January 7, 2015

Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission

Free resources about the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission:

**Send your missionary a monthly care package for only $20/month (Get 20% off the first two months with coupon code ‘PREPARETOSERVE’)**

*Other Mission Pages: Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission.

Pittsburgh Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh 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.

Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission
2600 Boyce Plaza Suite 101
Upper St. Clair, PA 15241

Phone Number: 1-412-914-2200
Mission President: President Bradley K. Johnson

Pittsburgh Mission Map

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

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

Videos with Pittsburgh RMs

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

mission interview  mission interview

Videos about Pennsylvania

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

LDS Church  history  food  language  nature

Pittsburgh Missionary Blogs

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

Pittsburgh Mission ppmmemories.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Connor Poulsen elderccpoulsen.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Jacob Winfree elderjacobwinfree.wordpress.com 2017
Elder Carter Nelson eldercarternelson.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Matt Segon eldersegonpittpa.blogspot.com 2017
Sister Brianna Bartlett sisterbriannabartlett.blogspot.com 2017
Elder & Sister Butler ourmissioninpa.blogspot.com 2017
Mission Alumni mission.net/pennsylvania/pittsburgh 2016
Sister Cassie Roberts mymission.com/sistercassieroberts 2016
Elder Jonathan Holbrook mymission.com/elderjonathanlamontholbrook 2016
Sister Holli Durfee mymission.com/sisterhollidurfee 2016
Sister Raquel Douglas sisdouglasmission.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Sierra Sears sierramarinsears.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Jessica Oliver jessimayoliver.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Bryant Pennington penn2pennsylvania.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Jacob May jacobmaysmission.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Braden White mymission.com/elderbradenwhite 2015
Sister Tessa Wade mymission.com/sistertessawade 2015
Sister Stacie Jones staciesmissionaryblog.wordpress.com 2015
Sister Kayla Johnson kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com 2015
Sister Brittani Bills billsintheburgh.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Olivia Sparks oliviasparksmissionstories.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Storm Thomas sisterstormthomas.blogspot.com 2015
Brother Evan Stoddard pittsburghmormons.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Isaac Wright elderisaacbingwright.blogspot.com 2015
Sister McKann Hanseen mckannhanseen.wordpress.com 2015
Elder David Clegg missionsite.net/elderdavidclegg 2015
Elder Andrew Johnson elderanjroojohnson.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Zachary Watts missionsite.net/elderzacharywatts 2015
Sister Ashlee Ferrin mymission.com/sisterashleeferrin 2014
Sister Abigail Walborn sisterwalborn.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Austin Birrell elderaustinbirrell.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Cody LeBaron mymission.com/eldercodylebaron 2014
Elder Braden Scott missionsite.net/elderbradenscott 2014
Elder Scott Daniels missionsite.net/elderscottdaniels 2013
Elder Andrew Woodruff missionsite.net/elderandrewwoodruff 2013
Elder Corey Peterson missionsite.net/eldercoreypeterson 2013
Elder Mateo McDonald missionsite.net/eldermateomcdonald 2013
Elder Brandon Cox missionsite.net/elderbrandoncox 2013
Elder Jarrod West elder..pa-pittmission.blogspot.com 2013
Sister Erin Kingsford mymissionpittsburgh..blogspot.com 2013
Sister Katherine Andresen sisterandresen.blogspot.com 2013
Elder Zachary Collier zachcolliersmission.blogspot.com 2013
Sister Whitney Denton sisterdenton.blogspot.com 2012
Elder Mason Kovacs missionsite.net/eldermasonkovacs 2012
Elder Boise Hurley missionsite.net/elderhurley 2012
Elder Michael Horrocks missionsite.net/eldermichaelhorrocks 2012
Elder & Sister Green rodneyandcathygreen.blogspot.com 2012
Elder Ben Serrano missionaryben.blogspot.com 2012
Elder Andrew Ormesher elderormesher.blogspot.com 2011

Pittsburgh Mission Groups

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

  1. Pittsburgh Mission President Topham Group (200 members)
  2. Pittsburgh Mission President Summerhays Group (235 members)
  3. Pittsburgh Mission 1992-1995, Derrick Group (130 members)
  4. Pittsburgh PA Mission Facebook Group (67 members)
  5. Pittsburgh Mission (Holliday Years) Group (36 members)
  6. Pittsburgh Mission Moms (LDS) Group (21 members)

Pittsburgh Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission!

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

*Click here to browse Pittsburgh Mission gifts

pennsylvania-pittsburgh-mission-shirt-1 pennsylvania-pittsburgh-mission-shirt-2 pennsylvania-pittsburgh-mission-shirt-3 pennsylvania-pittsburgh-mission-shirt-4 pennsylvania-pittsburgh-mission-shirt-5

Pittsburgh Mission Presidents

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

  1. 2017-2020, Steven C. Bednar
  2. 2014-2017, Bradley K. Johnson
  3. 2011-2014, Clinton D. Topham
  4. 2008-2011, Lane A. Summerhays
  5. 2005-2008, Jay K. Francis
  6. 2003-2005, Sherman M. Crump
  7. 2003-2003, Ralph Siebach
  8. 2001-2003, Scott W. Cameron
  9. 1998-2001, Hans R. Kuhni
  10. 1995-1998, Randall K. Lunt
  11. 1992-1995, Thales A. Derrick
  12. 1989-1992, Lowell R. Tingey
  13. 1986-1989, Douglas F. Prince
  14. 1984-1986, W. Eldean Holliday
  15. 1981-1984, Loren G. Stoddard
  16. 1978-1981, W. Roy Brown
  17. 1975-1978, Kenneth W. Godfrey
  18. 1975-1975, Hugh Pinnock

Pennsylvania LDS Statistics (2015)

  • Church Membership: 51,406
  • Missions: 2
  • Temples: 0
  • Congregations: 111
  • Family History Centers: 42

Helpful Articles about Pennsylvania

Coming soon..

Pittsburgh Missionary Survey

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

When did you serve?

  • 2013-2015 (Larissa)
  • December 2012 – December 2014. (Stephen)
  • 2013-2014 (Sara)
  • 2013-2014 (Yarezmi)
  • 2011-2013 (Spencer)
  • 2010-2012 (Whitney)
  • 2010-2012 (Bradley)
  • March 2009-March 2011 (Javier)
  • 2008-2010 (Spencer)
  • 2006-2008 (Jason)
  • 2006-2007 (Ashley)
  • 2005-2007 (Chris)
  • 1996-1998 (Becky)
  • 1993-1995 (Marc)
  • 2013-2015 (Ryan)
  • 2010-2012 (Justine)
  • 1997-1998 (TeriDawn)
  • 1997-1999 (Madeline)
  • March 2014-October 2015 (Emily)
  • 1997-1999 (Morgan)
  • 1995-1997 (Dan)
  • 1991-1993 (Jeremy)

What cities/areas did you serve in?

