Here are free resources about the California Oakland-San Francisco 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: California LDS Missions.
Oakland-San Francisco Mission Address
Here’s a recent address for the California Oakland-San Francisco Mission. We try to keep this info 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 Oakland/San Francisco Mission
4945 Lincoln Way
Oakland, CA 94602
Phone Number: 1-510-531-3880
Mission President: President A. Jerry Meredith
Oakland-San Francisco Mission Map
Here’s a link to the mission map for the California Oakland-San Francisco Mission (LDS). To access the official LDS.org map for the Oakland-San Francisco Mission:
Oakland-San Francisco Missionary Blogs
Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the California Oakland-San Francisco Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.
Oakland-San Francisco Mission Groups
Here are California Oakland-San Francisco Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the mission.
- Oakland-San Francisco Mission (Pres. Wade) Group (401 members)
- CA Oakland/San Francisco Mission Facebook Group (12 members)
- Oakland/San Francisco Mission Moms (LDS) Group (1 member)
Oakland-San Francisco Mission T-Shirts
Here are T-shirts for the California Oakland-San Francisco Mission!
Shirt designs include California Oakland-San Francisco 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 Oakland-San Francisco missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.
Oakland-San Francisco Mission Presidents
Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the California Oakland-San Francisco LDS Mission.
- 2015-2018, Ted H. Frandsen
- 2012-2015, Arthur Jerry Meredith
California LDS Statistics (2016)
- Church Membership: 773,762
- Missions: 20
- Temples: 7
- Congregations: 1,357
- Family History Centers: 222
Helpful Articles about California
Oakland-San Francisco Missionary Survey
Here are survey responses from California Oakland-San Francisco RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.
When did you serve?
- January 2012-2014 (Austin)
- 2013-2015 (Paula)
- 2013-2015 (Addison)
- 2014-2015 (Sarah)
- 2014-2016 (Sadie)
- 2013-2015 (Weston)
- 2014-2015 (Daisy)
- 2014-2016 (Frank)
- 2013-2015 (Levin)
What cities/areas did you serve in?
- Concord, Hayward, San Francisco. (Paula)
- Oakland, San Leandro, and San Francisco. Over 20 months was Oakland. (Addison)
- Hayward, Pittsburg, Concord, San Mateo. (Sarah)
- Concord, San Mateo, and Brentwood. (Sadie)
- The Concord 2nd Ward, the Alamo 2nd Ward the Concord 1st Ward the Brentwood 3rd Ward The Hilltop second ward in Richmond and the Richmond II Laotian Ward. (Weston)
- Oakland, San Francisco. (Daisy)
- Moraga, Berkeley, Richmond, San Francisco, Pleasant Hill, San Ramon. (Frank)
- Oakley, Hayward, downtown San Francisco, Daly City, Alameda, Concord, Pleasant Hill. (Levin)
What were some favorite foods?
- My favorite foods had to have been pozole, mole and enchiladas rojas. I loved cow tongue also, especially in tacos! Pozole was my absolute favorite- red and green pozole. I also love pig feet and ears in my pozole- it tastes super good especially in the green pozole. (Austin)
- Quesadilla, burritos, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, strawberry shake. (Paula)
- Tortas, El Salvadoranean quesadilla bread, tacos al pastor, papusas, carne asada. (Addison)
- Food from the Spanish members: Pupusas, sopes, caldo de rez, enchiladas, etc. (Sarah)
- Papusas, tacos, tostadas, flautas, arroz con leche. (Sadie)
- Mango Sticky Rice (Laotian Ward) and I loved when members would give us authentic food from their culture. Whatever it may have been. (Weston)
- Chinese food!!! The pies members made!!! (Daisy)
- While on the mission, I didn’t have any crazy foods like some do…but I did eat a lot of salmon. Near the end of my mission, I ate at this Thai place and I really enjoyed the food! (Frank)
- Other than the ethnic foods that the members fed us, I especially loved Filipino barbecue at Fil-Am in Daly City, chocolate sundaes from Ghirardelli square, sweet pork bun from the San Francisco Chinatown, Hispanic food from San Franciso’s Mission St., Bi-rite ice cream from San Francisco, Polynesian food at Mo’s Hut in Oakland.. those who knew me knew that I loved the food in the Bay Area. (Levin)
What was a funny experience?
