worked there that I never could of even imagined. The Lord will be with you, He works there in that part of His vineyard frequently and you will see it too and draw closer to Him. Love the Lord and love the people who you’ll serve and you will always have success. God be with you my fellow servants. (Michael)
  • The first transfer or two will be really hard–it will get easier (maybe not until six or nine months, everyone’s different). Put your whole soul into serving, trust the Lord, He will take care of you and you are never alone because He knows and He cares about what you’re doing and going through. (Anonymous)
  • Love the people, all of them. Forget yourself, it’s a great practice to be selfless, don’t worry about what is going on at home or what you would be doing if you didn’t choose to serve a mission. You will be so blessed for being obedient and you can really only be obedient if you forget yourself and what you want and focus on what the Lord wants for the people you are serving. (BrieAnn)
  • Forget yourself and go to work. You have your entire life to think about yourself, this is just a brief little speck of time in your eternal existence, but it is an important one. Pray for your companion, pray for the people you teach, pray for the world that it will be ready for you and pray you will be ready for the world. God will be with you always, so even if you think it’s hard, just pray for a little support and never fail, you will get it. (Rachel)
  • You will never be as happy as when you are on your mission serving God! (Matt)
  • Take lots of pictures and pray pray pray. (Chad)
  • Never debate. It’s pointless. (Steve)
  • Love the people. listen. (Carrie)
  • Read and delve into the scriptures especially the Book of Mormon. Love your companions and show compassion, always have the Spirit with you. (Rodlyn)
  • Love the members and get to know them. Most of all, be yourself, don’t be fake. God sent you there because of who you are. Trust the Lord and have fun and enjoy it because it will be over before you know it. (Michael)
  • Love the people. Serve and do things for people. Have fun and joy while you serve and the Spirit will touch their lives and their hearts will be open. (Glenise)
  • Some missionaries may not be as prepared as you. Some may not be obedient as you. The Lord will still bless people to receive the gospel. Don’t compare yourself to others, just look at your own progression. (Derek)
  • Be a good listener. Gain the trust of the members and they will support you as you seek those interested in learning about the Savior. (Todd)
  • Take your mission serious. Work and serve and keep a journal. (Scott)
  • Study preach my gospel with your parents or a good friend weekly!!!!! (Jerry)
  • Read the standard works before you go. (Newell)
  • Not a week goes by that I don’t thank God for my mission experiences and the opportunity to serve. (Shell)
  • Be yourself. Show the people of Southern California, that there is a place for the Spirit in everything they do. (Kevin)
  • Study Preach My Gospel. Become familiar with where to find key scriptures. Learn how to talk to people. Learn how to obey. Learn how to cook. (Eric)

What was a funny language mistake?

