Sunday, January 8, 2017

Mission Life – Part 2 – Day-to-Day Responsibilities

Everybody wants to know what we actually do most of the time here as missionaries. So, in Part 2 of Mission Life, I'll explain our day-to-day responsibilities.

When most people think of missionary work, they think of 18-21 year old young men and young women out knocking on doors, street contacting, and, as often as possible, sharing the message of the restored gospel with others. We don't do that, exactly, instead, we make it possible for those young missionaries to do just that.

Operating a mission with 180+ missionaries is complicated stuff, with lots of moving parts. (Unbelievably LOTS of moving parts!) There are finances to manage, an automobile fleet to coordinate, housing needs to oversee, and hundreds of communications and records and files to manage. It is truly a major undertaking, not so dissimilar to running a business with 200 employees.

Sister Gray (aka Trish) is in charge of recording baptisms, coordinating incoming and outgoing referrals, ordering supplies and generally assisting the Mission Secretary with the thousand other things that are constantly going on in the office. It's a big job and it keeps her busy all day every day.

I am currently the Vehicle Coordinator and manage the mission's fleet of 90 or so cars, which by the way, are about 95% white Toyota Corollas. (When we arrived, the mission president said we could choose any color of car we wanted as long as it was white.) As I've quickly learned, managing this large fleet of cars (and the "teenagers" who drive them) is a pretty daunting task. In addition to constantly assigning (and reassigning) cars to the missionaries, there are maintenance and repair issues, fuel cards to issue and track, lots of reports, and unfortunately, accidents and moving violations, all of which have to be tracked and managed. I'm doing my best, but am still learning.

We (generally) work in the mission office Monday through Friday from about 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 or 6:00 p.m, but we are essentially "on call" for anything that could happen in the mission at anytime.

Those are some of our typical day-to-day responsibilities. Surprised? Some people wonder why we are even called "missionaries" if we just work in the office. To understand that and learn more about our Mission Life here in Australia, read Part 3 – Our Core Purpose.

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