California Sacramento Mission

Here are free resources about the California Sacramento Mission:

*Other Mission Pages: California LDS Missions.

Sacramento Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the California Sacramento 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 Sacramento Mission
8267 Deseret Ave.
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Phone Number: 1-916-536-5090
Mission President: President Scott L. Hymas

California Sacramento Mission Map

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

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

Sacramento Missionary Blogs

Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the California Sacramento 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.)

Elder Connor Nelson 2018
Elder Payton Berry 2018
Elder Kelson Wheeler 2018
Sister Megan Baird 2017
Sister Harley Munk 2017
Sister Megan Cundick 2017
Sister Shealyn Hyde 2017
Sister Hannah Porter 2016
Elder Tucker Gammell 2016
Sister Ashley Sobotka 2016
Elder Nathan Kristensen 2016
Sister Emily Sheffer 2016
Sister Genevieve Hickman 2016
Elder John-Gregory Sierra 2015
Sister Reagan Lacusta 2015
Sister Amy Calton 2015
Sister Kelsie Swainston 2015
Elder Brandon McBride 2015
Sister Megan Arntsen 2014
Sister Morgan Skidmore 2014
Sister Sarah Burchett 2014
Elder Steele Reid 2014
Elder Juan Branchini 2014
Elder John Gaskill 2014
Sister Audrey White 2013
Elder Alexander Milner 2013
Sister Callie Wilson 2013
Elder Caleb Bishop 2013
Elder Chris Andrew 2013
Sister Audrey White 2013
Elder Kodey Clements 2013
Elder Trevor Anderson 2013
Elder Michael Harral 2012
Elder Denis Baryshnikov 2012
Elder Tyler Arnett 2012
President & Sister Lewis 2011
Mission Alumni 2010
Elder Brandon Evans 2009

Sacramento Mission Groups

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

  1. California Sacramento Mission Group (928 members)
  2. Sacramento Mission “Grow” Reunion Group (198 members)
  3. Sacramento Mission 1993-96 – Pres. Roundy Group (118 members)
  4. Sacramento Mission, Whites and Wrays, 84-90 Group (104 members)
  5. California Sacramento Mission Moms and Dads (and family!) (72 members)
  6. Sacramento Mission Moms and Friends (LDS) Group (28 members)
  7. Pres. Huff’s missionaries, Sacramento Mission Group (7 members)
  8. Sacramento Mission Alumni Page (1996-1999) Group (4 members)
  9. California Sacramento Mission – The Hansen Era Group (1 member)

Sacramento Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the California Sacramento Mission!

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

*Click here to browse Sacramento Mission gifts

Sacramento Mission Presidents

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

  1. 2017-2020, Scott L. Hymas
  2. 2014-2017, Bruce D. Jardine
  3. 2011-2014, H. Benson Lewis
  4. 2008-2011, James Jardine
  5. 2005-2008, R. Randall Huff
  6. 2002-2005, R. Craig Hansen
  7. 1999-2002, Robert Grow
  8. 1996-1999, Richard S. Nixon
  9. 1993-1996, Jerry C. Roundy
  10. 1990-1993, Paul Ripplinger
  11. 1987-1990, Gerald Wray
  12. 1984-1987, Norman N. White
  13. 1981-1984, John Porter
  14. 1978-1981, William E. Zwick, Jr.
  15. 1975-1978, E. LaMar Buckner
  16. 1974-1975, William M. Walsh

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..

Sacramento Missionary Survey

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

*Click here to take a survey to help pre-missionaries going to your mission.

When did you serve?

  • 2011-2014 (Denis)
  • 2004-2006 (Jared)
  • July 2003 – September 2005 (Perry)
  • 2013-2014 (Lindsey)
  • 1999-2001 (Travis)
  • 1997-1999 (Brandon)
  • 2013-2015 (Mckayla)
  • 1977-1979 (Duane)
  • 1980-1982 (Ray)
  • 1981-1983 (Roy)
  • August 1973-August 1975 (Bruce)
  • 2003-2005 (Joe)
  • 1990-1992 (Fritz)
  • 2012-2014 (Mili)
  • 1973-1975 (Lynne)
  • 1976-1978 (Brian)
  • 1976-1978 (Guy)
  • 1980-1982 (Mark)
  • 2009-2011 (Imeleta)
  • 1975-1977 (Robert)
  • January 2013 (Mikayla)
  • 2010-2011 (Jessica)
  • 1999-2002 (Alejandro)

What areas did you serve in?

  • Folsom, Natomas, Tracy, East Sacramento and El Dorado Jills. (Denis)
  • Tracy (Spanish group), Stockton (2 weeks), East Sacramento (all areas Spanish Branch then Ward), El Dorado (Spanish group) and Lodi (Spanish Branch then Ward). (Jared)
  • Tracy, Stockton, West Sacramento, East Sacramento, Cameron Park, El Dorado, East Sacramento, Placerville, Manteca. (Perry)
  • Folsom, Carmichael, Elk Grove, El Dorado. (Lindsey)
  • East Sacramento, Hurley, Cottage Park, West Sacramento, Ione, Placerville, Oak Park (South Sacramento). (Travis)
  • Carmichael, Elk Grove, Folsom, El Dorado, East Sacramento. (Mckayla)
  • Davis, Napa, Crescent City, Fair Oaks, Redding, Nevada City. (Duane)
  • Auburn, Roseville, North Highlands, Citrus Heights, Georgetown, Rio Linda, Grass Valley, Ft Bragg, and the office in the Florin area of Sacramento. (Ray)
  • Sacramento East (Arden, Carmichael, Rancho Cordova), North Highlands, Oroville, Downtown Sac, and Citrus Heights/Roseville. (Roy)
  • Fair Oaks, Willows, South Sacto, Elk Grove, Folsum, Alamo, Danville, Santa Rosa, Redding, Anderson. (Bruce)
  • Stockton, Lodi, Galt, Placerville, Cameron Park, West Sac. (Joe)
  • Davis, North Sacramento (Natomas), Gridley, Woodland, Red Bluff, South Sacramento (Florin). (Fritz)
  • Fair Oaks/Orangevale, Elk Grove, Lodi, Sacramento/North Highlands. (Mili)
  • California: Sacramento, Ukiah, Roseville, Santa Rosa. Nevada: Carson City, Gardnerville. (Lynne)
  • Chico, Sacramento, Napa, Santa Rosa. (Brian)
  • Anderson, Danville, Walnut Creek, Livermore, Palo Alto, Delano, Modesto, Stockton. I served in Sacramento, Oakland and Fresno Mission. (Guy)
  • Roseville, Citrus Heights, Sac 5th, Hayfork, Yuba City. (Mark)
  • Elk Grove, Laguna, Folsom, Fair Oaks, Galt, Lodi, North Sacramento, South Sacramento. (Imeleta)
  • Fort Bragg, Sebastopol, Rancho Cordova, Sacramento, Chico, Placerville, Carmichael. (Robert)
  • Fair oaks, Folsom, Sacramento, Mantica, Ripon. (Jessica)
  • North Sac, Florin, Lodi, Galt, Tracy, Manteca, Stockton, etc. (Alejandro)

What were some favorite foods?

