January 7, 2015

Texas Houston Mission

Free resources about the Texas Houston 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: Texas LDS Missions.

Texas Houston Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the Houston 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.

Texas Houston Mission
16623 Hafer Rd.
Houston, TX 77090

Phone Number: 1-281-440-6770
Mission President: President Mark A. Mortensen

Texas Houston Mission Map

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

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

Videos with Houston RMs

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

mission interview

LDS-Friendly Videos about Texas

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

LDS Church  places  history  food  nature  language  Traditions  time lapses  Major Cities

Texas Houston Missionary Blogs

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

Houston Mission texashoustonmission.blogspot.com 2017
Sister Marisa Teasdale mymission.com/sistermarisateasdale 2017
Elder Mark Vickers vickerm.blogspot.com 2017
Sister Carolyn Bettridge hermanabettridge.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Connor Cammack eldercammack.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Brooks Taylor elderbrookstaylor.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Harrison Stringham elderstringham.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Joshua Barrus elderjoshbarrus.blogspot.com 2017
Sister Taylor Pinster sistertaylorpinster.blogspot.com 2017
Elder Tristin Tidwell eldertristintidwell.blogspot.com 2017
Mission Alumni mission.net/texas/houston 2016
Elder Cameron Schloer mymission.com/eldercameronschloer 2016
Elder Michael Bassett eldermsbassett.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Taylor Heiner taylorheiner.com 2016
Elder & Sister Nelson davidandbetty.wordpress.com 2016
Sister Hailee Christensen oneradhoustonhermana.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Tiffany Parslow hermanaparslow.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Matthew Roberts elderrobertstxhouston.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Nicholas Atkinson eldernicholasatkinson.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Toni Lowry tonimission.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Brock DeLuca elderbrockdeluca.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Jazmyn Jeppson heartinhouston.wordpress.com 2015
Sister Annie Hoj hermanahoj.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Miranda Andreason mirandainhouston.blogspot.com 2015
Edler CJ Roberts eldercjroberts.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Joshua Christensen elderjvchristensen.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Taylor Petersen missionsite.net/eldertaylorpetersen 2015
Sister Kynsie Rife hermanakrifegoestotexas.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Macall Bowden macallsmission.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Weston Leavitt elder-leavitt.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Liahona Tofa sisterliahonatofa.blogspot.com 2014
Elder & Sister Jenkins ryanandjanell.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Sara Huber sisterhubertakeshouston.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Alivia Burnham hermanaburnham.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Elizabeth Koch hermanakoch.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Hannah Bonner hannahinhouston.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Mackynzie Parry hermanamackynzieparry.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Colton Barney eldercoltonbarney.blogspot.com 2013
Elder Dallon Fondren missionsite.net/dallonfondren 2013
Elder Ryan Bell elder-ryan-bell.blogspot.com 2013
Elder Braxton Ward missionsite.net/braxtonward 2013
Elder Wesley Valdez missionsite.net/elderwesleyvaldez 2013
Sister Sidney Elliott missionsite.net/sidneyelliott 2013
Elder Jordan Hughes elderjordanbrockhughes.blogspot.com 2012
Elder Brian Schofield brianschofield.blogspot.com 2012
Elder Jordan Thorpe missionsite.net/elderjordanthorpe 2012
Sister Kimberly Phillips missionsite.net/sisterkimberlyphillips 2012
Elder & Sister Stringfellow stringfellowmission.blogspot.com 2011
Elder & Sister Walker slinhouston.blogspot.com 2011
Sister Alaina Mills hermanamills.blogspot.com 2011
Elder Patrick Smith missionsite.net/elderpatricksmith 2011
Elder Daniel Sleet missionsite.net/elderdanielsleet 2011
Sister Madison Taets madisoninthemission.blogspot.com 2011

Texas Houston Mission Groups

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

  1. Texas Houston Mission Facebook Group (693 members)
  2. Houston Mission President Travis Steward Group (348 members)
  3. Texas Houston Mission 2011-2014 Group (273 members)
  4. Houston Mission Missionaries Facebook Group (209 members)
  5. Houston Mission Presidents Watkins, Findlay Group (157 members)
  6. Houston Mission President Myres 1984-87 Group (114 members)
  7. Texas Houston Mission Google Plus Community (80 members)
  8. Houston Mission Group Facebook Group (73 members)
  9. San Antonio & Houston Mission Moms (LDS) Group (51 members)
  10. Houston Mission President Mayfield 1999-03 Group (16 members)
  11. Texas Houston Mission – President Merrill Group (1 member)

Texas Houston Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the Texas Houston Mission!

