For New Missionaries Called

Welcome to the greatest mission on earth! Oh boy are you going to love it here!

Preparing For Missionary Service:

As an ambassador of the Lord you will experience great joy and happiness as you invite others to come unto Christ. In preparation for your missionary service, it is important to anticipate the transition you will be making. You will be fully engaged in the life-changing work of bringing souls to Christ.  You will find that you must work harder than you ever worked before. The following are suggestions that will help you get ready for missionary life. As with all important work, you should expect to receive some opposition from the adversary as you prepare. Start now by living as closely as you can the life of a missionary prior to entering the MTC.

SPIRITUAL PREPARATION
  • Study the scriptures each day.
  • Study Preach My Gospel, chapters 1,2, and 3. Make notes in the margins of things the Spirit impresses upon your mind.
  • Follow the direction given in D&C 121:45-46, being charitable and letting “virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly.”  Then, your confidence “will wax strong in the presence of God” and the Holy Ghost will be your constant companion.
  • Talk to your Bishop about ALL of your concerns. Your own repentance will enable you to help others to come to Christ.
  • Memorize your missionary purpose, “To invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, and enduring to the end.” (Preach My Gospel p.1)
  • Memorize the Baptismal Commitment (Preach My Gospel p.37) and the First Vision starting at, “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head…”
PHYSICAL PREPARATION
  • Exercise for 30 minutes 5 days a week.
  • Get up at 6:30 am and go to bed by 10:30 pm
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eat fruits and vegetables and whole grains and ask for help in learning how to prepare inexpensive, healthy meal options for yourself.
  • Keep busy and productive.
  • Discuss with your parents or leaders what is involved in living in, maintaining, and cleaning an apartment.
  • Discuss budgeting principles.
  • Keep your driving record clean.
PSYCHOLOGICAL PREPARATION
  • Consider how you currently cope with stressful situations such as giving talks, disappointments,  meeting new people,  or not having much alone time.
  • You may be used to being alone, using social media, connecting with friends, watching TV, playing video games, etc. Those things will not be available to you while on your mission. You will want to discuss with your parents possible alternative stress management coping  within mission rules.  Some ideas are: exercise, breathing exercises to relax, meditating, reading, praying, writing, socializing.
  • Study your new language.
SOCIAL PREPARATION
  • Try to go on exchanges with local missionaries and watch how they interact with people.
  • Strive to overcome social inhibitions that would decrease your ability to serve. Initiate some social contacts, go to activities and introduce yourself. Begin conversations.
  • Attempt to heal relationships that have been strained.
  • Reduce the amount of time spent on the computer, movies, CDs, cell phones, video games, internet and other technology. Consider a week long media fast.

About the California Redlands Mission Area:


The Mission Home and the beautiful Redlands Temple are both located in Redlands, California – each about seven miles from the Mission Office in Highland. Redlands is about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.  After some divisions, the California Redlands Mission was started in 2013. The mission currently includes seven stakes; three to the east of Redlands and three to the west.  We also have seven zones: Fontana, Rialto, San Bernardino, Redlands, Yucaipa, Yucca Valley, and Palm Desert.  
ECONOMY
The region experienced significant economic and population growth through most of the latter half of the 20th century.  In the early 1990’s the loss of the region’s military bases and reduction of nearby defense industries due to the end of the Cold War lead to a local economic downturn. The region as a whole had partially recovered from this downturn by the start of the 21st century through the development of warehousing, shipping, logistics and retail industries.  However, these industries have been heavily affected by the global recession. There are humble, teachable people found throughout the region. There are areas of extreme wealth and prosperity and extreme poverty and loss. Truly we are finding the elect here, as we witness “the desert blossoming like the rose”  prophesied by Isaiah (Isaiah 35:1).

GEOGRAPHY
Elevations range from 11,499 ft (3,505 m) at the top of San Gorgonio Mountain to -220 feet at the Salton Sea. The San Bernardino mountains bound the Mission on the north and include LDS units in the charming resort communities of Lake Arrowhead, Crestline, and Running Springs. The desert regions also provide magnificent beauty with communities of Palm Springs, La Quinta, and Palm Desert where you can find world-class tennis and golf and may see the symbolic Joshua Tree.  
CLIMATE
The Inland Empire has beauty everywhere and though desert areas feel extreme heat in the summer, it is generally dry heat. Summer temperatures can reach over 110 degrees F.  You will want to have garments appropriate for hot temperatures, and short sleeved white shirts and blouses. The San Bernardino mountains experience some snowfall and mild summer temperatures.  In most of the mission the winter is mild. The climate is good for exercise; and it is light and sunny. This generally helps missionaries’ mental and physical health.  Hydration is also important and a quality BPA-free water bottle is a good purchase.