  • Fuji sushi in south Sac, Texas BBQ in East Sacramento, L&L BBQ. (Denis)
  • IN and OUT / Enchiladas from Sister Cervantes etc. (Jared)
  • Tri-tip steak from members. In-N-Out Burger, Jamba Juice, Chipotle, 2x tacos for .99 @ Jack-In-The-Box. (Perry)
  • I lived with a Thai member and her cooking was incredible! Another member made grilled chicken with black rice, and that was amazing. One member made sushi with fresh fish from San Francisco, and that was great because the fish was so fresh it didn’t have that fishy taste. There was hardly a meal that I didn’t like, but I got so sick of spaghetti and lasagna. (Lindsey)
  • Anything cheap and fast. Also, whatever the great members fed us. (Travis)
  • Tuna fish with top a rama. (Brandon)
  • Avocados! Fresh fruits and veggies! (Mckayla)
  • Steak, hamburgers, poor man nachos, sandwiches, fruit. (Duane)
  • Anything that we didn’t have to prepare ourselves was a favorite. But while serving on the coast in the Ft. Bragg Ward, I learned to like abalone, crab, and salmon. These were foods that just weren’t common to North Central Pennsylvania where I was raised. I also developed a LOVE for authentic Mexican food while serving in Rio Linda, We were also served el’gato (cat) in Rio Linda. (Ray)
  • Real Mexican meals from Lupe Green’s little restaurant in Oroville (she wasn’t a member, but when we tracted into her, she had photos of elders from the 60’s and 70’s hanging in her office. She also owned the dry cleaner/laundry in town. *Steak dinners at the Pepper Mill across from Arden Fair Mall. *Pork Rolls from an Asian dive on 26th & O Streets (Downtown Sacramento). *Anything from El Toritos in Citrus Heights. *Sandwiches from Togos Eatery! *My district also liked it when I cooked for everyone on preparation day. (Roy)
  • I grew up in Southern California, so I had many likes: Korean, Japanese, Mexican, Italian – all authentic dishes, plus In n Out burgers…(Bruce)
  • Thai, Mexican, the ubiquitous Pho, and whatever the members fed us. (Joe)
  • Scones, onion gravy/stew/soup, home made bread with honey. (Fritz)
  • Tri-tip steak, French toast, taco trucks, Mandarin salad, The Habit, anything Pizza, certain families’ cooking of local wards. (Mili)
  • Corn dogs…There was a little ice cream shop like Dairy Queen that served the best corn dogs. I was never a fan of them until I had one there. My companion, Sister Sanford, and I stopped by whenever we could and when one of us ordered, the clerk would yell loudly, ‘ONE CORN DOG!” The personality of the place was even better than the corn dog. 🙂 (Lynne)
  • Abalone. Waffles and strawberries. (Brian)
  •  Mexican, Filipino, Big Macs. (Guy)
  • tongan one potato two potato. (Mark)
  • Chicken, Tacos (the real Mexican taco). (Imeleta)
  • The “Grinders” from a little member-owned sandwich shop near the University campus. (Robert)
  • Frosty, icey, fresh fruit from members. (Jessica)
  • All. (Alejandro)

What was a funny experience?

  • Every couple months there is a tradition where missionaries who are leaving soon get to go pan for gold up in the gold rush area. It’s funny to see missionaries decide if it’s ok or not to get in the water… you can, it’s ok! (Denis)
  • I had a lot of experiences with my companions but one with Elder Bynum in the train tracks…jumping in the motocross circuit…it was a lot of fun. (Jared)
  • My companion and I gave a lift to the hospital for a drunk dude who passed out on the streets of Stockton. Good times. I found a Christmas tree on the side of the road on Christmas Eve and carried it on my bike to our apartment in Tracy, CA. (Perry)
  • There are too many to count! One of my favorites was playing capture the flag on a Christmas tree farm with the zone. We found two goats on the farm and tried catching them. Afterwards we compared scratches and bruises we got from the trees. We looked pretty beat up. (Lindsey)
  • Getting our bikes stolen by the Zone Leaders during a discussion, because we didn’t lock them up. (Travis)
  • Sometimes elderly people would take us for dinner and buy way too much food and send us home with like seven days worth of food. (Mckayla)
  • A funny experience was when my companion and I were teaching a family from South America and they wanted to prepare a favorite meal for my companion (he was from the Dominican Republic) and they served El’Gato or cat! I didn’t speak hardly any Spanish and my companion spoke very little English. The meat was well seasoned and tasted a bit gamy like a duck or pheasant. As we were driving home after the dinner appointment, I ask my companion what is el’gato? A few minutes later, we were sitting at a stop light and my companion pointed to a large gray cat sitting on a porch and said El gato !!! I was eating a “drum stick” at the time 🙁 (Ray)
  • An elder called us one morning and wanted us to drive him to the mall to shop. The mall was only three blocks from his home, so we didn’t accommodate his request. In retaliation, he biked twelve blocks from his apartment in Carmichael, to ours in the same stake. We watched him sabotage the mission car (unplugged a few wires from the spark plugs), and we pretended not to know. No other words were exchanged, and we simply replaced the plug wires. Anxiety was killing him, so he called to see how we were doing. We even picked him up for a district meeting, and he finally asked: “how’s the car running?” We looked at him puzzled, but told him it seemed to be doing fine, and asked him why he would ask such an odd question. He said “just curious!” Nothing else was ever mentioned. (Roy)
  • Not funny haha, but funny unusual – missionaries that would joke around like it was a frat house…I was amazed at how many elders were out on their mission for wrong reasons. Also, I had the single adults DRIVE my Christmas presents up from Los Angeles. I also tracked into an ex-girlfriend and her family that had moved to the Bay Area. (Bruce)
  • Witnessing a baptism is always a very special and sacred event. I am not sure if this is sacrilegious, but this memory stands out. Damien’s baptism was particularly special because of Damien’s handicaps. With hearing aids and coke-bottle thick glasses and a seeing stick, Damien was hard of hearing and hard of seeing. We took extra care to make sure Damien would be comfortable with his baptism by practicing the day before. We told Damien that his baptizer would squeeze his wrist to signal that it was time to be dunked. Damien cheerfully nodded and said ‘okie dokes.’ When it actually came to the baptism, his baptizer did not squeeze his hand like practiced. Panicked, Damien was squirming in the water. Brother Gutridge was determined to get it right in one go and consequently put Damien under even deeper. That’s when Damien kicked for his dear life! In doing so, he hit the baptizer’s leg and he stumbled for just a second. For a split second, I thought they were both going to go under. The baptizer made a quick save and with every bit of strength he could muster, brought himself and Damien upright. Surprisingly, no second dunking was required. (Mili)
  • Once Sister Sanford and I stopped for an ice cream at the place in the previous story. When we got ready to pay, we were told that there was no charge. We were puzzled but accepted the free ice cream and left. As we were walking through the parking lot to our tracting area, a man came running from the back door. He yelled, “SISTERS!” We stopped and he came up to us. “You’re probably wondering why I gave you free ice cream but you can have free ice cream here anytime because I always give free ice cream to priests and nuns.” (Nuns had just begun wearing street clothes in California.) (Lynne)
  • As a substitute Spanish-speaking missionary for 6 months in Delano, I sat across from an investigator being taught a concept by my companion when I fell asleep. (It was mid day and summer and very hot). Luckily the picnic table we sat at had a tree growing up through the middle and the investigator never knew. (Guy)
  • Playing Santa for kids. (Mark)
  • My funny story is when me and my companion were chased by dogs. (Imeleta)
  • When I was fresh off the plane from SLC and the Mission Home, my senior companion got served the green spaghetti dinner intended for me. He was known as Elder Green to the other fellows in the district from then on. (Robert)
  • The time we went to visit a drop who we later found wasn’t in our area and accidentally crashed a funeral. (Jessica)

What was a crazy experience?

