Sister Schank is currently serving as a missionary in upstate New York, including the historical sites. She was asked a few questions about her mission:
1. Describe a little bit about where you are serving:
Upstate New York is a pretty good melting pot but I have mostly served in wards where there are like 2 families that aren't white. If you go downtown it's a lot more mixed though. There are a lot of rolling hills, lots of trees, and lots of farmland. It is exceedingly beautiful and the sunsets are often hot pink :). Everyone has these closed-in porches, but for the most part is really is okay to walk right in and knock on the real door
Upstate NY food includes garbage plates (french fries, mac salad, hamburger/hot dog/sausage, all topped with spicy, greasy meat sauce), white hots (like a hot dog), sausage and peppers, roast beef on kimmelweck (really good sandwich on a bun with caraway and salt), buffalo wings, and sponge candy (sugar with lots of little holes because of the humidity in the air here and covered with chocolate)
2. What things surprised you when you arrived at your mission?
How awesome the sites are.
Missionaries actually have a personality, and are encouraged to use it :)
New York is NOT equivalent to NYC, I have seen like one skyscraper in over a year here.
3. What were some good p-day activities?
-Rochester Museum of Play
-Letchworth ("The grand canyon of the east")
-Playing soccer at the chapel with other missionaries.
4. What should a new missionary to the area know?
It is cold and snowy here, but not as bad as everyone who wants to scare you makes it out to be.
5. What were some unique ism’s to your mission?
I hear these almost every day: "Have a blessed day" "Can I axe you a question?" "I'm all set", the plural form of you is "yous"
6. How developed was your mission? Downtown Buffalo and especially Rochester is pretty ghetto, but I've only served in middle-upper class areas. Like mansion on a lake status, in a lot of cases.
7. What is some interesting local history? The Erie Canal used to be a really big deal around here, and everyone still talks about when Kodak started and was big.
8. What was a typical area like?
Pretty rural. If you serve in the city you will be on bikes or foot, but a lot of it is pretty spread out.
9. What was some mission lingo that you used?
“Born”- Came out to the field.
“Died”- went home
“Had a baby”- trained a greenie
You learn to talk in transfers rather than months
10. What kind of culture did you find in your mission?
This mission has a history of disobedience, but our mission president is awesome and in most cases people really want to be exactly obedient. The unity varies by zone, but for the most part everyone loves the mission and the other missionaries. Almost everyone is here to work hard.