DEMOGRAPHY
Most of the Mission population borders Interstate Highways 15, 215, 10, and 210. There is no one main focus city. Total population in the Mission is around two million. There will be approximately 15,000 non-members per missionary companionship. There is great diversity in our mission and mission languages include English, Spanish, Samoan, and Tongan. We also have some areas with Chinese and Filipino influences. You will meet and work with people from all parts of the world.


Important Information:

BEDDING:
The mission will provide a set of bedding for each missionary consisting of a pillow, mattress pad, and comforter.  The church has asked that you provide a sheet set.  Please bring a TWIN sheet set of your choice (fitted sheet, top sheet, and pillowcase).  
BICYCLES:
At this time Sisters do not ride bicycles in our mission.
Elders do ride bikes at various times throughout the mission, and each missionary family should set aside enough funds to purchase a good quality bike with lights for night driving, helmet, and lock. You may send a bike from home or purchase a bike anywhere you would like. We have two local bike shops that have prepared packages  for LDS missionaries that include lock, helmet, lights, and maintenance in some cases. They will deliver the bikes to the mission office.
http://cycleryusa.com Oscar Flores 909-466-5444   
OR   
http://donsbikeshop.com/about 909-792-3399

Please have all bicycles being shipped or delivered  to the office the day you arrive in the mission field (If you need to know when that is contact the mission office.)  Missionaries must take their bikes with them into their first.  We don’t have storage space in the office to have them there sooner than a day or two ahead.
Used Bikes: Missionaries going home often want to sell their bikes. If that is of interest to you, you may email the mission office at 2011735@ldschurch.org and we will give you the information about bikes being sold from missionaries leaving. Keep in mind, however that these are used bikes.

The mission does not get involved in any warranty or theft-related issues. The purchase, repair, and/or replacement of bicycles are the responsibility of the missionary family and/or the supporting organization.  Missionary support funds are not intended or sufficient to cover these costs.
TEMPLE:
It is such a blessing that we have the beautiful CA Redlands Temple in our mission. At scheduled and approved times missionaries will be able to attend temple services.  You will not need to bring your own temple clothing.
DRESS & GROOMING:
The Church periodically updates their website regarding dress and grooming standards for full-time missionaries. Please check the website (https://www.lds.org/callings/missionary/dress-grooming) to learn what types of clothing are and are not appropriate to wear while representing the Church as a missionary. The California Redlands Mission follows all the guidelines for missionary clothing as outlined on the official Church website.
Please note: backpacks are no longer allowed for Elders or Sisters. According to the website, “if you need to carry additional items, you are encouraged to choose shoulder bags that are durable, professional and business-like.”
MUSIC:
Music is a wonderful way to feel the spirit and decompress on your mission. A player with NO radio, NO internet or NO screen is permitted IF you have a small speaker. No headphones are allowed as they isolate you from your companion.  IPods, Zunes, or anything similar are NOT allowed in the mission field.  The California Redlands mission follows the white Missionary Handbook guidelines exactly, p. 25-26.  “Listen only to music that is consistent with the sacred spirit of your calling.  Music should invite the Spirit, help you focus on the work, and direct your thoughts and feelings to the Savior. Do not listen to music that pulls your thoughts away from the work, merely entertains, has romantic lyrics or overtones, or dulls your spiritual sensitivity by its tempo, beat, loudness, lyrics or intensity. Listening to music must never interfere with your personal preparation or proselyting. If you have any questions about music, discuss them with your mission president.”
It is our hope that missionaries will learn skills to self-filter and make choices about entertainment that will help them maintain the Spirit while on their missions and after.  Both the missionary and his/her companion must feel good about the choice of music in order for it to be played.
Please keep in mind that radios, televisions, computers (including laptops), typewriters, commercial and/or electronic day planners, camcorders, cell phones, pagers, musical instruments, face cards, video games, etc. are NOT permitted in the mission field.
IPADS:
Our mission is blessed to use IPADS with learning and teaching resources as well as the Area Book Planner App.  It is extraordinary how effective these tools can be in missionary work. Of course, precautions are taken on every level. You will be trained with Safeguards for Using Technology during your first few weeks in the mission. If you choose to apply them, the principles and practices taught will help you to learn to use technology appropriately on your mission and throughout your life. You will receive your IPAD and training after your arrive in the mission field.


