Free resources about the Florida Tampa Mission:
- Mission address and phone number
- Mission map
- Video interviews with returned missionaries
- 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: Florida LDS Missions.
Florida Tampa Mission Address
Here’s a recent address for the Florida Tampa 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.
13510 N 42 St
Tampa FL 33613
USAPhone Number: 1-813-961-7400
Mission President: President Kendall J. Cooper
Florida Tampa Mission Map
Here’s a link to the mission map for the Florida Tampa Mission (LDS). To access the official LDS.org map for the Tampa Mission:
Videos with Florida Tampa RMs
Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the Tampa Mission. We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews.
LDS-Friendly Videos about Florida
Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about Florida. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about Florida, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.
Florida Tampa Missionary Blogs
Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Tampa 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.)
Florida Tampa Mission Groups
Here are Florida Tampa Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Tampa Mission.
- Florida Tampa Mission Cusick Facebook Group (1,308 members)
- Florida Tampa Mission Facebook Group (833 members)
- President Summerhays- Tampa Mission 2010-13 Group (351 members)
- Florida Tampa Mission 2013 Facebook Group (35 members)
- Florida Tampa Mission – Kendrick Facebook Group (30 members)
- Tampa Mission Moms and Friends (LDS) Group (19 members)
- Tampa Senior Couples (Presidents Allen and Colton) Group (1 member)
- Florida Tampa Mission (Allen, 2006-7) Facebook Group (1 member)
Florida Tampa Mission T-Shirts
Here are T-shirts for the Florida Tampa Mission!
Shirt designs include Florida Tampa 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: Florida Tampa missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.
*Click here to browse Tampa Mission gifts
Florida Tampa Mission Presidents
Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Tampa LDS Mission.
- 2016-2019, Kendall J. Cooper
- 2013-2016, Mark D. Cusick
- 2010-2013, Bruce P. Summerhays
- 2007-2010, Kent W. Colton
- 2006-2007, John Allen
- 2006, Mark Dahle
- 2003-2006, Kenneth Hutchins
- 2000-2003, Jack L. Clark
- 1997-2000, Lloyd M. Munson
- 1994-1997, Jeff J. Horn
- 1994, Burke
- 1991-1994, Kieth C. Brimhall
- 1988-1991, G. Vern Albright
- 1985-1988, L. Lionel Kendrick
- 1982-1985, Walter D. Talbot
- 1979-1982, Rex W. Williams
- 1976-1979, A. Sterling Workman
Florida LDS Statistics (2015)
- Church Membership: 149,355
- Missions: 5
- Temples: 2
- Congregations: 241
- Family History Centers: 69
Helpful Articles about Florida
Florida Tampa Missionary Survey
Here are survey responses from Florida Tampa 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?
- 2016-2017 (Cami)
- 2011-2013 (Ian)
- 2010-2012 (Tyler)
- 2010-2012 (Ben)
- 1984-1986 (Sheila)
- 1.5 years (Denice)
- 1987-1988 (Shannon)
- 1994-1996 (Carter)
- 1987-1989 (Jose)
- 1986-1988 (Michael)
Which areas did you serve in?
- Valrico, Palm Harbor, Temple Terrace, Venice. (Cami)
- Riverview, Clearwater, Land O’Lakes, Naples and Port Charlotte. (Tyler)
- Clearwater, Tampa, Apollo Beach, Bonita Springs, New Tampa, and Estero YSA. (Ben)
- Apollo Beach (Spanish), Largo, Tampa, Naples, and Wauchula. (Ian)
- Tampa, Orlando (3 areas), Palm Bay, Lakeland. (Denice)
- Orlando, Naples, St. Petersburgh/Clearwater. (Shannon)
- St.Cloud, New Port Richey, Apopka, Tampa, Brandon, Goldenrod, Dunedin, Dade City, Wauchula. (Jose)
- Plant City, Tampa, Yebor City, Lutz, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Port Charlotte, Melbourne, Sarasota. (Michael)
What were some favorite foods?
