Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission

Free resources about the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission:

Baton Rouge Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the Louisiana Baton Rouge 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.

Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission
4137 S Sherwood Forest Blvd Ste 130
Baton Rouge LA 70816

Phone Number: 1-225-293-6060
Mission President: President Ross Varner

Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission Map

Here’s a link to the mission map for the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission (LDS). To access the official LDS.org map for the Baton Rouge Mission:

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

Videos with Louisiana RMs

Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission.  We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews.

mission interview  mission interview   mission interview

LDS-Friendly Videos about Louisiana

Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about Louisiana. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about Louisiana, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.

LDS Church  places  history  food  nature  time lapses

Baton Rouge Missionary Blogs

Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Louisiana Baton Rouge 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.)

President & Sister Hansen facebook.com/Thelbrmhansens 2018
Elder & Sister Jones mymission.com/eldermaxandsisternancyjones 2018
Elder Daniel Taylor mymission.com/elderdanielptaylor 2018
Sister Abby Rogel mymission.com/sisterabbyrogel 2018
Elder Jacob Paul elderjacobpaul.wordpress.com 2018
Elder Jeremy Boyd elderjeremyboyd.blogspot.com 2018
Elder Brandon Wilson elderbrandonwilson.blogspot.com 2018
Elder Britton Porter elderporterslifeinlouisiana.blogspot.com 2018
Elder Nathan Stoddard elderstodd.blogspot.com 2018
Sister Tessara Kezos thegoodgirlprincess.blogspot.com 2018
Elder Austin Arellano missionarymailbag.com/elderaustinarellano 2018
Elder Christian Cohen mymission.com/elderchristiancohen 2017
Sister Janelle Banner mymission.com/sisterjanellebanner 2017
Elder Easton Seidel mymission.com/eldereastonseidel 2017
Sister Camille Thomas sistercamillesarah.blogspot.com 2017
Elder & Sister Jones jamabalayajones.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Ty Davis eldertydavis.weebly.com 2017
Sister Heidi Toomey bikingdownthebayou.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Chandler Allen elderchandlerallen.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Ryan Urvina mymission.com/elderryanjamesurvina 2016
Sister Chelsie Crane mymission.com/sisterchelsiebcrane 2016
Sister Lindsey Sorensen hermanalindseysorensen.weebly.com 2016
Sister Rachel Lanning lanninginlouisiana.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Collette Barclay sisterbarclayinlouisiana.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Micah Ralph eldermicahandrewralph.wordpress.com 2016
Sister Macey Kerr sistermaceykerr.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Robert Richardson louisianamissionary.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Joshua Rush ldsinlouisiana.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Macey Kerr mymission.com/sistermaceykerr 2015
Elder & Sister Lauper louisianalaupers.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Armstrong elderarmstrong.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Cassidy Steele crazysingingmissionary.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Christian Lehr christianlehr.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Zachary Andrews elderzacharyandrews.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Holly Hafford missionsite.net/sisterhollynoellehafford 2015
Elder Scott Andrews elderscottandrews.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Devin Soper elderdevinsoper.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Johanna Chausow johannamissionblog.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Tyler Willis eldertylerwillis.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Maddy Baird sistermaddybaird.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Christopher Anderson elderboanderson.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Zachary Ford missionsite.net/elderzacharyford 2013
Elder Benjamin Drollinger elderbenjamindrollinger.blogspot.com 2013
Elder Carter Bailey carterbaileymissionaryblog.blogspot.com 2013
Sister Marie Tuft calledtoservehim.wordpress.com 2013
Sister Jessica Jones missionsite.net/sisterjessicajones 2013
Elder Joshua Terry missionsite.net/elderjmterry 2012
Sister Stacy Earl stacyearlsmission.blogspot.com 2011
Sister Sharon Dunstan wwwservinginthesouth.blogspot.com 2011
President & Sister Woods louisianabatonrougemission.blogspot.com 2011
Sister Morgan Pedersen sistermorganpedersen.blogspot.com 2010

Baton Rouge Mission Groups

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

  1. Great Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission Group (785 members)
  2. Mississippi & Louisiana Mission Moms (LDS) Group (24 members)
  3. Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission 1976-1980 Group (2 members)

Baton Rouge Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission!

Shirt designs include Louisiana Baton Rouge 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: Louisiana Baton Rouge missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.

*Click here to browse Baton Rouge Mission gifts

Baton Rouge Mission Presidents

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

  1. 2017-2020, Ross Varner
  2. 2014-2017, Reed Harold Hansen
  3. 2011-2014, Jim M. Wall
  4. 2008-2011, William George Woods
  5. 2005-2008, Douglas Harvey Patterson
  6. 2002-2005, D. Thomas Borgquist
  7. 1999-2002, Max B. Simpson
  8. 1996-1999, W. John Whatcott
  9. 1996-1999, Rodney Tueller
  10. 1993-1996, Max P. Brough
  11. 1990-1993, Phillip R. Kunz
  12. 1987-1990, Kenneth R. Barker
  13. 1986-1987, L. Aldin Porter
  14. 1984-1986, C. Max Caldwell
  15. 1980-1983, Paul R. Cheesman
  16. 1978-1980, C. Jack Lemmon
  17. 1975-1978, Lamar S. Williams
  18. 1971-1974, Golden K. Driggs

Louisiana LDS Statistics (2015)

  • Church Membership: 29,779
  • Missions: 1
  • Temples: 1
  • Congregations: 54
  • Family History Centers: 13

Helpful Articles about Louisiana

Coming soon..