INSURANCE:
It is important that missionaries from the United States come into the field with proper medical insurance. Make sure you have a medical card and know how to access this coverage. Please send an insurance card or a copy of both sides of the policy-holder’s card to the mission office prior to your service. Pre-mission medical conditions are the responsibility of the family and are not covered by Missionary Medical.

Communication from Home:

LETTERS & PACKAGES

Here are some tips to help you receive mail quickly and efficiently. Please have all parents and friends send your mail (letters, packets and packages) to the mission office by United States Postal Service, either First Class or Priority to the mission office address below.  It will then be forwarded to the missionary at his/her appropriate address. Your address will change as often as every six weeks, so sending mail directly to where you currently reside may result in mail being returned to sender, or completely lost.  Please DO NOT have any mail sent directly to your assigned residence.  Also If you could, please do not write the office address really big, as it has to be crossed out in order to forward.

When you send mail to anyone while on your mission, use the mission office address as the return address. That way if there is a delivery problem, it will be returned to the office and we will contact you about the delivery failure.

Please ask your parents and friends to put both first and last names on the mail they send to you. We have many duplicate surnames in the mission and also first names. Elder Anderson may not get his mail if it does not say Elder James Anderson.

Mail sent via UPS, Fed Ex, or any other way than U.S. Postal Service, cannot be forwarded and must sit in the mission office until you can pick it up yourself (which is not always easy, especially for those on a bike) or until someone from the office comes to your area. Also, do not send objects in the letter envelopes with a regular stamp.
A note for Parents: Please be sensitive that all missionaries do not receive mail, and may never receive a package. If a package is sent, consider including things for the missionary’s companion, or things that can be shared. Please do not send more packages than absolutely needed. Sending packages too often (more than quarterly) distracts your missionary, makes them homesick, and can even embarrass them.  Missionaries move around and do not have space to transport junk.  Often package items are left behind and thrown away.  Do not send books that are not in the missionary library.  Please be mindful not to send too many sweets and junk food; a missionaries’ health is of great importance in keeping up with the rigorous missionary schedule.
Example of how to send mail to the mission office:

Elder [or Sister] First & Last Name
California Redlands Mission
7000 Central Avenue
Highland, CA 92346

EMAILS:
Preparation day is on Monday.  Each week you will be encouraged to write a thoughtful letter home to your family. This is important and is a high priority. If letters are not being sent home parents are asked to contact the mission president.  Time for letter-writing is limited to one hour on preparation day. Missionaries can only respond on Preparation day.  No facebook, Instagram, twitter, snap chat or anything other than lds.org or myldsmail.net are allowed. We ask that you do not respond back and forth instantly with family and friends when you email home on preparation day. Preparation days are very busy, so please prepare your families that your contact with them on some weeks may be brief.

A note for Missionaries: If you have a special someone you have dated, please advise them that you have committed and are “expected to devote all your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs.” Ask them to help you focus on missionary work by keeping communication brief and non-committal.  Ask them not to write too frequently: no more than twice a month.

PHONE CALLS
Phone calls home will be arranged twice a year at Christmas and on Mother’s Day or similar; face-time where available. Phone calls, face-time, and texts are NOT permitted at any other time while in the mission field without permission. Only family members should be present for calls home and calls must last no longer than 40 minutes.  If your parents need to contact you for an emergency tell them to please not hesitate to contact the mission office at 909-425-1401 or after hours 909-793-6535.

VISITS & PACKAGE DROP-OFFS:
Our mission is beautiful, and many people travel regularly for business or pleasure to the beaches, parks, and Disneyland nearby.  It may be tempting for people to want to visit you while on your mission, or drop off a package or note.  Because of how often this occurs, and because of the negative impact we have seen it to have on both the missionary and the companion of the missionary, we ask that under no circumstances you ask for permission to meet with friends or family members while on your mission.  We are sorry, but it is simply not worth the set-backs we see as a result of such visits and drop-offs, and if you ask the answer will be no.  Ask family members to allow you this time to maintain your focus on the purpose of your work, and explain that before long you will be home and can maintain those important relationships. See Missionary Handbook, p 37-38).

SOCIAL MEDIA:
Newsletter: Our office staff creates a monthly newsletter which is sent out to all missionaries. We hope you will enjoy it!  We love our missionaries and want to celebrate the joys of missionaries with you and with your families at home. Family and friends may access the newsletter through the mission blog.
Facebook: We also have an official Mission Facebook Page you may follow if you wish. Find us at “California Redlands Mission LDS Pres Dixon 2016-19.” We encourage ALL missionaries to follow our page and keep in touch with us before and after the mission. We also welcome all friends and family to tag and share pictures.