- Corn Fritters and Applesauce Calzones (Sheila)
- Costco hotdogs, macaroni and hotdogs, pizza. (Tyler)
- Fried alligator tail (trust me), steak, fried chicken. (Ben)
- Tacos al Pastor, Pupusas Tostones, and Burnt Chicken (at the Horns’). (Ian)
- I was happy being fed whatever the lovely people fed me, because I didn’t have to do it. It’s a big sacrifice for the families to cook for extras, so I liked everything. But it was fun to learn about ham hocks and collard greens, and other Southern food I’ve never been exposed to before. I liked the chili that was given us as well. We had pizza, lasagna, spaghetti, etc. served to us and the entire experience eating at members was very fun and refreshing. (Denice)
- Spanish rice & beans. (Shannon)
- Cuban food!! I am still waiting for a good Cuban restaurant to open in Utah. (Carter)
- Fried chicken. (Jose)
- Cuban sandwich, red beans and rice, grits. (Michael)
What was a funny experience?
- I threw up on someone’s doorstep once. Biking for thirty minutes straight on a gradual uphill path in the Florida summer right after lunch will do that to you. (Cami)
- I met a guy who started his own religion that believed Jesus and angels were actually an alien race called “advancelots” which travel through dimensions and time to visit earth. He gave me a homemade pamphlet. (Tyler)
- One time my companion and I were riding home on our bikes with groceries hanging from the handle bars. It was dark, and my bike was the only one that had a light. I was riding in front. We were riding pretty fast and as we approached a bend in the sidewalk I hurriedly yelled to my companion that there was a curve. I guess he didn’t hear me, because the next thing I heard was a mighty crash a he flew over the handle bars. He swears that his feet flew behind his back and hit his head. I stopped and ran back and the first question I asked was “Is the milk ok?!” He didn’t really appreciate that, but we had a good laugh. (Ben)
- During my first transfer, my trainer and I were knocking doors in a trailer court. After knocking on the door of a trailer, a very skinny woman opened the door. However, when she saw us, she immediately said, “Oh, it’s you. I’m going to let HIM deal with you.” After saying this, she immediately walked back into the trailer and out of sight. The next thing we saw was a very large man, clothed in nothing but a pair of jeans, rise from the couch by the door and lumber clumsily towards us. The first words out of his mouth were, “Oh, it’s those Jehovah’s Witnesses again! What do you want?” I started giving our normal spiel about being missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and how we were not, in fact, Jehovah’s Witnesses. “Same difference,” said he. By this time, we were quite sure by his clumsy movements and his slurred speech that he was inebriated. I continued to tell him that we were actually quite different from Jehovah’s Witnesses and that we would like to share a message about Jesus Christ with him. I then asked him if he would be interested in hearing our message. “Well, yes… but not in the way that you’d think,” he replied. I’m sure you can imagine our confusion at this response. I kindly asked him to elaborate, to which he responded, “Oh, boy. I’m going to have to sit down for this.” He then proceeded to attempt to take a seat on the edge of the small cement porch in front of his door; however, due to his drunken state, he missed the edge of the porch and instead fell flat on his face on the driveway. It was obvious that we were in trouble, then, as my trainer was experiencing great difficulty in containing his fits of laughter. I decided a quick exit was the best way to go in the present climate, and so I made sure the man was okay and that he could stand, and then I handed him a pass-along card (after a couple of tries, as he struggled to grasp it). We then left in a hurry. A few weeks later, we were riding down to the same area to do some follow up, and passed the same man riding a bike that was much too small for him. He scowled as we rode past, but avoided eye contact. (Ian)
- I heard a tree frog and told my mission companion, “There’s a tree frog”. She repeated the same thing I just said, “There’s a tree frog”. I said, “I know, I just told you it was a tree frog”. She said, “I know, I’m making a tape recording for a friend back home.” There were many experiences but I sent my journals home and haven’t seen them since because my parents moved, so I can’t think of anything else. We had a fun time making up songs though. (Denice)
- When my companion and I got our car stuck in a sink hole in Brooksville, and everyone that came to help got their vehicles stuck as well. (Shannon)
- It rains a bunch there. We “baptized” a mission car one time in a ditch. (Carter)
- People stopping us. (Jose)
What was a crazy experience?