Baton Rouge Missionary Survey

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

When did you serve? 

  • January 8, 2014- July 23, 2015 (Alexia)
  • 2004-2006 (Chris)
  • 1999-2001 (Joe)
  • 1982-1984 (Dave)
  • 2012-2014 (Christine)
  • 2001-2002 (Heather)
  • 2004-2006 (David)
  • 2004-2006 (Anonymous)
  • 2012-2014 (Jose)
  • 1993-1995 (Sheldon)
  • 2002-2004 (Andrew)
  • 1995-1997 (Jeff)
  • 1999-2001 (Daniel)
  • 2013-2015 (Michael)
  • 2011-2013 (Melanie)
  • 1996-1998 (Doug)

What areas did you serve in?

  • Baton Rouge, Kenner, and Boluxi. (Dave)
  • Alexandria, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Patterson, and Natchez. (Chris)
  • New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Westwego, LaPlace, Westbank, Gonzales. (David)
  • New Orleans and area. (Anonymous)
  • Mettaire, Westbank, Baton Rouge, and Fat City. (Jose)
  • Mixco, San Francisco, Oratorio, San Jose Pinula, Trebol. (Sheldon)
  • Baton Rouge/LSU, Port Allen, New Iberia, Many. (Andrew)
  • Liberty MS. Baton Rouge, Challmette, near Tulane University and Laffette. (Jeff)
  • Port Allen, Denham Springs, Houma, Pineville, and New Orleans. (Daniel)
  • Kenner, Morgan City, West Bank, Mandeville, Denham Springs, Opelousas, Houma. (Michael)
  • Natchitoches, Covington, Greenwell Springs, Opelousas, Baton Rouge and Natchitoches again. (Melanie)

What were some of your favorite foods?

  • I loved to eat Jambalaya. I also liked shrimp etouffee was well. I also had Frog the whole frog that was good. (Alexia)
  • Catfish, biscuits and gravy, and grits and eggs. (Dave)
  • Jambalaya, crawfish, blue crab, shrimp, etoufe, and sausage/chicken gumbo. (Chris)
  • Gumbo, Jambalaya, Crawfish Boil, Crawfish Etouffee, All Cajun food, Beignets. (Christine)
  • Gumbo, jambalaya, beignets, king kake, etouffee, smothered anything, anything from LA of MS. Delicious food. Can be spicy. (Heather)
  • Since I was a Spanish Elder, I would have to say various Latin American foods. (David)
  • Gumbo. Crawfish. Everything, really. (Anonymous)
  • Gumbo, jumbulia, and the Honduran food. (Jose)
  • Jambalaya. Red beans and rice. (Sheldon)
  • Seafood gumbo. Shrimp Poboys. Crawfish. Soft shell crab. (Andrew)
  • Jambalaya, red beans and rice, cold drinks. (Jeff)
  • Fried catfish; white beans with pork shoulder and rice; jambalaya; boiled shrimp. (Daniel)
  • Po-Boys, Jambalaya, Ettouffe, Gumbo, Crawfish. I basically discovered that anything Cajun is delicious! (Michael)
  • Red beans and rice and Cane’s. (Melanie)
  • Crawfish, soft-shelled crabs, the jambalaya and gumbo. (Doug)

What was a funny experience?

