March 18, 2016

California Oakland Mission

Here are free resources about the California Oakland Mission:

*Other Mission Pages: California LDS Missions.

California Oakland Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the California Oakland Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the mission address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.

This mission does not currently exist.

Phone Number: N/A
Mission President: N/A

California Oakland Mission Map

Here’s a link to the mission map for the California Oakland Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the California Oakland Mission

*Mission does not currently exist. (Browse LDS.org mission maps)

Videos with California Oakland RMs

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

LDS-Friendly Videos about California

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

LDS Church  places  history  food  nature  Storms and Natural Disasters  Cities  time lapses  Social Issues

California Oakland Missionary Blogs

Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the California Oakland Mission. This blog list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their mission blog was updated.

*Send your missionary a gift (mission-specific shirts, ties, Christmas stockings/ornaments, pillowcases, etc.)

none found yet

California Oakland Mission Groups

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

  1. California Oakland Mission Group (937 members)
  2. California Oakland Mission Family!! Group (394 members)
  3. California Oakland Mission w/ President Jenson 1988-1991 Group (129 members)
  4. California Oakland Mission w/ President Madsen 1991-1994 Group (109 members)
  5. California Oakland Mission Group (43 members)
  6. California Oakland Mission Group (24 members)
  7. California Oakland Mission 1996-1998 Group (12 members)

California Oakland Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the California Oakland Mission!

Shirt designs include California Oakland Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL.  The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.

*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: California Oakland missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.

*Click here to browse Oakland Mission gifts

california-oakland-lds-mission-shirt-1 california-oakland-lds-mission-shirt-2 california-oakland-lds-mission-shirt-3 california-oakland-lds-mission-shirt-4 california-oakland-lds-mission-shirt-5

California Oakland Mission Presidents

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

  1. 2009, Oakland Mission and San Francisco Mission joined to create the California Oakland/San Francisco Mission.
  2. 2006-2009, James Clayton Beck
  3. 2003-2006, Robert Lewis Bauman
  4. 2000-2003, Richard Devries
  5. 1997-2000, C. Malcolm Warner
  6. 1994-1997, Phil K. Smartt Jr.
  7. 1993-1994, Garth Andrus
  8. 1991-1993, Robert Madsen
  9. 1988-1991, Conrad Jenson
  10. 1985-1988, Wayne S. Peterson
  11. 1982-1985, Ken Earl
  12. 1980-1982, Charles Hansen
  13. 1977-1980, Lindsay R. Curtis
  14. 1974-1977, Dale Russon
  15. 1971-1974, Gordon Crandall
  16. 1968-1971, Wilbur Cox
  17. 1965-1968, Lyle R. Peterson

California LDS Statistics (2016)

  • Church Membership: 773,762
  • Missions: 20
  • Temples: 7
  • Congregations: 1,357
  • Family History Centers: 222

Helpful Articles about California

Coming soon..

California Oakland Missionary Survey

Here are survey responses from California Oakland 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?

  • 2006-2008 (Huynh)
  • 2003-2005 (Daniel)
  • 2002-2003 (Victoria)
  • 1996-1997 (Dave)
  • 1994-1996 (Brian)
  • 1990-1991 (Sherri)

What areas did you serve in?

  • Livermore, Oakland, Antioch. (Huynh)
  • I started in Oakley and then went to Clayton then to Concord to Richmond to Clayton Valley to Linda to Pleasanton then to Antioch and then to Livermore and Brentwood. (Daniel)
  • Hayward, Concord, Walnut Creek, Brentwood, Oakley. (Victoria)
  • San Francisco, Concord/Clayton, San Mateo, Berkeley. (Dave)
  • Berkeley, Antioch, Brentwood, Oakland, Danville. (Brian)
  • Livermore (3 times), Brentwood, Concord, Newark. (Sherri)

What were some favorite foods?