- In my first area, my trainer and I would jog to a park in our neighborhood that was about a 1/2 mile away and exercise there. Thanks to daylight savings, it was really dark when we start jogging at 6:15 every morning. It was a little sketchy going to a dark park, but we usually just shook it off because we needed to exercise somewhere. But for a few weeks we kept getting these uneasy feelings as we’d approach the park. Something our mission president had told us at a training meeting was “If you don’t feel safe, YOU’RE RIGHT.” So most days we would ended up running/walking around the neighborhood for our exercise instead. Well one day we finally found out why. We were walking up to the park and saw a pair of legs sticking out of one of the slides! Homeless men had been sleeping at the park! We bolted out of there. We switched our exercise to just running throughout the neighborhood. (Cami)
- While I was fishing on preparation day I hooked an alligator. (Tyler)
- The day we drove through water on the road that volted/stalled out our car and we had to call the Elders for help. The nearest place to call from was a bar (in the middle of nowhere). The owner was nice enough and offered us a meal. Although feeling awkward about being in a bar, we quickly excused ourselves outside to await the Elder’s help. (Sheila)
- A 6 foot alligator at the church on Saturday when we were going to meet up with the District Leaders for a blessing. And death threats if we were to baptize a man’s mother. (Denice)
- My training companion and I got into a car accident…like my second week in the mission field. (Shannon)
- My companion and I got chased out of a bad neighborhood by a car full of gangsters. (Carter)
- Some stoned guy was like a dog. (Jose)
- 1st area. Out about 2 weeks and tracting. We came to a long gravel driveway. You couldn’t see the house due to trees and a bend in the driveway. You could see a Huge United States flag. I heard someone rack a shotgun and yell that no one was allowed on his property that couldn’t salute the flag. My trainer drop his scriptures put his right hand on his heart and started saying the pledge so I did as well. “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.” The guy then yelled out that we were obviously not from another religion that had a lot of people going door to door in the area and invited us up. When we got to the porch he put down the shotgun. We talked for a while…then gave the 1st discussion and left him with a Book of Mormon. I was transferred the next week and never learned if he continued with the discussions. (Michael)
What was a spiritual experience?
- My companion and I were having a really hard day. And just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, we had a lady in an apartment complex who was extremely rude to us. I can’t write down some of the things she said for the sake of keeping this G-rated, but basically she screamed the opposite of the Law of Chastity at us, accused us of being perverted polygamists, scolded us for not being home with our families (it was Father’s Day), and then “escorted” us out of the complex. My companion and I were fuming. We went to the next neighborhood over and still weren’t well-received. Then we knocked on a door and a women named Karen answered. And she was nice to us. All of the pent-up anger and frustration began overflow, and I felt the tears coming. I continued to tell myself to keep it together, but then I just felt this overwhelming feeling of peace come over me saying “It’s okay to cry. You’re safe here.” Suddenly the tears were flowing freely. Karen looked at me and said, “Why are you crying?” and I told her about the lady from the previous neighborhood, the fact that we were away from our families on Father’s Day, and that she was the first person who had been kind to us all day. By this point my companion was crying too. Karen saw how distraught we were and began to cry herself. So we all just cried on her doorstep for a few minutes. She ran inside to grab Kleenex and water for us. When she came back out she pulled us into a huge hug and offered up her own prayer for us. It was incredible. I never saw Karen again. This wasn’t an experience that resulted in a baptism or even a new investigator. But that day Karen showed me what True Christianity looked like. She exemplified Matthew 25:40. It’s an experience I’ll never forget. (Cami)
- Our mission president always encouraged us as missionaries to search the phone books for our family name (last name) and the maiden name of our mother’s. On this occasion, my companion happened to be searching the phone book and looked up my last name…and…came across one name and this lady happened to be living in our area (on the border), which allowed us to go meet her. It was a sweet experience for me as we got to know her. Since meeting her, I have come to know her family and we have kept in contact over the years – being 20 plus years to date. (Sheila)
- Teaching the First Vision was always a spiritual experience. We taught a young woman the First Vision on a week night at the church once, and the spirit was very strong. Afterwards, she told us that while we were speaking she felt a spiritual confirmation that what we were saying was true. It was awesome. (Tyler)
