Thursday, June 3, 2010
WOW! It seems that many people think the Mission Office is the source of all things! Of course there are the regular responsibilities of seeing that the missionaries are supplied, things go smoothly and that we keep them in the country with current visas. My easy job is being the receptionist, phone answerer and greeter at the front desk and one thing that is fun and interesting is the things that are requested of me.
The office gets phone calls from all sorts of people for all kinds of reasons. Just yesterday I got a call asking if I had ever heard of "Brother So & So" (name changed to protect the innocent). The man he was asking for was in no way associated with the Mission. It was almost as if "you know him, he's a member of the Church".
We've been asked to adjust UTC time to local time, What's the country code for and how do you make a phone call to ????, can you get me a soft copy of an original Church Document that is tamper proof and only for the mission? How do I locate a past missionary? What are the GPS coordinates to a certain building? How do I prepare names for the temple? and always names and phone numbers of Branch Presidents,etc.and even times for the meetings in various buildings? Also I just moved here. Is there a church near by? Where can I stay when I come pick up my missionary? Do you know of any good restaurants? (well, yes as a matter of fact!) What is the email address/phone number for the different missions? Do you have a map to ....? Can I order a CTR ring? Do you have any of those homemade African greeting cards? What about African tours? The number for the temple and/or the Patron House? Would you email my mum and tell her my email isn't working?
And through it all some expect us to keep "sweets" available for visitors and missionaries coming into the office.(well, the mission doesn't pay for those so when we do that it comes out of our pockets. And do you know how many "sweets" hungry missionaries can wander in to consume?)I got a message on the phone from a man in Brasil who was coming here for the World Cup games and "needed some solutions" would I please email him? Also a woman from Salt Lake who wants to plan a Young Women's service project for Soweto.
Oh, I also got a phone call a while back from a frantic father whose son returning home from Zimbabwe mission had missed his connecting flight at the Jo'burg airport. Could we somehow find him and help him even though he had no cell phone with him and his father didn't know where he was in the airport? Well, we did and returned him home safely to his family.
So each day has the routine and the expected but what makes this job fun is the UNEXPECTED!
I think I can apply my saying "Each Day is a New Adventure" to the mission office!