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

*Click here to browse Houston Mission gifts

texas-houston-mission-shirt-1 texas-houston-mission-shirt-2 texas-houston-mission-shirt-3 texas-houston-mission-shirt-4

Texas Houston Mission Presidents

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

  1. 2017-2020, Jordan P. Peterson
  2. 2014-2017, Mark Alan Mortensen
  3. 2011-2014, John C. Pingree
  4. 2008-2011, Todd B. Hansen
  5. 2005-2008, Travis L. Steward (Listen to an interview with the Stewards)
  6. 2002-2005, Maynard R. Olsen
  7. 1999-2002, James B. Mayfield
  8. 1996-1999, Bruce F. Sorensen
  9. 1993-1996, Eugene H. Findlay
  10. 1990-1993, Vernon B. Watkins
  11. 1987-1990, Clark T. Thorstenson
  12. 1984-1987, D. Keith Myres
  13. 1982-1984, John R. Maestes
  14. 1979-1982, Kay H. Clifford
  15. 1976-1979, George L. Merrill

Texas LDS Statistics (2015)

  • Church Membership: 334,772
  • Missions: 8
  • Temples: 4
  • Congregations: 635
  • Family History Centers: 11

Helpful Articles about Texas

Coming soon..

Texas Houston Missionary Survey

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

When did you serve?

  • 2013-2014 (Melinda)
  • 1999-2001 (Kevin)
  • 2013-2014 (Teari-Keato)
  • 2010-2012 (Jared)
  • 1991-1992 (Marilee)
  • 2015-2016 (Jessica)
  • 1993-1995 (Heather)
  • 1992-1994 (Marc)
  • 2010-2012 (Andrew)
  • 2013-2014 (Sade)
  • 2010-2012 (Cory)
  • 2009-2011 (Benjamin)
  • 2009-2011 (Jenny)
  • 2009-2011 (Ryan)
  • 1995-1996 (Lainie)

What areas did you serve in?

  • The Woodlands, Magnolia, Bear Canyon, Montrose. (Marilee)
  • Katy North Katy. (Jessica)
  • Woodlands, Conroe, Wheatstone, Galleria, office area (can’t remember the name). (Heather)
  • Sugarland, Spring. Houston. (Marc)
  • Fallbrook Deaf branch, Traditions ward(College station), Brenham, Parkway. (Andrew)
  • Crosstimbers, College Station, Navasota, Louetta, & Spring. (Jenny)
  • Tomball, College Station, Bryan, Sealy, Houston, Magnolia, Katy, and tons of little ones. (Ryan)
  • Melbourne, Corporate, outer areas of Houston. (Lainie)

What were some favorite foods?

  • Brisket, Real Mexican food, Deep-fried Turkey .(Melinda)
  • Posole, barbacoa and pupusas. (Kevin)
  • Frog legs, brisket (anything BBQ), roadkill (surprises members like to make) and gator tail. (Teari-Keato)
  • BQ (burgers, brisket, ribs, etc.) also Gumbo any kind of Gumbo. (Jared)
  • Bluebell ice cream. Texas BbQ. (Marilee)
  • Steak, tacos, brisket. (Jessica)
  • Bluebell ice cream was my favorite. (Heather)
  • Brisket. (Marc)
  • Brisket, kolaches, anything smoked for more than 4 hours. (Andrew)
  • Smoked pork/chicken/beef, Anything from Rudy’s BBQ, Banana Pudding, Pecan Pie, and anything homemade.  (Sade)
  • Texas is full of many amazing food. But if I had to pick a top 3 I had I’ll say. Pupusas, Monte Cristo sandwich, and BBQ because I can never say no to any kind/form of BBQ. (Cory)
  • Pupusas, mole verde, tacos. (Benjamin)
  • Pupusas – I served Spanish speaking. (Jenny)
  • Tacos, pupusas, barbecue, flautas, and tortas. (Ryan)
  • Carne asada, refried beans, arroz con leche, tres leches, chocolate mexicana. (Lainie)

What was a funny experience?