  • Lititz, State College, Washington, Lock Haven. (Larissa)
  • State College, Pittsburgh and Shrewsbury. (Sara)
  • Bloomsburg, Lebanon, York, Beachview, Beaver. (Yarezmi)
  • Wexford, Upper Saint Clair, Franklin, Williamsport and Millersburg. (Spencer)
  • Lancaster County and Penn State. (Whitney)
  • Pittsburgh, Punxytouny, Cranberry. (Bradley)
  • Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Warren, York, Gettysburg and Chambersburg. (Javier)
  • Munhall/McKeesport, Girard, Erie, Crafton, Clearfield, Huntingdon, Lebanon, Meadville. (Spencer)
  • Oil City, Franklin, Corry, Bethel Park, Butler. (Jason)
  • Canonsburg, Munhall, Meadville and Beaver. (Ashley)
  • St. Marys, Pittsburgh, Cranberry. (Chris)
  • Charleroi, Pleasant Hills, Meadville, Erie, Bradford, St. Claire’sville, OH. (Becky)
  • Greensburg, Highland Park, Kittanning, UnionTown, Downtown, Franklin, Brookeville. (Marc)
  • Titusville, Towanda, Wintersville, Pittsburg, Bedford. (Connor)
  • Hershey, Bedford, Milton, Hanover, State College, and Wintersville. (Ryan)
  • Mechanicsburg. Pittsburgh. State College. (Justine)
  • Indiana, Erie, Bloomfield, and Beaver. (TeriDawn)
  • Pittsburgh (Pitt 7th Ward walk), University Park Branch (State College), Waynesboro (Fairview Ward), and Ephrata. (Emily)
  • Erie, Washington, Erie, Kane, McKeesport, Fredonia/Dunkirk. (Morgan)
  • Titusville, Moundsville, Bellevue, Jamestown. (Dan)
  • Slippery Rock, Stubenville, Swissvale, Uniontown, Grove City, Olean, Beechview. (Jeremy)

What were some favorite foods?

  • Chinese, Italian, roasts. (Larissa)
  • Pirogis, meats, Chinese, Mexican, not poor missionary food. (Stephen)
  • The salads with fries and the Mexican food stands in down town Pittsburgh. (Sara)
  • Puerto Rican and Dominican. (Yarezmi)
  • Perogies, Chipotle, Max and Erma. (Spencer)
  • Perrogies, Turkey Hill ice cream, Amish buffets. (Whitney)
  • Pizza, chicken-cheese steak, peppis. (Bradley)
  • Rita’s, BBQ ribs, home grown vegetables during harvest season, homemade pies, pork and sauerkraut… Too many things; I got really fat! (Javier)
  • Pirogies, wings, and good old all-American cooking–you get a pretty solid Americana experience in Pennsylvania. (Spencer)
  • Homemade Reuben Sandwiches. Pork and Sauerkraut on New Years. Pierogi’s. Primanti Bro’s Sandwich. (Jason)
  • Pierogies, lasagna, stuffed peppers. (Ashley)
  • Pierogies, Primanti Bros. sandwich, lots of great delis w/delicious hoagies, meat & potato dishes. (Chris)
  • Perogies, Dos Amigos (Erie). (Becky)
  • Introduced to hot wings on my mission. (Marc)
  • Pierogies, hot dogs, Conie Dogs (chili cheese dogs), Phillie cheesesteaks. (Connor)
  • Pierogis, Philly Cheesesteaks, meals from the members (there were a lot!) (Ryan)
  • Primanti Brothers’ famous burger (they put fries over your meat). Pittsburgh popcorn. Creamery ice cream in State College. (Justine)
  • Real Italian anything, and then the sandwiches with fries in them. (TeriDawn)
  • Perogies and fries in salads. (Madeline)
  • Slippery pot pie, Amish food, whoopie pies. (Emily)
  • Hot and spicy Asian cuisines all over the mission…Vietnamese is the best. (Morgan)
  • Potatoes and roast. (Dan)
  • Pieroges, Mexican. (Jeremy)

What was a funny experience?

  • So many… But a favorite is really when any kid said something outlandish. (Larissa)
  • I pushed my companion and he tripped and fell into the bath tub. (Stephen)
  • Every time you listen to a native talk and you have no idea what they are even saying. (Sara)
  • My companion did not know I had the car windows rolled down and a bigger man without a shirt ran by and she called him “man chest-icle” and he chased our car. (Yarezmi)
  • A guy, that got really drunk during dinner, grabbed my…backside. (Spencer)
  • One day we were sitting in a neighborhood in our car for our lunch break. My companion was in the backseat reading her scriptures with her legs out the window. I was in the front napping with a scarf hung up to block the sun. We heard a knock on the window and my companion jumped and pulled her feet in as we looked and saw a cop. Apparently someone called in a report of two suspicious females and we matched the criteria. He asked for our IDs and what not and everything checked out, but it was so funny to us that we got reported during our lunch break. (Whitney)
  • I got called a cracker by a school bus full of kids and had saltine crackers thrown at me. (Bradley)
  • I remember I having to help Elder Jimenez learn English. So at one zone conference while we were having a testimony meeting, I kept encouraging Jimenez to give his testimony in English to everybody and he kept telling me he would do it at the end. Well the final testimonies were said and he never got up so I was like, okay whatever. At the close of the meeting, they called on the assigned missionary to give the closing prayer and it turned out to be Jimenez. He goes up and we all bow our heads ready for the prayer when he yells out, “Wait!” and goes on to give his awesome testimony. At the end he said, “and now, we pray” and finished off with the prayer. Well he was right. He did give his testimony at the end, lol. (Javier)
  • My trainer got food poisoning at the local diner chain, Eat-N-Park. (Future customers beware of the Bananas Foster French Toast!) We found him a bottle of ipecac and he ended up vomiting for four hours straight. (Spencer)
  • Pittsburgh 2nd Ward does the pinewood derby, and then the adults have a similar race, only with rockets attached to their cars. That was pretty funny. (Jason)
  • While out tracting one day an old lady answered the door and said, “what do you want? Do you want the shirt off my back?” And proceeded to take off her top and was bare naked underneath. We quickly turned the other way. (Ashley)
  • We were approached by a pastor who sincerely believed Calvary and Golgotha were in the Hill district in Pittsburgh. (Chris)
  • We got stuck in the mud one afternoon and Dobbs and I had to push it out while Kerstiens drove. We were covered from mud splattering and slipping on our faces. We couldn’t stop laughing. (Becky)
  • My companion and I had pigs named after us as an endearment. (Marc)
  • One time I slipped in the ice and fell on my face into 2 feet of snow. An old lady was walking by and jokingly called me a clumsy kid and two seconds later she slipped too. She landed right next to me so I got up, helped her up, and then we baptized her four months later. (Connor)
  • Walking around in Walmart and getting mistaken for an employee multiple times! (Ryan)
  • Playing tag with my district as part of a preparation day and we had this overweight squirrel begging for food. (TeriDawn)
  • While getting in one of the mission vans to go caroling during Christmas time, I fell getting in. The Elders caught it on video as they were playing a joke on us. It was really funny! (Emily)
  • When our district in Erie got asked to leave the Chinese Buffet after a district meeting, apparently all you can eat does have its limits. (Morgan)
  • A group of black teenagers were talking trash to us so I walked towards them and drop my backpack. Crank in my arm and played a little basketball with them and dumped it on. They show me respect from then on. (Dan)
  • Playing basketball at pitt, district zoo day, golfing in Stubenville, Ohio. (Jeremy)

