Free resources about the Iowa Des Moines 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
Iowa Des Moines Mission Address
Here’s a recent address for the Iowa Des Moines Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.
Iowa Des Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave. #19
Urbandale, IA 50322
Phone Number: 1-515-278-9637
Mission President: President Briant Badger
Iowa Des Moines Mission Map
Here’s a link to the mission map for the Iowa Des Moines Mission (LDS). To access the official LDS.org map for the Des Moines Mission:
Videos with Des Moines RMs
Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the Iowa Des Moines Mission. We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews.
LDS-Friendly Videos about Iowa
Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about Iowa. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about Iowa, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.
Iowa Des Moines Missionary Blogs
Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Iowa Des Moines Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.
Iowa Des Moines Mission Groups
Here are Iowa Des Moines Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Des Moines Mission.
- Iowa Des Moines Mission 2013-2016 Facebook Group (389 members)
- Iowa Des Moines Mission 2010-2013 Facebook Group (341 members)
- Iowa Des Moines Mission Facebook Group (282 members)
- Des Moines Mission ~ ’96-’00 (President Rowley) Group (149 members)
- Des Moines 1983-86 (Pres. Van Tassell, Cleghorn) Group (17 members)
- Iowa Des Moines LDS’s Mission Facebook Group (17 members)
- Iowa Des Moines Mission Moms (LDS) Group (6 members)
- Iowa Des Moines Mission 1982-1983 Facebook Group (1 member)
Iowa Des Moines Mission T-Shirts
Here are T-shirts for the Iowa Des Moines Mission!
Shirt designs include Iowa Des Moines 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: Iowa Des Moines missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.
Iowa Des Moines Mission Presidents
Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Iowa Des Moines LDS Mission.
- 2016-2019, Briant Badger
- 2013-2016, John R. Jensen
- 2010-2013, Dirk O. Jergensen
- 2007-2010, Gordon Lyle Talbot
- 2004-2007, Martin Dirk Driscoll
- 2001-2004, John K. Pehrson
- 1998-2001, Robert Louis Rowley
- 1996-1998, Joe Daniel Houston
- 1993-1996, Lewis F. Monsen
- 1990-1993, Duane B. Welling
- 1987-1990, Robert D. Manning
- 1984-1987, Douglas W. Cleghorn
- 1981-1984, Gail D. Van Tassel
- 1978-1981, Paul Hatch
- 1976-1978, Erwin Wirkus
Iowa LDS Statistics (2015)
- Church Membership: 27,131
- Missions: 1
- Temples: 0
- Congregations: 69
- Family History Centers: 30
Helpful Articles about Iowa
Iowa Des Moines Missionary Survey
Here are survey responses from Iowa Des Moines RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.
When did you serve?
- December 2002-May 2004 (Melanie)
- 1995-1997 (William)
- April 2007-November 2009 (Danielle)
- 2013-2015 (Austin)
- 2013-2015 (Madisen)
- 1983-1985 (Alan)
- 2005-2007 (David)
- 2013-2015 (Jason)
- 1993-1995 (Kirk)
- 1992-1994 (Clayton)
- 2004-2006 (Jessie)
What areas did you serve in?
- Story City Branch, Cedar Rapids Third Ward, Cedar Falls Ward, Des Moines Easter Lake Ward (First Ward at the time) and Carroll Branch. (Danielle)
- Ames, Urbandale, Waverly, Quincy, and Davenport. (Austin)
- Washington, Iowa city, and Des Moines. (Madisen)
- Cedar Rapids, Ames, West Des Moines, Mason City, Rock Island (IL) and back to Des Moines. (Alan)
- Iowa City, Corralville, Des Mointes, Sioux City, Cedar Falls. (David)
- Ft Madison, Des Moines, Kirksville, Manchester Centerville. (Jason)
- Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls, Mason City, and Davenport. (Clayton)
What were some favorite foods?
- Home grown corn on the cob. (Melanie)
- Chile Beans (William)
- Banana cream pie, pork steaks, great plains pizza in Ames, taco pizza and walking tacos. (Danielle)
- Pork Tenderloin, African pepper soup, anything from Jethros. (Austin)
- Carne Asada and tamales were amazing. (Madisen)
- Everyone served us ham and corn in one form or another. Even today, I don’t really care for either. Fried and breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches (like German Schnitzel) are the bomb and available at individually run drive-ins (like the old A&W’s). If you get to serve in the Quad Cities (Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island and Moline), you have to get a turtle shake from Whitey’s. Go to the county fairs if you can. Fair food in Iowa is phenomenal! (Alan)
- Corn. No seriously. CORN. When the super sweet corn comes in season in the Fall…it’s like eating candy without any of the guilt. SO GOOD! And the meat is extra good too. (David)
- African food. (Jason)
- Bratwurst and catfish. (Kirk)
- Corn, Mexican, and Spaghetti. (Clayton)
- Typical American food. (Jessie)
What was a funny experience?