  • When people ask you out. or Ask you to be their girl friend. I have more but I thought that was pretty funny on my mission. (Alexia)
  • There was a frog in our bathroom. (Joe)
  • Having a baptism with a member of the Seventy. (Dave)
  • Playing bowling on our blown over fence (caused by a hurricane). (Chris)
  • I served in a small, rural area for my entire mission. In that area, both us and the elders worked pretty closely together, especially when we were doing service for people. We lived in the same apartment complex (on completely different sides of the complex, but in the same one just the same), so when we had a service opportunity in the area, we’d pull out our bikes, meet up, and bike all together to the home of the person we were doing service for. One time, we were biking to do service for a less active member and as we biked, we saw an elderly man with his arm in a sling, trying to drag large fallen branches from his yard to the side of the road. He wasn’t very successful with it, so we stopped, parked our bikes, and went over and asked if we could help him. He thanked us and said yes, that he would appreciate the help. I was assigned to contact him and share with him a little about who we were and such while my companion and the elders worked to move all the tree branches to the side of the road. When they finished, they came and joined us and we talked with this elderly gentleman for a bit. Suddenly, out of the blue, this gentleman looked at one of the elders, looked at me, and then looked back at that elder and told him, pointing to me, “You should marry this girl.” I couldn’t believe he just said that! I immediately went beet red and all of us started laughing. The thing is, in the South, people are very blunt and straightforward about their opinions and he was being totally serious when he said that. After we all calmed down and my face started going back to a normal shade, this elder explained to him what a mission really was and the lifestyle we lived and such. After all that, we went on our way to the less active sister’s home to do the service we had initially planned to do. My companion and those elders never let me live that one down! (Christine)
  • Going the the Mississippi welcome center, playing touch football as a district in the rain. (Heather)
  • Post Katrina, my companion and I reopened New Orleans for missionary service. It was a tough couple of months but after much prayer and fasting, one day we were about to make a U turn somewhere in Gretna, suddenly someone knocked on my window and while throwing a business card, he said “I’ve got some great referrals for you Elder!” After zone leader calls that night, we decided to call this man back. Long story short, the guy was a member from Florida that had his disaster clean up company in Louisiana for the next few months. His first name was Moroni and one of his workers ended up being the 1st baptism in New Orleans post Katrina. Awesome experience. (David)
  • My zone leader punching a horse. (Anonymous)
  • My companion and I where walking down the street. A car drove by us and a girl threw a cup of soda at us and missed. (Jose)
  • Trained my second cousin. We went to school together since 7th grade. We did not know we were related until we were serving together and I get a letter from my grandmother. He recognized the last name as his relatives and found out we were. Apparently we had actually met when my great grandfather passed many years earlier. (Sheldon)
  • They released a police sketch of a wanted criminal; it looked just like me.  (Andrew)
  • I met a girl whose name tag said “Girl”. I said in surprise “Your name is Girl?” She replied sternly “it’s (Jy-rell)! (Jeff)
  • We were asked to deliver a Book of Mormon to a house, and when we got there the guy that answered the door said, “Sorry fellas. I thought I was getting a joke book called “The Book of Moron” not “The Book of Mormon”. We were in shock and couldn’t stop laughing about it for the longest time. (Michael)
  • My companion and I got our car stuck in the mud and it took us three hours to get it out. (Melanie)
  • When my companion Eric Booth and I were riding in East Houma and he stopped for a puddle and I didn’t see him and I hit him and went right into the puddle. (Doug)

What was a crazy or dangerous experience?