  • One funny experience on my mission was we were helping these potential investigators with their garage sale and they were desperate, so we offered to take some things home to unload some stuff for them. We were helping out so much we didn’t notice that one of the women was secretly shoving random stuff into our open trunk. We got home and realized we had 10 Barbie’s, a lawn chair, and a BUNCH of board games along with scented candles. Me and my companion laughed about that for a long time as we sorted through the stuff and gave most of it to Goodwill. (Melinda)
  • Chasing dogs on our bikes that tried attacking us before hand. (Kevin)
  • A time my companion and I were eating at a Golden Investigator’s house and right as we were saying grace a cockroach shot out of the mashed taters. My companion and I caught it right before we said our Amen’s and later while we were eating another cockroach ran across my companions plate and she let out a gasp and tried brushing it off and while that happened the investigator started to laugh and said it happens all the time and she wasn’t offended if we squished them. Needless to say when we went to put our dishes in the sink all you could hear were the tiny potter patters of the cockroaches feet on the countertop. Let’s just say we went home early from stomach problems that night. (Teari-Keato)
  • This one time we were tracking and this one person came up to us and said “do you believe in Jesus Christ” of course we said yes. Every time we tried to say a word he would say “praise Jesus” in a very loud way. its funny because every time he would say that he would just pause and we would be standing there for at least 1 min. then he would go on like this a at least 15 mins. (Jared)
  • Our district leader called to check on us one night we had gone to bed and had had a long exhausting day. We were so asleep, we did not hear the phone so he came over to our apartment to check on us and we did not hear him knock so he called the Mission President and they got the Mission President and police involved . We were embarrassed and got a huge laugh about it later. (Marilee)
  • Knocking on a pastor’s door and he went off talking for 45 minutes. (Jessica)
  • Taking Elder Tupo’s Thanksgiving turkey out of his refrigerator. (Marc)
  • Saw a deer trying to run on concrete and going nowhere with its hooves slipping around. (Andrew)
  • Long story short I got my bike stuck in mud. But I got it stuck during a very very long drought Texas was having at the time. (Cory)
  • The cat that was stuck up in the telephone line all night and when it fell, missing a giant tarp. (Benjamin)
  • Doorstep approaches as a new missionary and trying to remember my training at the MTC and totally drawing a blank so turning to my trainer and saying “Nevermind you go!” haha I bet that person was sooo confused! (Jenny)
  • I was biking down the sidewalk when my handlebar clipped a trash can. That was pretty funny but a few seconds later, I look back and watch as my companion does the exact same thing and falls to the ground. Learn from your companion’s mistakes, team. (Ryan)
  • Breaking in to the elders apartment and messing with their stuff, putting an open can of tuna in the heater vent, writing on their mirror with shaving cream… they obviously weren’t there! (Lainie)

What was a crazy/dangerous experience?