  • An elder I knew had a plastic pumpkin on his and singing ” I have a pumpkin on my head and I make you pumpkin bread ” that was so funny! (Jesse)
  • I was an English speaking missionary, but I did speak Spanish only when talking to the Spanish missionaries.We had to call them to pass a referral to them. One day, I called the Spanish Elders and one of them answered the phone in Spanish. I don’t remember what he said, but I said: “No hablas espanol.” My companion laughed at me and told me what to say. I then said: “No Hablo espanol.” It was really funny! (Alan)
  • I only spoke English but once the Mission President put an elder that only spoke English (trying to learn Spanish) and one elder that only knew Spanish (trying to speak English) together. While I never served around either of them, stories of how they would try to communicate and function made me appreciate that I didn’t learn a language. (Anonymous)
  • I was eating at the bishop’s house and I was telling them about how someone told us about an earthquake shake that happened and that my companion and I didn’t feel it at all. I tried to make a joke by saying we must have been flying at the time, but instead of using the word for flying which in Spanish is volar, I used the word violar, which means to rape or violate. Luckily, no one but my companion caught it and he told me afterwards that it was really hard for him not to laugh. I was totally embarrassed. (Michael)
  • I was trying to describe to some elders who moved into our area how to find a certain investigator. I said it was by the tree with “espinacas” (spinach) all over it. I meant “espinas” (spikes). He thought that was pretty funny. (Anonymous)
  • I was saying a prayer in ward counsel in Spanish and said we are grateful for the bishop and his counselors, but I said the wrong type of counselor so they all started laughing. I’m sure I made plenty of other mistakes, that one just stands out at the moment. (BrieAnn)
  • I said “Somos missioneras” and some guy thought we said “somos prisoneras”. Translated, “we are missionaries and he thought I said “we are prisoners”. He was ready to go beat someone up for us!! (Rachel)
  • Too many to count, but no worries, it’s to be expected and Mexicans are forgiving. (Steve)
  • Had a companion ask an investigator if the lady in the wedding picture was her husbands first wife… was the investigator. (Michael)
  • We made many…one of my companions meant to say that a person could speak freely with is but instead she told him he could speak cheaply with us (interpreted as they could trash talk us….) (Brooke)
  • I am from South Africa and one of my companions was a Hill Billy southern . . . so sometimes it was a challenge! (Glenise)
  • English speaking although some Spanish and Vietnamese. I still got to baptize someone in Spanish even though I was English speaking. (Derek)
  • We were given some Spanish phrases to use as we tracted to help get referrals for the Spanish missionaries, which was a great idea until the people started talking back to us in Spanish and we were clueless. (Kevin)
  • Being in Southern California we actually had three different types of missionaries: English, Spanish and Sign Language. The Spanish missionaries gave us a choice of two door approaches we could use, should it be necessary. While tracting one day I had the opportunity to use one of the approaches that I had memorized. It was my door so I rang the bell and the door opened. I began the introduction in English when the fellow who had opened the door informed me “No speak English ” Well… It was finally time to use the Spanish approach! I did… Got all the way through and he says to me… “No speak English” Undaunted by the comment, I launched into it again! Halfway through he says “Catholic, Catholic,” And since I didn’t know any conversational Spanish to help him become interested in our message I tossed in the towel and wished him a good day and left. (Eric)

William (California Anaheim Mission)

–Paraphrased from  William’s mission interview–

The History of the Newport Temple

We were able to go to the Newport temple once a quarter. The members of Orange County asked President Hinckley if they could build a temple and he said no because of the LA temple. They then asked if they could build it if they paid for it. The members of all of the stakes in Orange County got together and made this fund that they paid for the temple. I heard that three wealthy members went to President Hinckley afterwards and said that they were willing to pay for the temple, but he told them no and it had to come from the members. People complained saying they didn’t want a white temple because it would distract people driving on the freeway and the city told them that they couldn’t use the white marble they had already bought. The members fasted and it turned out that there was a building being built with the exact amount of stone but a different color, so they were able to switch them. It’s one of the tiny miracles of that temple. It’s one of my favorite temples to go to. It has this very homey feel.

Shannon (California Anaheim Mission)

–Paraphrased from  Shannon’s mission interview–

A Diverse Mission

The Anaheim mission has eight languages that missionaries spoke. English and Spanish had the most. We also had Tonga, Samoan, Korean, Vietnamese, ASL, and Mandarin. Since then I don’t know if they’ve added more, but it was very unique. The Anaheim area has really strong communities and people that have gathered from all over the world. Driving through the cities you can see that everyone is Korean. Other cities will have everyone speaking only Spanish. I know that most of the people I met were from lots of different places in Mexico. A smaller percentage were from central and south america.

Mission Info

The weather there is awesome. It was pretty mild. The summers did get up to 100 in the summer, but the coast is a lot more temperate. The winter got to low 40’s. I think a lot of sisters ride bikes now, but when I was there the sisters only drove cars. We would live maybe ten minutes away from our area, so we would drive to our area, park, and walk most of the day. It was nice to be in the neighborhoods and get to know all of the streets. Disneyland is in the mission. Anaheim Angels stadium is there too. We never went to Disneyland, but one of my areas had it included and there was a big splotch on the map saying to stay away. We planned to go around it all day. Every night we could see the fireworks as we drove home. A lot of people asked me if we spoke with a lot of Disneyland tourists. I was in one area for nine months and we never spoke to tourists. I think it’s because they mostly stay in their hotels and then stay in the boundaries of Disneyland. Sometimes I wondered if we could have reached out to tourists, but we were pretty busy with all of the Spanish speakers in our area.

