Its been another great week in what our mission president likes to call, “The Best Mission in the World!” :-)
We completed our training Friday morning, and during a special “Go Forth” meeting, in the chapel, right afterward, each of us new missionaries learned our mission assignment. Bob and I are assigned to serve in the Digital Imaging Processing zone of the mission. (Affectionately known as the DIP) We’ll be on the third floor of the Church Office Building (COB). So, we’re serving in the DIP, in the COB.
Church Office Building
We won’t know exactly what our tasks will be until tomorrow, but, we met our zone leaders, Elder and Sister Browning, and learned a little about this part of the mission. The good news is that we will be working Monday-Friday, 7:45 a.m. until 4 p.m., with Saturdays and Sundays off. We feel very blessed! Quite a few other full-time senior missionaries work evenings and some Saturdays, depending upon where they’re serving. Of the 1200 missionaries in our mission, most are senior missionaries. About 90 are young, full-time Elders, and others are part-time Church Service Missionaries. The Church Service Missionaries live locally and come in two or three days a week to help out.
I think I mentioned before that we start each day with a devotional, and Elder Chastain, one of our trainers, told us about something interesting during his devotional thought the other day. He said he and his wife served in this mission (in the Family History Library) four years ago. One day while they were in the library, a man, in his late 50s or early 60s, came in. He had driven from California because he had felt a strong impression that he needed to go to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City to find his family. He explained that when he was 16 years old he had become interested in the church and after taking the discussions he chose to be baptized. His mother, however, didn’t like his decision. She packed his clothes in a suitcase, handed it to him, and told him to get out and not come back. His siblings were not allowed to have contact with him and though he wrote home several times, he never received any response. (He learned later that his mother tore up all of his letters.) Just after he started talking, another man walked up and stood nearby, listening to his story. After he finished, the other man put his hand on his shoulder and said, “I am your brother.” (There was a joyful reunion!) It turned out that all of this man’s siblings had eventually joined the church and his brother was in the library that day doing research. He had been on the third floor when he felt strongly that he should go down to the second floor, but, he didn’t know why. He went down and that’s where he found his brother!
And, the best thing is, these kind of events are not rare. They happen a lot, here. Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants our families to be together!
Another great thing from this week was the talk by our mission president, Pres. Tate, at our “Go Forth” meeting Friday. He said a few years ago he was serving as an area seventy, and was asked to accompany Elder David A. Bednar for the creation of a new stake and the calling of a new stake president. Elder Bednar taught him that Doctrine & Covenants, chapters 6-9, is the best place to go to learn about revelation. Pres. Tate pointed out and expounded on several verses for us and, then, told us how he and Elder Bednar had worked together in the selection of that stake president. It really was interesting and inspiring.
Pres. Tate assured us that the same process had been used in determining where each of us would serve. And, I feel confident that Bob and I have been assigned where we are most needed.
On Friday, after we all got our assignments, the mission presidency and their wives, all of us new missionaries and some of the trainers went to the temple together. The Salt Lake Temple is massive! (I only got lost twice, though!) And, it is amazingly beautiful!! I’m so glad we were able to go.
One scripture that has left a real impression on me this week is the latter part of verse 24 in D&C 128. It says, “Let us offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.” The “worthy of all acceptation” part has really stayed with me — and helped reinforce for me the need for plenty of correct documentation and for including reasons for everything you do in familysearch.org.
In this mission, we’re each given one day a month off that we can use for our own family history research and temple work. We love it! The Family History Library is just a couple of blocks down the street from us, and the temple is directly across from that. I doubt we’ll ever be anywhere else, again, where doing this work is more convenient! And, our better understanding of familysearch.org is making it easier than ever to find family and do the work.
With Gen. Conference coming in just a couple of weeks, I found this photo of the conference center on-line. The building in the background, at the top of the photo, just right of center, is the apartment building we live in. (Although we’re on the 7th floor, on the back side of the bldg., and can’t see the conference center from our place, we walk out the front door on that side of the building every morning and cut across part of the (paved) conference center grounds to report to our mission assignments.) Thought you might like to see. (If we're able to snag any tickets for General Conference, all we have to do it walk across the street!)