  • In south Sacramento my first week on the mission we were tracting doors before a meeting and a one street away was a stabbing in the middle of the day. They stabbed a kid and threw him in the back of the truck and drove off. But everyone knows the missionaries so we were safe. (Denis)
  • When I fell on the motocross circuit so hard that my helmet cracked. (Jared)
  • We had a knife pulled on us and they robbed us of our wallets and missionary badges. Good times. We got a speeding ticket in Tracy, CA for going 42 in a 25mph school zone. We had to do 12 hours of community service to get out of the ticket. We had our apartment vandalized in West Sacramento. They went to the bathroom on our furniture, while stealing all our pamphlets and tracts. (Perry)
  • We went tracting up in El Dorado county, this guy opened up the door and we introduced ourselves and started sharing our message. He invited us in, and instantly we had a feeling we shouldn’t be there. So we asked if there was a female home, he said no, and so we left him with a pamphlet and never went back. (Lindsey)
  • Nothing crazy and I spent time in South Sacramento, which was kinda rough, but the people loved to talk to us. (Travis)
  • One time my companion and I biked past a gang, they pulled knives on us. All they wanted to do was scare us so we biked away quickly and they just laughed. (Mckayla)
  • While serving as the Rio Linda District Leader, I was asked by the Elders serving in Del Paso Heights to interview a lady for baptism. The interview took place in her home which was on the top floor of a large apartment building. During the interview, we heard several loud noises and she said “we should sit on the floor because those were gunshots; but don’t worry the police will be here soon”.  Soon we heard men running across the roof shouting and she turned to me and said “See the Police are here, it is safe now”. We needed to sit on the floor with our backs against an interior wall and below the level of the windows. (Ray)
  • My companion and I stayed too long in a neighborhood with an investigator family one evening. It was known to be unstable a times, especially after dark. At the time, it was known as the Broderick and Bryte areas (West Sacramento now), just across the historic Sacramento River Bridge. As we were leaving, we had an uneasy feeling about biking home. Both of us prayed for a safe return in the darkness before leaving. As we were headed toward the safety of the bridge, we didn’t see anyone, but could feel the presence of unkind people. All of a sudden, we were being bombarded by rocks, bricks, and whatever could be thrown at us. Being protected from the event, we made it across the bridge, and 26 more blocks to our apartment behind the old church. We only spoke of the event a few times, but understood fully why we made it out unharmed. (Roy)
  • We were shot at in Marysville. Constant dogs at door approaches. No car accidents, mainly bike areas. (Bruce)
  • In Carmichael, my companion and I were held hostage in a deaf guy’s apartment; he had a knife and threatened to kill us. We only knew the alphabet in American Sign Language. (Joe)
  • A brother called us sounding very jittery and shaking. I knew something wasn’t right. He said he needed to go to the Emergency Room. I was frantic that he was going to die! I made about 10 phone calls when a sister graciously said she would take us and this brother. We were informed that this brother was diabetic and he was shaking because his sugar level dropped. My initial worry turned to temporary relief. And as we were waiting on this brother to sign paperwork for his release, an older gentleman came to my companion and me. He asked if we were nurses to which I responded, “We’ll actually, yes sir. Nurses for Jesus.” Before I could even blink, he wrapped his arm around my waist and kissed me on the cheek in one swift move. I stood there shocked and stunned much to my chagrin and my companions’ amusement after an already-eventful day. (Mili)
  • There were several pretty frightening experiences in Ukiah, California. For one, Jim Jones of the Peoples’ Temple (later infamous for the Ghiana mass suicide in 1978) had armed guards by the temple doors and busloads of people coming in from all over the United States. Driving by that place gave us chills. Other experiences…being chased down the driveway by a woman we tracted into who wanted us arrested, my companion being propositioned by a lesbian ex-con, tracting into a man who talked to us through the door and said he was a naked drag queen, being transferred from an area because the wife in a family we were teaching told me to stay away from her husband and reported me to President Walsh, among others I can’t recall offhand. (Lynne)
  • Had someone point a gun at us when we walked through the front gate. Several times people tried to run us off the road (on our bikes). (Brian)
  • Riding in open space west of Modesto, two loose attack dogs chased and really wanted to bite us but after they almost got us, we finally got up to speed on our bikes to pull away from them. (Guy)
  • Getting call from an investigator about his wife acting weird, going there and casting out Satan. (Mark)
  • One of the crazy experiences that I had was on my birthday in the mission and I sprayed gas all over my clothes and our car. (Imeleta)
  • Logging trucks were always fun on old Highway 1 along the coast. And the old Vega we had was very prone to stalling when cold in the AM. We were turning out of a blind drive at the bottom of a gulley that the highway crossed when the Vega stalled in front of a fully loaded logging truck with several redwood logs on board. I tried the ignition twice as the truck was bucking against the brakes as it tried to fight the downward slope of the grade and the momentum of its load when I heard my companion leap from his side of the car and head for the brambles at the side of the road, abandoning me and the car. I put the car in low and used the battery and charger to move the car to the far side of the road and then got it started as the truck sped by. Took a while for my companion, my trainer – this was my first area – to look back once he realized the car and I were OK. And a long time for him to pick his way through the thorny brambles to rejoin me. I later overheard him telling the story in such a way to suggest angelic carburetor priming and car pushing by angels was going on behind him! (Robert)
  • Almost hitting an oncoming ice cream truck. (Jessica)
  • Almost got ran over by an angry driver. (Alejandro)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • Giving a blessing to a less active woman who was going to die at the hospital in s0uth Sac. And the next day her non-member husband called and said the doctor couldn’t find anything wrong with her the next day and he wanted to get baptized. (Denis)
  • I have many but I feel that the most important are the ones when somebody gets baptized. (Jared)
  • I once argued over the merits of tracting in our mission and said that nobody is ever found from it. The next family’s door that we knocked on accepted the Gospel and was baptized three weeks later. (Perry)
  • We had an investigator who was interested in Christianity but had strong ties to his Native American culture. We invited him to our other investigators’ baptism but he wouldn’t come because he “swore he would never set foot in a white man’s church.” We tried to convince him to go the day of the baptism, and the Spirit was really strong testifying to him that he should go, but he wouldn’t. My companion and I were really upset on our way to the baptism, but as soon as it started we felt the Spirit bring peace to our hearts and testify that happiness was a choice and that we had two perfect examples in our investigators of what righteous choices would do for our lives. (Lindsey)
  • Tracking into and baptizing a family. Teaching an excommunicated member (after getting all the approval) and seeing him re-baptized a year or so later. (Travis)
  • My companion and I were working with a woman named Tammy and her dog was sick and wouldn’t eat. We prayed a blessing on the dog and before we said amen the dog was eating. Pretty cool! (Mckayla)
  • Several but one comes to mind from Napa when the Schuer family got their answer that the church is true. (Duane)
  • There were so VERY many spiritual experiences! One afternoon, my companion and I each prayed about where to go tracting in Citrus Heights. We didn’t have any appointments and so we selected an area and drove over there. We knocked on several doors, and after a few blocks with no success, we decided to quit and return home. But as we started to leave, we came to a cul de sac with only a few houses on it. We knocked on the door, the young woman who answered the door seemed startled and with tears running down her face called her husband. He too began to tear up. They had been praying for a church to join when they heard us at their door. Three weeks later we baptized them. (Ray)
  • This happened bearing my testimony while tracting one day in a prominent neighborhood when the woman asked what we really felt about Jesus Christ. I won’t go into detail, but my mind and heart were both opened to the Spirit, and the words I spoke were coming from direct inspiration. I could feel it at the time it was happening because it even impressed me personally. (Unfortunately anti-Mormon sentiment was very strong in the valley at the time, thanks to a movie that was being shown by large churches in the area.) The woman looked at me in the eyes after I finished, then told me that she didn’t believe a word of it. She rubbed my head to check for horns. At that point, we were inspired to bid her farewell, and to have a nice day. I was completely blown away by how strong the Spirit was there, and how she was not ready to receive it. (Roy)
  • I had an experience unlike most – my companion died in my presence. We were prepared by the Spirit informing both of us that we would not be companions the next day (but we both interpreted that as meaning someone would be transferred). So as we were waiting for the car from President Walsh, we both kind of packed…no call, so we went to bed. Then next morning, I had first shower and when I got back in the room he was lying on his bed and the heart attack happened. I ran to the phone and got 911 to respond and returned to Elder Bird. I knew I held the priesthood and could command that he live, but I realized that that was MY desire and possibly not the Lord’s. So as I blessed him, I merely asked that Father’s will be done, but not to let this faithful elder suffer. Immediately his body stilled, not breathing, turning a grayish tone, and yet I felt warm, at peace, and totally comforted. (Bruce)
  • Ask in person. (Joe)
  • It never ceased to amaze me how even when I questioned most decisions about what to study, where to be and when, what to say, the Lord would always manifest His hand. The Lord repeatedly showed me that He was working actively through me as His tool. One experience in particular was when my companion and I were teaching Tommy. We were the first missionaries to teach him. Tommy had this old-school charm, and my companion and I could not help being charmed with this debonair. However, there were a few times that when we taught it didn’t resonate with Tommy. He claimed not to be religious and didn’t understand spiritual things. My companion and I were seriously considering ‘dropping’ Tommy, and moving on to someone more spiritually prepared. This was especially difficult to us because he felt like a true friend and we loved him. However, one night on a make-or-break it lesson, my companion who was on exchanges with another sister, taught him the plan of salvation. My companion related to me that he said, “Really? Is it possible that I can see my parents again?” To which my companion said “Yes, it really is. Christ already made it possible. We just have to follow Him. So, Tommy are you willing to follow the example of Christ by being baptized?” I never thought in a million years that I would have been blessed to witness Tommy’s spiritual progression and his eventual acceptance of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. The most spiritually fulfilling thing about the mission was witnessing those types of transformations, both big and small very frequently. It made my heart swell to see others exercise even a grain of faith and make even just tiny steps towards greater happiness. (Mili)
  • Again, there were several but I’ll tell about one. Following up on a temple referral in Carson City, Nevada, we met an Episcopalian minister. He had been defrocked for having an affair with his then wife. They were obviously looking for another Christian church but he was firm about not wanting anything to do with any scripture not in the Bible. He challenged us to teach him about our Church only using the Bible. Before I knew it, I said, “We can teach you about modern revelation from the Bible.” My companion was stunned but we set up a follow-up visit. As we were leaving, she said, “You’re on your own, Sister Pope.” I studied and prayed over that message but felt reassured by the Lord that the words would flow from my mouth. The night of the meeting, they did. I don’t even remember most of what I said but we talked about Old Testament prophets, Jesus establishing His church, his commission to his disciples, and admonitions that God still speaks to man. The dozen or more Bible references came to me as we talked. I was given a response to every question he asked. When we left, he asked for a Book of Mormon. I never saw him again because I was transferred but at his baptism, he thanked the sister who first taught him the gospel from the Bible. (Lynne)
  • Teaching people from beginning to baptism. (Brian)
  • Getting revelation for a few investigators I was teaching. 1. A mom and kids wanted to be baptized after visiting the Oakland temple but the dad wanted nothing to do with the church. The Spirit told me to include him in the discussions because he will be baptized and that did happen. 2. A part member family non member’s dad came up to me at church (we’d never been to their home before) and asked if we could come to lunch after church. I agreed and then had the Spirit tell me he was going to ask me to get baptized. We got to their home and after lunch, he did ask to get baptized and he was baptized 6 days later. There are others too. (Guy)
  • Walking to church one Sunday and a guy playing tennis asked me to toss a ball back over, and 5 weeks later baptizing him. (Mark)
  • One special story being a missionary is my last week on the mission field. I prayed to find a one last family to teach and invite them to baptize. We went knocking on doors and found a part member family. The husband is a less active member, and the wife is not a member. We knock on their door and she lets us in. We shared the plan of salvation and then asked her to kneel and prayed, and if she can say the prayer. Right after the prayer, we asked her how she felt. She said that Heavenly Father told her that she should get baptized right away. Later that week she was baptized. (Imeleta)
  • There were an awful lot of them. I suffered the lowest lows and celebrated the highest emotional highs of my life on that mission! The one that comes to mind was the time my companion and I were asked by an investigator to give a priesthood blessing to a friend and lifelong mentor of hers. The mentor lady was dying and had been for about ten years. She was a member of the Church so we got permission from the bishop to administer the blessing and went over on our preparation day. I learned that day what it meant to be “the mouthpiece” in a blessing. Normally these blessings all follow a typical pattern, this one was not typical, as their was no healing mentioned, only a blessing. Her blessing was two-fold, and though I heard my voice I would never have uttered that blessing. As we placed our hands on her head, I started to refuse to say the blessing pictured in my mind, and I felt the Spirit give me what amounts to a friendly hip-check and the thought “it’s her blessing to get, not yours to pronounce” entered my mind as my voice released her from the previous blessings to hold on, and informed her her time was at hand, that her blessing was that she would have time to contact each of her children for a final mother’s blessing and farewell; that she would be with our Father in Heaven very soon. My companion acted like I had blasphemed. I felt like I had too. That was Monday. According to the ward’s announcements on Sunday morning the sister passed away on Saturday. Apparently, the Bishop of the Ward had heard about the blessing that I voiced and he kept after the mission president to keep “his” missionaries in “his” ward. Someone later told me that the sister’s caretaker, her nurse, was a member from another ward. I spent over a quarter of my mission in that ward, as did my companion. (Robert)
  • The first time I challenged someone to be baptized. I felt they needed the Challenge even though they were not yet ready to accept the truth. (Jessica)
  • Many. (Alejandro)