- One super funny experience was when I was on exchanges. My companion and I were walking on the road and we came in front of a guy sitting on a bench on the side of the road. He was getting ready to have a barbecue, but he stood up and asked us if we were the Mormons from the Mormon Temple. We told him we were, and he asked if we wanted to fight. He asked if we had love for Black people in the temple up on the hill. We told him yes, we have a whole ward of Black people. He then took off his jacket and he was wearing a wrestling belt, wrestling shirt and wrestling shorts. He then proceeded to try to punch us. My companion and I tried to hand him a pass-along card, but every time we would, he would karate chop it out of our hands. We finally told him we had to go, and we kind of had to run away from him as he chased us down the road. (Austin)
- I was always serious. Lol Chasing after the bus maybe? (Paula)
- These three thugs walked up and we started talking with them, showing them a temple card. One of them got mad at his friend who swore when he saw how beautiful the temple was. Then he told us “a’ight brethren, you got my full attention.” We decided they weren’t in a state to receive spiritual promptings, so we quickly invited them to the temple and left it at that. One of them then exclaimed, “y’know what? Jesus wouldn’t approve o ‘dis!” And sauntered off, pulling his sagging pants up, tucking his shirt in, turning his hat around and saying, “… Dressed like a fool!” (Addison)
- Street contacting someone dancing in the street. (Sarah)
- A drunk man yelling “happy Christmas” trying to dance with my companion while we were out tracting. (Sadie)
- A really awesome time was when I was with my companion in Danville and we rode our bikes almost 6 miles in less than 15 minutes to get home on time. Right when we got home, the Mission President called us and the very first thing he asked was “Elders, are you home?” I am glad to say that we were home and we were on time.. just barely. My companion and I laughed about that often during the rest of our missions. (Weston)
- Serving in San Francisco, my companion and I would see who could find the doorbells first. It’s so hard to find them sometimes. Haha (Daisy)
- A good majority of my funny experiences were on a bike. Prior to the mission, the only time I touched a bike was when I was about 8-9 yrs. old and I was using training wheels. So it was a bit of a struggle. My first week on a bike in my second area, I hit a parked, white van trying to catch up to my companion. I fell over and everything in my shirt pocket came out! Planner, pass along cards, everything. A guy who saw the incident in his car drove up to ask if I was okay and if I needed help. I told him I was fine then drove up to my companion and told him what had happened. My companion came back and asked if I was okay. Then he told me come on were gonna be late for our appointment. That’s basically it. (Frank)
- My companion and I were biking in Hayward and I decided to greet a stranger from a distance before stopping to talk to them. I yelled out “good morning, sir!” The stranger turned around, and then I quickly realized that the stranger was actually a ma’am. It was too awkward for me to stop to talk with her so I just sped away from my embarrassment. (Levin)
What was a crazy/dangerous experience?