  • Well, we were walking down the street trying to find a less active. And someone was riding his bike. He stopped right in front of us. He get off his bike. He comes up to me and my companion. He asked us ” Who is bullet proof? I told him I don’t know. He goes to my companion and says the same thing. We were kind of confused. Well He said Well, I am bullet proof. He than ask another question. right in our faces. Who is Possessed? Again both of us said we don’t know. He said well I am possessed. So I grab a photo of Jesus out of my bag. I ask him ” would you like a photo of Jesus? He looked at it for a minute. After, that minute he got back on his bike and left. I was so scared I thought he was going to hurt us. Jesus protected us. It might be one of the strangest, craziest ones I had. (Alexia)
  • We were almost got hit by a bus. (Joe)
  • Fishing with an investigator. (Dave)
  • Hurricanes. (Chris)
  • There was an elderly gentleman who was driving by us and stopped us while we were biking one day on our way to an appointment. He asked us what we were doing and gave each of us an apple. He said he was interested to hear more about what we were teaching, so we gave him a card with our number and got his number and address from him, and then he went on his way and we went on our way. We thought it was a little odd, but figured it was just the normal Southern hospitality and didn’t think much of it. We tried contacting him to set up an appointment, but he would respond telling us to meet him and his friends at fast food places and such, but never his home. So we tried just stopping by his home and contacting him that way, but we couldn’t find his address. Finally, we kind of just dropped him. We weren’t making any real progress at all with finding him. But then, we started seeing him at the library in our area pretty frequently. Every other day or so, we would go to the library for media time, a time to look at Mormon Messages and pull up general conference talks and such to add to our studies and every time we came that man was there. He would sit at the computers across from us and watch us. Sometimes, he would talk to us, but he started to creep us out so we didn’t really associate with him much or encourage much of a conversation. At one point, he pulled us into one of the study rooms in the library and told us that two young women, such as ourselves, shouldn’t be out and doing what we were doing because of all the bad people out there. He talked about a young woman who was killed and how her remains weren’t found for quite a while and then told my companion that she looked a lot like this young woman that had been killed. He was really creepy. He told us we needed to be more careful. We thanked him for warning us, and immediately left. We were really creeped out. We called the mission president and he had us ET’d out of the area. Because my companion was his main target, she stayed in the new area we were put in, but I would go on exchanges with other sisters back to our area to keep working with those people. We never went to that library again and never tried to contact the gentleman again. At the end of the transfer, I got a new companion and went back up to my normal area full-time again, and my companion never came back to that area again. (Christine)
  • Almost getting attacked by a dog. (Heather)
  • All things Katrina. Mainly going into the army occupied Westbank with 3 sets of elders in 3 cars with bats (just in case) to our apartment to get our stuff not knowing the state of our apartment or things. (David)
  • Someone pointing a gun at me on my very first door. (Anonymous)
  • One night on our way home, my companion and I were riding our bikes across an intersection. In the turning lane, were three big white men in a huge pickup. They started yelling at us. We ignored them and crossed. After we crossed, they threw a beer bottle at us and drove away too fast, to only seconds after slam on the brakes and drive in reverse. We felt a prompting to turn around and go a different way. We listened and never saw them again. (Jose)
  • Just serving in the CBD was scary. Riding bikes through the projects as night started to fall was a little unnerving at first especially. (Sheldon)
  • We were in a hurricane. Right in the middle of it. Saw three tornadoes and the eye. (Andrew)
  • We would proselyte in really bad neighborhoods where white people shouldn’t and wouldn’t go. We didn’t know that till after but looking back I see it. (Jeff)
  • Riding bikes along the rural highways with narrow shoulders and drunk drivers was always dangerous. Walking into the projects in New Orleans while wearing a suit and tie was also dangerous because everyone assumed we were the cops. (Daniel)
  • Getting chased down by a German Shepherd. That was pretty scary. (Michael)
  • My companion and I accepted a ride from a random person and both realized was a reason for every rule in the white handbook. (Melanie)
  • Crossing and I beam across one of the bayous with my bike in hand. (Doug)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • One spiritual experience was our investigator came to church asking for welfare. We as a companionship prayed to the Lord and we also fasted to know what to do. We were pretty mad at our investigator. In fact the investigator was helping the other investigator try to get money. So we prayed and fast for what we need to do. At church my companion and I received revelation. We didn’t like it at first one of the investigators were making progress toward baptism in just a few weeks. We thought she was our golden investigator too. The answer we got was no dropped both of them. Both of us shed tears. We didn’t like that answer at all. But, we followed the prompting we got. The next week we found 4 new investigators. One of those four investigators are getting baptized really soon. One worst thing sometimes leads to some blessings. (Alexia)
  • The MTC experience. (Dave)
  • Committed a lady to baptism by singing “I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ”. (Chris)
  • We were teaching a lesbian couple who were dating each other, but were interested in learning about the church. Every lesson went so well and they started making changes in their lives as their desire to be baptized increased. Then we got to Law of Chastity. My companion and I were freaking out. We did a 24-hour fast to prepare. We prayed and studied, and prayed some more, seeking the Lord’s guidance in how to approach this appointment. We called our district leader and zone leaders and asked for advice. Our district leader gave each of us a blessing of comfort and counsel in preparation. And on the way to the appointment, we called the mission president and asked him for his advice. Finally, we got there and went in for the lesson. We began with a prayer to invite the Spirit. We were inspired to share a song that invited the Spirit even more strongly and really set the mood for that appointment. And then we began. We taught them the Law of Chastity and I don’t remember a time I felt the Spirit more strongly. Our words were guided the entire time and we were able to teach the principles in a way that they would understand and they accepted it! By the end of the lesson, they said that getting baptized was important enough for them that they were willing to make the sacrifice required to live the Law of Chastity so they could be baptized and be a part of this Church. And they were, indeed, baptized. It was a wonderful occasion and an incredible experience overall. (Christine)
  • At the end of a driveway in Mississippi, my companion and I prayed if we should go down the drive. We weren’t sure if it was a driveway or what. After we prayed, the driveway seemed to light up. We went down the drive and met the most wonderful woman. (Heather)
  • Too many to pick one. From strong non-LDS members converting to healings to the experience above under funny experience. (David)
  • They’re too long to share here. ;-). (Anonymous)
  • One of the most spiritual experiences I had was when my companion and I help a less active turn his life around. We taught him about the priesthood and how important it was. After a few weeks he received the Melchizedek Priesthood. (Jose)
  • Too many to pinpoint one. Any time you would teach someone and you saw it click for them. You could see the gospel light their lives. It was amazing. (Sheldon)
  • Healing a man in the hospital. (Andrew)
  • So many but one comes to mind – We were late for a baptism interview for our fellow missionaries’ investigator. We couldn’t find the paperwork anywhere, looking frantically, the four of us stopped to pray and ask for help and the moment we said amen the four of us got up from our knees and all went to the trunk of the car. (Jeff)
  • After a week or two out in the field, my trainer and I went to deliver a Book of Mormon that a woman had ordered online on a whim (more accurately a prompting, I’m sure). When we visited her and her husband in their little trailer, it became apparent that they had been searching for the gospel. As we taught them about Joseph Smith and the restoration and then knelt together after that first visit, we all felt the Spirit testify of the truthfulness of the gospel. They committed to be baptized and joined the church shortly thereafter. I learned quickly that the Spirit will guide the honest in heart and my job was to teach and help those that God had prepared for us. (Daniel)
  • I remember coming into a lesson at a time in my mission where I was feeling really inadequate and ill-prepared. I had been praying a lot for the Lord’s help to make me more than I was. When I got into the lesson, the Spirit was so strong, and I knew that the words I was saying were not my own. It was so powerful and a reminder that it’s not our work, it’s His. (Michael)

What are some interesting facts about the Baton Rouge Mission?