  • One crazy experience that we had was we were coming back from Preparation Day at the church and heading to a dinner at a member’s home. It started to rain. In Houston each rain drop is like a bucket of water. But we weren’t that worried. Pretty soon though it started to REALLY rain and then pour! The gutters overflowed and the road and streets were flooded in a matter of minutes. My companion who wasn’t that comfortable with driving was very nervous. We even floated down the street for a minute. But with God’s help even though it was seriously flooding we made it to our dinner unharmed, just very wet. (Melinda)
  • A car pulling out in front of me while on bike and I hit it and full force making me fly over it. (Kevin)
  • I had to run a big guy over with our truck in one of my areas to save my companion and myself. (Teari-Keato)
  • Knocking on doors one day in the ghetto and we decided to skip a door and went to the backside of the building. The next person that knocked on the door after we skipped it was shot dead. (Teari-Keato)
  • Tracting in apartment buildings walking by big black guys doing drug deals. (Marilee)
  • A Rottweiler chased us. (Jessica)
  • We had a set of elders get kidnapped near our area. Those same elders were then caught in their appartment with a shoot out in the parking lot. Living by those elders was an adventure I’d say. (Heather)
  • Riding my bike past a 6′ alligator in a park. (Marc)
  • Anytime driving downtown Houston, teaching in Melbourne and the projects, walked in on numerous drug deals. (Andrew)
  • Using the KOA showers when our was being worked on. (Sade)
  • Serving in Green’s Point aka “Gun’s Point” everyday was crazy/dangerous/weird experience. (Cory)
  • Biking down Gessner St. (Benjamin)
  • The time when the dog chased after me as I jumped in the car just in time! (Jenny)
  • We were knocking in a complex when we walked through a parking lot. We heard some yelling and looked over to see a woman, screaming and yelling, running out of an apartment just 30 feet from us. She was carrying a sledgehammer that she then swung at a car. She broke every window, yelling after every swing until some other people walked out trying to stop her. Some more yelling occurred before he biked away before it got any more gnarly. (Ryan)
  • The Latinos are very affectionate people. A few times a man shook my hand and pulled me in to kiss me on the cheek. I was also proposed to, ring and all. I wrote him on my mission planner, explaining that I couldn’t marry him because I was a missionary! (Lainie)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • A very spiritual experience of my mission was we were teaching this investigator who was a pretty strong Baptist. We had prayed and fasted to set a baptismal date with him. When the lesson was over and it came to our testimonies, we decided all to share (we were in a Trio at the time). I all of sudden felt the Spirit so strong that I just started talking about how as a representative, I knew God wanted him to be baptized and that this was the right path for his family and that he knew it. There was silence after and he just stared at the floor nodding. Before he could say anything though there was a disruption and he snapped out of it and said he needed more time. Even though it didn’t have the end result that we were hoping for it was still one of the greatest spiritual experiences I had on my mission. (Melinda)
  • Being at the Houston temple open house with an investigator and seeing him testify of the truthfulness of the gospel to some anti-Mormons. (Kevin)
  • Happened after my mission. My companion and I would visit with this member all the time and have lunch with her. She would go to two wards and we thought everything was great with her. After that one companion and I came home she told us that through our efforts of visiting her when she’d come from the country to the city she felt loved and wanted to go through the temple for her own Endowment. We didn’t know she wasn’t endowed. A year later she came up to Utah where my companion and I had the opportunity to take her through and seal her to her parents. The most spiritual experience in my entire life! (Teari-Keato)
  • One day we had faith that we would find someone who was looking for the gospel. We knocked on the door of a single mom who had just moved in and was looking through the phone book for a church when we knocked on her door. When we told her who we were and why we were there, she started to cry and said “I prayed you would come and here you are!” (Marilee)
  • Handing out a Book of Mormon to a mother who really needed it. (Jessica)
  • One time, I was at a red light, when it turned green the Spirit told me to be calm and not go yet. My companions asked me to go just as a jeep came speeding through the intersection. We were unharmed thanks to the Spirit telling me to sit still (I never sit still). (Heather)
  • Baptizing converts. (Marc)
  • My companion and I decided to go visit a lady who had told the missionaries to never come back only 6 weeks before. We felt inspired to, when we knocked she was excited to see us and ready to learn. Baptized 8 weeks later. (Andrew)
  • Well one day my companions and I (3 of us total) made plans for after a dinner with a member family. After dinner all of our plans and back up plans fell through. So we said a prayer asking where we should go and what we should do. So we went to this very shady apartment complex and one of my companions had the impression to knock only on the outside of this one section of the complex. So my senior companion knocked the doors on the ground level while me and our other companion (very new to the mission) knocked the 2nd level doors. We knocked and knocked and knocked with no luck. My companion knocked at one door and it was 7-8pm at night and this guy answered the door and total chewed us out for knocking late and slammed the door in our face. The next door we were suppose to knock on was pitch black so my companion opt to skip it and I was okay with it until I had a strong feeling to knock on it so I did and I saw the lights turn on and braced for the worst to only have a man answer with the biggest smile saying “Elders please come in” turns out this man was a member and was baptized in Mississippi then he moved to Texas where he hadn’t be to church in many many years. Just one of many amazing experiences. (Cory)
  • The whole mission!!! By slowing down and saying the First Vision with passion and giving it the reality that it is brought the Spirit like no other! (Jenny)
  • We were teaching a young woman who originally wanted us to go away after she told us she wasn’t interested because “there are too many churches out there and how can I know which one is right?” We taught about the restoration and the story of Joseph Smith to which she almost shouted: “Hey! I’m kinda like Joseph Smith!” His experience is a relatable one. (Ryan)
  • SOOOO many to list. Knocking a street, pleading with Heavenly Father to find someone who was ready to hear our message. We taught a sweet lady with her 2 children and tried to teach her husband but he liked his women and cerveza way too much. She got baptized! She’s a super great mom! (Lainie)

What are some interesting facts about the Houston Mission?

