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The New York South mission is the second oldest mission in the world, headquartered in Queens. There are 5 boroughs in New York City. New York South covers the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the counties in Long Island and the island of Bermuda. The mission is very small, only covering approximately 1400 square miles. It’s a normal experience for missionaries here to see one another across the street, at a member’s home, on the subway, or at the church building. There are many nationalities represented in New York, including but not limited to: Chinese, Korean, Egyptian, Ghanaian, Jamaican, Indian, Russian, Italian, Colombian, Dominican, Mexican, Greek, Haitian, Brazilian, and, well- you get the picture. Much of the time, these nationalities gather together and form their own communities within the city (Flushing, Queens, for example, is almost entirely Chinese). And, with so many different communities, it is no surprise that there are many languages. Few people own cars, choosing to go by bus and train instead. Most of the people you’ll visit live in apartment buildings. Shopping on P-day in the city can be difficult as it is hard to find one store that will fulfill all your needs. Most stores are very small, and residents visit multiple places to get their errands done. A popular sport is handball. There isn’t much room for fields in the city, so many people play handball as an alternative. It is played with a racquet ball. To play other sports, New Yorkers have to go to the larger parks, like Flushing Meadows.
Snapshot of Bermuda (part of New York New York South Mission)
The official language of Bermuda is English, though Portuguese is also spoken as a result of immigration from Portuguese islands. Bermuda is primarily a Christian territory, with the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and African Methodist Episcopal churches being the largest denominations. Bermuda has strong ties to American culture (it was once part of the Virginia colony and the closest landmass is North Carolina), though it is officially a British Overseas Territory. Bermudan culture has influences from both countries (such as driving on the left side of the road like in England), but also has its own unique cultural aspects. Bermuda shorts are worn on formal occasions with a tie. Etiquette is also considered very important – one example is the need to say “good morning” or “good afternoon” in all situations when starting a conversation – even when asking for directions. Gombey dancing is a unique Bermudian folk dance involving elaborate costumes and headdresses. Reggae, steelpan, calypso, and even bagpipe music also enjoy some degree of popularity. Cricket and soccer are the most popular sports in Bermuda, though rugby also has a following. Bermudian cuisine is heavy on fish and other seafood. Typical dishes include fish and chips, boiled salt codfish and potato, and fish chowder (which is similar to clam chowder). Several vegetables and fruits are also grown in Bermuda and used in a variety of fruit or vegetable salads. Bananas and strawberries are especially popular in a variety of dessert items.
**Did you serve in the New York New York South Mission? If so we could love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org**
In the whole state of New York, there are 78,829 members. In NY-NYS specifically, there are 253 missionaries currently serving. There are 3 stakes in the mission: Plainview, Brooklyn, and Queens. Approximately 600 new members joined the church in the year 2012. There is one temple located in Manhattan.
As a city with many thriving cultures, you have the opportunity to try a little bit of everything. Some popular dishes and food include:
A slice of pie (pizza)
Baked goods of any nationality (Italian, Chinese, Colombian, etc.)
Nathan’s Hot dogs
Hong Kong cuisine
Black & White cookies
Within recent years, there were certain areas of New York (Bushwick for example) that were closed to sisters for safety reasons. But all areas are now open to the sisters.
For all missionaries protection, do not give money to anyone (street performers and the homeless included).
Be indoors on time in the evenings (9pm).
Do not proselyte on Halloween eve.
While it might be tempting, please don’t j-walk.
New York is a safe city, but just like anywhere else, you need to play it smart and use common sense.
85-69 60th Dr
Elmhurst NY 11373-5547
http://www.mission.net/new-york/new-york/south/index.php http://newyorksouthmission.blogspot.com https://www.facebook.com/groups/nynysmission/
Straight from the New York New York South Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
“None! We had every thing over there!! Every thing!”
*What did you eat the most of?
“Since I served in Spanish, I mostly ate Latin food such as rice and beans, and Latin foods from different parts of Central and Southern America.” “A lot of rice and chicken”
“Sea food! And i really dont like it but I could deal with it. People used to give us “rice with” … Rice with sea food, rice with chicken, rice with beans and so on.”
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“I never ate craziest things. But many people like ecuatorianos for example, used to eat cuy (roasted guinea pig)… They gave me some but I did not have it.”
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“Every ethnic group was represented.”
“Many people on the streets anytime!”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the New York New York South Mission?
“NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, ALWAYS KEEP THE RULES!”
“Don’t be afraid to talk to people! Some of them might look scary at first but loss don’t really matter. There are some of the best people in the world there. Open your heart and they will open theirs.”
“Embrace diversity!” “Attitude is everything. A sincere desire to perform the Lord’s work with all your heart, might, mind, and strength will cause miracles to happen.”
“Be grateful every day that the Lord allowed you one more day as a missionary.”
“Learn to say “hello,” the name of the church, and get a referral in one or two other languages.” -Brooke
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“Don’t buy your winter attire until you get to NY.”
“Be totally open with the Latin culture if you are serving Spanish. The people in this mission, especially in the Dyker Heights, Brooklyn area, are the most loving and sweetest people ever!”
“Better tips on planning a sister missionary wardrobe that is comfortable, pretty, durable, and functional.”
“Only the strongest missionaries are sent to NY south. And it is the largest mission stateside and in Canada. Over 9 million people!” -Jessica
“I really loved my mission! I still love it! I learned a lot and a met lots of great people… My faith and testimony got strenght. I love to serve The Lord and I would like to be a sister missionary again. It’s like an adventure!”
“Missionaries stand out, and people recognize it. There were many times where people would comment on a visible difference they saw in us. I remember one time we talked with a high school girl on the street and at the end of the conversation, she said, “You guys are bright. I don’t know what it is, but I like it.” There were plenty of others who had similar things to say. Trust me, people know who you are. They see a light in your countenance. Share that light with them.”
“One time, we tried soap boxing, where you stand on a crate and preach loudly. It didn’t seem to work though, so I got out my hymn book, stood on the crate, and sang “I Have a Family Here on Earth.” The difference it made was tangible. People on the sidewalks suddenly stopped and turned. There was a great peace that settled on that stretch of sidewalk. They started to walk towards our table and signed up for DVDs and talked to the other missionaries there. New Yorkers are searching for truth; your job is to help them feel it.”