  • Louisiana has the tallest capital building. Louisiana capital building has a splinter of the size of a pencil stuck in the ceiling. They have a lock house. They have a farmers market by the capital building on Saturdays. They have Mardi Gras they celebrate. They have Alligator Farms. (Alexia)
  • At the time it covered more states than any mission in the USA. (Dave)
  • One-third of the mission was closed for six months by Hurricane Katrina. (Chris)
  • Louisiana is known as Cajun Country. That’s in part because of UL, who are the Ragin’ Cajuns. That the area where I served my whole mission. Southern Louisiana has more Creole influence than Cajun influence. You see most of the different in cultures in the foods they serve. Northern Louisiana has a lot more processed, western-type foods. Central Louisiana serves mostly Cajun food. And Southern Louisiana serves mostly Creole food. However, the food everywhere in Louisiana is delicious! I miss it so much!!! Everyone goes to Canes. Everyone uses Tony’s or Slap Ya Mama seasonings. Cajun food is super spicy, but delicious! Crawfish boils are the best! I never suck on the heads because it’s all fats and juices, but the Cajun people generally do. Alligator, when cooked right, tastes super good! The food is just all around awesome! Then you’ve got the Southern hospitality. You hear ma’am and sir all the time. Everyone likes to sit outside their houses (or trailers, or whatever they live in) and will sit there for hours just socializing and watching people go by. They’re very easy to talk to. Some people know who you are and want nothing to do with you (comes with serving in the Bible belt), but most people are happy to talk about Jesus most any time. Many people are set in their beliefs and their church, so it can be difficult to help them see that there’s more. But at the same time, most everyone has faith in God and Christ and it’s something to build on, which is nice. So yall know, don’t look at your watch to check the time. It’s considered very rude. It is better to allot a good amount of time to allow for general socializing to build a genuine relationship with people, as well as share a message or teach a lesson. The people in Louisiana are good people. They’ll treat you like family. But you had better remember your manners and be respectful to them or they will not like you much anymore. They’ll be very real with you, and they expect you to do the same. Of course, you have to do it in a nice way, but they don’t appreciate dishonesty in any form, even if you’re just trying to be nice. Then there are the bugs. Sometimes it seems like everything is out to eat you. My arms and legs had bug bites all up and down them virtually my entire mission. There are ticks in the more woodsy areas. Lots of them. Then there are tons of mosquitoes eating you constantly. In the grass, there are grass fleas, chiggers, and fire ants, and all of them will eat you if given the opportunity. Chiggers are nasty little things. Don’t touch the Spanish moss on the trees because they’re full of chiggers. And be careful where you walk. If you step on a fire ant hill, they will immediately swarm you and start biting. And they don’t stop biting until you get them off of yourself. Missionaries have had to run and strip because the ants would get so high that they couldn’t get them off without taking off their clothes. It gets bad. So watch where you step. The reality is, chamomile lotion will be your best friend on your mission. Not even bug spray, because it does nothing to prevent bug bites. Your only hope is seeking temporary relief from the pain and itching with the chamomile lotion. Then there’s Mardi Gras. Get ready for craziness. People already drink a lot and do lots of drugs in Louisiana, but that definitely goes up around Mardi Gras. We were allowed to go to one family-friendly parade as long as we were with members, so we got to see a parade and collect beads and eat King Cake and watch drunk and high people. It’s a lot of fun, but you definitely have to be careful driving or biking just because of how many drunk and high people are out there and probably not paying attention. Finally, get ready to absolutely fall in love with those people. They’re seriously the best! (Christine)
  • The people of the south are amazing. They have faith in the Savior and try to be good people. When you’re in southern Louisiana, watch out for gators. (Heather)
  • Hurricanes Katrina and Rita plus a tornado in New Orleans in a matter of a month and a half. Locals still hosted Mardi Gras like nothing happened. (David)
  • One of the most interesting facts is that no matter where you go there is always some that will let you in and talk to you about Jesus Christ. Another interesting facts would be that in the greater new Orleans area there is a high concentration of Honduran people. It is also interesting to know that some of the Hondurans are mistaken for Afro-American people. (Jose)
  • It is below sea level in some places, so people are buried above ground. It was the oddest thing to see when I first saw it. (Sheldon)
  • People are nice. They’ll invite you into their house and offer you a drink while explaining how you’re going to hell. There are every type of religion in every town. The people LOVE their food. They have stints everywhere and they refuse to change their diet. (Andrew)
  • The Bible Belt. (Jeff)
  • You’ll probably get chances to try some new meats, like squirrel or Nutria rat. (Daniel)

What was the weather like?

