Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Friday, December 29, 2017

A Family History Mission: How do we survive?

No. 21

Note: You can do a Google search for "A Family History Mission" to see all the previous posts in this ongoing series. You can also search for "James Tanner genealogy" and find them.

Depending on where full-time Senior Missionaries are assigned, we either get to take our own car and load it up with stuff or if air travel is required, we are limited to whatever we can carry and check through the airport. As I may have already reported, we were "required" to supply our own transportation. For many years, because my wife and I both worked, we had two cars. But by coming on a mission we had to consolidate and we sold one of our cars. We kept our all-wheel-drive Subaru Outback and loaded it up with everything we could cram into the back.

One suggestion from a daughter was to preview putting all the stuff in the car by loading the empty boxes before we actually got to the point of the final loading. This helped immensely in planning and visualizing what we could and could not take. Unlike like many missionaries, we have a pile of computer stuff so that had priority. Otherwise, we had to guess what we might leave and what we could afford to purchase on arrival across the country.

Now, if the missionaries are assigned to live at home and serve, they avoid all this. However, some missionaries who we met were going to places such as New Zealand or Europe and had real challenges. Some discovered airline limitations they were unaware of while in the Missionary Training Center and spent days trying to figure out what to leave and what to take. Since we knew exactly how much room we had in our car and definitely did not want to pull a trailer, we could bring a lot more stuff.

In our case, the wonderful Senior Missionaries at the office of the Washington, D.C. North Mission arranged for an apartment (of course, we had the problem of being notified of the wrong apartment number, but that is now being worked out) and furnished it. They did an excellent job. We had more than expected and almost all the things we needed for the apartment. We did make a trip to the Mission Office to stock up on a few more things.

Some Senior Missionaries have to find their own accommodations. Previously, the cost of apartments varied considerably from mission to mission. But, now, there is a fixed amount paid by the Senior Missionaries that varies from place to place around the world. You can go on and find a list of the current costs for every mission in the Church.

In our case, some of the major challenges of moving for a year included mail service and medical prescriptions. But those things are being slowly worked out. We did arrive with very little food and other necessities and we have spent the first full week of our mission with frequent visits to local food stores and other stores to obtain some of the things we need.

As seniors, we need to eat, sleep and rest. We find the change from a less structured life to one where we go to work every day requires our combined organizational skills. One of the biggest challenges is moving into a very busy, big city with roads that never seem to meet at right angles. Without GPS assistance we probably still be lost.

So far, we are surviving.

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