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The Washington Kennewick Mission works very much through members of the Church in all phases of the work. Missionaries here do not need to go door-to-door contacting (tracting) very often. If the members trust the missionaries, they give them a lot of support in the work.
The Church is continuing to grow in Washington, with over 275,000 members at last count. The most recent temple opened in the Tri-Cities in 2001: the Columbia River Washington Temple. There are two other temples in Washington: the Spokane Washington Temple and the Seattle Washington Temple. Currently, Washington has 57 stakes in the state. Especially For Youth (EFY) is held each year in Tacoma for three to five weeks, and two new missions were created this year, the Vancouver and the Federal Way missions.
This mission does not have any of the new Church technology such as the iPad Minis and Facebook is also not in use here yet.
Agriculture is one of the greatest industries in Washington state. Fresh fruit and vegetables fill local fruit stands and grocery stores beginning in July up until late October and sometimes November. The majority of the farming grounds extends from the Tri-cities area to Okanogan County. Known as the Apple Capital of the world, the apple pie is a traditional favorite, but this area ranks first in the nation for the production of many other fruits and veggies as well.
The Tri-Cities area and other counties included in this mission host a variety of foods such as American (specializing in burgers and grilled meats), Italian, Asian, Mexican cuisine, and more. The summers are hot and provide great opportunities for grilling on the barbecue, while the frigid winters lend to hot dishes.
The increased Hispanic population in the area introduced incredible, authentic Mexican food to the Tri-Cities area. From fiestas to family-owned eateries, there is a high standard for Mexican food in this area. Missionaries serving in the Spanish speaking program of this mission usually eat with Hispanic families in the area.
A recently returned missionary from this mission reported most missionaries in this mission had cars so there was no need for public transportation. They very rarely had to ride bikes. When missionaries do not have cars, they walk because they usually do not have bikes. However there is a reliable public transportation system in this mission.
The Tri-Cities facilitates a complex highway system directing drivers to various locations throughout the Northwest. Interstate 82 runs on the edge of Kennewick, with connections to travel towards Seattle via I-90, Portland via I-84W, or Salt Lake City, Utah via I-84E. Interstate 182 follows the Yakima River, passes through Richland to Pasco, when it turns into U.S. Route 395, which heads to I-90 through Ritzville, Washington. SR 397, from Finley to Pasco, crosses the Cable Bridge to connect to I-90 headed towards Spokane. The US 12 mimics Interstate 182 through the Tri-Cities to Southeastern Washington, leading into Idaho. State Route 240 crosses both Kennewick and Richland, passes the Haford Nuclear Reservation towards the I-90 Junction at Vantage, Washington and the Washington State Route 24 which leads to Yakima Washington.
The Ben Franklin Transit is a public bus service which goes throughout the Tri-Cities. The Amtrak railroad provider connects to the Empire Builder, with destinations to Portland and Chicago. North of the Tri-Cities, other major towns include Moses Lake and Wenatchee. Interstate 90 passes through Moses Lake and connects to Highway 17 and Highway 171, which shortly connects to Highway 283 and 281 West of the town. Highway 28, right off of Highway 281 leads to Wenatchee, meets up with Highway 2 and Highway 97, two highways that lead to Seattle. Pangborn airport is a local airport, with departures to Seattle, Portland, Yakima and Spokane. The Link Transit has two bus lines, a trolley system and Link Bus system that travels throughout Chelan and Douglas County. Trailway buses also stop at the Columbia station in Wenatchee. The BNSF railroad line stops in Wenatchee and Amtrak’s Empire Builder serves Wenatchee.
The Tri-Cities is a relatively safe area. All three cities, Kennewick, Pasco and Richland rank below the national violence rate; Pasco is still significantly higher than the other two. Moving northward, the crime rate increases throughout the Mattawa and Quincy area. These are not unsafe areas during the day, but there are certain neighborhoods and areas that should be avoided after dark. Missionaries have reported that they mostly feel walking the streets at night, and no missionary muggings have been heard of.
These communities tend to be substantially smaller than the neighboring cities but deal with gang issues and lower-income homes. For instance, Wenatchee and East Wenatchee see crime, but the town centers are safe areas throughout the day and evening. The crowds at night can create issues relating to their nightly activities, but nonetheless these are generally safe areas. Throughout all of these places, theft and robberies are the major issues. Be alert and smart about locking vehicles and homes.
The fall season welcomes harvest for all growers throughout the Northwest. Many festivals and traditions pass from town to town. The Tri-Cities specifically holds cultural events dedicated to their Native American Ancestry. Lewis & Clark ventured through the Tri-Cities and commemorative sites such as the “Sacagewea Heritage Trail” and other events and sites recognize this great legacy and history.
Local towns have their own celebrations and usually missionaries are allowed to proselyte at those events.
Towards Chelan and Douglas County the harvest days continue. The Salmon Festival and multiple dams feature the eco-friendly achievements made throughout the area. All state and national holidays are recognized and celebrated.
Tourism is very important for the smaller towns and provides activities and festivals for locals and visitors to participate in. Leavenworth Washington, the Bavarian Village nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, and Lake Chelan are two of the more popular areas to enjoy family traditions.
Mixteco was a special dialect from Mexico that missionaries had to learn when serving in the Spanish program.
Locals also like to say “a couple three” which means an unsure quantity of something, usually meaning it could be two, three, or more.
Returned missionaries from this mission said that the items in the call packet are sufficient to have in the field, and no special items or equipment is necessary to buy other than that. One missionary reported that he wished he would have brought a nicer camera and that a USB stick is useful to store pictures and things.
The Preparation Day for this mission is on Monday, so e-mails home can be expected on that day. P-Day activities usually include going to local supermarkets and playing sports at the local stake center.
8202 W Quinault Ave Ste D
Kennewick WA 99336-1017
What was the most exotic food you ate on your mission?
“At a member’s house, I ate menudo.”
**Did you serve in the Washington Seattle Mission? If so, we would love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.**