  • It is in the Bible Belt, so you meet a lot of people who are very into their religion- mostly Baptist and Catholic. Also, people are really friendly in Houston. They are the kind of people that will say “hi” to you on the street, even if they don’t know you. (Melinda)
  • I was one of six sister missionaries that came out into a mission that only had 12 other sisters in the mission before the “big wave”. My mission went from going to 18 sister missionaries to going to every companionship being a trio. That was a huge shock. My mission was the original Texas, Houston mission before it was branched off with the other Houston missions. We had Chuck Norris in one of my areas! When you’d go visit him he always give you bottled water before he’d send you off. Texas A&M was an awesome area to do missionary service. (Teari-Keato)
  • I taught people from 21 different countries. Houston is a melting pot coastal town of cultures. So great and beautiful. The most loving people you will ever meet. (Marilee)
  • We use tiwi. (Jessica)
  • It’s the Bible Belt so be ready. (Heather)
  • It had three downtowns: (1) industrial (2) business (3) medical. It was one of three missions that medical missionaries are sent to. (Marc)
  • The Blue Bell Ice Cream factory is in it as well as Texas A&M and the Houston Temple. (Andrew)
  • Number one finding Houston Mission during my time of service. It can get so hot outside, the road can and will burn holes in your tires. We have our own original personalized mission song. The Peanut Butter Factory on Hafer Road supplies peanut butter to all Bishop Storehouses and the Houston Food Bank.  (Sade)
  • H-Town nuff said. Oh and the biggest church in the Country was in Houston good Ole Joel Olsteen was the pastor. (Cory)
  • It’s the BEST mission everrr!!! 😉 Ok so besides that, you can go through cultural shocks every time you are transfered. I went from SUPER ghetto to college town one transfer and that was soooo weird!!! (Jenny)
  • There is city and tons of open fields. Um… Look out for dogs and cicadas. (Ryan)
  • It is a melting pot for cultures and people from all over the world. Everything is truly bigger in Texas, even the sky! (Lainie)

What was the weather like?

  • VERY humid. In the summer it is like breathing in a sauna all the time. But in the winter, cold usually only lasts for about a month and it is really cold because of the humidity. (Melinda)
  • Very hot and humid, rainy and cold. (Kevin)
  • As the people of Texas say, “hotter than Hell.” Aka Hot and humid 10 months out of the year! (Teari-Keato)
  • Some times rainy but most the time its way way hot and way way humid. (Jared)
  • Hot in the summer and very humid. The winter months were not cold temperature wise but due to humidity if felt colder. (Marilee)
  • Hot hot hot. (Jessica)
  • Hotter than Heck. Humid beyond belief. (Heather)
  • Usually very hot and humid. It sleeted once. No snow. (Marc)
  • Hot, super humid and hot. (Andrew)
  • I arrived in April and it was wonderful! Warm and sunny, only a little humid. as June came to a close the days began and ended sticky with humidity. November-January was bone-chilling cold. No snow, just frigid. (Sade)
  • Hot, Hotter, Hottest. (Cory)
  • Humid and hot. (Benjamin)
  • Humid! Loved it sooo much! Warm throughout the year and HOT in the summer! (Jenny)
  • Hot and humid. Then suddenly stormy. And freezing in the winter. (Ryan)
  • HUMID! And then huuuuge downpour. Freezing cold in the winter. Chilled us to the bones! (Lainie)

Any things you really like about the area/people?