What was a crazy/dangerous experience?

  • One time while tracting, someone pulled some gardening shears out and threatened me. (Larissa)
  • A drunk man threatened us with a scythe. (Stephen)
  • First day contacting in Pittsburgh and a guy tells us to go back home because the police are searching the area for a murderer that got away the night before. (Sara)
  • Gun shots right outside our apartment. (Yarezmi)
  • The guy from above jabbed me with a knife in the hand. I think it was an accident…but you know. Also, I almost hit a deer. And the snow in Erie can be out of control. (Spencer)
  • One time my companion and I were driving down a narrow, dark road at night. We got to a dead end and it said “Private Property” and had other signs. The only way to turn around was to drive onto their lane. We did and started turning around. As missionaries, anytime you’re in reverse, the other person has to be outside backing them up. So I got out on this private, dark, wooded lane and started backing her up. Then a super loud siren went off…like something from The Twilight Zone. I hurried and backed her up, jumped in the car, lost the phone outside, grabbed it, and we hurried out of there. As we pulled back in the main road, a car with flashing lights went rushing by. We pulled into a parking lot and hid for a little bit. We told the story to a bunch of families and finally one said, “This was in ETown?” We said it was. Then they informed us that ETown has a volunteer fire department….it was just happenstance that we were there when the alarm went off. (Whitney)
  • Driving right through some ridiculous snow storms. (Bradley)
  • Me, a Texas kid, having to drive in the snow! I ran over a few squirrels actually. Poor things. Also, some dinner appointments were pretty crazy, and you can even say dangerous. Went through my fair share of throwing up (lol, sorry about the TMI). (Javier)
  • A random lady borrowed our phone on the streets of Crafton. She then yelled in it for about forty minutes, threatening her business partner with a lawsuit. (Spencer)
  • I was in a Trio (with two other companions) and we were tracting. We came to a door where only two of us could fit on the porch, so my companions went up and I stayed below and at an angle that I could see inside the house. A man came to the door and had a gun in his hand, pressed up against the wall just inside the door so that my companions couldn’t see. They proceeded to teach him a quick first lesson, he said he wasn’t interested and we left. Afterward I asked them if they knew what just happened, and they excitedly replied, “Yes, we just taught the whole first lesson!” I said, “Yes, you just taught the whole first lesson to a man with a gun in his hand!” (Jason)
  • One day while teaching a first lesson to a girl in the projects we looked over to her boyfriend sitting in the big lounge chair and noticed a 9mm handgun sitting in front of him on the coffee table along with a wad of cash and a wad of drugs. We quickly found a way to end the lesson and leave. (Ashley)
  • We were invited in a home with a seemingly nice middle-aged woman. She even shouted at us across the street so that we could go over and teach her! We asked her if a man was in the house, and she said there was, so that meant we could go into her home. Well, when we got in, she locked the door and instead of taking a seat, we asked her if we could meet the man of the house. She was lying to us, and she tried to take off our clothes rather forcefully. We escaped fairly easily because we were faster and stronger (that’s why you should exercise every morning future missionaries!), and we ran like two full blocks. We laughed about it later because we thought no one would believe us! (Chris)
  • Tracting between farm houses in Bradford. And being surrounded by five ravenous dogs. And the owner never came to the door. They were snipping at us and as long as we faced them we did ok, but if we glanced away they were all up on us. My companion got in the car and delayed unlocking my side. Yeah that one freaked me out. (Becky)
  • One night leaving ‘the projects’ heading to catch a bus, we heard a pop from up the hill where we had come from. Apparently the woman who we had been visiting had a nephew who thought it would be fun to take a shot at us as we departed. Fortunately no harm was done. Angels surround us. (Marc)
  • I once went tracking and we knocked on a door and we heard someone racking their shotgun. I turned away for just a second to see the door exploding and splinters went into my companion and I. He tried to shoot through the door at us. We both got away and later found out that he thought we were the FBI and he had a secret meth lab. But we both survived and the police were surprised that we were safe and sound. (Connor)
  • I had a rifle pulled on me by two drunk guys out on their porch just because we walked in front of their trailer. (Ryan)
  • We had or at least we believed to have had a stalker who was watching all our whereabouts. My companion then spotted him several times staring at us, crazy. (Justine)
  • An investigator’s boyfriend left a discussion, went in to the adjoining room and started growling like an animal. We decided to leave. (Madeline)
  • My companion and I got chased, in one of our areas’ ghetto parts, by a guy in his car. The Lord protected us though and that area isn’t a sisters’ area anymore anyways. (Emily)
  • The dealers who “asked” us to leave the basketball courts in McKeesport, with some fire power flashing. (Morgan)
  • The first discussion…went back the next day and his wife said that he got shot in the back a couple hours ago. (Dan)
  • One of my companions were tracing downtown and walked on the set of a movie and became extras. (Jeremy)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • Seeing someone who I had taught from the very beginning get baptized. (Larissa)
  • Studies. (Stephen)
  • Getting a glimpse of how God loves each of His children. (Sara)
  • Forgiving my mother through the eyes of a child with a dysfunctional family. (Yarezmi)
  • End of my mission. A young man moved from a bad situation into a member’s home. We challenged him to pray (hoping and praying for him to actually act, but not expecting too much) and the next day we got a call from him saying that he parked his truck in the corn field, prayed, and got an overwhelming answer that he needed to change his life and join The Church. (Spencer)
  • My first baptism was a wonderful Chinese girl. At her baptism, the Spirit was so strong. I know that her ancestors were there and so excited to see this young woman make choices that would affect the eternities. (Whitney)
  • The one baptism I was able to perform. (Bradley)
  • Baptisms of course. But something that meant a lot to me was every time we cited Joseph Smith’s first vision. I can still even now hear us saying it and see the people’s faces/expression as we would say it. It was always very special. (Javier)
  •  I remember praying before every door, and finding myself being given promptings about what to say during every approach. It was brilliant being guided by the Lord–you should try it sometime! (Spencer)
  • We had the opportunity to baptize a man, the last of his family to join The Church. The spirit was very strong. Afterward we went to congratulate him, and he stood in the isle sobbing. I was concerned that something was wrong so I went to him and asked if he was OK. He responded through his tears “I just feel so good.” I knew that he knew, and the Spirit had touched his heart. (Jason)
  • Too many to count…. One day we felt impressed to tract a particular street. However we had already planned to tract that street another day that week. We listened to the prompting and knocked on all the doors. No one wanted to hear our message so as we were just about to get back into our car a car pulled up and a lady got out and asked if we were the sister missionaries and that she’s been wanting to meet with us. We were able to teach her and her family and had many spiritual experiences with her. (Ashley)
  • There were many times when we told the Lord where we would be through our planning the night before, and He would place people in our path because He knew where we would be. A mission is an incredible experience, and the entire two years was a spiritual growth much greater than I could have received any other way. (Chris)
  • Several moments, car accidents that didn’t happen but should’ve. Being led to the people prepared for us. Tracting only one street and finding the family waiting for us at the last house. Walking into the non-member husband and telling him I was here now and I know he was waiting for me, having him agree and take the discussions and join. Listening to the promptings and seeing the results immediately. That was always amazing on a mission. (Becky)
  • Coming to the understanding that the first person I needed to learn to love and connect with was my own companion, so that we could be united. Then seeing the blessings that came through God’s hand on our combined efforts to discover those ready hear the gospel. (Marc)
  • I can recall one experience I had was my first baptism I was asked to perform. I remember thinking “this gospel is changing someone life, and I am a small part in it” and really we don’t have hardly anything to do with the success unless we follow the Spirit. God and Jesus Christ change lives and we are supposed to be the mouthpieces and the searchers. (Connor)
  • I met a guy in my last area who had a pretty pessimistic view on life with not much faith in God. We asked him to read The Book of Mormon and while reading he took the missionary lessons and then 8 weeks later was baptized! (Ryan)
  • Too many to mention. One of the very first though is when my trainer asked me to pick a street just by looking at the map. I was too scared then with my trainer. I prayed hard, looked at the map and a particular street stood out. We went there, knocked several doors but got nothing. We decided to go back but then the last door we hit, opened. It was an old lady whose husband just died. She was bursting in tears and was very grateful for our presence. The testimonies my companion and I shared filled the room with the spirit and we all ended up crying. (Justine)
  • We were teaching a sister who had been chewing snuff for over 50 years. We taught her the stop smoking workshop, but it wasn’t until she received a priesthood blessing that she was able to stop. (TeriDawn)
  • Of course a lot in the mission, but one of the hardest was coming home. It was only after being released that I realized how much the Holy Ghost had been there the whole time as a third companion. I had taken him for granted. (Madeline)
  • There are too many to count! But the one I think of is just how the Lord helped me learn the gospel and retain the knowledge I gained and was then able to better help others with what I learned. It was cool to see it not only change me, but help those in need. (Emily)
  • Testifying of Joseph Smith while being challenged by a minister, and having the gentleman who was also visiting ask for the Book of Mormon. (Morgan)
  • In Titusville, my first area, we tracted almost the whole town and I had my first baptism from a door that we knocked on. (Dan)
  • The baptisms my companions and I had. (Jeremy)

