Week One: “We Have Been Assigned To Open a New Area in St. Cloud.” (July 15, 2013)

Hello from the Crazy State of Minnesota!

I have been out here for a little less then a week but it feels like it has only been a few hours! My trainer’s name is Elder Grodkowski (Grud-kof-ski). Elder Grodkowski is from Logan Utah and like me he is a total nerd so we get along really well. Elder Grodkowski and I have been very busy with lots of tracting. We have been assigned to open a new area in St. Cloud so we do not have any investigators and have had to do lots of tracting to find some. The work itself has been slow just because we do not have any investigators right now but that is a consequence of starting off fresh. In St. Cloud everyone is very religious. Most people are either Catholic or Lutheran.  I think most people do not answer the door when we come by because of this, but it has to be done. And contrary to common belief the people in Minnesota do not speak with a funny accent. They occasionally say something funny, but apparently most of that occurs along the Canadian border.

It was crazy when we first left the MTC, especially being in the airport and on the plane. When we touched down in Minnesota you could feel the humidity seeping into the plane. It was pretty bad, especially in a suit coat. At the luggage pick up we met President Clements and his wife. They are great people. Back at the mission home we got to meet with them one on one. President Clements is very blunt and caring. Sister Clements is very sweet and caring as well. You could tell that they both care about all the missionaries in the mission. I will get to visit with them more in a week or two.

My companion and I have one of the two new Ford Fusions that were bought two days before we arrived. So we are driving in style! We are limited to 900 miles a month (around 30 a day) so we cannot drive it everywhere, but for the most part we have been able to. We got to our apartment around 9:30 Wednesday night and we live in the rough part of town. It was a pretty crazy change so quickly but it is not too bad. We don’t spend too much time there, either, which is good. Our apartment is pretty small so it is just my companion and I. The weirdest thing I have seen so far is that none of the main rooms in Minnesota have lights! Elder Grodkowski told me people just have lamps all over their main rooms instead of a ceiling light. That has to be the most bizarre thing thus far.

We seem to have a solid ward. The youth group is small but we have some great members. Apparently they had a ward split a few months ago so both wards are still adjusting. The ward mission leader is awesome. He got home from his mission in October so he is excited to help and the Bishop, who I still have not met, is also really supportive of missionary work in the ward. It should be great to work with them as time goes on.

I will let you know next week if we have some instigators! Bye!
Elder Ysasaga
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