  • People were nice. Even those who were not Mormon, were still strong in their religion and had a strong faith in God, which was amazing. I loved how much people there were committed to God and living their lives the best way they knew how. (Melinda)
  • Very friendly people, great food, lots of nature. (Kevin)
  • Southern hospitality was at its finest. Water and cake would be served at most doors and on a good day you would be greeted with a “Howdy” and a shot gun. Don’t sweat it, it’s just a Southern thing…it’s when they run after you is when you should be worried. (Teari-Keato)
  • Everyone was very very nice and I love the food choices in every area, because they were so different. (Jared)
  • Southern hospitality, people were very kind and welcoming . I loved the different cultures . BBQ cook offs. Bluebell Ice Cream. Proud state. Love football and fun traditions. (Marilee)
  • Very down to earth people. (Jessica)
  • They were always so nice. The Spanish people would invite you in to eat anytime too. (Heather)
  • Great food and usually friendly. (Marc)
  • Lots of southern hospitality in the outer reaches of the mission, lots of humility on the inner areas, lots of open conversation about God everywhere. (Andrew)
  • I loved everything about them and I am forever in their debt. (Cory)
  • The coolest thing about serving Spanish speaking in this mission is that you meet a ton of people from a ton of different countries! Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama, Honduras, just to name a few of where people were from of who we taught. (Jenny)
  • It’s so diverse and almost everyone is incredibly humble and kind. And the food is amazing. (Ryan)
  • Speaking Spanish and meeting so many people from different countries! (Lainie)

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • Don’t bring a big coat. Your not going to need it, I used a raincoat my entire mission and it worked fine. Raincoats are essential there and at least one pair of waterproof shoes. Also buy winter gloves- your going to want them when winter comes. (Melinda)
  • Out of all the clothes they “required” I only really wore less than half of what I took out with me. The majority of the boxes I sent home at the end were full of things i aquired on the mission from members. (Total of 7 boxes. 2/7 were my clothes I took out and the rest I left in the mission) (Teari-Keato)
  • Learn to roll your clothes so you can save a lot of room in your suitcase. (Jared)
  • Due to humidity, cotton fabrics and breathable fabric. Good rain coat not too heavy or warm . Good umbrella. Skin So Soft for insect repellent, there are a lot of bugs. (Marilee)
  • Pack light garments. (Jessica)
  • Dress lightly. (Heather)
  • Mostly short sleeve white shirts, only need one long sleeve white shirt. One missionary trench coat with a liner for winter. (Marc)
  • Thin shirts, thin pants, thin socks breathability is key. (Andrew)
  • Never mastered this area. Lived out of my suit case mostly. (Cory)
  • Follow guidelines 😉 No need for a winter coat, which is super nice!  (Jenny)
  • Pack light, you’ll pick up stuff on your missions. No silk ties, they’ll bleed. And only pack a few, you’ll find a thousand. And prepare to sweat, so light, white shirts. (Ryan)
  • Bring thermals for super cold weather and dry fit shirts for humid weather. (Lainie)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • The blessings I received from serving a mission were the joy of being a missionary, talking to people about the Gospel and having those spiritual experiences strengthen my testimony of the Gospel. Also, most of my companions became my best friends- we shared a lot of laughs and amazing experiences that made us stronger as a companionship. I really believe that was a true blessing. (Melinda)
  • Knowledge, came to truly know Jesus Christ and saw how the gospel changes lives and got the chance to be a part of it as instruments in the Lord’s hands. (Kevin)
  • I always knew from day one I’d be a seed planter on my mission. So, I only had one baptism on my mission, but after I left and came home I noticed all the good changes from the efforts I thought went unnoticed in the mission. Numbers aren’t everything and the miracles keep happening long after you’re gone. (Teari-Keato)
  • Eternal happiness and more understanding of what God blessed me with. (Jared)
  • Deep testimony of the gospel. Love the people. More confidence in my ability to listen and follow the Spirit. (Marilee)
  • A stronger testimony. (Jessica)
  • For a short while, I had patience 🙂 I gained a self-confidence I never had. (Heather)
  • A better perspective of people and learning about a more diverse group of people. (Marc)
  • Everything, absolutely everything has been influenced by my mission. I know my Savior better, I love the gospel and my life more. (Andrew)
  • Stronger testimony of the gospel and church. A deep appreciation for those who serve not only for this church but for other churches and organizations. Life long friends. Family being safe and sound while I was gone. And many more that I am unaware of or didn’t see or failed to see. (Cory)
  • SOOOO Many!! My mission changed my perspective on most things that are important! For example, I changed my mind about my boyfriend I left (and who was available when I got home) and totally dodged a bullet! ::whew:: I also changed my major at school to do something more involving people. I learned the Gospel! I came to a greater understanding of how to apply the Atonement in my life! My relationship with the Godhead increased. Life is just SO much better because I served a mission! (Jenny)
  • I learned to recognize the Spirit’s influence in my life while meeting tons of people, improving my testimony, and learning Spanish. (Ryan)
  • I can’t think of anything in my life right now that hasn’t been affected by my mission in one way or another. I use the skills I learned on my mission every single day. They help me be a better wife, mother, student, friend, daughter, servant…Absolutely NO regrets. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but one of the most life changing for sure! (Lainie)

What are some skills you gained?

