April 4, 2009

ANOTHER BUSY WEEK

We are going to return to America on May 4th so we have been very busy trying to get all of our projects completed before we go home. I have been corresponding with the Mead's who will come in June to replace us. Sister Mead is the sister to our Mission Presidents wife, Sister Fry. I was going to send an e-mail to the Mead'strying to explain to the Mead's exactly what Humanitarian Missionaries do but decided I would just do a post.
I want to take a minute to explain a little about Senior Missionaries.

First of all Senior Missions are voluntary. Sometimes a church leader will ask a couple to serve a mission and other times a couple will make the request themselves. In our case we went to our Bishop and told him we would really like to serve a mission. Just as with younger missionaries Senior Couples pay for their own mission expenses. The church pays to fly you to your mission and home again. Most couples go on missions for 18 months or 2 years.

There are many opportunities in the church for Senior Couples to serve missions all over the world. You can serve in the United States or you can go out of the Country. When we went to the Missionary Training Center some of the other couples in our group were going to Katmandu, Africa, Egypt, Georgia, the Easter Islands, Chicago Illinois, Moscow Russia and Brazil.

Some couples request to stay within the United States others say they are willing to go to another country and learn another language. The Church publishes a list of some of the mission opportunities that are available to couples. Sometimes people will be tour guides at Church Historical Sites, work in temples, or in Mission Offices, there are Public Affairs Missions, Medical Missions, Church History or Genealogy Missions.

WE SAID WE WOULD BE WILLING TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY, AND LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE. WE ALSO SAID WE WOULD BE WILLING TO GO WHERE WE WERE NEEDED.
We didn't say we wanted to do Humanitarian Work although I did mention that I would love to do some type of service mission.
As I read Sister Mead's first e-mail to me it brought back memories of being completely overwhelmed with preparations to leave for our mission. There was so much to do and the list just felt like it was getting longer and longer as the day to leave for the Missionary Training Center approached. There were our annual physicals, Dental appointments, follow-up medical appointments, shots, blood work, passports, visas, selling cars, selling our home (not everyone who goes on a mission sells the house and cars we were just ready for a change when we came home). There were talks to give at church, farewell parties to say good-bye to friends and family. Oh and we were suppose to be learning Russian while all this was going on. Needless to say, we never did learn a new language. We have had an interpretor with us when we do our Humanitarian work and just rely on some primitive sign language when she is not with us.

I guess what I really wanted to say is......................
we had no idea what we would be doing as Humanitarian Missionaries.
We didn't know what life would be like as a Senior Couple on a Mission.
We didn't know if we would follow the same strict schedule as the younger missionaries who rise at 6:30 am and start their day with prayer, exercise, breakfast, personal study, companion study, and language study. (we do some of these things but we have made our own schedule)

The only thing I could imagine that would involve Humanitarian work in Ukraine would be possibly working in an Orphanage, although I had no idea what we would do.
What we do is meet with organizations who request Humanitarian Aide from the Church. We do a basic assessment interview and then write a proposal for assistance. If the proposal is approved then we coordinate with a local vendor to purchase the needed equipment. Then we meet them for a follow-up visit once the equipment is delivered.

So I realized that the Mead's are probably feeling similar to how we felt a month or so before we left for our mission. So I thought I would post a few pictures of what we did this week.
It was a really fun week. We went to some wonderful organizations and spent time with some of our favorite members of the church and fellow missionaries.

2 messages from friends and family:

dixiewhitehead said...

How exciting for the Frys to have the Meads be in Donetsk, Ukraine on a mission. I guess it really is "who you know: :).

Good luck in preparing this next little while for your departure. You will be missed. (I love hearing your choice of music when I peruse through your blog. It is so calming.)

Supercool Hotmama said...

How fun for those two sisters to be able to share that experience! What an adventure! I'm sure your family will be so happy to have you home with them. Thank you for your service!

Saints in Ukraine (put music on pause)

My music


click on the photo to see the captions

Armenia Trip

Our last Zone Conference

Some of the faces we will miss

Our trip to Mariupol

March Zone Conference in Donetsk(click on photo to view a larger version)

Missionaries helping the International Relief Development unload a container from America

Health Fair click on the photo to see what is coming up

To listen to this talk you will need to put the music on pause first

Sometimes we forget what divine gifts we have been given. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Thanksgiving

Look at the fun equipment we got to deliver to this internat for Special Needs children

Europe East Area District Meeting

I LOVE THESE MISSIONARIES

OUR APARTMENT (this is not an average missionary apartment)

THIS IS WHAT MISSIONARY APARTMENTS LOOK LIKE ON INSPECTION DAY

CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO SEE A MORE COMPLETE VIEW

LEADERSHIP TRAINING IN THE KALINSKY BUILDING

Click on photo to see more photos of the Open House at the Kalininsky blg