- One of the crazy dangerous experiences we had, was on an exchange with a missionary. We went to go contact an investigator in an apartment complex. The apartment number led us behind a meat market. When we went behind, we found the apartment complexes abandoned. We then figured we ought to leave, and went back to the door. To our surprise, the door had locked from the outside. We were stuck inside the back of the meat market. We finally found the latter scaled a 10-foot wall. We climbed the latter and jumped into the backyard of someone’s home. We went to the gate, but it was locked also. We asked people on the street to open the gate, but they just laughed at us. We finally had to jump on each other’s back to get over the fence. (Austin)
- Almost hit by a car riding a bike for gazillion times but was spared by the tender mercies of the Lord! (Paula)
- First night with my trainer, we woke up at 1 AM to the sound of a swat team breaking down our neighbors door and yelling “Police!!! Get down on the ground!!!” (Addison)
- My companion got bit by a dog while we were doing service. (Sarah)
- Seeing a lady running down the street who had just been shot. She had blood all over her and there was a man helping her who ran off when she got her to her house. We called 911 and stayed out until the police came and listened to her mom screaming at her. (Sadie)
- I think the craziest/most dangerous experience in my mission was when we would try to go street contact later into the evening. The kind of people that are roaming the streets of a large city around 8 to 8:30 at night are not always the nicest people. One time this lady, who had obviously been under the influence of drugs and alcohol not only talked to us but followed us around for nearly half an hour before we decided that maybe this wasn’t the best place and time to be where we were. We saw that lady in a different part of town the next day and to our great surprise, she didn’t recognize us. We took this as a chance to reintroduce ourselves as representatives of Jesus Christ and she asked us if we could come teach her about the Gospel. It was a great and kind of nerve-wracking experience. (Weston)
- Serving in San Francisco was always crazy and dangerous. Lol. (Daisy)
- Another bike accident. This time I’m close to the end of my mission and we were running a bit behind schedule to meet a member for dinner so my companion and I were speeding (not too fast) down the sidewalk and as I come off of a curb, my chain derails and I’m wobbling. My feet are trying to get a hold of the pedals and then bam! Go right over my handle bars. Bike, shirt, and my right arm messed up. As my companion comes to me, he sees something white and he thought I broke a bone! At the time, I couldn’t feel a thing because of the adrenaline. Turns out after we clean it up, that it’s a piece of fatty tissue. Whoo. I thought I was gonna go home with only 3 months left. (Frank)
- Riding the buses or trains in San Francisco in general. It was always fun to see what they had for us every day ha ha ha. (Levin)
What was a spiritual experience?
- One of my favorites experiences on my mission was with an investigator we had. All of her family were members, but she wasn’t. She was going through a bad surgery and medical problems, and asked us to give her a blessing. We proceeded to give her a blessing and the Spirit was extremely strong in the room. Afterwards we invited her to be baptized, and she accepted. At her baptism, all of her family from Mexico, that were members, came up to visit. Her son was a bishop in a ward in Mexico, and was able to baptize her. (Austin)
- A lot. Each lessons. Baptisms. Streetcontacting. Visiting with members. Devotionals. District meetings. Zone conferences. Mission tours. Interview with the mission president. Personal study. Companionship study. Weekly planning. Daily planning. Companionship inventory. Service projects. All the time! (Paula)
- Practicing teaching with my trainee, we finished a role play and paused. I immediately began crying from how overwhelmingly the Spirit was telling us that what I had said about prayer was true. (Addison)
- Kneeling in prayer with an investigator when he received a witness of the Book of Mormon. (Sarah)
- Asking my investigator to kneel with us and pray to know if the church was true, and to ask what the lord wanted him to do with that knowledge. We all knelt, 2 missionaries, 3 members, and our investigator and all 6 of us experienced the most powerful feeling that assured us all that the church is true. It was truly amazing and brought tears to all of our eyes. (Sadie)