What are some interesting facts about the Sacramento Mission?

  • It’s the best mission in the world, We had famous people like MC Hammer in our mission and everyone in the wards are missionary minded. (Denis)
  • The city of Sacramento was a wonderful place. I had the opportunity to pan for gold where gold was discovered in Coloma, CA. For being in California, there was a massive amount of trees and parks available. It was a great place for contacts. (Perry)
  • It was just split in half in July of 2015; it was small before and now it’s smaller. It used to have the Jelly Bean factory in it. It has the Kikkoman factory in it, in Folsom. El Dorado has Apple Hill, which is full of fun things to do in October when the apples are harvested. Placerville in El Dorado county was home to Thomas Kincade, and is also known as “Hangtown.” Elk Grove has the largest meeting house: two floors and two chapels. There were a couple of elders that made a rap CD about the mission; it was banned by my mission president, but it’s still in circulation. The mission is 30 minutes away from Lake Tahoe. California Sacramento is infamous for having lock-your-heart issues: dozens of RMs have started dating/been married since their return, or have gone back to Sacramento to date or marry a member they met while on their mission. The mission office is a church building. The mission home is in the Roseville Mission. The house where the Assistants to the President live is called the “McKay House.” Coloma, where gold was discovered, is in El Dorado county. Jeffrey R. Holland’s brother lives in the Folsom area. Oak trees are everywhere. If you don’t have allergies, you will develop them while serving in Sacramento. There’s a pretty large Hmong community, and they host a massive Hmong New Year celebration. (Lindsey)
  • There are lots of LDS people in the Sacramento Mission. Most people are somewhat familiar with the Mormons. (Travis)
  • It used to be twice as big as it is now. Sacramento is known as the city of trees and if you didn’t have allergies when you got there you will by the time you leave. (Mckayla)
  • It’s been divided several times since I’ve been home. Office has moved, gold country, wine country, redwoods. (Duane)
  • In 1980, the California Sacramento Mission covered most of Northern third of the state. It went from Santa Rosa on the coast inland along route 50 to Pollock Pines. Then North around the El Dorado National Forest to Forest Hill and then angled up NE to Downieville, Milford and to the Nevada boarder. Then North to the Oregon state line and over to the Pacific ocean. So we had the flat rice and wine country around Santa Rosa all the way to the rugged mountains of Lassen State, Modoc, Shasta National Forests. Plus we also had the beauty of the coastal range with the giant red woods! (Ray)
  • President John W. Porter and his amazing wife, Margaret were from Denton, Texas. Both were very strong in the faith and served the California Sacramento Mission well. They were spiritual giants, and loved each of us as their very own. The geographic territory that the mission covered then, is now divided into three missions, and other portions of it near the Oregon border have been taken over by another mission. We served from Santa Rosa to near Lake Tahoe, and the rest of the state north to the Oregon border. Placerville, Old Sacramento, Sutter’s Fort, and many other historic sites were incredible places to visit on preparation days. (Roy)
  • I was a total outsider in my mission. Most of our missionaries were from northern Utah, Idaho, and Canada…I was the only elder from the state that we were serving in. Elder Bird’s passing. Keeping in touch with families/individuals I taught over the years and writing letters to them on their missions and sharing those experiences. (Bruce)
  • The region is ~2% Latter Day Saints. (Joe)
  • Within my mission boundaries is Coloma, where gold was first discovered in California. This discovery ushered in the California Gold Rush. Sacramento is incredibly diverse! We have about 12 proselyting languages, 6 official, 6 unofficial. There are long groups of ASL, Latins, Russians, Persians, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Filipinos, Mien, Lao, Thai, Marshallese, Fijian, Tongan, Indians, Samoan, Hmong. It is one of the few places you will see both pine trees and palm trees. (Mili)
  • At the time, the mission covered everything in California north of Oakland and all of Nevada except Clark County (Las Vegas). Sisters were always given cars, no bikes. We used “flippers” for tracting door approaches. Each color flipper, a one-page folding mini-message, had a different purpose (White was Christmas, Pink was FHE, Gold was Happiness, Green was Eternal Families). We had a musical group, CaNoMi, that traveled throughout the mission giving spiritual messages and entertainment. Often we tracted into people who only knew about the Church from hearing CaNoMi perform. Jack West, a California lawyer, often presented his own “Trial of the Stick of Joseph” slide presentation (which I purchased as soon as I got home and is still available here: (Lynne)
  • Transfers were by bus. Had to go through San Francisco to go up the coast. (Brian)
  • I had 4 Mission Presidents. Two for about 6 months, one for a year and one for a day. I was in 3 different missions. (Guy)
  • Served in Citrus Heights 9 month and had 12 baptisms there.  (Mark)
  • It has been carved-up and divided so much with growth, that it’s boundaries are no longer recognizable. (Robert)
  • We were very obedient to the point that the new Mission President was told some of the rules by the missionaries (like wearing modest ties). We also successfully tested using texting in the mission field. (Jessica)
  • Getto birds/police helicopters chasing criminals EVERY NIGHT!!! (Alejandro)