What are some interesting facts about the Pittsburgh Mission?

  • It’s the best. And we have the most cars of any mission. (Larissa)
  • More trees than people, the vines will support you, and there are a lot of hills. (Stephen)
  • It is a foreign-speaking mission. When you head east, you will meet the Amish. Fall is the most beautiful thing you’ll ever see. (Sara)
  • There are lots of hills. The 5th Ward is the coolest, but the Beaver Ward is the one that is most like home. (Yarezmi)
  • Steelers. Every native is die hard about their Pittsburgh Steelers. (Spencer)
  • There are two main college campuses, there are Amish communities, and it has the lowest percentage of Mormons per capita. (Whitney)
  • It’s huge. (Bradley)
  • Rita’s gellatos are seriously a piece of heaven on earth! The fireflies around late summer are just amazing to watch at night. Spanish work is very minimal. The Ferris wheel was invented here. US history (and church history) throughout the mission is just very amazing! (General Kane is buried there [the only non-member ever to receive a patriarchal blessing], the battle of Gettysburg, Hershey PA, the burning of Chambersburg, York as the US capital, the Susquehanna, and just so much more!). (Javier)
  • When I started, the mission covered just the western third of Pennsylvania and had about 10,000 members. We’re quite a bit larger than that now, but it still feels pretty small. Some missionaries move around a lot; some stay put for a long time. I had fifteen companions and eight areas; a good friend of mine stayed in one area for over ten months. (Spencer)
  • People in Pennsylvania have their own words. Sweeper= Vacuum. Red up= to clean. Buggy = Shopping Kart. Chip Chopped Ham = Cubed Ham etc. etc. (Jason)
  • Very diverse culturally. Very difficult. (Ashley)
  • Sidney Rigdon was originally from Pittsburgh, and the 1st Baptist church has his inscription on the interior cornerstone of the church. After the prophet succession schism, he returned to Pittsburgh along with some followers, and they formed a church commonly known as the Rigdonites. You may tract into them, as I did. They believe in The Book of Mormon, they believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and they even believe in the original Doctrine and Covenants. The struggle we had as missionaries was teaching why Brigham Young was to be the next prophet–we really weren’t prepared to teach that at the time. (Chris)
  • We added a verse or two at the end of Called to Serve and if it wasn’t sung in a rousing manner, the mission president’s wife would have us do it again. The mission included parts of four states including West Virginia, Ohio and New York. Deer are smaller than in the west. (Marc)
  • The Steelers are in this mission, Hershey park is the chocolate capital, haha. (Connor)
  • Pennsylvania is home to the Steelers (Football), Penguins (Hockey), and the Pirates (baseball). Hershey’s Chocolate started in Pennsylvania. Zippo Lighters are made in Pennsylvania. There are large Amish populations throughout the mission boundaries! (Ryan)
  • Very catholic. YES. (Justine)
  • It’s the keystone state. Die hard Steele fans and you didn’t go contacting when they were playing. The Heinz ketchup company was there. (TeriDawn)
  • Tracting during a Steelers game is counter productive. Anyone who answers the door is maaaaad. (Madeline)
  • They talk funny! Lol, in Pittsburgh they say stuff like “yinz” “da burgh” “N’at” and in the rest of Pennsylvania, you hear more “yous guys” “red up the room with the sweeper” There’s a lot of universities, and some areas have a lot of Amish. (Emily)
  • Compositions of student populations in Slippery Rock. (Morgan)
  • One baptism/missionary per year lowest baptizing mission in the United States and I had 8 so some people must not have gotten any. (Dan)
  • We were the Keystone Mission under President Tingey and President Derrick. (Jeremy)