- A spiritual experience that I hold dear to my heart is when I was serving in the Laotian Ward. I was placed in the Laotian Ward after being on my mission for 14 months and being placed into a area with no experience with the language was very difficult. I felt very blessed, that after about 9 weeks in the area, I received a Laotian speaking companion from the MTC. He helped me not only to learn some of the language but to learn how important it is to be humble. When we are humble, we can feel the Spirit and I know that without him I wouldn’t have been the kind of missionary who was able to have success in an area that otherwise would have been impossible to teach anyone in. I’m grateful for the experience that I had in the the Laotian Ward and I would not take it back, the people I met there and the investigators that I thought they’re truly changed. My perspective of how the gospel helps others and how important it is to have the Spirit in our lives. We were able to teach two young boys, one was 11 and the other was 13 and both of them were baptized as members of the church. Soon after their baptisms, they were able to receive the Aaronic Priesthood and they have become some of my favorite people that I know on this planet. (Weston)
- When my companion and I felt the same impression to change our lesson plan during a lesson. It was amazing. (Daisy)
- So in my first area, it was 8:45 and we had about 20 min. or so left of proselytizing to do. We were about to call it good for the night. But as a greenie, I was ready to go out and get things done. The area that we were covering, no ones out at night. It’s like a ghost town. So we continue proselyting. We had a goal of 20 OYMs and we had 10. So we needed 10 left. (OYM – Open Your Mouth.) Share the Gospel with somebody…give them a pass along card and try to set up a return appointment. We saw one guy in the distance walking his dog. So we tried to catch up with him but he just was too far away. We turn back around and make our way home. But for some reason, I really wanted those 10 OYMs. So I said a prayer in my heart asking Heavenly Father for help. As I closed my prayer and as we turn the street corner where our appartment complex was on, we see a total of 10 people…5 on one side and 5 on they other. So my companion and I split up and we talk with them all. We even got a referral from it too! (Frank)
- There was a time that I felt extremely lonely in addition to being stressed out of my mind. I felt prompted to look at hymn #127 (Where Can I Turn For Peace?). As I sang quietly to myself, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace that confirmed that God was truly aware of my struggles and that the Savior has gone through what I was going through at the time. That’s when I began to understand that “Christ-went-through-everything-so-He-knows-your-struggles” line that everyone talked about at church. I then remembered asking for that understanding a few weeks back. I wasn’t expecting that the answer would come in a very real way. (Levin)
What are some interesting facts about the Oakland-San Francisco Mission?
- My mission was full of crazy things. In Antioch we had a guy named the Bird Man, who walked around the streets and flipped people off. In Oakland a lot of areas are restricted to Elders only. We saw usually 1-2 shootings a week. We also had nine languages in our mission. It’s a very small mission, but has over two million people. Also, we had a Temple and a Visitor’s Center. (Austin)
- They were two separate missions but got combined. (Paula)
- 10 mission languages spoken (plus you learn the occasional Vietnamese, French, Portuguese, or sign language since we didn’t have those missionaries), both Warriors and Giants won while I was serving, riots on freeways protesting police brutality, headquarters of Pixar, and certain streets are often seen in Pixar movies. (Addison)
- There are people of many different nationalities and cultures. (Sarah)
- There are 10 language programs. There are people from over 70 nations. We have a temple visitors’ center. (Sadie)
- There were 10 language programs in my mission. Frequently we would meet people from other countries. Our areas were so small we were able to learn them very quickly. (Weston)
- We have a visitor center and that was awesome. (Daisy)
- One of the smaller missions in California. One of the most diverse with 9-10 different languages spoken. One of the missions that doesn’t use ipads. (Frank)
- The cultural diversity is outstanding. I kept a list of the native countries of the people I met in my mission. I wrote down over 100 countries. The diversity of thought and beliefs was also impressive. You have the entire spectrum from conservatives to liberals (other than a political sense). (Levin)
What was the weather like?
- The weather was perfect! It was warm all year-long, and varied, depending if you were on the West or East side of the bay. (Austin)
- Cold!! (Paula)
- Always between 50 and 80. Always the same. Cool, unchanging, and almost never uncomfortably hot or cold. (Addison)
- Mostly cool and sunny. (Sarah)
- Perfect. Mostly around the 60s all year round, some areas getting hotter in the summer. Around the city was a little more cold, especially during the winter. (Sadie)
- Perfect! (Weston)
- Perfect one!!! Always perfect!!! (Daisy)
- Hot in the summers. Cool in the winters. Rains sometimes. (Frank)
- San Francisco has perfect weather. I never had to wear more than a light coat in San Francisco. The East Bay, however, was a different story. Summer felt like torture because of the heat that would be almost 100 F. (Levin)
Any things you really like about the area/people?