- The spiritual experience that stands out the most to me from my mission is an experience where we helped a less active lady and her son regain their testimony of the Book of Mormon and the church. To start off, I was with a companion that to this day is my best friend. He helped me to overcome some issues that had been seriously hindering my ability to feel the Spirit. We strove every day to listen to the promptings we received, and while we were not perfect by any means, we had some really powerful spiritual experiences while teaching. Another important detail is that the area we were covering was shared entirely with the sisters. Yes, we covered the EXACT same area as the sisters. For the first couple of transfers, this worked out really well for us, though later on it caused problems. In any case, the sisters and the elders had divided up the members on the ward directory so that we didn’t try to visit the same people. The sisters, understandably, took all of the single sisters. One day, the sisters asked us if we could come with them to a surprise visit to one less active lady’s house. This seemed a little strange to me, but we decided to do it anyway. When we arrived, the sister politely invited us into her home and told us to sit at her dining room table while she prepared us some snacks in the kitchen. She began preparing a sort of smoothie that she often made for us in during later visits. Soon after beginning her preparations, she stopped her work, seeming agitated. She asked if she could ask us a question, to which we of course replied that she could. She began to express to us her doubts as to the truth of the Book of Mormon, citing the fact that we have no proof of the golden plates, while with the Bible there are at least some old manuscripts. One of the sisters present was very strong-willed, and started to argue with her. I felt the Spirit immediately flee, which worried me greatly, as the argument was heating up rapidly. I quickly began thinking of ways that we might be able to invite the Spirit back into the discussion, and ultimately decided that when she had finished preparing our snacks, I would ask if we could pray over them (which would normally be a little weird, since it was just a snack). When she finally finished preparing the smoothies and a couple of plates of Oreos, I quickly interjected into the conversation, expressing my desire to pray over her offering. To my relief, I felt the Spirit return to the room as we prayed together, and our discussion thereafter became much more productive. We helped her to understand the principle of faith: that even if she were to see the golden plates, she still wouldn’t know of their truthfulness. When she continued to express her doubts, I looked her in the eye and felt the Spirit speak through me, saying, “Sister, I know that you already know that the Book of Mormon is true.” It was such an interesting feeling, because I knew that I, of myself, would never have the courage to make such a bold statement; however, when I looked her in the eye, my mouth seemed to say the words of its own accord, though I felt confirmation from the Spirit that they were true. She looked completely dumb-struck for a moment after I told her that. She began trying to deny it, but then took on an attitude of introspection as she apparently tried to decide if it was true after all. Soon, the time came for us to return to our apartments for the night, and so we left with a prayer, asking her to pray for confirmation that the Book of Mormon is true. She looked completely dumb-struck for a moment after I told her that. She began trying to deny it, but then took on an attitude of introspection as she apparently tried to decide if it was true after all. Soon, the time came for us to return to our apartments for the night, and so we left with a prayer, asking her to pray for confirmation that the Book of Mormon is true. After that day, I saw a mighty change wrought in that sister. Every time we returned, we asked her how her scripture reading was going, and she would always light up and tell us excitedly about the section she was reading. She came to church every week after that, as far as I can remember, and her son was finally able to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. She began inviting friends over when she knew we were coming, or even bringing them to church if she could. It was such a miracle and I am so grateful to have had some small role in helping that change along. I know she was such a great lady to begin with, but I’m happy that she was able to find joy in the gospel and in God’s kingdom. (Ian)
- I was suppose to go home in April with everyone I came out with, but they kept me for one month longer, getting me home on Cinco de Mayo. But we had this family who had been taking lessons from the missionaries through several sets of missionaries. The father of the family wanted a particular song at his baptism but there wasn’t music for it. But, in the new area I was transferred to, there was this great pianist who could play anything and he played the song while my companion and I sang. Also, another investigator we’d been teaching struggled with the word of wisdom, so we fasted for him and told him we’d be doing so. Then, he told us he got so sick that he hasn’t been able to smoke since we did that. (Denice)