- The sister missionaries pick me up at transfers and I rode in the back sit of their car and then when we got to the apartment I was alone with the sister missionaries waiting for my companions to arrive. (William)
- Pranking the Elders was the best! Methylene blue and catfish bait may or may not have been involved in some of these pranks. (Danielle)
- Getting stuck in the mud on the soft spring shoulders. (Austin)
- In a lot of places in Iowa, but especially eastern and the big cities, the streets are lined with walnut and butternut trees. In autumn, it is absolutely gorgeous as the trees turn colors. Problem is, the nuts on the trees and the leaves drop about the same time. Everyone just walks through the big piles of leaves on the sidewalks. The only problem is that the nuts are like ball bearings underneath the leaves. Not only do you fall on your butt, but you land on these hard nuts. Riding bikes down the streets that are still made out of cobblestones or bricks is fun too. It will knock the fillings right out of your teeth. (Alan)
- It was my first winter and I was in Iowa City, and it was Preparation day. It had just snowed the night before, so the Elders in my district decided to use air mattresses as sleds on a local hill. We had a great time, and those mattresses can get some air too! (David)
- I feel 3 times in one day on ice. (Jason)
- Trying to use the smell of a new Book of Mormon, held close to my nose, to cover the horrid smell of a cat-lady house. (Kirk)
What was a crazy/dangerous experience?
- Me and my companion Elder Terry after we taught a family we were walking in the dark and I could hear some howling so I got scared and I started singing the hymn keep the commandments. (William)
- My companion blew up the microwave when she thought she set the timer, but really started the microwave for 15 minutes. And we got lost in ghetto Waterloo where there was a drive by shooting a week before. (Danielle)
- Ran out of apartment building by screaming, cussing man. (Austin)
- Tracting in the winter time. Parts of you will freeze off that you didn’t know existed. Sitting out on the back porch watching the tornadoes go past town. (Did that in Mason City on an outside porch three stories up.) Driving in the car chasing tornadoes. (Alan)
- I wouldn’t call Iowa dangerous at all, not when compared to some other missions. But there are some creepy people that walk around late at night in the summer times, more so in the bigger cities. (David)
- I was driving and hit some black ice. (Jason)
- Homeless guy walked into our apartment, while we were there. He wanted money, but settled for a Book of Mormon, a box of Captain Crunch, and a pair of socks. We didn’t call the police. (Kirk)
- Getting hit by a bottle rocket walking down the road. (Clayton)
What was a spiritual experience?
- Me and my companion Elder Leavitt we taught a black lady the discussions and she started crying when she felt the spirit. (William)
- There are too many to count. There were numerous times when we prepared for Lesson One, we showed up to teach it and we taught something completely different. But that person was so thankful because it was just what they needed to hear. We had an investigator find us and want us to teach and baptize him. It was a really amazing experience watching him light up as we taught him the Gospel. We had our disappointments too. We dropped an 11 year old boy who was investigating the church for his grandma, but his parents did not agree with the teachings. We had to stop teaching him and knew that when we left there would be no influence of good in his life. That was my most heart-breaking day on the mission, but I learned that it was for the best and this kid will remember what we taught and that we did our best planting seeds for him to grow in the future. We also had a 17 year old male investigating the church because his best friend was a member. His dad was a Catholic minister and didn’t allow him to take the lessons any more when he found out the missionaries were teaching him. He contacted us one day and said he wanted to continue learning, but his parents couldn’t find out. The day he turned 18 was the day he was baptized. Our mission president encouraged him to invite his parents, but he didn’t end up letting them know for fear that he was going to be kicked out of the house. The Spirit is real and when it touches people’s hearts nothing stops them from becoming a member and continually seeking after the Spirit and it’s light. (Danielle)
- Teaching people how to pray and helping them do so for the first time. (Austin)
- Seeing how dedicated the members of the Church were back there. It constantly amazed me that some would drive 50-60 miles one way to get to church on Sunday. And, they’d always get their home and visiting teaching done. (Alan)
- Too many to count, and some far too sacred to recall here. But suffice it to say that if you follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost and anxiously seek the Lord for help, you will have spiritual experiences daily. Iowa is a special place! (David)
- I was tracting one day and found a man who was waiting 20 years to find the missionary who was from Africa. (Jason)
- The half mission conference with the General Authorities. (Clayton)
What are some interesting facts about the Des Moines mission?