What was the weather like?

  • Spring and fall is gorgeous! Winter and summer is humid, which equals REALLY cold and REALLY hot. (Larissa)
  • Humid. (Stephen)
  • Really cold in the winter and humid in the summer. (Sara)
  • Hot and humid, cold, rainy, snowy and cloudy in the winter. (Yarezmi)
  • Where I was serving it was a lot like Utah weather, but more humid. The winter temperature got down to about -5 degrees and summer in the 90s. If you’re outside walking in the summer be prepared to sweat. The fall is gorgeous! (Spencer)
  • Hot and humid in the summer. Freezing in the winter. Gorgeous all the time. (Whitney)
  • Cold in the winter. Hot and humid in the summer. (Bradley)
  • It was very humid during warm days and snowy during winters. I went through so many umbrellas. Funny thing about that is that I remember that half the time we had to point our umbrellas forward instead of up because the precipitation seemed to come at you sideways at times. (Javier)
  • Temperate during the summer, frozen over in the winter. There are lots of stinkbugs in the fall, and they’ll invade your living quarters when the temperature drops. We had some huge snowfalls during my winters; winter of 2009-2010 resulted in a State of Emergency being declared across PA. Freezing rain was a nightmare. (Spencer)
  • Hot and humid in the summer, cold and snowy in the winter. Lots of lake-effect snow in the northern parts. (Jason)
  • Summer’s were very hot and humid. We often had to change clothes during our lunch breaks. Winters were cold. Very, very cold and snowy. -20 with windchill factor. (Ashley)
  • The northern part of the mission is very cold during the winter due to lake-effect snow & rain. The southern part of the mission is much more temperate. When it rains, it’s cloudy all day, and sometimes the rain just sticks in the air, and it’s so humid. Your tracting scriptures will get damaged over time. (Chris)
  • Cold, I missed the sun. I’m a CA girl. Lots of cloud coverage all year long in Erie during the summer. (Becky)
  • Humid. This make cold colder and hot hotter. (Marc)
  • Cold, wet winters. Tons of snow. Windy cold autumns. Hot muggy summers. Perfect spring weather. (Connor)
  • Summers are in the high 80’s to mid 90’s with A LOT of humidity! You sweat a lot!!! Winters are cold and snowy! (Ryan)
  • Extreme! Very cold winter and very, very hot summer. (Justine)
  • Absolutely beautiful spring and falls. Summers nice but muggy, winters cold and snowy. (TeriDawn)
  • Humid compared to Utah and rainier and icier. But basically, I didn’t pay too much attention to the weather. I don’t recall it ever stopping the work. Of course, you have to adapt to it with the right clothing and driving carefully or not. But it was never really severe. (Madeline)
  • Spring and fall very rainy (it will rain then stop. Then pour buckets and stop.) Cold in winter (sometimes they get freezing rain), summer can be REALLY hot. It’s very humid. (Emily)
  • Pretty great from my point of view. (Morgan)
  • Second year was normal but the first year up north got a lot of snow one day. I remember walking on the sidewalk in the snow almost to our shoulders. (Dan)
  • Humid, hot summers and cold, snowy winters. (Jeremy)

What do you like about the place/people you served?

  • The biggest hearts there are! And I love the tight knit communities! (Larissa)
  • They are chill, maybe to a fault. (Stephen)
  • They were SO nice. (Sara)
  • The hearts of the people; they were just so loving.  (Yarezmi)
  • The people are fantastic and interesting. It is truly is an experience like nothing else. Let it be amazing. (Spencer)
  • I love all of it! It’s a fantastic mission! (Whitney)
  • How passionate they are about sports. (Bradley)
  • The people and their culture. The way they talked. Definitely very different from anywhere else I’ve been in the US. They say “yunz” instead of “y’all” (I’m Texan). I loved the geography. Hills everywhere. They are gorgeous! It’s very green. Spring and fall are SO colorful. (Javier)
  • Pennsylvania grows on you. I liked the urban sprawl intermixed with the forested hills of Pittsburgh; it’s quite scenic. Much of western/central PA is a bit economically depressed, and you can see that in the towns you serve in–there are a lot of old houses, abandoned buildings, chipped paint, and desperate people. But that means that there are also a lot of people earnestly looking for something more. It’s a diverse and fascinating mix of the best and worst that America has to offer. (Spencer)
  • The land is beautiful and covered in trees. The people love to have fun and were so fun to be around. (Jason)
  • It’s beautiful country! (Ashley)
  • These are genuine people. Many of the people are blue collar workers, with few pockets of white collar (the universities, mostly), and so the faith of the people is generally very strong. Pittsburghers are crazy for their sports teams, and so that can always be something to find in common with people. Most people don’t know what a Mormon is or what they do, so we had a lot of great teaching moments. (Chris)
  • They have a unique language. I had to learn several meanings to words I thought I knew. Very down to earth people. You always learn the quirky facts about an area you serve in. I won’t ruin those surprises ;). (Becky)
  • The people were mostly kind. Because of religious tradition over generations, there is an opportunity to find a way to get beyond the initial ‘no’. The people knew how to work. There were a lot of different ‘flavors’ of people to connect with throughout the mission. Beautiful fall colors. Sometimes crazy winter. (Marc)
  • The people there are going to be very unique and lots of them are very caring. (Connor)
  • It’s beautiful!!! Almost everyone already has a Christian background! (Ryan)
  • People are all so amazing! I have never experienced any rudeness during tracting. And places are oh so beautiful! I love it’s country feeling. (Justine)
  • The kindest drivers I’ve ever seen. Very loving people. Simple and didn’t have the need to seek out lots of travel or adventures (TeriDawn)
  • I learned a lot about what it is to be poor in the United States from them. I also learned that most people are kind, even when they think your weird. And that the weird people are the kindest. (Madeline)
  • Each are very different, but loving. They tend to be very blunt and straight to the point so you don’t always have to beat around the bush. (Emily)
  • Beautiful place and people, I really appreciated the opportunity. (Morgan)
  • I love people everywhere. I love the people of the mission. They are brothers and sisters. (Dan)
  • I had really great companions, Good church members, and an incredible range of people. (Jeremy)

