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Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska, United States, and is the county seat of Douglas County. It is located in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 10 miles (16 km) north of the mouth of the Platte River.
Since its founding, ethnic groups in the city have clustered in enclaves in north, south and downtown Omaha. In its early days, the sometimes lawless nature of a new frontier city included crime, such as illicit gambling. Today, the diverse culture of Omaha includes a variety of performance venues, museums, and musical heritage, including the historically significant jazz scene in North Omaha and the modern and influential “Omaha Sound”. Sports have been important in Omaha for more than a century, and the city currently plays host to three minor-league professional sports teams. It is perhaps more known as the home of the College World Series, to which it has played host since 1950. The Kansas City-Omaha Kings split their time between the two cities, playing at Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium and the Omaha Civic Auditorium, before decamping solely to Kansas City until 1985, when the team moved to its current home of Sacramento.
Omaha’s pioneer period began in 1854 as the early pioneers moved west. The city was of Omaha was founded along the Missouri River, and a crossing called Lone Tree Ferry earned the city its nickname, the “Gateway to the West.” It introduced this new West to the world when in 1898 it played host to the World’s Fair, dubbed the Trans-Mississippi Exposition. During the 19th century, Omaha’s central location in the United States spurred the city to become an important national transportation hub. Throughout the rest of the 19th century, the transportation and jobbing sectors were important in the city, along with its railroads and breweries. In the 20th century, the Omaha Stockyards, once one the world’s largest, and its meatpacking plants, gained international prominence.
Today, Omaha is the home to the headquarters of five Fortune 500 companies: packaged-food giant ConAgra Foods; the U.S.’s largest railroad operator, Union Pacific Corporation; insurance and financial firm Mutual of Omaha; one of the world’s largest construction companies, Kiewit Corporation; and mega-conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire Hathaway is headed by local investor Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, according to a decade’s worth of Forbes Magazine rankings, some of which have ranked him as high as No. 1. Omaha is also the home to four Fortune 1000 headquarters: TD Ameritrade, West Corporation, Valmont Industries, and Werner Enterprises. First National Bank of Omaha is the largest privately held bank in the United States. Headquarters for Leo A Daly, HDR, Inc. and DLR Group, three of the US’s largest 10 architecture/engineering firms are based in Omaha. The Gallup Organization, of Gallup Poll fame, also is based in Omaha, with its riverfront Gallup University.
The Omaha Nebraska Mission covers a large area of Iowa as well in which more than 90 settlements were established by the pioneers while they waited for up to 7 years to continue west to Salt Lake. In this area it is said they are 150,000 descendants of pioneers who either remained in the area or returned from Salt Lake. This area is rich in LDS history and the work here continues to grow!
There is a wide variety of foods found in the Omaha area. Famous food in Nebraska includes the runza sandwich, Omaha steaks, Goodrich ice cream, and popcorn. The runza sandwich, also called Bierocks, are pockets of yeast bread filled with beef, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions, and seasonings. Though baked in various shapes, traditional Nebraska Runzas are generally rectangular. Omaha Steaks ships their products all over the country in insulated coolers packed with dry ice to keep them fresh. The first Goodrich brand ice cream was introduced at the Goodrich dairy store in 1932 in Nebraska. Goodrich quickly became a dessert icon throughout the Midwestern region, as going out for ice cream was a popular family pastime. Nebraska is one of the top producers of popcorn in the country. Popcorn balls are particularly popular in Nebraska.
Transportation options in Omaha are similar to other missions in the United States. Many missionaries walk or ride bicycles throughout their areas. There is also a public transportation system in certain areas.
There are some areas in the Omaha mission that are too large for walking or for bicycles. In these areas, missionaries are given cars to help them get from place to place. These cars are a privilege and are not to be taken advantage of. Missionaries that have cars are to always keep the car clean and well-kept. Cars also have a mileage restriction that resets every month.
Just like any other city in the US, Omaha has certain areas that are less safe than others. Try to avoid these areas at night. If visiting these areas at night is necessary, make sure to use routes that are well lit. Always carry a little bit of cash on you so that if the occasion arises, you will have something to give to petty thieves.
Dangerous weather is also a concern in Omaha and the surrounding areas. The area is known for heavy storms, high winds, and even tornados. Make sure to always keep an eye on the weather report. Always heed warnings from meteorologists and mission leadership in order to avoid dangerous weather.
There are many options for sending packages and letters to Omaha. The United States Postal Service is most common. Any other carrier, such as UPS and FedEx, will be able to deliver packages in the area. Because missionaries are transferred to different areas often, sending letters to the mission office is the best way to ensure delivery.
11027 Martha St
Omaha NE 68144-3107
What items were hard to get or not available?
“The mission has about everything you could need. The only things you wouldn’t be able to find are Items sold at a local store from where you are at. Also depending on if you are sent out to a small town it is harder to obtain items but still possible.” – Stanley
What did you eat the most of?
“Lasagna or spaghetti because it is the easiest for people to make. But other that you have a variety of food to eat.” – Stanley
What is the craziest thing you ate?
“The craziest thing I ate was questionable food. It was questionable because of how long it had been sitting out.” -Stanley