- A lot of the areas I served in were in the country and I loved it. (Melanie)
- Their are very big corn field and I saw a regular size cow made out of butter and I also saw a big rocking chair. (William)
- Iowa grows lots of corn and soy beans, plus they raise some massive hogs and have chicken farms for eggs and Tyson’s chicken. John Deer equipment is engineered and built in Cedar Falls. The cities are melting pots of all sorts of people. We met Sudanese refugees, and Islamic refugees looking for a new start. There were poor, impoverished and the well to do. Iowa does flood in the spring, so prepare for lots of service and flood cleanup. I was there when Cedar Rapids flooded and it was months of service trying to clean up the downtown area. (Danielle)
- Contains Nauvoo and Carthage. Most people are religious already and understand the Bible and follow Christ. The corn tells the season more than the weather. (Austin)
- Thirty years ago, the then Reorganized Latter-day Saint Church was more prominent in Iowa than the Latter Day Saint Church. When tracting, we would frequently be asked, “Are you the Joseph Smith Mormons or the Brigham Young Mormons?” We’d simply reply, “yes”. As the Mormon trail goes through southern Iowa, there are several places that have been fenced off and markers placed for pioneer graves. Amish and Mennonites are common, especially in eastern Iowa. They are private people and you shouldn’t make them feel uncomfortable or treat them as some sort of tourist attraction. Always remember, that part of the mission also includes cities in Illinois. If you’re fortunate to work in Rock Island, Moline, etc., don’t get up in testimony meeting and tell the ward how thankful you are for being called to Iowa. The areas along the Mississippi River are some of the most favorite places in the mission. (Alan)
- There’s a lot of church historical sites in and around Iowa/Missouri. If you have time/permission, you can go to Nauvoo, Winter Quarters, Garden Grove, etc… Also the Field of Dreams is in the mission too! (David)
- It was the starting place for the Mormon trail to Utah. (Jason)
- John Wayne and Herbert Hoover lived there. Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings and homes. Music Man was based in Mason City. (Clayton)
What was the weather like?
- During the summer it could get pretty hot and humid. In the winter it was really cold with terrible wind chills. (Melanie)
- Summer time was very hot and humid and winter was very cold 20 below zero. (William)
- Really cold and damp in the winter, negative teens with a wind chill and humidity making it feel like -30’s. Lots of snow that usually follows an ice storm. We woke up one morning to our car being encased in ice. Summers were very humid- when I first stepped off the plane I thought I was inhaling water. It is very sticky and sweaty in the summer. Spring and fall are very nice. (Danielle)
- Freezing cold and windy. Muggy, humid and sweltering hot. Crazy hard rain. Even thunder snow! (Austin)
- Either too hot or too cold. There was like one day in April that it felt nice, but then there was a tornado. (Madisen)
- Hot and muggy and below-freezing cold. Spring lasts for a couple of weeks if you’re lucky but it is beautiful with all the tulips and daffodils blooming. Winter never seems to end and summers can be miserable. The summers are so humid, you get out of the shower in the morning and dry off, and dry off, and dry off, and then just decide to get dressed. You can go through a couple sets a clothes each day during the really hot spells. Fun thing about summer (around July-August) are the fireflies. During the winter, bald eagles live along the Mississippi River where there are dams and locks. The water doesn’t freeze in those areas and the eagles can still catch fish in the river. (Alan)
- If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes. (David)
- It was really hot and cold. (Jason)
- Hot and muggy and tornado watches and warnings. (Clayton)
Any things you really like about the area/people?
- The people were humble, always willing to help when needed. (Melanie)
- Members are very nice people and they love the missionaries. (William)
- People were really nice, but very traditional. Depending on your area you would have dominant religions in different towns. We mainly came across Lutherans, Catholics and Evangelicals. They call Iowa the Northern Bible Belt and it seemed to be true. People are very traditional, loyal to their upbringing and very religious. (Danielle)
- The simplicity of their lifestyle. Most are not enamored by things of the world. Most everyone is respectful and kind. (Austin)
- Everyone is so kind! Even if they don’t want to hear what you have to say, they’re nice to you! (Madisen)
- People are very kind and friendly and seem to know when you’re not having a good or successful day. Total strangers will invite you into their homes for a cool drink or to get warmed up. My mother was raised in Kansas (flat and somewhat boring). Iowa is nothing like that at all. Green rolling hills, lush thick forested areas and the fall colors in eastern Iowa are just as beautiful, if not more than, those of New England. Quite a few lakes, rivers and streams throughout the state. (Alan)
- The people are good and faithful Christians. Some of them are hard hearted, most are not. Some of them are receptive to the gospel, most are comfortable with their churches, but there’s always someone who’s looking for the truth if you are willing to go put in the work to find them. (David)
- Really humble. (Jason)
- The state is flat and filled with farms of corn and soybeans. The people are friendly and easy to talk about anything. (Clayton)
Any packing/clothing advice?