- There are so many cultures and people from every place imaginable. I served Spanish-speaking, but I taught Lao, Cambodian, Chinese, Tongan, Samoan, English, and Fijian investigators on exchanges. (Austin)
- Diversity. (Paula)
- They’re either super receptive, or won’t give you the time of day. You hardly waste time with people who are “semi-interested”. (Addison)
- The Spanish people are so humble and loving. (Sarah)
- So friendly! And so diverse. I met people from over 50 countries. And they were all so unique and kind. Mostly. (Sadie)
- There is too much that could be said about the people I grew to love. The best thing that can be said is that the people I worked with were some of the most humble and loving people I have ever met. (Weston)
- Diversity! (Daisy)
- Diversity of the people. And how at one place, you can see nothing but Caucasians and then you see Asians and African Americans and Latinos. Just being in The Bay, getting a different view of the people than what some tourists see. (Frank)
- The diversity of culture and the thought that I don’t see much in Utah. (Levin)
Any packing/clothing advice?
- Be simple. (Paula)
- Pack warmer than you’d think (a nice jacket is always good in the mornings), but also bring all those short sleeves, because afternoons can get a bit warm. Don’t bring a pull-up bar. Pack 10-15 lbs light so you can buy souvenirs. (Addison)
- Pack light and mail collected items home periodically. Bring warm clothes and a good coat, but also some cool clothes for the summer. (Sarah)
- Sweaters, it gets chilly in the winter and at night. A GPS. (Sadie)
- Having 3 or 4 T-shirts and some jeans is good to have for service projects, especially if you are doing a lot of service and wear them out quickly. (Weston)
- Could be a little cold in San Francisco in summer. (Daisy)
- What it says in your call packet is accurate. (Frank)
- Stock up on mesh garments when you’re on the East Bay. Sunglasses would be really nice too. And don’t bring anything warmer than a light coat. (Levin)
What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?
- The blessings keep coming!! I have learned so many skills of communicating, endurance, care, language, and relationships. I am also seeing so many blessing in my studies, with so many doors opening. (Austin)
- Was able to meet wonderful people that made a deep impact in my life. I got to know myself more. I discovered a lot of my weaknesses and through it I draw closer to the Savior! (Paula)
- Speaking Spanish, which is, after all, the celestial language. (Addison)
- Greater testimony of Christ especially, increased self-confidence, and a love of Heavenly Father and serving His children. (Sarah)
- More than I can say, but mostly a very strong testimony of this gospel. My family was also very protected. I also learned a lot of skills that I don’t think I would’ve learned anywhere else. (Sadie)
- Countless blessings including a desire to help others and work hard. (Weston)
- Too much. Gain an eternal perspective of things. (Daisy)
- Well my family is doing and looking better…some. I was able to get a good paying job. Everything seems to be falling into place. (Frank)
- A much clearer direction for my life; increased knowledge and testimony of the Plan of Salvation and the Book of Mormon, and, by the extension, of the Atonement; and of course, incredible friendships with everyone. (Levin)
What are some skills you gained?