What was the weather like?

  • It’s super humid some days the door opens and your already drenched but it gets really cold sometimes during winter. (Denis)
  • Crazy. (Jared)
  • In the summer months, the weather was always pleasant. In the winter months, you could expect temperatures in the high 40’s, to low 50’s. Expect three solid months of rain in the winter months. (Perry)
  • Spring and fall were perfect temperatures always. Winter got pretty cold, especially on a bike; once the sun was gone it was miserable. Summer isn’t too bad, but can get up to the 100’s. You get used to it, though. (Lindsey)
  • Flat land was nice year round- hot in the summer, but mild in the winter (if you can call it winter). Up in the hills- Placerville, El Camino, Pollock Pines would get snow. (Travis)
  • Warm! It rarely gets to freezing temperatures. The area is in a drought so it doesn’t rain as much as it should. (Mckayla)
  • Warm most of the time, did have snow at Mount Shasta. (Duane)
  • The weather varied from hot humid summer with foggy and rainy winters in the city…to cold snowy winters in the mountains! (Ray)
  • It was mostly warm in the Sacramento Valley. Very wet and rainy during winter months, but rarely wet in the summer. The most unusual thing for me to see is the visual difference in California from season to season. In the summer, grass is dead and trees are green. During the winter, the grass is green and the trees are bare! The only green grass you see in the summer, are mostly residential and commercial areas that are irrigated. This area is totally dependent on snowfall in the Sierras for annual water storage. It’s a mild climate, but there are areas near the mountains that receive snow. (Roy)
  • The weather was much colder than this SoCal beach boy could deal with…I caught pneumonia both winters…My second winter was in Redding, where I lived in snow on a bike…my summers were hot by most elder’s standards, but I loved it. (Bruce)
  • Mostly hot and dry…the mountainous areas were cooler and wetter. (Joe)
  • Moderate. (Fritz)
  • There are two seasons in Sacramento: green and brown. Winters there were typically very rainy, sometimes pouring all day long. Summers are definitely hot, typically peaking at 110-115! Depending where you are in the mission, if you are lucky you will be cooled down by the delta breeze in the evenings. (Mili)
  • Mostly sunny and warm, cooler in the northern part of California but I don’t recall ever seeing snow on my mission. (Lynne)
  • Hot in the valley. Foggy on the coast. (Brian)
  • It’s California, it was great. Just like on the movie God’s Army, I got off the plane in Sacramento in late January, smelled the fresh flowers and saw the bright sunny day and thought I’m gonna love it here. And I did. (Guy)
  • Rainy in fall , hot but not steamy in summer. (Mark)
  • It was raining, cold and hot when its summer. (Imeleta)
  • Coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I served in Fort Bragg, California (hope Mark Twain won’t mind me stealing that line)! Just over the coastal mountains it would be well over 100 degrees while we were shivering in the fog. (Robert)
  • Mostly sunny and hot, except in the winter when it rained and rained. (Jessica)
  • Hot. (Alejandro)

Any things you really like about the area/people?

  • Everyone in the wards know the missionaries and wants to help. Missionaries are a big part of the wards out there and the prove it because every dinner is handled by the ward. (Denis)
  • The people. (Jared)
  • The people were AWESOME!!! Being from the Bible Belt area in the East, it was a breath of fresh air to find such great people who were slow to anger and quick to forgive. Most are always willing to lend a helping hand with missionary work and lots of wards are always willing to have you over for dinner. (Perry)
  • The members in Sacramento are amazing! They are loving, giving, kind, spiritual, humble, and so down to earth. They are each truly looking to follow their Savior. The people of Sacramento are so diverse! There’s no category because each person is so unique and has done amazing (or super horrible) things. Every person is just trying to make their way through this life, and they don’t know it, but they’re looking for the Gospel. (Lindsey)
  • I got to experience a whole different side to life being from small town Utah. I understand people better today and the challenges that are out there much better. Virtually everyone was nice…very nice people with many different backgrounds. (Travis)
  • Almost everyone was friendly enough to at least speak with us. People aren’t quick to judge and are very generous even when they didn’t want to hear our message. (Mckayla)
  • Friendly and genuine. (Duane)
  • I loved ALL of the areas I served in and I especially loved the people. It is so easy to love a place and it’s people when you are serving them. (Ray)
  • I loved California! I noticed that people are less judgmental and free-spirited there. Family bonds are strong, and the church has a large population of members there. I wasn’t used to seeing ward and stake buildings so close to one another! One stake even met in one large building because the members all lived so close to the area. When the Antelope building was under construction (after my mission), you would have thought it was a temple. It housed five wards and had two chapels and two cultural halls. (Roy)
  • The same physical situation could easily be viewed differently by two missionaries just as returning to get the plates as was viewed by Nephi and his brother Laman. I found pleasure in helping others understand who the Savior was and the plan of redemption. I was fortunate to teach and baptize many, including several excommunicated members who had turned their lives around. I was fortunate to have strong families and wards with missionary zeal who supported us for right reasons…there were other families whose mothers were trying to marry off their 19 year old daughters – they were transparent and we stayed “too busy” for their dinner invitations. (Bruce)
  • The variety of souls from all walks of life. Treat them like a person and they’ll open up to you.  (Joe)
  • I just learned to love the people in each of my areas. (Fritz)
  • I loved how incredibly diverse Sacramento is! You will be blessed to meet people from literally every walk of life. There were also many fun, multicultural neighborhoods. Rancho Cordova and Elk Grove especially come to mind. (Mili)
  • Overall welcoming and friendly. Beautiful areas, particularly Santa Rosa with its many different plant hybrids. Love Carson City and enjoyed the cattle herds running through the streets when being taken to pasture (we had to stay inside and watch since no one was allowed in the roads during the movement of the herds). (Lynne)
  • The love they showed the missionaries. (Brian)
  • I liked California and currently live in a ward which a part of a ward I served in. I had a wide variety of people baptized. It was great. (Guy)
  • Members very kind, public very different at times. (Mark)
  • I love the place and also the people. When I was serving in Sacramento, I met some amazing people that we became friends for life. (Imeleta)
  • Honestly, it is the only place I have ever been where the spirit of the people and the scenery were equally beautiful. (Robert)
  • The people were so kind and welcoming. I loved how the members accepted those we brought to church with open hearts. (Jessica)
  • Weather, and the friendly and not so friendly people. (Alejandro)