- My companion and I were tracking, and we tracted into a lady who had been given a Book of Mormon some time prior. She invited us in and we gave her the first discussion, she asked us to come back and we suggested that she discuss this with her husband, we wanted to teach her but we felt that she should be forthright with him. The second discussion and for all of the rest husband and wife sat together. On one of the last discussions, when we taught about the “Three Fold Mission of the Church” she jumped up and went into another room, my companion and I just looked at each other fearing we had said something to upset her, she soon came back into the room with a box of papers, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates etc…she said that when he mother passed away she collected all this “stuff” but had never know what to do with it until just then. They both accepted our challenge to be baptized. (Shannon)
- That two people baptized and receive the credit. (Jose)
- I was having a hard time. Things were not going well in my area or with my companion. My younger brother had just gone home from his mission because of serious medical problems. It wasn’t fair…he was the good kid who always wanted to go on a mission. I was the rebel who had never done anything right in life until I had decided to become a missionary. I was packing up to quit and going home. I prayed to be forgiven for quitting saying I just couldn’t do this anymore. That evening my brother’s Mission President called me. I didn’t know he was my brother’s president. He had been one of my professors (not at BYU) in college. Don’t know how he had gotten the number for my mission apartment. There were no computers nor internet to find things back then. We talked for around an hour. He told me how my brother got sick, how hard he had tried to serve his full 2 years despite his illnesses. The call was an answer to my prayer. God didn’t want me to quit he wanted me to work harder. He knew what I needed to hear to help me not quit. He carried. Things didn’t get better on my mission, at least for a month or so. I still had problems with my companion, I was still in a difficult area in a ghetto part of town. But I now understood God cared about a fool like me. He knew what I needed and why. I started to notice little things that meant nothing to anyone else. I was offered a bottle of my favorite soda while tracting. We found a dive restaurant that served my favorite lunch at a price a missionary could afford. I got a letter from an old friend. I stayed, finished my mission. (Michael)
What are some interesting facts about the Tampa Mission?
- Missionaries in The Florida Tampa Mission don’t eat at members’ homes unless there is an non-member present. In other words, we almost never got fed by members. It’s the only mission in the world with that policy. But because of that, missionaries get extra money every month so they can buy more food to make their own meals. The sister missionaries can wear sandals! In October 2016, the Florida Tampa Mission was added to the list of missions where sisters are required to wear dress slacks due to mosquito-borne diseases. There are only three missions in The United States on that list: Florida Orlando, Florida Fort Lauderdale, and Florida Tampa. (Cami)
- The Orlando temple was announced at a big multi region conference in Lakeland, Florida. (Sheila)
- Tampa is home to MacDill Air Force Base, and there are lots of military members in the area. The area farthest south in the mission is Naples, which has the only DeLorean dealership in the world. (The Back to the Future car.) It also includes part of the everglades. (Tyler)
- I had three prophets and four mission presidents in the year and 1/2 I was there. (Denice)
- I was surprised at how many Polynesian people there were in the Orlando/Kissimee area. (Shannon)
- We worked we played and get member referrals. (Jose)
What was the weather like?
- Hot and humid. But still beautiful all the same! If you’re in an area next to the ocean then you get a good sea breeze throughout the hot summer days. Expect lots of rain and lots of sweat. (Cami)
- When it rains, it pours! After which the sun comes out and the weather is beautiful! Winters can be cold (freezing), Summertime’s can be hot and humid….but most of the time it is beautiful! (Sheila)
- Warm most of the time, but it was easy to get caught in sudden Jurassic Park-style rainstorms in the summer. They would last just long enough to soak you from head to toe and then stop. (Tyler)
- Lots and lots of lightning. And rain storms like you wouldn’t believe. It rained harder there than I had ever seen before. (Ben)
- The summers are brutally hot and humid, but they offer the relief of frequent bursts of heavy rain to cool you off. The winters are beautiful! (Ian)
- It rained everyday about 2:00p.m. So we needed to wear rain ponchos to keep the Book of Mormons from bleeding blue all over you. We also needed dresses with big pockets to put the Book of Mormons for tracking. We didn’t like carrying much to tract with. I sent my mom someone’s dress they discarded and asked her to make one like it, it was too big, but I wore it anyway. (Denice)
- It was hot and humid, but you learned to deal with it and adjust. (Shannon)
- During the summer and fall it rains every day at two o’clock. (Carter)
- Hot and humid, then cold. (Jose)
- Hot and humid. (Michael)
Any things you really like about the area/people?
