Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Big Apple (AKA Ossining)!

Well I'm in New York now.  I made it safely, and both my flights went without a hitch.  I landed in NYC LaGuardia at about 5PM on Monday, and President and Sister Smith were there to meet me at the airport along with the Zone leaders.  After that we went to the Mission Home (which is very large and quite beautiful).  It's just outside the city, not far from the Bronx.  After we arrived, we had dinner and then some of the office missionaries came and talked to us about our bank cards, and about driving.  We had to watch a driving video so that we could drive in the future.  After that, we took some pictures with the president and his wife, and then went to bed early so that we could get used to the new time change.  In the morning, we woke up and had a little meeting with the President, and talked about the mission in general, and then after the meeting, we went to the Kingsbridge chapel which is right in the Bronx.  It is a huge chapel, and has a parkade underneath it.  There we dropped off some of the new Elders and Sisters who were going to be serving in the city, and picked up the Elders that were getting transferred to the upstate area.
That’s where I'm now serving.  I've been placed in the Ossining area.  It's the largest area in the whole mission, like 50/60 Miles tall and 30 miles wide.  It's definitely a driving mission.  When we got to the Ossining chapel where I was meeting my new companion, we all piled out, and got together with our new companions.  After I met my companion, Elder Maldonado, President Smith pulled us aside because he wanted to talk to me.  This was probably the most exciting part of the day.  When he pulled us aside, he asked my how my driving skills were, and then proceeded to tell me: "I've never done this before, but you are going to be the driving Elder in this companionship" (that’s not exact, but more or less what he said.)  Anyways, I'm the Elder who has to do all the driving, and it's still only my first day in the mission field.  It's pretty sweet.
Anyways, after we had gotten my car, and I had driven the 20 minutes from the Church to our Apartment, I unpacked, and then got the idea of how things go in this area.  Because the Spanish people are so spread out in my area, and the ward is English / Spanish, it should be pretty interesting.  But Elder Maldonado was saying that we end up with a lot of free time, because of how far apart the members live. 
Also, on Tuesday night we had two dinner appointments (the Spanish members love to feed the missionaries!).  The first place was super good.  We went to a member’s house from Peru.  She and her son live here in Peekskill, NY and her daughter goes to school somewhere further upstate.  Being here in the upstate area is amazing, you wouldn’t even think that the city is like 45 minutes south of here; there are SOO many trees, and the towns are all quite tiny.  We need to drive about 20 minutes to get to the Town of Ossining where most of the Spanish people live.  It’s a cool area.
My apartment is massive; my whole district lives in it (but that’s only 4 people).  It's half English, and half Spanish.  We're pretty much the outcast missionaries, because we never really see anyone around here.  I have some pictures that I've taken of the Apartment.  We also have an amazing view, a back porch, a BBQ, and a fireplace.  The missionaries have also set up a pretty sweet sound system in the living room as well.  The only real down side is that the floor boards creak like crazy.  It overlooks the Hudson River.
Anyways, that’s about all I've got for now.  I look forward to hearing from you, and I love you all. 
Love, Elder Dilling

I am here!