Incoming Missionaries
This is a page of tips and thoughts for newly called missionaries. I'd love to get more thoughts from anyone who has served in Venezuela. Some ideas might be: favorite places to visit on P-day, food to bring with you that you will never find in Venezuela, teaching aids you used; basically anything you wish someone had told you before you arrived.
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Bits of Advice
Missionary Dates Served
Johnathan Ward June 1994 to July 1996
Justin Yentes May 1998 to May 2000
Luis DeLeon Sep 1997 to Sep 1999
Collin Stewart Nov 1998 to Nov 2000

Johnathan Ward - June 1994 to July 1996

Okay you over-eager beavers! Settle down! You know you will conquer the world. You know you will tame the heathen nations. You know the Venezuelans will fall victim to your vast reserve of scriptural knowledge. But did you know that you must be healthy to meet your goals? The work will not move forward while two sick missionaries lie helplessly in the house! Those seeking the gospel so badly that they actually show up at your door, pleading to hear the message are literally few and thousands of miles between. Take the proper precautionary measures suggested in the MTC to avoid physical harm caused by contaminated food and water. Purify your water, clean your food, do not eat from street vendors. Stay healthy! Next suggestion. The entire country is beautiful. On your p-days, enjoy the outdoors of Venezuela. If you are in Barinas or Barinitas, go to the town of Altamira. Take a hike in the jungles. If you are in Valencia, visit a park or the aquarium. If you are in Puerto Cabello, take a trip to the docks at the harbor, look at the monstrous ships. Hike to the Venezuelan fort that overlooks the harbor. During their fight for independence the Venezuelans tried to hold off the Spaniard from here. If you don't get up to the fort, ask a couple of the young men in the branch or ward to take you on a hike to La Puente. It's a bridge. After about three days in the city you'll know what it looks like because a picture of it hangs in every living room and is sold in every corner gift shop. The hike is long, but beautiful and fairly level. The Spaniards chose the route so it would almost have to be easy. Lastly, if you are in Puerto Cabello, get up early and watch the sun rise over the ocean. It is magnificent. Good Luck. It is a wonderful country, filled with wonderful people.

Justin Yentes - May 1998 to May 2000

First of all, let me tell you that the Venezuela Valencia Mission is truly "The Best Mission in the World". On p-day, try to get to Colonia Tovar if you're in Aragua. It's a beautifull little town and it would be a shame to miss it. Also, try to get a hammock at the Tintorero - it's via Carora north of Barquisimeto. They're pretty cheap and great quality. Try to bring a lot of film, or have your parents send it to you. The film down there is usually 100, and is quite expensive, too expensive for a missionary budget. I think that the best advice that I can give is the following: DON'T EAT CHUPI'S OR BAMBI'S. Chupi's and Bambi's are the same thing but have different names. Basically, these are like otter pops but homemade. The people take water (and whatever amoebas that live in it), add sugar and flavor and sell make these little frozen treats. Well, in our mission we were always counseled to stay away from unsafe food. At the time I didn't think it was to bad to eat, but I was very wrong. I got pretty sick from eating them.

Well, the best advice I have, love the people. Be their friends, and work hard. Good luck. =)

Luis DeLeon - Sep 1997 to Sep 1999

Dear Missionaries:

It is important to love the people you will serve! Puerto Cabello, Naguagua, Los Sauces, Barquisimeto, Carora, All good places for good FOOD!!! Maracay has the best Weather!


Collin Stewart - Nov 1998 to Nov 2000

Epale Elderes de La Iglesia Verdadera. I just thought that I would write and tell you of the wonderful experiences I had while I served there. I served from November 1998 to Novemver 2000. The two mission presidents that I had were absolutely amazing. Follow the counsel received by yours and you will be all right. The main thing I learned while out there was to not be hard on myself because of language probelms, companionship problems, or problems with investigators. I learned to just realize when I made a mistake, fix it and forget about it. Don't ever hold grudges with a companion or anybody for that matter. I loved the food but stay away form Platano Sancochado, it is disgusting. Also, make sure to drink a lot of water and take beef jerky, licorice, jolly ranchers, straburst and those kinds of things. You can usually find Snickers, Milky Way, Twix and other "fine" candies, but they cost a fortune!. So stock up. If you ever serve in the ward called El Morro, make sure to go to Carlos and Lisbeth Salas' house for lunch. It will be one of the best meals you have ever had. In the U.S. or there. Just love the people, and love your Savior. That's all it takes to be successful and have a rewarding mission. Cuidense y Sigan adelante en la obra del Seņor Jesus.