- There was so much diversity! So many cultures and backgrounds. (Cami)
- Florida is beautiful! The beaches are a beautiful place to walk and enjoy the sunrises/sunsets. The people are amazing!!! (Sheila)
- I loved the weather, and the diversity in people. There was lots of good food. One of the things I miss the most about Florida is the beautiful sunsets. Sunsets are just extra amazing there for some reason. (Tyler)
- The people there love Christ. Even though they may not have a complete knowledge, they love the Savior and have that little seed of a testimony. (Ben)
- I love the strength of the people that I met, especially the Hispanic community. I have never met to many hard-working and loving people, and I miss their example to me in that way. I also miss the food, although fortunately I learned to cook some things while I was there, such as killer pupusas. (Ian)
- What I like about Florida is the gecko’s, the big spiders, the armadillos, the manatees, and other animals. The plant life is crazy gorgeous. I really like how warm it is. What I like about the people is: Their belief in Christ and the Bible knowledge that people had. Their willingness to feed us sisters sometimes three meals a day. They were just lovely people. (Denice)
- The places I served were absolutely beautiful, the people were so pleasant. (Shannon)
- Tampa and Orlando, which was part of the mission at the time, was a wonderful place to serve. People really don’t know much about Mormons. It a really exotic place to go without having to leave the states. (Carter)
- A referral. (Jose)
Any packing/clothing advice?
- Take an umbrella! Carry it with you as you never know the time of day that the rain will come …and… it will come! A rain coat would be good! (Sheila)
- Slacks that are not suit pants. You will only wear suits to meetings and if you wear your suit pants out working, the color will fade and it won’t match your jacket anymore. A light rain jacket that you can roll up small and tuck into your backpack isn’t a bad idea. And most importantly, comfortable shoes with good, padded socks. (Tyler)
- Silk ties don’t do so well in the rain, so it’s safer to have polyester ties. (Ben)
- Know that during the summer/rainy season you will likely be getting wet on a daily basis, and your clothes will probably get mud-stained very quickly. (Ian)
- Cotton. Bring a sweater for the winter time, because it does get cold. Handkerchiefs to wipe sweat off while your walking. You need dresses with big pockets. Flats and not fancy dresses, you will sweat like crazy, especially if you have requirements to tract as much as we did. Correction, we sisters glisten, not sweat. (Denice)
- Pack only a few articles of clothing and then purchase clothing when you get there. I had to send 2/3 of what I brought with me back home because it was just not appropriate fabric for the weather. (Shannon)
- Get cotton dark socks. The wool dress socks make you itch. (Carter)
- Pack neatly. (Jose)
- Get comfortable shoes that have a lot of cushion but also allow air flow. (Michael)
What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?
- I found that in preaching and sharing The Gospel, I was learning and understanding The Gospel. The best way to learn is to teach! (Cami)
- (1) A strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2) Treasured friendships (3) Blessings of a strong family who are focused on the gospel and love serving! (Sheila)
- I learned how to set goals, plan, and achieve those goals, which has shaped my life after my mission and helped me be successful in my career. I met my wife a month after returning home from my mission when she also returned from hers, which I consider a blessing from my mission. I learned to love strangers, and I made friendships that will last for eternity. (Tyler)
- Great memories, and a great testimony of God’s love for his children. I also know that the Spirit is real! (Ian)
- A greater knowledge of the gospel and a testimony of the reality of Jesus Christ. Also, not being so stinking quiet and keeping my mouth shut. I open my mouth now, where before I would not. (Denice)
- It’s hard to pinpoint specific blessings, but I do know that I had some health concerns prior to my leaving on my mission that were not troublesome while I was out. (Shannon)
- I think about my mission every day. (Carter)
- Tell experiences. (Jose)
- The ability to push through when I didn’t think I could. (Michael)
What are some skills you gained?