- For winter months make sure to pack thermals and such because you will want to put on many layers. (Melanie)
- Buy a down warm coat and warm gloves and a warm hat for the winter time because it gets 20 below zero and for the summer time get short sleeve dress shorts so you can stay cool and dress pants that can keep you cool. (William)
- Waterproof anything is warmer than a big wool coat. Layer your clothing in the winter, I wore sweats under my skirts, with snow boots, on the really cold days. Summer time makes nylons your worst enemy- stick to knee highs if they are allowed to wear. You really do have to pack for all four seasons, so keep your outfits versatile. (Danielle)
- Buy a coat that’s not from Mr. Mac. Warm socks for the winter. Buy shoes that will last for a while. Don’t spend all your money at Kohls or TJMax on ties, you won’t wear them later. (Austin)
- Bring a wide variety of clothing. The winters are brutal so get a nice warm coat, but make sure you have thin clothes for the summer! (Madisen)
- Unless you’re from Michigan, Minnesota or maybe the Yukon, buy your big winter coat once you get there (unless you’re arriving in the winter time). Other parts of the country, even those with a lot of snow and cold, won’t carry clothing warm enough for an Iowa winter. If you need to buy thermal underwear, just get some from the store and wear over your temple garments. You’ll appreciate the extra layers anyways. We bought our bikes in the field. We always sold our bikes to Elders that were just coming in. I actually only used my bike for about 3 months; it was either winter or I was in a car the rest of the time. (Alan)
- My faith was strengthened, my love for the Lord solidified, and I still feel blessed every single day for my service. I honestly cannot imagine my life having not served in Iowa. (David)
- How to talk with people. (Jason)
- A lot has changed since 1995. (Kirk)
What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?
- I found my wife in La Paz Mexico at a singles conference the same year after I returned from my mission. (William)
- A greater love for my fellow man. A greater love and appreciation for my Savior and the Gospel. My family was greatly blessed and had their own testimonies strengthened through my experiences and example. I had a wayward brother change his ways and serve a mission a year after I came home. There are too many blessings to count, but Heavenly Father truly opened Heaven and poured out blessings when they were needed most! (Danielle)
- It’s impossible to tell all of the blessings I gained from my mission. Every part of my character was reformed to be more like the Savior’s. Difficult companions, hard areas, depression and disappointment all crafted me into a new person. The gospel, daily study, and absolute living of it changed my soul, and filled my heart with love of God and others. (Austin)
- Serving in Iowa was the happiest time of my life. It wasn’t because of what we were physically doing (no one likes getting rejected or having all your appointments cancel), but when we worked hard, the Lord blessed us with happiness. (Madisen)
- The love of serving other people. I was very bummed that I didn’t go on a foreign mission and learn a new language. But once I saw how difficult adjusting to a mission life could be (not always), I was very grateful I didn’t have the pressure of learning a foreign language and culture. I was fortunate to serve in Ames, Iowa, where Iowa State University is. ISU is a world renowned agriculture and engineering school. I taught people there that were from Ghana, Egypt, Nigeria, Japan, China and Russia. Who needs to go abroad to serve a foreign mission? (Alan)
- My faith was strengthened, my love for the Lord solidified, and I still feel blessed every single day for my service. I honestly cannot imagine my life having not served in Iowa. (David)
- How to talk with people. (Jason)
- A strong testimony that Jesus is the Christ, and that His atonement is infinite and he is always there waiting with open arms to receive you. (Rob)
- A testimony and gospel knowledge. (Clayton)
What are some skills you gained?