  • Pupusas, sopes, pho, Peruvian, tamales. (Huynh)
  • Thai. (Daniel)
  • Any thing Spanish speaking members made. (Victoria)
  • Blondie’s Pizza in San Francisco. (Dave)
  • Giant burritos at the taquria in downtown. I had the opportunity to eat Balut, a Philippino delicacy, made from a fertilized duck egg. The members fed us most every night. (Brian)
  • Chicken, lasagna, fish. (Sherri)

What was a funny experience?

  • Elder Tufunga. (Daniel)
  • I scheduled four dinners on my last Thanksgiving in the mission. Lucky the first one wasn’t really ready for us so we ended up only eating three dinners. (Victoria)
  • The day before we left the mission, President Smartt asked our group of departing missionaries for funny experiences. We went around the table and they were all “you had to be there” experiences, much to President Smartt’s consternation. Yeah, you had to be there, too. … I was a Russian speaker on my mission. Actually came across a Boris and Natasha that we taught for a bit. Got a kick out of saying that I had taught Boris and Natasha. (Dave)
  • A lot of fun experiences with companions, but one that’s still there is a house shaped like a cross between a seashell and Yoda’s hut in Berkeley. (Brian)
  • We knocked on someone’s door and when he opened it I stepped back and fell off the porch. I didn’t get hurt, but my companion nearly hurt herself laughing at me. 🙂 (Sherri)

What was a crazy experience?

  • I knew we were protected as we stayed obedient to the White Handbook. After meeting a potential investigator, we set up a return appointment for the day after tomorrow. When we came back, the man said they had to move soon because there was a homicide in front of their house the day before. I heard stories, but never any that close to us. I felt shocked, but unusually without fear and a sense we were protected. Ask me to go back now, I wouldn’t! Follow the handbook with exactness, even the seemingly small rules. It was inspired to keep us spiritually and physically safe and strong. (Huynh)
  • Almost being killed by some drunk guys. Spirit warned us and we left. As we drove by the alleyway, they had a machete and we’re looking for us. (Daniel)
  • My companion and I tried to street contact a Spanish speaking man. We didn’t realize he was drunk. We’d only been talking to him a few minutes when a police car pulled up. The cops got out and arrested him and put him in the back of the cop car. (Victoria)
  • I flipped over my borrowed bicycle’s handlebars as the shoulder line I was following turned unexpectedly into a curb (I was just looking down at the line and pedaling away). This was on Ygnacio Valley Road in Concord, so an army of people stopped to see if I was okay. More embarrassment than anything.  (Dave)
  • A gang banger stalked down the hallway of the apartment we were in waiting to teach an investigator. He was big and trying his best to seem intimidating, but when he saw our name tags, he just said “oh, church dudes” turned around, and left. (Brian)
  • Our neighbors had a fight and the husband/boyfriend shot at her and missed but went right through the wall of our kitchen. (Sherri)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • Uh, every day we would have at least one! There will be downer days, but be hopeful and you can find at least one spiritually uplifting moment. Have a good sense of humor and serve your companion. The moment you know that words are coming out of your mouth are from the Spirit and you know it is transforming the person you are talking to right before your eyes….that’s a powerful moment. When one decides to give up alcohol just like that after teaching the principle moments earlier. The restored gospel is amazing. The Lord is amazing. Let the Lord and the mission change you. (Huynh)
  • When I was in Clayton Valley, we had a thing and our mission at that time was fast-tract. Every first Sunday, every missionary in the mission fasted for an area to go tracting and my companion, Elder Daniel Ta’ai and I found her area and retracted it. We had three more pass along cards with appointments to come back to later. We hadn’t had any success…almost nobody was home so we went to last three houses and the last house, we found a guy named Daniel throwing wrenches in his garage. When we asked what was going on, he said he was trying to put a transmission in his vehicle. My dad was a mechanic and other ties dad was the head mechanic for Toyota in Tonga. We came back and helped him put the transmission in with no problems head or neck. Zone conference we found out that Daniel had prayed 5 minutes before to be able to have somebody to help him. It was a great experience to know that our Heavenly Father is looking out for all these children. (Daniel)
  • As a companionship, we went to do baptisms with our little Spanish group in Brentwood. Several of the members were recent converts. It was an amazing experience and created a wonderful bond for the group. (Victoria)
  • During my time in the California Oakland Mission, five apostles visited us (Perry, Scott, Holland, Haight and Nelson) due to various considerations for some major reorganizations of the stakes and units in the area. Having grown up in the Northeast, the opportunity to actually meet apostles (President Smartt ensured us all at least a handshake) was pretty darned incredible and I still think of various tidbits that they taught us (e.g., Scott teaching us that apostles “play hardball” in their meetings but all decisions are made by consensus; Holland stating that not a day goes by without reflecting on his mission; Perry teaching us about apostolic succession and how if the wrong apostle’s in line, the Lord “calls them home.”). In terms of teaching, my memorable spiritual experiences were simply times when I felt guided by the Spirit to say something. I didn’t have much success in terms of numbers of baptisms, but I know that I said what needed to be said during those instances. (Dave)
  • Many touching discussions with investigators and new members, most especially the family I got to help join the church together. (Brian)
  • We had a phone call one night from a former member who kept trying to meet with the missionaries to show them the error of their ways. I was explaining to him that we were not going to meet with him and he said, “What if I can show you proof that Joseph Smith was not a prophet?” I answered that he couldn’t do it because I knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet. It was something I had been praying about because, although I believed it, I hadn’t received the same testimony I had of the Book of Mormon and other points of the gospel. As I testified to him that I knew…I did know. I felt a wave of warmth through my body and I just wanted to do cartwheels I was so happy. I’ve never had a moment’s doubt since. (Sherri)