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • If you are a sister, bring fleece lined tights!! Also, elastic waistband skirts are the best! (Larissa)
  • Be ready for it to be really cold and really hot. (Stephen)
  • Make sure you have boots for the winter. Get them a size bigger so that you can wear 5 pairs of socks. (Sara)
  • Don’t take a lot, you will get a lot while you are there. And there are lots of things in the apartments. (Yarezmi)
  • Follow the instructions on the call packet. Nothing too extreme. (Spencer)
  • Really warm clothes. Good boots and jacket. (Whitney)
  • Make sure slacks are machine-washable and shirts are wrinkle-free. (Bradley)
  • Whatever shoes you get, just make sure they’re waterproof, or else your socks will get all wet/soggy and cold with the winter snow. Might be a no-brainer, but as a Texas kid, it was something I never would’ve thought about. (Javier)
  • Unless they’ve reworked how transfers operate, you’ll be using Pittsburgh as a central hub for arrivals and departures, which means that before moving to your newest area, you’ll come to Pittsburgh. This means that you have to haul all of your stuff (and other people’s stuff too) a solid five hour drive across the state at times. Be reasonable. Pack light. Don’t collect things. Don’t make it so you have to give away your weight set in Pittsburgh because there’s no room for it in your ride out to Altoona or wherever. (Spencer)
  • Be prepared for extremes in temperature. 90 degress and 90% humidity in the summer and freezing cold temperatures in the winter. There is no biking because there are often no sidewalks. Bring shoes that will be ok if they get wet. (Jason)
  • When I served a lot of sisters left items behind in apartments like boots and coats, so I wouldn’t recommend buying those unless you actually enter the field in the winter. Otherwise wait till you see what’s available to you when you get there. Pack good walking shoes. I wore through the two pairs I bought. (Ashley)
  • A dress raincoat, like a trenchcoat. I had only bought a black coat that went to my waist, and my pants would get soaked until I sprang for a long coat. You should have a pair of black, weather-resistant boots, along with your regular black shoes. You should also have a suit you reserve for Sundays because your suits will take a beating. Be sure to dry clean your suits often!! (Chris)
  • Plan to buy your boots and your coats when you get there. They sell what is best for their climate. And know that what you wear will get thrashed if you truly serve. (Becky)
  • Take the time to find comfortable dress shoes. Waiting for a bus in the winter could be quite chilling. Wool socks, good gloves, a coat and a head covering. (Marc)
  • Pack light. Buy machine washable slacks and warm enough clothes for winter and cool enough for the summer. Lots of socks and garments. (Connor)
  • Pack thermals and warm clothes for the winter! (Ryan)
  • Pack light. A lot of missionaries leave most of their stuff that you could use anyways. 🙂 (Justine)
  • Have strong sturdy shoes and suitcases, good clothes but not terribly expensive. You never know what situations you get in. (TeriDawn)
  • Warm clothes for winter, light for summer. Ballet flat crocs are perfect for the summer for sisters. Elders, I’m sorry you have to suffer in suits during the summer. (Emily)
  • Do come prepared for winter, when the rough weather does hit, it can compare with home. (Morgan)
  • I work through one pair of shoes and one suit coat and pants to get two. (Dan)
  • Pack accordingly, because you can be in an area three weeks up to months. (Jeremy)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • Too many to count! I have so many friends who I have gained through it, and my testimony has been strengthened. (Larissa)
  • Many friends, stories, experiences, testimony and pretty much every good thing that has happened since I got home. (Stephen)
  • Personal growth and strengthened my own testimony. Super good preparation for marriage. (Sara)
  • The most tender experience that hurt so much and can bring so much love all at the same time. Learning how a heart breaks allows more love to fit in your heart. And how God turns pain into beauty. (Yarezmi)
  • Direction and purpose in life. Learning the reality of the Spirit and the gospel. Learned to love. (Spencer)
  • Too many to count. Realizing I was an instrument in God’s hand. Great friendships. Spirit-filled memories. (Whitney)
  • Countless. (Bradley)
  • SO many! First of all I don’t think my wife would’ve married me if I hadn’t served! Lol, well pertaining to this mission though. Gosh, I just seriously had the chance to meet some of the most amazing people in the world! I remember really wanting to help everyone I could to make at least a small impact in their lives for the better. In the end, they all made a great impact in mine. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it! (Javier)
  • I now know that The Book of Mormon is true and, as a result, the veracity of The Church and its leadership. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, that the Atonement is a dynamic power in my life, and that my relationship with God matters more than anything else. Even though I didn’t baptize as many people as others did, I was still blessed to work with and assist others in receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I now have many acquaintances and allies who I never would have met if I hadn’t served my mission. (Spencer)
  • The biggest blessing I received is learning humility. It’s hard and I received a lot of rejection. I learned to care about other people and their opinions instead of just pushing my opinions upon others. I learned how to work hard and not expect anything in return, and how to love someone I’ve never met. (Jason)
  • Countless blessings. When I was called to serve people would tell me all the blessings I would receive which kind of bothered me since I wasn’t going for the blessings. But everything they said and tenfold was bestowed upon me. I saw miracles, met some of my closest friends, my testimony grew 100x, my knowledge of the gospel expanded, I was blessed with gifts of the Spirit I didn’t have before, it prepared me to be a better person, wife, and mother afterwards, etc. (Ashley)
  • Everything that I now have is attributed to my choosing to serve a mission. I obeyed the Lord’s call to serve, and He has showered me and my family with immense blessings for just a simple two years of service. I am married now, and my wife is also grateful that I served the Lord. The greatest blessing I have is perspective–I can feel the Holy Ghost in my life and respond to His whisperings, and my desires are more in tune with what Heavenly Father would have me do. (Chris)
  • Countless. As promised there are more than we can tally. Trust the Lord’s promise that He will pour the blessings out for your service as a missionary. (Becky)
  • Coming closer to Christ. Learning and living the language of the heart. (Marc)
  • There are so many blessings that I can’t quite explain it. I have had so many wonderful experiences that I wouldn’t trade for the world. (Connor)
  • I love people infinitely more than I did prior, I feel closer to God, and I know I made a difference in people’s lives! (Ryan)
  • A LOT. Stronger testimony. Closer relationships with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Wonderful friendships. More and deeper gospel knowledge and understanding. Learned how wards/branches work. And a lot, lot more. (Justine)
  • Finding who I really was, found my smile and my husband and I still have companionship inventory and planning. (TeriDawn)
  • Too many to count. I read people better, learned better coping tactics, learned to let go of what I can’t control. (Emily)
  • Every day there is reference to my mission in some degree, spiritually and functionally. (Morgan)
  • Just knowing that I’m serving my brothers and sisters in the Lord. (Dan)
  • Increased testimony. (Jeremy)

