Saturday, July 13, 2013


Several of our children have asked what I (Kriss) am doing on our mission. Ed teaches 5 days a week, and is gone from 7:00 am until 5:00 pm. I was told that I would probably spend about half of the day doing construction related bookwork, and then I could find my niche and do whatever I want. Somewhere in the back of my mind I pictured leisurely afternoons with me scrapbooking online all the wonderful memories of our lives… and watching videos while I was doing my scrapping. I think I actually pictured a big bowl of buttered popcorn, with M&Ms sprinkled all over the top. Ohhh…. yes. Ohhh….no. The first month I was kept very, very busy just training to find out everything I could about the bookwork for the construction program. There was “beaucoup” to learn to know what to do and how to do it. Then the Billings left to go to start the program in another mission. It was time for me to do my own thing… or things. About that time our mission president’s wife came to me and said that they really needed help in the mission office, and asked if I could help. Our office is on the 1st floor of this building.

 It is one of the nicest buildings in the city. They put me totally in charge of transfer paperwork, which takes me about 2 days a week. I work in the office one day a week, and at our home office one day a week. I prepare everything for their packets... both for arriving and departing missionaries. Transfers are every 6 weeks. We are getting 25 new missionaries in August! I can do many things in advance, but the last week is big pressure, to get everything ready. This is a photo of our missionary photo card board, in the president’s office. Sometimes, it is a “highly secret” place that no one can see some of the time (Thus the curtain is pulled). It is where he decides all the transfers for each of the missionaries. It is a big deal to them to see who is serving where and who their companions will be… and if they will be District or Zone leaders. One of my responsibilities is to update the board regularly! (I have to write on the backs of each card, in tiny writing. They keep a tiny history record of all companions and all locations and all assignments, so the president can look at each of them as he finalizes transfer assignments.

It is a fun thing to do and I am getting familiar with the missionaries by doing so. This is the thank-you email I received from Sister Jameson, the mission president’s wife, after I did the first transfers. “I can’t tell you how happy this makes us. To know that you have this all in control and done ahead of time is such a huge weight off our shoulders. You’re blessing our lives so much by taking this on. It will be so wonderful for the Cooks to have you on board. When Brent looked at the Kambono’s packet last night (he’s giving it to them today) I thought that he was going to cry with joy. He was so happy and relieved to see it ready, correct and things even in the same order. Honestly, in the craziness of transfers, it’s often been almost the “straw” when packets weren’t done or were missing things and he had to check every one to see what was missing or mixed up. (Kriss added: There was simply no way for Sister Smith to do all she has to do in the office plus the transfers.) You’re truly an answer to pray as you arrived just when Thierry left, who did all the letters, and when we wanted to leave things in order for the Cooks (The new president and his wife.) Thanks you, thank you, thank you.!!”
The primary language in the office is English. I am taking an MTC French class for 6 months on Skype. However, one of the requirements is that I am supposed to be “immersed” in French about 20 hours a week. I decided to volunteer somewhere that had French as the primary language. I looked around for a program that I really believe in… and ended up at the Church Employment Center. The unemployment rate here is something like 80%, so I figured this was a place I could help out. My first 3 days were spent in training. I actually got a certificate for completing the course. Those days were great, because I was totally “immersed”, but this week I sat in the office, where things were very slow. I am supposed to go in on Wednesdays, and Fridays (if I am not working with Ed or needed at the mission home.) It will be interesting to see where I end up. My favorite thing to do is to work with Ed and the students. I will report more on that on my next entry!

1 comment:

  1. Mom,
    This was such a fun post to read. We love to hear the everyday things. We miss you and want to hear all about what you are doing. Keep them coming.