  • When I was there in January 2014 it snowed, and it’s rare to see snow there. Summers – super humid and sticky and hot. Spring time was amazing and same with the fall time. It did rain there lots and there were some tornadoes.
  • Hot. (Joe)
  • The hottest I have ever been and the coldest too. (Dave)
  • It was very unpredictable, muggy, humid, and very rainy. (Chris)
  • Hot and humid. Lots of rain. Lots of flooding. In the winter time, the cold sinks into your bones because of the humidity. (Christine)
  • HOT. HUMID, hot and humid. It was cold in the winter. Take a scarf and gloves and a hat. (Heather)
  • Snow. Humid, humid sunny. Torrential rain. Hurricane humid. Cold humid. (David)
  • Hot & humid. My favorite. (Anonymous)
  • The weather there is extremely crazy, but I loved it. It rained a lot and was super hot in the summer. But it was worth the two years. (Jose)
  • Wet! It rained all the time it seemed like. I came from Mesa, Arizona. I would tell people “if it rained this much back home, I’d build an Ark.” (Sheldon)
  • Hot and humid. (Andrew)
  • Humid – which means the temperature feels hotter and colder than the dry Utah weather I was use to. (Jeff)
  • Hot and muggy in the summer; relatively frequent rain; occasionally in the winter the humidity would make it feel very cold, but not often. (Daniel)
  • Very rainy. In the summer it rains almost every day. But also super hot and humid during the summer as well. Don’t be surprised if it gets to about 30F in the winter too though. It makes for some cold biking. (Michael)
  • Humid. (Melanie)

What did you love about the people and place you served?

  • I love the people, they were so nice and sweet! Even the people who were not members. Lots of them liked when we ask who we could pray for and put those names in the prayer. That was our door approach. The places I serve were nice and good. Some had trailers some had a house or apartment. (Alexia)
  • The people were very kind. (Joe)
  • Hospitality and they love to cook and eat. (Chris)
  • They’re very hospitable and kind and genuine. They know how to love. They’re very real and kind of blunt sometimes. They treat you like family. I love those people so much. (Christine)
  • The love that they have for the Savior. The people of Louisiana and Mississippi are warm and friendly. They love strongly. Listen to what people have to say. (Heather)
  • Growing up, I always wanted to serve somewhere foreign. I did in Louisiana. Loved every minute of it. (David)
  • The culture and everyone loves Jesus. (Anonymous)
  • I loved how everyone there was friendly to you no matter how different you may be. It also impressed me that a lot of the people are well educated with great manners. (Jose)
  • Most everyone you talk to was very nice. Southern hospitality is a real thing. Most people would give you the shirt off their back if they thought you might need it. I loved listening to their southern/Cajun accents! (Sheldon)
  • It’s very rustic and the people were very nice. (Andrew)
  • They love to talk about Jesus. (Jeff)
  • People in the south were very hospitable and kind. If we were ever in need, we could always find some kind person to help us. (Daniel)
  • The people are so inviting and so faithful, even if they aren’t LDS. The southern hospitality is amazing and you meet so many wonderful people. I love it. (Michael)
  • They’re so wonderful and friendly! (Melanie)

Any clothing or packing advice?