What are some interesting facts about the California Oakland Mission?

  • There used to be a Vietnamese Branch in Oakland. (Huynh)
  • Second smallest mission in the world. The time I was there, we had missionaries from 42 different countries and spoke 12 different languages in the mission. (Daniel)
  • We weren’t allowed to cross bridges. Most bridges took us out of the mission. Mount Diabolo was the highest point if 1000 ft. (Victoria)
  • President Smartt reported that at the time that I served, the mission was the most linguistically diverse mission outside of Temple Square, because of his constant urging for getting more foreign-language speaking missionaries into the mission. Don’t know if that’s still true or not. When I left (literally within a week or two afterwards), the mission was split into the Oakland and San Francisco Missions. (My wife had the opportunity to serve in the San Francisco Mission). Partially due to the public backlash in the Bay Area against the Church’s support of Proposition 8, the missions were again combined. One piece of trivia: It was from a balcony of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco where Elder George Albert Smith looked across the bay and thought the Oakland Hills would be a good location for a temple. The hotel is still there and a prominent San Francisco landmark. (Dave)
  • The Oakland Temple and visitor center is across the street from the mission home. BYU football coach Kilani Sitake served here too. Myth busters film their TV show here. (Brian)
  • Initially our mission covered only two counties…Alameda and Contra Costa. We were the second smallest mission in the US. We had 200 missionaries, 50 of which were sisters. I didn’t realize what a blessing that was until I got home. (Sherri)

What was the weather like?

  • Oakland never felt hotter than 80. Cities more inland can feel a lot hotter. At least it doesn’t snow or ice over! (Huynh)
  • Hot, cold and wet. (Daniel)
  • Humid, but I loved the fog. (Victoria)
  • It rained all of three times over the year-and-a-half I was in the mission. Temperate year round, somewhat warmer in the summer. (Dave)
  • Warm to hot in the summer, cool in the winter, but generally mild all year. (Brian)
  • Summers were VERY hot and dry. Winters were chilly, but not really cold (I come from the midwest) unless you were near the bay. (Sherri)

Any things you really like about the area/people?

