Wednesday, July 6, 2016

What Do I Do All Day?

Some have asked what I do all day.  This is a list of all the things I have to do (not all on one day thankfully):

  1. Answer many emails each morning.
  2. Send welcome letters and other documents to incoming new missionaries.
  3. Make file folders for each new missionary with printouts of their information.  We receive information about new missionaries 2-6 months ahead of time.  There will be about 40 new missionaries in the next 6 months.
  4. Make computer files for each new missionary and scan all their documents to keep in the computer files.
  5. Make cards with pictures of incoming new missionaries to put on the President's transfer board.  The transfer board has all the missionaries and their assigned companions and places.  That way, as the President prays about who to put together as companions and which area to assign them to, he can see their pictures.  He is truly led by God to arrange things as they should be.  Transfers occur every 6 weeks.
  6. Scan every page of each missionary's passport and send scans to Tanzania to get work permits for Tanzania.  Some countries' passports have 50 pages!  That takes about 10-15 minutes to scan each passport.  (Later:  we got a new, amazing scanner/printer that zip zips so quickly!  Yeah!)  We keep all the passports of those serving in Kenya and the missionaries carry copies of their passport picture page.  Missionaries serving in Tanzania take their passports with them so I have to scan all the pages of their passports before they leave for Tanzania.
  7. Go through the application papers for every Kenyan applying to serve a mission somewhere in the world.  I check to be sure everything's been filled out and that the medical reports are all there.  When something is missing, I have to email the prospective missionary or else his branch president or his bishop to request the missing information.  If I have any questions, I email Dr. Jubber in Johannesburg, South Africa, for clarification.  (By the way, for you fellow Canucks, Dr. Jubber is from Lethbridge and is serving a mission with his wife as the Area doctor for all of South East Africa).
  8. I prepare immigration documents for all incoming and infield foreign missionaries who still need Work Permits.  I apply online and then I prepare paper documents for each application.  Immigration has in the past few months gone to online but they still want paper documents too.  Immigration work takes a lot of my time.
  9. I have to be sure that all missionaries have current Work Permits or Special Passes because we don't want any missionary to be working illegally.  (Even though they are not paid, they are still considered workers in Kenya and so need permits).  I keep track of it on paper and also on the church's Global Visa Manager which is online.  The GVM tracks missionaries all over the world to be sure they are in their countries legally.  I also put the information into a spreadsheet.
  10. I keep track of all the changes in Bishoprics and Branch Presidencies and keep the list up-to-date for the Mission President.  Again, this is done on the computer.
  11. When conferences are being held I send out information to the branch or district that is having the conference.  The Mission President is like a Stake President for the small branches that are not under the umbrella of a Stake or District.  There are 5 mission branches.  The Mission President is also over all the Districts that are not in a Stake.  There are 5 districts with 35 branches.  I know this is very confusing.  It's confusing to me too.  But there has to be order in the Church and lines of authority are very important.
  12. When a missionary in our mission is finished his mission, I prepare a packet of information for him/her.  I include all the documents they brought with them (such as birth certificates, etc).  I send letters to parents, Bishops, Stake Presidents to alert them of the missionary's return.
  13. I take the returning missionary's picture off the President's transfer board.
  14. I send all the documents back to returning missionaries from other missions who are returning to Kenya.  I shred unimportant documents.
  15. I input all the information from newly baptized members into the Church's online system.
  16. I prepare "new member packets" for each newly baptized member which consist of a welcome letter, a church magazine and other church information. 
All of this makes me tired!!!  Maybe I shouldn't have listed it out quite like this!  I pray a lot and I feel that I get help from above a lot.  It's all important work that must be done.  If senior missionaries weren't here doing it, then young missionaries would have to do it.  And the young missionaries need to be out sharing the gospel.

So even though I'm not actively sharing the gospel, I'm facilitating the work.  I share the gospel with those I am in contact with in stores or other places.  Yesterday a woman came into the office to let us know there's a near-by hotel that we could use for conferences.  (We don't need that because we have chapels and the mission home).  She asked about our church.  I gave her an Articles of Faith card (which lists 13 basic beliefs) and I had written the young missionaries' phone number on it.  She actually phoned them an hour later and said she was interested.  Isn't that cool?


  1. Wowsers! You have to handle so much important stuff!

  2. Number 11 didn't confuse me at all. :) Then again, that's how Portugal and Turkey were, so I was used to it... In districts instead of stakes, mission pres did temple recommend interviews, etc., I was set apart for my mission by a mission pres instead of stake pres... and on and on.