- I gained a lot of skills. Speaking Spanish was one, but also leadership, problem-solving and communication skills. Learning how to work with others and set relationship goals. (Austin)
- Listening with the intent to understand and help not to correct and condemn. (Paula)
- Spanish, confidence, and I’m more reserved and patient. (Addison)
- Confidence talking to strangers, how to compromise and live with someone 24/7, how to love others, staying optimistic in hard/disappointing situations. (Sarah)
- Talking to strangers. Speaking Spanish. Cooking. Taking care of myself. Being organized. Planning. Sharing the gospel. Teaching. (Sadie)
- Organization is huge as well as a desire to keep things in order. No one likes to do paperwork but it is so important because if you don’t do it no one else will. A skill that I am so greatful to have is having love for all people regardless of their circumstances. God loves us all and we can show love to others. (Weston)
- Communicate, study, express, teach, patient, work hard, observe. (Daisy)
- Being productive. Talking with others. Serving others. (Frank)
- Working in a team (from ward councils); organizational skills (from planning); visionary leadership (from leadership assignments); public relations (from working with members); running and basketball (from daily exercise, lol); teaching skills (from.. well.. teaching); counseling (from teaching people, mostly investigators). (Levin)
What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?
- The only thing I would have changed was going in with a bit more faith, willing to be perfectly obedient. (Austin)
- I wish I knew the real meaning of service — that is to serve our of love and not out of duty. Love is the answer to every situation! (Paula)
- Don’t let a day go by without talking to everyone you see. Once you stop talking, you never start again. (Addison)
- Trust in the Lord more than myself. (Sarah)
- I wish I would have studied the Book of Mormon more at the beginning. (Sadie)
- Always, always, always follow the counsel of your leaders whether they are your Senior companion, your District leader, Zone leaders, your Mission President and the Assistants no matter who they are. They are able to receive Revelation from the Lord for the missionaries that they are working with and it not only shows your willingness to follow the Lord but it shows your willingness to follow his chosen servants. (Weston)
- That it’s okay to fail. (Daisy)
- The daily schedule. I wish I would’ve gotten that down faster. Being more motivated. Consistent with everything. (Frank)
- That it’s okay to take a break, or else you will break. (Levin)
Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Oakland-San Francisco?
- Work on your faith. Also learn how to communicate and sacrifice. One of the hard things I saw when I was out serving, was so many missionaries that struggled with wanting to be out there, because they were so focused on home and things back at home. Just give some space before you leave, from video games and things that will be hard for you to give up. (Austin)
- Forget yourself and go to work. Be exactly obedient. Be worthy of the Spirit all the time and always act according to its promptings. Love everyone especially your companion. Enjoy your mission. Laugh hard and work even harder! (Paula)
- Just serve like you trust the Lord that people are prepared. It’s easy to get down and say, “oh, people here just don’t want the gospel.” But there are SELECT people. Just be the SELECT person that God trusts them to. (Addison)
- Bring good walking shoes and give your all 100% of the time. (Sarah
- Read the Book of Mormon focusing on Christ’s Atonement. His Atonement is the only way we are able to serve a mission. And he is the only way we can be happy. Trust in the Lord and his plan for you. Remember you are a beloved child of God. Remember that there are people out there looking for the truth who can’t seem to find it, and they need YOU. (Sadie)
- Do not be afraid to share your testimony with others whether it’s an investigator or someone on the street. Nothing is more powerful than the conviction of your heart and when you know that the gospel is true, in many cases, people will want to try and tear down what you believe and say that it’s all fake or not true and you just have to Really follow what you know to be true and not being hostile but more loving against their arguments. (Weston)
- The diversity of this mission is wonderful. You’re going to love it. You will learn greetings of all different languages!! It was so fun!! (Daisy)
- Learn/Live/Love your missionary purpose. Stay focused on your work. Set meaningful goals and also goals that’ll make you stretch. Love the people you serve and your companions. Baptisms will come as you go out and serve. Don’t be disappointed if they don’t. (Frank)
- Do your best, and God will do the rest. I can’t stress that hard enough. You can only do so much as an imperfect human. Leave to the Lord what you can’t do on your own. (Levin)
What was a funny language mistake?