  • Missionaries seem more well received by Latinos. We became instant friends after the first two visits. The Latino people seem to have an innate belief and testimony of God and seem pretty receptive to the message. The branches are wonderful. Every branch has a core group willing to go out with missionaries. It’s amazing to see the dedication they have to the Lord. (Huynh)
  • Richmond area was wonderful. I taught more lessons in that 3 months than I did the rest of my mission. Everybody was willing to hear but nobody is willing to change. The people there were poor and always wanted to learn about God. White people were mean. (Daniel)
  • Mostly friendly people who were generous with their food. Most didn’t have time to give because they worked multiple jobs. (Victoria)
  • San Francisco proper is the best place in the world to serve as a missionary, hands down (I served in the Sunset and Richmond districts as well as the Golden Gate Ward). San Francisco is such a vibrant, diverse city that every day was different and filled with energy. Stopping people on Market Street or in Golden Gate Park was incredible; you never knew who you were going to bump into or talk to. (Dave)
  • The people are generally friendly, and the members especially so. (Brian)
  • I loved how giving and loving they were. They were committed to the gospel and to serving one another. Some of the people we brought to church were very different from your average LDS member and they were still accepted and loved every time. There was an amazing diversity among them…many different cultures. I always believed that was part of the openness. (Sherri)

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • Wear layers. Thick coat, not wool, for winter though, with a impermeable outer shell. Wear comfortable thick sole shoes, especially the sisters. Ballet flats are not good!! Lots of walking and serving. (Huynh)
  • Bring an additional pair of shoes. Plan on packing an extra size larger than you wear maybe two. I gained 40 pounds the first 6 weeks of my mission mostly due to milk and cookies. (Daniel)
  • Layer. In the winter the cold goes straight through you. But in the summer it can be incredibly hot. (Victoria)
  • Just the standard stuff. Be prepared to sweat if a Mission President insists on holding to hard dates in terms of when you’re required to wear the jacket of your suit. (Dave)
  • Don’t over pack! I made that mistake and it was a huge pain. Some things can be sent to you and others purchased when you arrive (I served stateside so that might be different for those out of the country). Make sure your clothes are versatile. As sisters skirts and blouses that were easily mix and match were great to have. The company that sells reversible skirts…genius! Make sure you have comfortable shoes because you may do a lot of walking no matter where you go. Also, pack according to the area you are serving in…cooler clothes for warm climates, etc. (Sherri)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • My life has become fuller. Every wonderful thing I experience now as a wife and mom, it is traced back to the mission. I am so grateful for my family and friends supporting and guiding me before and on the mission. The Lord’s work transformed me. I learned so much. I realized I wasn’t out on the mission to help people. It helped me. (Huynh)
  • My mission was great. It helped me become the man I am today. Helped me prepare myself to be a better leader…better father better husband. (Daniel)
  • My testimony of the gospel became solid. I became a real convert to the gospel, even though I was baptized when I was eight. (Victoria)
  • Increased self-confidence was the big one. If you can contact thousands of people a week on the street, you can do anything. (Dave)
  • A stronger testimony of the gospel, courage to stand up for what I know to be true, lots of people skills and how to care for myself (paying bills, cooking for myself, setting personal goals etc). (Brian)
  • I learned how much I love the gospel. I gained experiences that are still teaching me. I learned how to get along with a companion and work together. I gained a love of service and of work. One of the greatest blessings was the habit of prayer and scripture study. That was firmly in place by the time I got home and 24 years later I keep it up. (Sherri)

What are some skills you gained?