What are some skills you gained on your mission?

  • Better studying, better people skills, better teaching and a greater knowledge of the scriptures. (Larissa)
  • Not caring what others think and how to word things and in general, talking to people and getting along with others in stressful situations. (Stephen)
  • Leadership skills, piano skills, basketball skills, compassion skills. (Sara)
  • I learned to love and be confident in the way the Lord can change things. (Yarezmi)
  • Communication skills. Reading comprehension skills. Patience. How to love and understand. (Spencer)
  • Talking to strangers. (Whitney)
  • The ability to listen. (Bradley)
  • I became so much more chatty. I could talk to anyone! I had no fear sharing my beliefs with anyone afterwards. I became a lot more independent, but at the same time more dependent on the Lord. I learned how to drive in the snow. (Javier)
  • I am far more organized and capable than I was before my mission. Not only do I now have a plan for my life, but I have the goal-oriented skills needed to accomplish it. I am better able to speak in public and in person. The mission greatly improved my ability to teach, to reason, and to connect with other people. I also have far greater control over my emotions, my passions and my desires. (Spencer)
  • I gained the ability to talk to strangers without fear of what they think of me, or how they may react. It has helped me a lot in my career. (Jason)
  • I gained the ability to read people better and the courage to open my mouth when inspired by the Spirit. (Ashley)
  • Developing a degree of empathy for my fellow man, realizing that everyone has their troubles, realizing that when someone abuses me (verbally or otherwise), it’s not because of me, getting along with a variety of personalities, how to lead and manage people, organizing a schedule, communicating one idea in different ways, learning to see the good in every situation/person, how to study in my own way, how to listen to the Holy Ghost, to name a few. (Chris)
  • Hmm, the ability to not smell a room. Literally I mastered walking in and out of homes without actually smelling but later learning there were some stinky ones. With seven kids this skill has paid off ;). (Becky)
  • How to approach strangers. (Marc)
  • Communication skills. Leadership skills. Teaching skills. Christlike attributes like kindness will increase. (Connor)
  • I can talk to people a lot more effectively and I also learned how to budget a lot better! (Ryan)
  • 1. Communications Skills. 2. Teaching skills. 3. Listening Skills. 4. I have also learned how to move faster and more efficiently. 5. I have developed more self-confidence. (Justine)
  • Communication, people skills. (TeriDawn)
  • Communication skills mainly. (Emily)
  • Planning… planning… planning. (Morgan)
  • How to teach the gospel more smoothly. (Dan)
  • Leadership, self awareness and reliance on the Lord. (Jeremy)

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

  • I wish I had memorized more scripture mastery. (Larissa)
  • I wish I had been more humble. (Stephen)
  • Worked out of love and not out of duty or obedience. (Sara)
  • I wish I knew that it was okay to be personal, and how to understand people’s needs. I wish I knew that teaching any principle is sharing what you know and what you are learning. (Yarezmi)
  • That it ends. And the more you worry about it ending, the more unhappy you’ll be. (Spencer)
  • That it would be hard. (Whitney)
  • I wish I knew how to have patience. And how to give people a chance to explore all ideas. (Bradley)
  • It is the Lord’s work and not mine. It doesn’t matter matter how hard it is, but if you work hard you will see success. (Javier)
  • Preach My Gospel offers minimal insight into companionship unity; the White Handbook doesn’t help too much either. I wish I’d known how integral people skills are to mission success. My attitude, for the first half of the mission, was mostly one of “I’m not here to get along with you; I’m just here to get the work done.” But that’s not how it works. You *cannot* succeed in the work by going it solo. You have to know how to get along with others. (Spencer)
  • I wish I had been more obedient, and realized that being myself is a great way to do missionary work. I wish I had discovered my own unique talents and applied them to my missionary work instead of trying to follow a prescribed approach that I thought was the correct way, I’m afraid I came off fake that way. (Jason)
  • I wish I knew how anti-Mormon the mission was. I think I would have been better prepared and not as shocked at the way we were received. (Ashley)
  • After I submitted my papers, but before I received my call, I was given direct revelation by the mission president who resided in my home state that I needed to learn Russian. In two weeks, I learned the Cyrillic alphabet and knew a few token phrases. When I received my call, I was very disappointed that I was going to Pittsburgh, and I quit learning Russian. After a year into my mission, I was serving in the central part of the city, and there’s a small patch of area called “Polish Hill”, where a lot of Poles, and you guessed it, Russians lived. In fact, many people in that area (probably 30 families or so) only spoke Russian, and so we had to communicate through their bilingual children. I don’t think that all these families would have been baptized and formed a Russian branch in the Pittsburgh Stake had I kept learning Russian, but that experience taught me to never doubt the Lord nor His servants. From that day forward, I made a commitment to Heavenly Father that I would always obey, no matter what. I covenanted to be Church-Broke. My life has been blessed since that moment. (Chris)
  • To understand more fully the privilege and opportunity of being a full-time representative of the Lord. While it is great to have fun, missions are a time to put away some of the childish things. To look for things to love about my companion over shortcomings. (Marc)
  • Scripture mastery is key. (Connor)
  • I wish that I knew that it’s ok to let people talk to you for longer if it’s really what they need! (Ryan)
  • I wish I knew the gospel better. I wish I knew English better. (Justine)
  • To be patient! To trust in Heavenly Father more. (TeriDawn)
  • Learn more quickly how to use the companionship relationship for inspiration. And to relax more. I’m not talking about being lax in the rules. I’m simply talking about emotionally to enjoy the present moment. (Madeline)
  • Go to a thrift stores for skirts, dresses, and shirts because you can shop on the mission and you need a variety of clothes as you’ll hate them after a while. Not to mention, you’ll save money on things that need to last. (Emily)
  • Took planning more seriously. (Morgan)
  • More exchanges to get out of the apartment with my lazy companions. (Dan)