  • Skills I gained on my mission were talking to people that I don’t know, I used to be really bad at that. Also, I became more spiritual and more appreciative of the Gospel than I ever was. (Melinda)
  • Learned how to cook southern food and how to fry a turkey. I don’t know where I’ll use it because I don’t like that kind of food (Polynesian all the way), but yeah…that was cool. Learned how to wake up better in the morning. (Teari-Keato)
  • The act of forgiveness on others and true Christ like love. (Jared)
  • Confidence in talking to people . Listening skills . Patience faith . Ability to see people for how they could be more than who they are now. (Marilee)
  • Talking with people. (Jessica)
  • I learned some Spanish. Squishing cockroaches. (Heather)
  • Talking with people and making the first approach. (Marc)
  • Learned ASL. How to bike properly and navigate a big city. How to talk to people about absolutely everything and how to drop everything and help someone out. (Andrew)
  • How to bike in the summer in church clothes….. Never Again… (Cory)
  • Teaching the Gospel. Learning how to serve and to be reliable. Learned how to accept callings and how important they are. Overall learned how to be an instrument, servant, and asset in the kingdom of Heaven. Big big thing I learned is how to LOVE every single person and see them in God’s eyes. (Jenny)
  • Besides Spanish, I learned how to lead, sympathize, and go out of my comfort zone to do good things and improve. (Ryan)
  • How to teach, how to speak a different language, how to learn a language, how to recognize the Spirit, how to help others recognize the Spirit, how to study the gospel, how to live with people I didn’t necessarily like! ;0) SO many things to list, not enough space! (Lainie)

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

  • I wish I knew how much time flies on the mission. How many experiences and memories I was going to have. I also wish I knew how much fun I was going to have, as well as how I would work harder than I ever have. I had a lot of laughs and for that I am grateful. I wish I knew that in the beginning. Keep a detailed journal! These are journal entries that you will look back on years later. Always write in your journal at the end of the night on your mission. Also photos- take a lot of photos! Because photos are the things you are going to want when you get home and out of those areas. (Melinda)
  • I wished I would’ve known about Mission Prep. That stuff saves lives. I was so lost in the MTC and beginning of the mission. (Teari-Keato)
  • Read my scriptures more. (Jared)
  • Not to be nervous of afraid to speak what I know is true with confidence. Talk to everyone. (Merilee)
  • How to prepare. (Jessica)
  • I wish I had read Leadership and Self Deception but the book was not published yet.  (Marc)
  • Been more patient, with myself and with my trainer. I wish I recognized that everyone needs help not just the new guys. (Andrew)
  • How much I needed to Atonement every single day. How to more fully access and become enabled. (Sade)
  • To be myself. I was called there the mission call was in MY name not another’s so trying to act like a “robot” people saw that and wouldn’t give me the time of day. (Cory)
  • I think getting endowed earlier and serve in the temple would have been awesome! I literally got endowed 11 days before I entered the MTC. (Jenny)
  • This is the same as the next question but I can add that if something is wrong in the companionship, it’s probably you’re fault. So change your attitude and behavior, don’t sit there and blame the other person. And always offer to give blessings. The Savior and his apostles went door to door asking if there are any sick and afflicted, if you can’t offer a lesson, offer a blessing. Use the Priesthood as much as possible. It will strengthen you and leave a good impression on anyone you visit. If they can feel the Spirit even remotely, maybe someday someone else will come along and they’ll be better prepared for that person. Plant those seeds. (Ryan)
  • I wish I’d known the scriptures better. I had to really study hard to learn them at the MTC and during the first few months of my mission. I also wish I’d paid more attention in my High School Spanish class! And retained the language better. (Lainie)