- I can’t remember, but many! It’s been a while! (Austin)
- Early in my mission, I was talking with a man. He said a word, and I asked what it meant. He explained it, then taught me another word. I got several words in before we had to go. Then my companion said, “Elder… Don’t use any of those words. That guy just taught you a bunch of swear words and told you they meant something that they didn’t!” (Addison)
- I promised someone more “piss” instead of “peace” for keeping the commandments. (Sarah)
- In Spanish, pecado means sin. And pescado means fish. Once in the MTC, I was teaching a lesson in Spanish and said “Christ’s atonement will wash your fish away.” (Sadie)
- On my mission, I learned Laotian. I didn’t learn it very much because I was only in the Laotian area for about 10 months with no formal training from the MTC. This made it difficult to speak to members and investigators and I did not speak it very well. One of the funniest things that happened was I tried to ask for a cup of water from a member and instead of using the word for water I use the word for bathroom this obviously changed the meaning of my sentence and was quite embarrassed at the time. (Weston)
- I said after Jesus Christ was baptized, there came a pigeon. (Daisy)
Jeannie (California Oakland-San Francisco Mission)
–Paraphrased from Jeannie’s mission interview–
I think the boundary is the ocean. It goes down to San Jose and it goes all the way out to Brentwood and Union City. There is a beautiful temple in Oakland. The mission isn’t that big compared to others. It’s a really close-knit mission. I think we had maybe 200 missionaries. We had vistors center missionaries as well which got us to about half sisters and half elders. We had nine languages: English, Spanish, Tagalog, Fijian, Tongan, Samoan, Cantonese, Mandarin, Laotian and Cambodian. I was called English speaking but I still used my Cantonese all the time. The church is really big in California and I was surprised. There were some wards that were only a 10 minute drive around the boundaries.
The people of California are very nice. I feel like most people have good intentions. We had a lot of doors slammed on us, but I really appreciated the people who were very open. If people didn’t want to listen, they would tell us why. Or if they did want to listen they would tell us why. They opened another section of my mind to help me learn to accept all people. They are a lot more liberal and outspoken. On the east coast we don’t take much time to talk to people. People will talk to you in California and you have to listen and see what you can say to relate to them or help them. I remember one time we were in a park and this lady from Poland starting crying on our shoulders and we told her what she could do to change and be happier. We would visit her and bring her snacks.
Christopher (California Oakland-San Francisco Mission)
–Paraphrased from Christopher’s mission interview–
A Diverse Mission
We would always say that it is the most diverse mission, because there are 11 languages spoken in the mission. We had missionaries speaking English, Spanish, Tagalog, Fijian, Tongan, Samoan, Cantonese, Mandarin, Laotian, Cambodian, and one more I’m forgetting right now. We get a lot of visa waiters to Brazil or a lot of other countries. We had a couple Mongolian speakers. There’s a lot of different types of people there. I remember walking out of our apartment, hearing the Puerto Ricans arguing, then we would get on the bus and hear Mandarin, then on the subway you hear English, then you go downtown and you hear people speaking French. It’s a super diverse city. It separates San Francisco. We all learn to contact in multiple languages. I learned how to contact and refer in Mandarin and Cantonese.
The Oakland temple is there and is beautiful. With all of the image that Oakland has, it has one of the most beautiful temples. It’s really big and it is on a hill. Everyone can see it and when we were out there we would remember that we were the light on the hill. When we talked with people we would ask them about the big white temple in Oakland and they would tell us they thought it was a castle. It’s popular there and we would bring people to visit it and it has a wonderful visitors center. It has one of the biggest family history centers or archives on the floor beneath the visitors center. When we would help less actives, we could take them there and they were received with open arms. Wherever you are in the mission, you will be part of a stake. There are lots of members there. I served in two branches and two wards. The membership kind of declines the more exotic the language. There is just one Tagalog ward. Laotian only has two wards in the world and one is in San Francisco. There are at least 100 members per ward I would say. Even the branches have a lot of members.
The temple site near the entrance has a very beautiful view of San Francisco and a plaque talks about the history of San Francisco and there was a significant number of LDS people on the ship that helped found San Francisco.