Heeje (California Anaheim Mission)

–Paraphrased from  Heeje’s mission interview–

A Diverse Mission

The Anaheim is the third smallest in the world behind temple square and behind Long Beach. We cover most of Orange County, and there is a huge range of diversity in the mission. It is extremely diverse in Orange County. There is a huge variance in levels of living the gospel as well. There are really strong members of the church that live it completely and it goes down from there. We have several languages in our mission. We have a lot of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean. There are a lot of Persian, Arabic, and Indian people. You meet Jews every now and then. You can get any kind of food. There is the fabulously wealthy Newport Beach area and Kobe Bryant lives there. There is also the ghetto where there are gunshots all of the time. There is just a huge range of people living in the mission. The missionaries themselves are very diverse. There is the beach, forests, lakes, public libraries. California just has everything.

Korean Speaking

I served Korean speaking. so I got to go everywhere in the mission. It was hard not crossing mission boundaries sometimes when members wanted to take us to a restaurant just across the street from the mission boundaries. I loved teaching English classes every week to try to find more people to teach. We tried to teach English and help them learn gospel principles as well. I remember cooperating with the Chinese elders. We had a lot of fun together and ate a lot of different kinds of foods. The members were very generous. Investigators we would meet were so nice to us. Of course there were people who weren’t nice to us, but a lot of people were so nice to us and would invite us in to eat their delicious food. There were Vietnamese speaking missionaries that we would partner with as well. I miss California.

One of my previous companion’s dad served in our mission, but it was just one big mission at the time. I do know that Anaheim was the headquarters of that big mission.

Ruth (California Anaheim Mission)

–Paraphrased from Ruth’s mission interview–

Location and Culture

The Anaheim mission is located in southern california in the northern part of Orange county. It has a lot of languages, it includes one of the only ASL missions. We have Korean, Vietnamese, and Spanish as well. It’s a very diverse part of the country. You can knock at doors in a neighborhood and meet people from all different races and backgrounds.

The Church in Anaheim California

The Wards are pretty amazing. I was able to serve in four different wards. The only branches in the mission are language branches. There are a lot of wards, and a lot of people to help with the work. There are also a lot of members to reactivate as well. Use the members to help you find people to teach! Members are the best missionaries.

The Newport Beach temple is the closest temple to the mission. It actually used to be a part of the Anaheim mission, but recently the Anaheim mission split to form the Irvine mission because the church is growing so much. This made the Anaheim mission one of the smallest in the world. It was really easy to get to know your area because of how small they are. You get to know the people, the areas, and the culture very well. In your mission you learn how to use resources. Occasionally, the mission as a whole would be able to attend the temple together, with the goal of bringing recent converts, other members, and investigators to the temple.

Mission Presidents

Mission Presidents just love you (their missionaries) so much. They show you their love right away, whether you have one president or another. The transition between presidents for us was unique to everybody, but it is a chance to learn and grow from both. Help your mission president by doing the best you can to be awesome! These things will bless not only him, but you, your companion, the mission , and your investigator.

Anne (California Anaheim Mission)

–Paraphrased from Annes’s mission interview–

The Tiny Anaheim Mission

The first question I have to answer is this: No, we did not go to Disneyland! I could see the fireworks from my apartment for a good part of my mission. The Anaheim mission is one of the smallest in North America. It takes about 25 minutes to drive from one end to the other. My areas were 10 minutes wide at most, and I had a car for most of my mission.

However, there were millions and millions of people within the area. I had one area that was 4 blocks by 4 blocks, with each block absolutely packed with apartment buildings. There were probably enough people in that small area to be triple the size of Provo, UT.

The Church in Anaheim, California

We had missionaries who spoke English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Tongan, Samoan, and ASL. In the Anaheim, if you were called to serve in a language, you stuck with that Language. I only had two or three lessons in English during the whole mission, and I spent most of my time speaking Spanish. There were several stakes in that small geogpraphic area. Because of the large Spanish Speaking population there was actually a whole Spanish Speaking Stake. The Newport Beach temple was the closest temple there. It was just outside mission boundaries, but we were able to attend every once in awhile.