  • In the winter time bring a good jacket. Maybe, a rain jacket as well. Ask your mission president if you could bring boots for the winter time. Bring an umbrella. (Alexia)
  • Don’t pack a lot of ties. You’ll inherit plenty. Try to buy short-sleeve white shirts. (Joe)
  • Polyester ties. (Chris)
  • Bring clothes that won’t show sweat stains too quickly (aka. darker clothing). You’ll be sweating A LOT, especially on bikes! For sisters, bring binder clips or some sort of clips that really hold. You’ll need them to keep your skirt in place so it doesn’t ride up while you’re biking. Bring a rain coat with a hood. Don’t worry about getting an umbrella or bringing bedding or stuff like that. You can just get that when you’re in your area. Have 1-2 weeks worth of garments. You will never wear the same pair of garments two days in a row because they’ll be completely drenched one way or another after each day of proselyting. Bring sunglasses. Get sunscreen when you get to your area. (Christine)
  • Sisters, take knee highs (if you have to wear nylons) Take cool clothes. Take a handkerchief. You’ll sweat a lot! In the winter dress in lauers. Tights came in handy as did a hat and a scarf and a warm sweater to go under my coat.  (Heather)
  • Good pair of water proof shoes. (David)
  • Pack light. Don’t bring books other than the scriptures and Preach My Gospel. You will need a heavy coat, scarf and gloves for cold humid winters on your bike. (Anonymous)
  • If you go, pack light. Short sleeve shirts for the summer and long sleeve for the winter. Also always have a night rain jacket just in case. (Jose)
  • Bring a rain coat, or plan to get one soon after getting there. (Sheldon)
  • Mesh garments. (Andrew)
  • Cheap ties and short sleeve, white shirts from Walmart…don’t buy nice clothes. (Jeff)
  • Be prepared to get sweaty. (Daniel)
  • Short sleeves for sure, but do pack a couple warm things because it does get cold. Also, ponchos or rain coats are recommended. (Michael)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • From me serving a mission. my brother realized it was important to serve a mission by my example and learning experiences that I went through. I receive blessings of love. I have come to know my savior more. How much he truly does love us. I got to see other change from coming into the gospel. My brother didnt want to serve a mission. He wasn’t interested on going on one. But, because of my decision on serving a mission. He wanted to serve a mission. He enjoys his mission. I was able to see him 20 days after I got home and before he left on his. The mission does change you if you let it. (Alexia)
  • I became a man. (Chris)
  • I grew up. I gained a stronger testimony. The Lord broke me on my mission and created a whole new person by the time I went home. I learned to truly love. I learned to be vulnerable. I learned to recognize and follow the Spirit. I felt the Lord in my life every day. I grew to love the scriptures. I can give talks in church now without being super nervous and having to look down at my notes the entire time and not take the full time. In fact, I have to be careful about time now because I have a tendency to unintentionally go over my time! I have a second family in Louisiana because of my mission. I experienced the Atonement on a whole new level on my mission. I became a better person because of my mission. (Christine)
  • So many! Stronger testimony, made wonderful eternal friends, learned how the spirit talks to me, answers to prayers,lots if things. (Heather)
  • The life I live right now consisting of family, work, faith and other things are thanks to my service in the Georgia Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission. (David)
  • Everything that I have that is good in my life I owe to my mission.  (Anonymous)
  • The blessing I received from going on a mission, was being more open and finding new friends. Also the ability to talk to people no matter where I am. (Jose)
  • My testimony was strengthened beyond measure! I learned how to talk to people. I was very quiet and shy before my mission. Still am, but not afraid to talk when I need to now. It taught me that just because people make bad choices at times, doesn’t make them bad people. They can make changes. (Sheldon)
  • Learned a lot about people and life. (Andrew)
  • Along with a firm testimony, I learned the plan of happiness. (Jeff)
  • I learned the scriptures; I learned to work; I learned that there are a lot of great people out there who don’t have the gospel, and even if they aren’t willing to accept it yet they can be great friends. (Daniel)
  • I’m a completely different person. More confident, greater knowledge of the gospel, stronger and more healthy, happier, more spiritual. Everything about me an my life is better, and when I say everything, I mean it. (Michael)
  • A stronger testimony and closer relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior. (Melanie)

What are some skills you gained from your mission?

  • I learned from my mission that I need a clean house. I love to clean everything now. I learned more on cooking meals. I learned about sewing. I learned how to be there for others when they need you. I am still shy but, I am not as shy now as I used to be. (Alexia)
  • Cooking, teaching, and studying. (Chris)
  • Teaching, testifying, studying the scriptures, recognizing and following the Spirit, loving people, serving people, being vulnerable, using Bible Dictionary and Topical Guide when thinking of a scripture to share with people, learning to truly listen to people. (Christine)
  • Time management, talking to everyone. (Heather)
  • Persistence, dedication, and trust in the Lord. (David)
  • Not too many. I actually lost a lot of my skills on my mission. I guess I learned to be kinder and more patient, but I’m still working on that. (Anonymous)
  • The skills I gained from my mission were, love, compassion, leadership, talking skills, and the most important one being prepared for anything. (Jose)
  • Talking with people was possibly the biggest. (Sheldon)
  • Communication and baby sitting. (Andrew)
  • Public speaking is easy now. (Jeff)
  • The ability to speak up and talk to people and find common ground with strangers. The ability to be humble in the face of those who dislike us or are unkind. The ability to lead others by example. (Daniel)

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

  • I wish I knew more of the bible. I was in the Bible belt. People would ask me questions on why we need the Book of Mormon. Whats the difference? I wish I knew what to say. I wish I had some recipes from home. I also wish I knew how to change a flat tire. Also I wish I knew how to wax a car. You have to do this with your car many times. I wish I knew all the scriptures to every question of the soul. (Alexia)
  • Don’t care about girls back home. (Chris)
  • I wish I was more humble going into my mission. I wish I had studied the scriptures more before my mission. I wish I had the desire to serve initially because I wanted to and not simply because the Lord told me I needed to (I figured it out on my mission and fell in love with it and learned why I was there and why I needed to be there at that time and such, but I didn’t go into the mission with those same feelings to begin with. When the Lord told me I needed to serve a mission, I tried to ignore Him at first, which never works, and then informed Him that fine, I would serve, but I wouldn’t change and I’d come back the same person I was before. I was super prideful. (Christine)
  • Write in my journal more. Send more letters home discussing people I was teaching, things I was doing, spiritual experiences.(My family aren’t members and those that are, are less active. (Heather)
  • I wish I knew to be more kind and patient with my companions and to have a bigger perspective. (Anonymous)
  • I don’t wish to have known or do differently at the beginning of my mission. I would do it all the same to learn and grown from it. (Jose)
  • Wish I was more “scripturally” versed. Wish I had the knowledge to not try to “force” the gospel on people. A testimony borne gives much more power usually I found. (Sheldon)
  • Not as much success as the MTC makes it out to be. (Andrew)
  • That you need to teach by the Spirit so that means do the things that invite a strong spirit like reverence. testimony and prayer. Then when you feel it, help them identity that feeling; it compounds the Spirit and that’s when the conversion happens. So when your teaching what your saying really doesn’t mean a lot. Like going to the temple – your being taught the creation again for the 20th time but why is it that we learn such profound lessons going to the temple because of the Spirit. (Jeff)
  • I wish I would have better understood that everyone is in a different place in life, even full-time missionaries. Sometimes we have to be patient and loving and serve others to help them along, even our own missionary companions. (Daniel)
  • Read the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel as much as you can and really study. Then practice. Role plays are hard, but they are the best way to learn. (Michael)