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

  • Don’t worry! Everything is going to be fine! If you really put forth effort and pray to God for help, you will have an amazing mission. You will look back on the mission as one of the best choices you have ever made. Laugh a lot and have funny experiences, as well as spiritual experiences. Those are the times when I loved my mission the most and those are the memories I carry with me forever. (Melinda)
  • When you forget about yourself and lose yourself in the Lord’s errand you’re very successful in the work you do for others. Jesus Christ is always beside you, there is no greater joy than the joy you experience when in the service of the Lord. (Kevin)
  • Make copies of your Patriarchal Blessing and go over it once a week and see all the blessings come to bloom while you’re spiritually in tune. It’s amazing. Don’t doubt your mission President, some things my mission president did never made sense to me and I’d question his authority some times, but he was understanding and loving despite my bull headed ways until the miracle of the area happened and you just knew his decision was right was when I knew I was in the wrong. He is in constant communication with Heavenly Father and knows what’s best for not just you, but your area. You will come in contact with good and less obedient missionaries, just know who you are and what you stand for. There are people that are constantly trying to make you “push the boundaries” but keep on keeping on. Remember who you represent every day you leave your apartment. Constantly read your name tag and remember you’re sacrificing a certain amount of your life away from your family so others can be with theirs for eternity. Which is the best gift you could probably ever give anyone. Know your purpose as a missionary and understand what it means to be a missionary. You’ll learn to love your service even more. (Teari-Keato)
  • Read your scriptures more and stay away from TV for at least 1 year, because it always pays to be ready for the missionary life. (Jared)
  • They will tell you you are going to Hell and are a member of a cult. They have a church etc. Be persistent…don’t give up on people. They will feel the Spirit stronger than they have ever felt in their own church. Just look them in the eye and bare simple, pure testimony. Do not allow them to get you to Bible bash! (Marilee)
  • Do your very best and it will get better. (Jessica)
  • I hope you like hot and humid. (Heather)
  • They will know the Bible better than you for the most part. Know how the gospel has blessed your life and bare testimony about that. (Marc)
  • You’ll love it, go into it with the best attitude and you’ll get more out of it. You aren’t a victim, you control your mission. (Andrew)
  • Pray for forgiveness and mercy everyday. I know the Atonement is real, because I began to apply this small, but oh so necessary portion often. Listening and acting after I chose to be humble enough to admit I was wrong, or needed help allowed me to grow. I was a witness as answers came form the Spirit in the hearts and minds of those around me as well as myself. I became closer to the Spirit of the Lord and felt His love and sorrow for His children more then I had ever in my life. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is real. I love my Redeemer and I know that the words. (Sade)
  • Be yourself while coming closer to the Lord. Also live what you preach. If you preach that the B.O.M is from the Lord you better have read it same goes for the Bible. In this church the bible I feel gets over looked quite a bit and I am not pinning that on the church. There is a reason the bible is a part of our scripture cannon. (Cory)
  • You guys! Seriously, it is the BEST!! I have to say that the hardest thing about the mission was leaving it. One of the biggest things to consider is that Heavenly Father could send you ANYWHERE to ANY Mission President and can pair you with ANY companion and you can teach/serve ANY investigator. The thing about this whole thing is that God places you in a specific place with specific people to teach you specific things that will help YOU personally grow and become all that you are capable of becoming. He knows YOU better than you know yourself. Don’t forget about that while you are on your mission and things get hard; it will all work together for your good. Remember: Faith + Obedience = Miracles!!!!!!!!!! (Jenny)
  • Just do it. If you have a prompting, just do it. Do as much as you can. You’ll never regret giving 100%. You don’t pay tithing as a missionary. Obedience is your tithing. And 100% obedience is all you can do. (Ryan)
  • GO! Just go! I wish that EVERY single member of the church had this experience. I am ecstatic that more girls are serving! Read the Book of Mormon a couple times before you leave. Gain your testimony and conviction BEFORE you come. To girls, “boys are trouble!” To boys, “girls are trouble!” ;0) (Lainie)

What was a funny language mistake?

  • Sometimes that southern drawl can be thick and fun to listen to…they have their own words even if you are English speaking y’all. (Marilee)
  • Teaching the law of chastity in Spanish, to someone not following that law. Yep, goofed that one up. (Heather)
  • One missionary mixed up the sign for baptism with the sign for dying. “We invite you to die” isn’t a good invitation for investigators. (Andrew)
  • Oh goodness, Spanish was sooo hard for me haha The. End. (Jenny)