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • Get a trench coat. And a blazer that can endure a lot of weather. Finally shoes that can take a beating that are obviously Church dress but all terrain bottoms. (Denis)
  • Don’t take stuff that you don’t need. (Jared)
  • Unless the mission requires it, don’t pack too many suits. Some nice pairs of comfortable slacks will go a lot further on days where you don’t have meetings or church events to go to. Don’t go nuts with ties either. You can get some sweet ties at Marshalls or Deseret Industries or even other missionaries. Get some nice kevlar-laced bike tires to stop the constant flat tires. It’ll be worth the investment if your not in a car. Those goat-head thorns that fall from trees are little spawns of Satan!!! (Perry)
  • Pack light: if you need it, it’s not hard to get in Sacramento. Chances are you’ll get it free from members or even non-members. Pack all sorts of clothes because 1) you never know what kind of service you’ll be doing and 2) you never know how hot/cold you’ll get. Don’t wear super-flowy skirts if you’re on a bike. Everyone says buy Ecco or Dansko shoes; I disagree. I wore fake Toms my whole mission and was super comfy the entire time. Get a good raincoat and an umbrella. If you’re on a bike, you’ll want gloves in the winter. (Lindsey)
  • Short sleeve light shirts. I had all my long sleeves cut when I was a flat lander because of the heat. I kept only one long sleeve shirt to wear to baptize people. (Travis)
  • Sacramento is a biking mission. Sisters, do not buy fancy clothes. Go to thrift stores shopping for everything. It’ll save you time and money and when your clothes get ruined they’ll be easier to replace. (Mckayla)
  • Light clothes. (Duane)
  • The mission has divided several times…so it is hard to say; but pack both long & short sleeved white shirts. A warm sweater and a long dress coat to protect against rain or even snow. Rubber overshoes are good and a mixture of warm and cool socks. (Ray)
  • Keep it simple. The list I was given to prepare for the Sacramento area could have been tossed out from what I experienced. Keeping enough white shirts, garments, and suits (with extra pants), ties, and good sturdy shoes are all you need. Extra pants are recommended for when you’re serving on a bike. The seat “shines up” the parts that make contact with it. (Roy)
  • Don’t buy cheap/discount clothes – I saw several elders wear their clothes until they literally fell apart…get good walking shoes…and warm winter wear. Live simple. The more you can focus on others and the work, the better… Pray over your possessions that they will serve you well, and treat them with the respect you would of fighting armor.  All of my clothing lasted my mission (excluding one pair of shoes which I wore large holes in that sit in my trophy case to this day some forty years later). (Bruce)
  • It gets hot. Wear gloves if you’re on a bike in the winter, and have a waterproof bag and coat. (Joe)
  • If biking during the winter, wear very warm and waterproof clothing. Summers are very hot, so also bring light-colored clothes that are airy. (Mili)
  • Pack light. Sisters were teased for “little bags of things” by the elders. Send things home or pass them along to others if you’re not using them anymore. (Lynne)
  • Good shoes.  (Brian)
  • Not for California. (Guy)
  • More short than long sleeves. (Mark)
  • My only advice on this one is don’t pack or bring too much stuff from home. I’m talking about the missionary from the Islands.
  • Pack light, but with clothing fit for both the hot dry Sahara and damp chill of a London fog……on the same morning. (Robert)
  • Pack for very very hot weather and for very wet conditions in the winter. (Jessica)
  • Summer clothes. (Alejandro)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • I have a huge family in Sacramento, everyone I got to spend time with and meet became my family and I love them more then anything. (Denis)
  • A 2nd language and all the experiences that I lived with the people. (Jared)
  • Aside from the spiritual strengths I gained, I probably learned the benefit of planning and business management skills more during my mission than any college has taught me. I learned leadership skills that have paid major dividends to me in my church callings and my professional career. Also… I worked my tail off and got a smoking-hot wife as a reward!!! (Perry)
  • I know more about the Church, how it works, and why it works. I learned more about the Gospel on my mission than during my 21 previous years of life. I know how the Spirit works, and how it speaks to me. I met some of the most wonderful people and have been given a pattern of how to live my life. I gained a love of the temple and developed a deeper love of the scriptures. I think more on eternity now than I did before. I know with all my heart how real Heavenly Father and the Savior are, and how the Church is true and is led by a living prophet. I know what true happiness is and how it is obtained. (Lindsey)
  • It changed what I thought I wanted in a spouse. Even though I spent 10 years less active after coming home, I always knew the truth and it was great to come back. I am glad I set an example to those who knew me that you should go and give it 100%…I never regretted a second of it. (Travis)
  • Shortly after I returned from my mission my mom passed away. It is my belief that her life was prolonged so that I could serve my mission and return to her loving arms before she returned to Heavenly Father’s embrace. (Mckayla)
  • Better man, better knowledge of the gospel, better love for the Savior. (Duane)
  • I learned how to get along with people with diverse backgrounds including companions, members, and non members. I am a convert to the church (I was baptized at 23 and was 25 at the start of my mission). I knew that anyone I met was a child of God and a potential member. I tried not judge them because of their habits or the conditions that they were raised with. This was great preparation for marriage and a career. I developed a love for the scriptures and the faith to carry me through the rest of my life. (Ray)
  • Strengthened testimony of the gospel. Personal growth and discipline. Friends for life. Understanding a deeper level of meaning in diversity and inclusion. (Roy)
  • A deep testimony of spirit-led obedience…knowing His voice and the desire to follow without knowing why. (Bruce)
  • I can’t even begin to describe them. I have been blessed. I would not attribute any of them to the mission, but my life experiences would have been very different had I not gone, with certain degrees of importance emphasized instead. (Joe)
  • There would be too much to say or write. I reflect on my mission and what I did as a missionary almost every day. (Fritz)
  • Several! Before I was very shy and reserved. My mission really helped me with my self-confidence. I am more quick to make new friends. I feel that I can connect or understand someone from any background (especially since Sacramento is so diverse.) I am confident in my abilities because I know I can do anything the Lord needs me to. I have been blessed with many deep, rich associations both from the missionaries I served with and the people I served. And now that I am back in college, it has been amazing to see how much more easily concepts come. I also noticed how richly the Lord was blessing my family in my absence. That was actually a big concern for me in leaving. But the Lord really did bless them, but that is a story for another time. Most especially, when I am in times of despair or doubt, sometimes the Spirit reminds me of the several testimony-building experiences that I had on the mission. Since I’ve been back home, I am especially grateful for my mission. My mission proves to be time and time again a source of comfort and strength. (Mili)
  • My mission strengthened my testimony, particularly of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I recall one particular meeting with a group of ladies from another church where one in particular said some horrible things about the Prophet, some things true and some not, but spoken in a derisive and venomous manner. I opened my mouth to bear my testimony and suddenly felt a warmth like a blanket covering my spirit bearing witness to me of his divine mission on earth. As we left, I told my companion that it was made known to me, for a reason that I didn’t know, that we should never return. And we never did. (Lynne)
  • More complete understanding of the gospel. (Brian)
  • Many and they still come. I learned how to converse with people. I use what I learned in work and other situations every day. I learned to come out of myself, I am an introvert. (Guy)
  • Became closer to Christ. Became my own man. Met and served with eternal friends. (Mark)
  • One of the greatest blessings that I had received from serving, is that my dad got baptized the day after I got home. Also the lives and the families that they entered the water of baptism receives the blessing of being together forever if they get to stay in the gospel faithfully. (Imeleta)
  • I got to know the man I wanted to be, as opposed to the boy I thought I was expected to be. (Robert)
  • My testimony grew at an incredible rate. I learned to better understand the promptings of the Spirit. I was better prepared to be a wife and mother. (Jessica)
  • Stronger testimony. (Alejandro)

What are some skills you gained?

