There were several reasons that missions were chosen over other forms of settlements. The king of Spain hoped that someday there would be powerful cities and harbours* in the California area. To support the cities, which would sell things, they had to have farms, which would produce things. The king and queen of Spain decided to create a series of farms along the coast. Each would be a day's ride apart. That way, it would be easy to trade and sell not only goods*, but information. They would be built by the sea so that they could easily supply ships that came to port* there.
The only problem with their plans was the lack of labour. With no Spanish people in the area, there would be no one to work on the farms. They soon solved that problem, however, by turning the farms into missions. The missions would be led by Fathers who would pursue the Caltholic calling of converting* non-believers into Christians. Their converts*, the Native Americans, would also work on the missions. This decision solved both problems for the religious Spaniards, but was just the beginning of the problems for the Native Americans.