Any advice for pre-missionaries going to Louisiana?

  • Learn how to cook; not all members feed you. You don’t get fed everyday. So learn some recipes. Take photos of your area. Write in a journal even before you start your mission to get into the habit. You will regret it if you don’t write in one. Have one of your parents write about your setting  apart blessing. Its amazing, it helps me through my struggling times. When you are thinking about going home. Don’t quit. Keep going. The Lord is there by your side. Find personal experiences for every lesson. That helps the investigators know that others have struggled or are going through the same thing. Personal experiences bring the spirit in their house. Read the Book of Mormon and look for certain things. Have fun on your mission. It the best learning experience. You will have some bad days too. Find something that you like to do when you are stressed out. (Alexia)
  • Read and pray about the Book of Mormon. It means everything. (Chris)
  • I promise each of you your mission will be worth it. Yes, it’s a big sacrifice, but it will be incredible. Satan will work very hard, especially between the time when you receive your call and the time you enter the MTC, to dissuade you from serving. Stay strong. You’re doing the right thing and there are so many blessings and miracles that are coming your way as you stay strong and go on your mission. I promise you will know why you were called to serve at this time and why you were sent to the area you were sent. I stayed in one area my entire mission, which most missionaries don’t do, but I came to understand as time went on why I was needed in that area at that particular time for my full 18 months. Your mission will be the best 18 months-2 years of your life to this point. Guaranteed. (Christine)
  • Louisiana is amazing!! It is so green and lush. Love the people. No matter how hard it is, love the people. You will feel like you are in a different country. Its amazing! Follow all of the mission rules, no matter how small. (Heather)
  • Go because you want to serve the Lord and his children. Do not go if it’s based on a family tradition, or you’ve been promised something in return. You’re on the Lord’s time, not yours. (David)
  • The church is true. You’re right and it’s okay that most people won’t understand that. Share your testimony, but don’t take it too hard when it’s rejected as it almost always will be. Don’t think that being bold is important. Be helpful, useful and humble. (Anonymous)
  • The advice I would give is never give up and remember who you are and what you stand for. Those two things are what got me through my mission and if it can be learned before, it would definitely help out. There will be days you want to give up and days you question what you are doing, but as we strive to be who our Father wants us to be, we will fulfill our duty. (Jose)
  • Testify of what you know. Rely on it more than trying to scripturally prove things. (Sheldon)
  • People will lie to you. Trust your gut. (Andrew)
  • Be patient, pray a lot and forget about home. Home will be a huge distraction, the sooner you forget, the better your mission will be. (Jeff)
  • I wish I would have better understood that everyone is in a different place in life, even full-time missionaries. Sometimes we have to be patient and loving and serve others to help them along, even our own missionary companions. (Daniel)
  • Missions are hard. Mine definitely was. They also never turn out the way you think they will. Mine didn’t. However, I know that my mission was exactly what I needed to be what the Lord wants me to be and it taught me things that I never would have learned if I’d served in the ways I thought I would serve. The Lord knows you and will guide you if you let Him. So let Him. (Michael)

Any funny language mistakes?

  • The Cajun people have a really strong accent, much like Ray from The Princess and the Frog, and I had the hardest time understanding them for the first month or so of my mission! I felt bad because I would be concentrating so hard on trying to understand what they were saying that I couldn’t also think about responding. I was very awkward at first until I started understanding their accent better! (Christine)
  • I’m sure many from my non native Spanish companions. (David)
  • One mistake I heard a lot on my mission was Hermana or hermano (sister or brother). This was always hard because a lot of missionaries called a brother a girl and didn’t even notice they did it. And would do the same to the sisters. (Jose)
  • You won’t be able to understand people on the phone or over drive through intercoms. (Andrew)
  • It took 9 tries to submerse a sister in a dress when being baptized. (Jeff)
  • I remember one man down in the Bayou who couldn’t understand us if we spoke clearly, but if we deliberately mumbled our words like the coach from The Waterboy, he could understand everything we were saying. (Daniel)