  • I learned a lot about the gospel. There was a lot of anti but none of it meant anything the church is true the book is blue. I gained a knack of public speaking and confidence to speak to everyone. (Denis)
  • Leadership skills such as delegation of duties, returning and reporting results, planning strategies for success, making and accomplishing goals, working with others. (Perry)
  • People skills and teaching skills. I learned how to milk a cow, how to farm, how to cook some Thai food, how to crochet. I learned how to set and obtain goals, I learned how to plan and execute plans effectively. I learned how to study better and how I learn. I learned how to better see things from another’s perspective. (Lindsey)
  • I learned how to talk to strangers and how to find common ground with those who have different ideals and beliefs, and to respect their beliefs, not belittle them. I learned how to be a friend to strangers very quickly. I learned the true meaning of service. (Travis)
  • People skills. Patience to put up with ridiculous, infuriating, stubborn, and obnoxious people. Ability to live with and get along with anyone. (Mckayla)
  • Speaking. (Duane)
  • I learned perseverance, tenacity, and determination to stick with a task or perhaps I learned that while serving in the United States Army prior to my mission :).  I did learn better communication skills and even something about PATIENCE. (Ray)
  • Management and organizational development. Human capital management. World-class customer service. Self esteem and belief that I can do anything. Too many more to name. (Roy)
  • Time management…organization…public speaking (which I had already started developing due to being a vocalist in a band)… Teamwork… Analytical planning, presentation design and implementation (all items utilized in my vocation at the Los Angeles Times for 30 years). (Bruce)
  • I’m great at impromptu talks and public speaking in general. (Joe)
  • Patience, dedication, work, obedience, giving, living with someone else who is different. (Fritz)
  • My mission helped me all-around in spiritual and practical ways. My companions taught me patience, cleanliness, organization. I learned time-management skills and am way more productive. I learned how to deal with stress in a healthy and productive way. But I believe the most important skills I gained are communication skills. Especially with the Spirit (learning to recognize it). (Mili)
  • I learned from Sister Carter how to make creamed tuna on toast. 🙂 I had been through five years of Seminary in my home state of Georgia but I learned new study skills on my mission. I learned to boldly testify of Christ and His gospel. I learned how terribly imperfect I am and how little I know and how much there is to learn. I learned to be patient and to trust the Lord. I learned two foreign languages … hippy and valley girl. 🙂 And I am still learning. (Lynne)
  • Being able to talk to people you don’t know. (Brian)
  • Communication. Being bold ( to tract and business contact). How to study. How to listen for the Spirit. Use faith and act on the Spirit. Develop a prayer in my heart, one that is open all day. (Guy)
  • Cooking, teaching, listening to the Spirit. (Mark)
  • There are few skills that I got from being a missionary, one is leadership. Being a leader or senior or trainer companion, seems easy but its hard. You really have to love your companion and serve others. Another one is communication, I learn how to communicate with the Spirit more and also with Heavenly Father. Developing my relationship with my Savior is one of the biggest blessings that I have while I was a missionary. (Imeleta)
  • I learned to be fearless in making friends. I learned to memorize verbatim, and to study by contemplation as opposed to the speed-reading approach I used in school. I learned to be where I said I would be at the appointed time, and to admire the men and women I served with. (Robert)
  • The ability to talk to people and to give a talk on any subject with no prep. (Jessica)
  • Language/communication. (Alejandro)

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

  • I wish I knew how to involve members in missionary work better. As soon as I figured it out I saw a night and day difference in the work. (Denis)
  • All the lessons jajaja…(Jared)
  • Don’t get so caught up in the day-to-day activities of being a missionary. That stuff will come anyways. Focus 100% on the people you teach and you’ll be fine. Sink yourself in the work of the Lord. (Perry)
  • I wish I knew that it was meant to be hard, and I wish I knew to not have any expectations. I spent my entire mission wondering why I wasn’t “as successful” as other missionaries, and why things never got easy. I thought I was a bad missionary because I wasn’t “getting the hang of things.” I realized when I came home that I worked as hard as any missionary out there, and my mission was my personal experience that the Lord made for me, and I know He has a plan to make the work I did useful to Him in His own time. I also wish I knew how little I knew…if that makes sense. The biggest fault a new missionary has is when they think they know what they don’t know. Realize you know nothing, be humble and learn. (Lindsey)
  • I wish I knew how fast it would go by and how much I was glad I didn’t spend much time being homesick and just enduring my mission. Just losing myself in the work…plain and simple. Just work. (Travis)
  • That no matter how hard it is, it’ll be totally worth it. (Mckayla)
  • Scriptures better. (Duane)
  • I would have liked to know that not all of my companions would have a solid testimony of the Gospel. I guess I just assumed that if a person was raised in the church and they chose to serve a mission that they would live by its precepts. (Ray)
  • How short two years really are! More scripture memorization. (Roy)
  • I had already developed a strong testimony and had taught Elders Quorum for around eight months…many of my companions had not even read the Book of Mormon but that, I believe has drastically changed (having been a Priest Quorum Advisor for the last six years). I wished I would have kept a better journal…one that dealt with my feelings and thoughts, as opposed to an itinerary of daily events. (Bruce)
  • I wish I’d saved more money so I could have financed more of my mission before I left. (Joe)
  • You don’t have to know everything. Affirm what you know. At the beginning of my mission, I was very stressed in thinking ‘I don’t know enough’. I was not as effective because I was constantly worried about what I lacked. It was very self-centered thinking. Instead, a better question to have asked would have been ‘what do I have to offer?’ and focused on the needs of others. (Mili)
  • I wish I had been more mature and confident so I wouldn’t have made the mistakes I made. I wish I had been more understanding of my companions and less stubborn. I wish I had understood more about the Savior and the Atonement. I wish I hadn’t gained so much weight because it was tough to lose it when I got home (thankfully, I finally did). (Lynne)
  • More gospel study. Seminary was not enough. (Brian)
  • The scriptures. (Guy)
  • Forgot about girl left behind and when I got the Dear John, my mission really kicked in. (Mark)
  • I just wish that I wasn’t that scared or nervous at the beginning of my mission. (Imeleta)
  • I was, as the son of a seventy (stake level), well versed in missionary work. I had done splits with the elders at home for three years before I served a full-time mission, and had the discussions down concept-perfect if not word-perfect, with more convert baptisms prior to my mission than I had until it was nearly 2/3 over. I was pretty well prepared when I reported to the mission home in Salt-Lake City. But, I had a lot of growing-up to do and most of it I did on the streets tracting with some guys I still to this day consider to be spiritual giants. (Robert)
  • Was braver and more bold. People who are ready to hear the message will, they don’t need to be coaxed into The Church. (Jessica)

