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The people in the mission are very diverse; Milwaukee is a large city full of city slickers–people who have lived in a city for most of their lives. However, outside of the city there are a lot of small towns and farming communities. Wisconsin itself is very heavily influenced by the German immigrants that came to America centuries ago, and Oktoberfest is a big celebration for many residents of the state. Bratwurst is a common food item, along with beer and other things associated with the festival. Multiple ethnic festivals are celebrated throughout the state, examples are Summerfest, Polish Fest, Festa Italian and Irish Fest.
Cheese is a very important industry in the area. Cheese factories are all over the state. Some towns have large factories that most of the town works in. Wisconsin is known for it’s cheese production, which has led residents to the nickname “cheeseheads.” This has also led to “cheese hats” made of yellow foam to look like cheese. There are many other daily products produced in Wisconsin.
In the bigger cities the Church is strong, with a ward size anywhere from 200-300. Activity for wards is normal for the area, typically around 50-60 percent.
Branches are much smaller. Branches are more common the farther north one goes; the size can be anywhere from 70 active members down to 15. Activity is lower in branches, around 30 percent.
Common foods in this mission are foods common to the United States: hamburgers, spaghetti, potatoes and bread. Corn, venison and cheese are particularly common foods in Wisconsin. In the northern, smaller towns, venison, corn and potatoes are popular.
Big cities have bus stations and some areas also have bikes. Almost every area has a car, whether assigned to one companionship or rotated with others (which is more typical in the larger cities). The areas that cover large spaces have a full-time car, and the bigger the area and higher the need, the more miles that area will have allotted to drive.
Milwaukee can be dangerous after dark, especially in the inner city. Other than the downtown areas in the big cities, the mission is relatively safe, although it is still important to lock doors to the residence and cars, to lock up bikes, and to take other common-sense precautions.
Wisconsin follows typical United States customs.
In the U.S., dinner is the biggest meal of the day and is typically eaten around the hours of five and six.
How much a person makes is not typically a polite question to ask.
A firm handshake is a customary greeting of new acquaintances. If a greeting is between family members, a hug is generally acceptable.
Most Americans prefer to be called by their first name, but it’s a good rule of thumb to refer to them by a title and last name until told otherwise.
Men and women are to be treated as equals in all aspects of American culture.
- When addressing each other, Americans talk from about a 2 foot distance, any closer would be considered to be an invasion of personal space.
The lingo has some canadian influences, particularly in the northern part of the mission. Sentences are sometimes ended with “Eh?” A drinking fountain is sometimes called a “bubbly.”
Winter gear is important such as a heavy winter coat, gloves, hat, boots, thermal underwear and thick socks. A good idea is to buy winter clothing when arriving in the mission, as it is thicker and warmer for the climate conditions.
7111 W Edgerton Ave Ste 100
Greenfield WI 53220
*What items were hard to get or not available?
“We had it all.”
*What did you eat the most of?
“Dairy products and brats”
“Fresh fruits and veggies donated from the members’ gardens in the spring, summer and fall; pasta or sandwiches in the winter.”
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“Soy ice cream”
“I didn’t have to eat crazy things but when we went on splits with another set of sisters my comp got the opportunity to eat a ‘yummy’ soup with chicken beak and feet in it.”
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“When I ask where the drinking fountain was! They called it a ‘bubbly.’”
“I thought Utah got a lot of snow in the winter, I was WRONG!!! The Houghton/Hancock Michigan area got 5 feet of snow the winter I was there.”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission?
“Just let yourself get out of world and into the Lord’s work and do what is asked from the Lord.”
“Trust in the Lord, and follow your gut–which is usually the Holy Ghost giving you warnings.”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“Church history and the scriptures.”
“How to enjoy wearing a dress EVERYDAY, I still have a hard time staying in my dress after I get home from church!”
“Have faith in the lord and the work will grow and you will be blessed.”
-“Just remember that your mission will be what you make it. If you want to have “awesome” memories that have awesome experiences. If you only go threw the motions and not fully experience the journey you will not learn all that you could.”
**Did you serve in the Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission? If so, we would love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at email@example.com.**