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

  • Just know you are meant to be in this mission, and no matter what happens, there or at home, you need to be out serving the Lord, and He will help you accomplish it! I am so grateful that I have served, it is literally the best decision I have made thus far in my life! (Larissa)
  • It’s the best mission in the world! You may not think so at first, but by the end you will know. (Stephen)
  • Just do it. (Sara)
  • Don’t compare your success to that of other missionaries or to the mission baptizing standards. (Yarezmi)
  • Give up your pride. Let yourself love. You are not as important as the work or the experience. Get over yourself. (Spencer)
  • It is so worth it. Hold strong. Be obedient. Love the Lord and your companion and the people. (Whitney)
  • Do not resists change. Give all ideas a chance even if you think they are stupid. Just realize things will work out. (Bradley)
  • Love the people, Love the gospel, and work hard. And I promise you will absolutely love your mission! It doesn’t matter what anybody else says, if you’re called to this mission, it’s because you need to be here and there’s someone you need to find. Do it, and it’ll all be worth it. (Javier)
  • Learn to let go of your presumptions about others, your doubts about the communities you become a part of, and your pride which compares you to your fellow missionaries. None of these things matter. The only thing that matters is your devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ and your willingness to show that devotion through diligence, charity and obedience. Don’t be disobedient. Don’t do stupid things. Instead, place yourself in the hands of the Lord and do His will. It goes far more smoothly that way. (Spencer)
  • Be real, be geniune, be yourself. The Lord sent you to the people of Pennsylvania because of who you are. Be humble and do your best to get along with your companions. Sometimes I think your companions are the ones you will have the biggest impact on, and who will have the biggest impact on you, for better or worse. Love is the key. Love everyone, serve everyone, and let the consequences follow. (Jason)
  • It’s wonderfully difficult but equally if not even more rewarding. It is the best decision I ever made and is something I reflect upon daily. You will never know more that the gospel is true than on your mission and never feel God’s love more than when you serve His children. I met people who had done horrific things and yet I felt immense love for them instead of the hatred and bitterness I would expect to feel. It’s amazing to be a missionary. Truly amazing. (Ashley)
  • It feels unnatural to type out a testimony, but I can give some advice to you young men and women. First, learn of Christ. Study his words and how he reacted in situations. How did he answer people’s questions? And then the hard part, you need to emulate that as much as you can. You can try to help your companion get there too, but there will be times when he/she will simply refuse, and you must respect their agency. Don’t be afraid, but have faith. Don’t be afraid to serve in a way you’ve never served before; don’t be afraid to speak for Christ, don’t act in a way that you’ll regret forever. We were knocking in a Jewish area of Pittsburgh (Squirrel Hill), and an old Jewish man was chasing us and hitting us with his walking stick so we’d leave the neighborhood. We refused, since we did not want to look back at those houses and think “what if…?” We showed that man our religious conviction was stronger than his, and he eventually came to respect that. Be better than who you are now, this is a time when you can leave all your baggage at home and start fresh with completely new people. No one knows who you are, and so you can act without any preconceived notions–be the person you want to be. Lastly, pray for your mission president, even if you don’t know his name. That way, when you get off the plane, you can hug him and tell him that you’ve already been praying for him for a month. You will learn a lot from him, respect him and love him. (Chris)
  • The letter of the Law is important, but remember that the spirit of the Law is when the Lord gets involved. (Becky)
  • Serving a mission is kind of like a tithing of our time. It is a sweet opportunity to reflect thanks to God for His abundant blessings in our lives. Believe in His ability to work miracles through us as we are obedient and serve in righteousness. Lock the obedience in so that blessings that are beyond may be ours and for those we serve. (Marc)
  • You will have some really difficult times as a missionary, you will always be tired but at the end of each day, the Lord will help you through it all and it will always be worth it. Remember why you left to go on a mission, and keep that reason in mind all the way until you leave to go home from a faithful full-time service. (Connor)
  • The Book of Mormon is true! Also, members are your best resource for finding new people to teach. (Ryan)
  • Take mission preparation seriously. Full-time Missionary Work is serious business. Give your 100%. But you have to be patient with yourself. Do not be too hard on yourself. Set attainable expectations. Love your companions. Always strive to have the Spirit. The Spirit makes everything easier in the mission. (Justine)
  • Just always remember you are there for the Lord and that even sometimes you will have to be the example and strength for your companion (TeriDawn)
  • If you are ever having a difficult time with anything, don’t be afraid to talk to the Mission President and go to the Lord for help and guidance. I wish I had gone to my Mission President more in my times of need. He may be busy often, but he’s the Mission President for you and his job is to help you succeed. And “Two people can do anything as long as one of them is God.” So if you go to Lord you can do anything you need to do. (Emily)
  • Do come with a sincere heart and be ready to help and learn, it is the best experience ever. (Morgan)
  • The Church is true. We love the Lord. This is the least we can do. (Dan)
  • Live your life honorably, and go and serve faithfully. (Jeremy)

What is a funny language mistake that you or another missionary made (if applicable)?

  • I’m Mexican, but grew up in Texas, so I was already fluent in both English and Spanish at the beginning of my mission. Well I was so freaked out and kinda in shock my first day in the field because of the culture change, that I pretended to not speak English at all. I even fooled my trainer! He found out the next day, lol. (Javier)
  • My companion and I spoke English so there weren’t any real slip ups but sometimes we would talk in English accents for fun and one time my companion answered a door in an English accent. The person who answered it asked if she was from England and she just froze. It was funny. (Ashley)
  • People will make fun of your accent, but don’t make the mistake of making fun of theirs. (Chris)
  • Everyone has “sugar”. In layman terms that means diabetes. There is actually a ton of cases of MS with really young people. And I met two hermaphrodites, which is another word you don’t use too often. (Becky)
  • I thought that “Yinz” was someones last name. You will find out that Yinz is not the last name of an Asian family, it means “You guys” or “you individuals.” (Connor)
  • One sister who was trying to speak Mandarin to a Chinese person in a lesson said, “I am the prophet” instead of, “I know there is a prophet.” (Emily)