  • Being able to open my mouth and speak/relate to strangers who become close friends. Become missionary minded and inviting people and not feel defeated if the answer is no. 🙂 scripture studying and teaching primary is easier when you’ve taught about 365 days a year for almost two years as a sister. Teaching my own children the gospel simply. (Huynh)
  • Learned how to study…how to work with people… how to be able to read people, understand them…helped me learn how to focus and how to build the work hard even through difficult times and persecution. (Daniel)
  • Learned Spanish. Became a better listener. Learned to love many. (Victoria)
  • Communication skills of all kinds. (Dave)
  • I developed the ability to teach and to speak confidently. I learned how to listen to the spirit. I learned sign language and a few phrases in several other languages. (Sherri)

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

  • Trust the Lord. People have Agency. The Lord knows his children better than me. Each person has a different sized ladder of progress. That’s why it’s important to open our mouths and teach even if we don’t see the end results. Let the Lord lead you. (Huynh)
  • I wish I’d studied harder before the mission…really learned all the scripture masteries…attended all 4 years of Seminary. There’s always more you can do to prepare but that’s what I wish I had it done. You should pray more and really study the Book of Mormon and the New Testament. (Daniel)
  • Better Spanish. (Victoria)
  • Before I went on a mission, our stake did “mini-missions” where the youth would live with their local set of missionaries for a couple of days. I don’t think they do those any more, but they were extremely helpful in seeing what mission life was like. Any experience you can get with the missionaries before your mission is probably the most helpful experience you can get. (Dave)
  • I wish I had gone through the seminary program and had done more studying of the scriptures. I wish I had prepared myself physically a little more. I didn’t realize how much walking I would be doing. By the end I was in good shape, but not so much going in. (Sherri)

Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to California Oakland?

  • Love the Lord. Be exactly obedient. Love your companion no matter what. Openly communicate with the Lord and your companion. And be merciful. love the people and serve them in every way. Let people make choices. Leave what you cannot control to the Lord. Work hard, no shortcuts. Have a good sense of humor! (Huynh)
  • Don’t be picky with food. There are so many different cultures there that you end up eating all kinds of crazy things. I ate dog and a horse and I turn down balut which is almost hatched chickens. (Daniel)
  • Learn how the Spirit speaks to you and don’t be surprised by all that can go wrong…the Spirit will still provide what is needed. (Victoria)
  • Coming from the Northeast, I was absolutely aghast at some of the fear missionaries and their parents exhibited at the prospect of having to serve in the Bay Area. President Smartt reported that some parents even told him not to put their child in San Francisco, for instance. Transitioning from their rural conservative hometowns in Utah to a liberal major metropolis was difficult for some missionaries. My advice is simply this: Such fears will do nothing but hamper your mission experience. Get rid of them before you get to the field and willingly go where the Lord assigns you when you get there. Do not judge anyone based upon their race, class or other demographics. When I served and actually as I continue to go on splits with the missionaries to this day, there was sometimes an unfortunate focus on ignoring the middle and upper classes of society. When I served in San Francisco, I taught the general manager of the Hotel Majestic, a department chair from Stamford and the CEO of a major local modeling agency. Never understood why some missionaries would ignore economically stable neighborhoods when those with economic resources may become just as great assets to the Church as poor people who devote their time to Church service after conversion. Just be open to anyone being ready to hear about the Gospel. (Dave)
  • Love the people you serve. It’s not about you. It’s about them. Trust that Heavenly Father will give you the right words to speak. Pray for guidance and be prepared to follow every single prompting. Don’t worry about home, you’ll be back soon enough. (Sherri)

What was a funny language mistake?

  • One of my companions always called me monkey face in Tagalog…it was a lot of fun. I still tell that to people from the Philippines and they always laugh. (Daniel)
  • I didn’t understand that “molestar” means to be bothered. A couple of days in the field, we met with a member and as she shared her story, she kept using “molestar” and I thought she’d been molested or her children had been. My trainer had to explain to me what it meant and that none of the family had been abused. (Victoria)
  • I was a Russian speaker on my mission. There are two verbs in Russian: Obyeshat’ (to promise) and obyezhat’ (to offend). Had a companion and an investigator go back and forth where the investigator was saying that he was offending her and he was coming back with, “I didn’t promise you anything!” (Dave)