- (1) Communication skills – to include talking to people one doesn’t know…and the ability to listen. (2) Improved upon my homemaking skills. (3) Skills in teaching. (4) A greater love for the scriptures. (Sheila)
- Planning. The ability to talk to anyone, anywhere, about anything. Self-confidence. The ability to be more sensitive to the Spirit. I learned how to study as well. (Tyler)
- I think the greatest skill that I learned was to be able to feel the promptings of the Spirit and discern them from other emotions. (Ian)
- Scriptural knowledge from memorizing tons of scriptures. Fisher of men, Harvester of souls, Daughter of Moroni, etc. and each had 40 scriptures to memorize. (Denice)
- Communication. Working with others. (Carter)
- Cook. (Jose)
- Talking to strangers. (Michael)
What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?
- I wish I was more humble when I started. It would have saved me some trouble. (Tyler)
- Read Preach my Gospel. Read it a lot. Focus on the simple doctrines that you will be teaching to investigators. Some of these people will be hearing this for the first time in their entire life, so learn to teach simple doctrines clearly and allow the spirit to touch their hearts. (Ben)
- I wish I had realized how even though it feels like an eternity at the time, when you get home it’s like it went by in the blinking of any eye. It’s like something out of a very vivid dream. I wish I had solidified certain habits better while I had the opportunity to focus on them so much each day. (Ian)
- It’s the Bible belt, so pretty much everything that they brought up. I found answers after the mission, but if I had those beforehand, then I’d have done better job of bringing people unto Christ. (Denice)
- I wish that I had studied the scriptures more…I never went to seminary and a lot of the scriptures we HAD to memorize were seminary scriptures. (Shannon)
- How to teach. (Carter)
- Be the best missionary. (Jose)
Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Tampa?
- Just remember that this is precious time that you are never going to get back. Seriously! Never again in your life will you have a whole 18 months to completely forget about school, student loans, paying rent, dating, earning money, etc. and instead focus solely on God and this amazing restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. So you have to make the most of it and work like crazy! For those of you who are currently or will be serving missions, here’s some advice: Grow up. Give it to God. And give it your all. Seriously, in order to have the fullest mission experience you have to be willing and you have to be ready. Leave everything on the altar of sacrifice–the girl/boyfriend, the social media accounts, the professional sports teams, the favorite TV show, etc.–and just be missionaries. Be exactly obedient and truly consecrate yourselves in this marvelous work. It’s not easy. It’s not always the most fun or convenient. But it is so worth it. (Cami)
- (1) Study/feast upon the scriptures, the church magazines and authorized church books. (2) Pay attention to the spirit when it prompts and do as prompted. Let the spirit be your guide. (3) Go to the temple often. (4) Work on your genealogy…know your family history. (5) Pay attention in Seminary and attend Institute if you have the time! (Sheila)
- Read The Book of Mormon before you go. It will be important in everything you teach. Try to look at everyone you see through our Heavenly Father’s eyes and seek to do what He would have you do to help them. This will make your heart swell with joy and love. Remember that you are always a representative of Jesus Christ, and always act the part. Work hard every day. You will regret it if you don’t. And remember to enjoy the work. Your time as a full-time missionary will be over before you know it. (Tyler)
- Be obedient and love the people. Everything will fall into place after that. (Ben)
- Follow the Spirit, which is to say, follow the will of your Heavenly Father, and submit to it as much as you can, and you won’t regret it. (Ian)
- Read the Bible and the Book of Mormon both and know those scriptures like the back of your hand. So you can have the spirit bring those things to your remembrance. (Denice)
- Develop good scripture study habits, use Preach My Gospel before you leave, then you aren’t trying to develop these habits on your mission. Enjoy your mission…Work hard, pray hard, love and serve with all your heart, mind, might and strength. This is one of the most wonderful experiences of you life, and one that you will never have again. (Shannon)
- Enjoy yourself. If you need something to make yourself more comfortable do it. I suffered through some things just to sacrifice and be tough. You don’t have to go hungry and sleep on floors if you think ahead. Pack a lunch and buy an air mattress. (Carter)
- Keep your testimony firm. (Jose)
- Go because you have a testimony and desire NOT BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE EXPECTS YOU TO GO. You don’t have to go at 18 or 19 or 20. Go when you are ready. (Michael)
What was a funny language mistake?
- We tried to teach the gospel to a Spanish speaking family with their English/Spanish speaking preacher, we should have brought the Spanish speaking missionaries. (Denice)
- Message and massage sound real close in Spanish. Both have very different reactions. (Carter)