- I gained a strong testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. (William)
- I gained a greater testimony of the Gospel. I wasn’t afraid to talk to strangers, bear my testimony or give my opinions when necessary. I learned to love greater and deeper even when it is someone you don’t necessarily get along with. (Danielle)
- Time management, social abilities (sales, hard circumstances, problem solving), rigorous schedule, hard work, dedication, kindness, charity, patience, humility, reliability, responsibility, and maturity. (Austin)
- Learning to live with someone 24-hours a day. Especially rough when you’re frozen in your apartment for two weeks during the winter. (Have I said anything about the winters?) (Alan)
- Talking to people. It’s not that I wasn’t shy or anything, but I never realized that talking to people could be a *skill.* You’ll have it by the time you are done. Also my study abilities improved. And basketball. (David)
- How to just go and work even if you don’t want to. (Jason)
- I learned a lot about who I am, how to communicate better (cold-approach, teaching, and public speaking), and learned a bit about conflict resolution. And I learned a LOT about the church and its history. (Kirk)
- Communication and learning how to spend money wisely. (Clayton)
What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?
- I wished I studied the scriptures more. (Melanie)
- I wish I knew more about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the scriptures when I was on my mission. (William)
- I wish I practiced bearing my testimony. Nothing rushes the Spirit in faster than bearing a true, honest testimony despite all the nay sayers! Bible bashing and knowing your scriptures doesn’t open the hearts of the children of men. (Danielle)
- Follow the Spirit in all things. Focus your whole being on being a disciple of Christ, and following promptings. If you do that, you will fulfill your purpose and potential. In order to do that, you must be obedient to mission rules (no matter how restrictive or dumb you think they might be. You don’t become a robot if you are doing it right), study (if not memorize) all of Preach My Gospel, and pray with real intent. Begin with the end in mind. Think of how you want to feel, what you want to have accomplished at the end of your mission, and keep that in mind every second of every day. (Austin)
- I wish I would have known more about the Bible. That way I could have shown people who already believed in the Bible how it really connects with the Book of Mormon. (Madisen)
- I served in the day when we had discussions and scriptures you had to memorize. I couldn’t memorize very well. Maybe I was just 30 years ahead of the time but I always taught from the heart and testified of the things which I knew to be true. (Alan)
- Get ready to work. A mission is not always roses and baptisms. Sometimes it’s a slog through the rain after your investigator just dropped you. But that’s okay because those rough days make the good days just that much sweeter! (David)
- Had read Preach My Gospel. (Jason)
- How the weather would affect me with the humidity. (Clayton)
Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Des Moines?
- Never give up. (Melanie)
- most importantly make sure that you are worthy and ready to serve a mission. And read the scriptures and ask heavenly father if the Book of Mormon is true. And having a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will really help you on your mission. (William)
- Don’t be afraid of not being adequate or qualified. He qualifies all who are worthy and will put the words in your mouth in order teach what He wants you to. Stay close to the Spirit and have fun, but still be obedient so you qualify for the Spirit to guide you in all you do! Put all judgments aside and learn to love everyone unconditionally despite their differences and shortcomings. (Danielle)
- No one I ever Bible bashed/argued with was ever baptized. Ever. Swallow your pride, use your time more wisely, and leave it alone. Use your time effectively. Don’t waste it with worthless service, or trying the same people every day. Putting on a name tag does not make you a missionary. Behaving like Jesus Christ every moment does. Take advantage of your studies and develop deeply entrenched habits of scripture study. Believe it or not, it’s actually harder to do when you get home. (Austin)
- Work hard and you will love it. (Madisen)
- Learn to work and work hard. You cannot let things get you down and discouraged. When I served, no one had a lot of baptisms. But 30 years later, I have met people who joined the Church from friends and people that I taught. You never will fully know the impact you will have even with one person. (Alan)
- Study Preach My Gospel. Forget yourself and get to work. Pray, pray and pray some more. This is HIS work, not yours, so never ever ever underestimate the power of prayer in performing and preparing for your mission. (David)
- Get warm clothes. (Jason)
- I would say be prepared for the weather and the geographic shock of seeing no mountains. (Clayton)
What was a funny language mistake?
- I was English speaking, but I did get to tag along with Hermanas once. It was interesting. (Danielle)
- After I did the “African snap” (you’ll learn it too probably) the first time to an African, they looked at me like I had handed them a $100 bill. (Austin)
- I accidentally mixed up the words for horse and hair (caballo and cabello) so I told a lady I liked her horse instead of her hair. I also mixed up doubts and fingers (dudas vs dedos) so I told a lady to pray and God would get rid of her fingers. (Madisen)
- It is pronounced, “deh-moynz” not “dez-moinz”. The “s” in Des is silent but pronounced as a “z” in Moines. In Illinois, it is pronounced as an “s” by some and silent by others. (Alan)
- I tried to learn a little of Kieran. (Jason)