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

  • Work hard it goes by quick and I haven’t met a missionary that would have given up anything just to have a little more time. There will be plenty of time for rest later. (Denis)
  • Give it all. (Jared)
  • Read The Book of Mormon as much as you possibly can. Visit the Temple for spiritual inspiration on what to study. (Perry)
  • If you’ve noticed you’re not happy and trials of life or faith have come your way since deciding to serve a mission, know that is the adversary and not the Lord. The few months before my mission were some of the hardest/loneliest of my life. Don’t worry about being able to have a spiritual life after your mission; some RMs worry about being in the world and not being able to feel the Spirit because of all the “noise.” Remember that you will be more capable at the end of your mission than you were at the beginning. It will be different, but you’ll know how to adjust. Be happy and trust the Lord will take care of you and provide. (Lindsey)
  • Just go, there are a million reasons not to go, but just do it- plain and simple. The prophets have said every worthy young man should serve a mission, period. Don’t look back and think about home, just work, enjoy it…it will become the greatest experience of your life. Oh, and your girlfriend you leave will Dear John you, so don’t act all crushed when it happens. (Travis)
  • You don’t have to know everything to be a missionary of the Lord, you just have to have the faith that what your doing is for the Lord and he will guide and protect you. It’s okay to not be a scriptorian…experience and study will get you there in time. Just do your best and let the Lord do the rest. You will be amazed at the answers the Spirit can bring in a moment of need or a scripture that will come to mind unexpectedly. The work is full of miracles so be prepared to be a part of that. (Mckayla)
  • Learn the scriptures, learn the gospel. (Duane)
  • Read the Book of Mormon and gain a testimony of this wonderful book. Follow the Word of Wisdom. Take care of your body so that you can work hard for extended periods. Learn to cook a few simple meals. Be willing to clean up after yourself and not expect your companion to do it for you. (Ray)
  • Reread, learn, and use Doctrine and Covenants 4 (all verses, but especially 4). This is our purpose, our life, both on missions and upon our return home. It remains with us throughout the remainder of our days. (Roy)
  • Have a testimony of the Savior…serve Him with no thought of personal reward…it’s not about YOU. As the scriptures teach: learn His word, then your ability to lead others will follow. Be obedient in ALL things. Write your family weekly and your Priest Quorum monthly. (Bruce)
  • Believe first. That’s all you need to do. Everything else is centered around your faith and faithfulness. (Joe)
  • I wish I would have taken a recipe book with me and when at a dinner appointment if I liked the meal asked the host/hostess to write the recipe for me to have in my book. I’ve wanted to make a few things that I had but don’t have the recipe. Also, write every day in a journal. Write a letter every week to your mother. (Fritz)
  • If you let it, the mission will be the best thing for your life! And…Missions are no walk in the park. But don’t let that deter you. You don’t have to do it alone. You will find Christ there with you in every step, in every knock, in every utterance if you let Him help you. Relish and enjoy it, it passes quicker than you know. (Mili)
  • Tell yourself every single day that you are going to treasure these moments when you return home because they only happen once. As President Walsh used to say, “These are eternal moments.” (Lynne)
  • Understand your testimony. Learn a capacity to love. (Brian)
  • Learn to listen to and cultivate the spirit and act. (Guy)
  • Pray, obey, convert. (Mark)
  • I would love to encourage you all, just be yourself and make sure that you know that “every soul is worth in the sight of God”. Also one thing that President Jardine taught us, is to always response with the Spirit. And Sister Jardine said this in one of the leadership trainings, “let Jesus Christ be your Hero”. There are sometimes that we feel like we did this and that, which is true, but the main person that we try to tell people is our Savior Jesus Christ and how much he loves us. The reason of His sacrifice because He wants us to return to live with them again. (Imeleta)
  • The Church is true. Joseph was who he said he was and did what he claimed to have done. Have fun while you get the work done! (Robert)
  • Learn all you can about the gospel now. Study preach my gospel and the scriptures. (Jessica)
  • Be yourself. (Alejandro)

What was a funny language mistake?

  • I spoke Russian and my companion spoke Hmong so as a tag team in Sacramento there was a time where we were able to talk to people who most could not speak to. (Denis)
  • I can’t say beach jajaja….(Jared)
  • I learned that certain words in English meant different things to people who were from the deep south, or from Canada, Australia or England! (Ray)
  • “Rat” in Khmer sounds a lot like a vulgar word in Khmer, and the latter is easier to pronounce than the former. (Joe)
  • I had an American Sign Language companion. She would teach me occasional signs that we would discreetly signal to each other during lessons. When we were teaching a family, I got very excited during the spiritual peak.  I motioned to my companion, not-so-subtly the motions ‘INVITE!’, ‘BAPTIZE!’. Everyone had the most perplexed looks on their faces, as my companion shook her head in shame. Despite their initial bewilderment, they did accept the invitation and were baptized shortly after. 🙂 (Mili)
  • I didn’t know what a drag queen was until we tracted into one. (Lynne)
  • I don’t remember any but I tried to speak Spanish for 6 months and I am sure many mistakes happened then. (Guy)
  • My southern accent!!!! (Mark)
  • None. I spoke 5 languages All perfect. Hahahah. (Alejandro)

James (California Sacramento Mission)

–Paraphrased from James’ mission interview–

Mission Info

The mission has Sacramento as the hub of activity and it fans out to the south and the east. It goes up into the mountains almost to Lake Tahoe. In the south it went through Stockton and the border was Tracy. There is a lot of different terrain. Downtown Sacramento is highrises and busy streets. Spreading out from that there are a lot of suburbs. Then there is also a lot of empty forest and valleys. I was almost attacked by a wolverine once. It’s so flat. You can see for miles if the air is clear. The entire mission is plagued by air pollution that comes from San Francisco and Oakland.

A Melting Pot of Cultures

Sacramento is a melting pot. Official mission languages are English, Spanish, Lao, Hmong, Cambodian, and Tagalog. There are also wards for Tongan, Samoan, and Marshallese. There are so many different languages in such a dense area. I actually speak a little Japanese, but I only met two Japanese speakers.

The Temple

There is a temple in Fulsom. It’s called the Sacramento temple though. It is very small, but beautiful. We got to go four times a year. We could go on the days that we had transfers. I love the temple. There were eleven stakes with thirteen missionary zones. There were two stakes that were split in half. There are a lot of members in Sacramento, especially in the Fulsom stake. It’s a really small stake, but it’s nearly as membership dense as the cities in Utah. I loved serving there because of how many youth are in the Church there. You get a lot of comradery there.

Reed (California Sacramento Mission)

–Paraphrased from Reed’s mission interview–

Mission Geography

I served from 2008 to 2010. It has split since then. It included Stockton and down to Tracy. It included Sacramento of course, but it didn’t go up to Roseville. A lot of those areas are in three or four different missions now. I never went to see Big Trees, but they are huge trees  with giant trunks. Old Town Sacramento is really cool as well.


Sacramento is really diverse. You step out into the streets and each person you speak with speaks a different language and is from a different country. I was called English-speaking, but I definitely felt like I was called to a foreign country at times. We had a number of Tongan wards, but we didn’t have any Tongan speaking missionaries. We had a good number of Spanish-speaking missionaries. We had missionaries that spoke Cambodian, Hmong, and Laotian as well. We eventually started a Marshallese speaking area as well at one point. I also found that there were a lot of people from other parts of the world that we didn’t have programs for from the Philippines, Vietnam, Pakistan, India, really all kinds of different areas. You can get to know so many different cultures.

The Church in Sacramento

The church is pretty big in Sacramento. The wards in the populated areas are pretty large like you would see in Utah. There were eleven stakes in the mission at the time I had served and each had a zone.

There is a lot of history there concerning the gold rush and that led some of the saints to head out there.

The Best Mission

We were always told the Sacramento mission was the best mission. I know at one point it was the highest baptizing mission in California, but that changes all the time. The amount of lessons you teach a week really depends on the area and language you are teaching in. For example, the Marshallese people were very willing to set appointments with you and those missionaries were able to teach a lot of lessons. In English areas, it depending more on the area you were in. If you are in wealthy areas, then you usually teach less lessons than the missionaries in the poorer areas. We did a lot of street contacting in the mission.