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

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Family History Mission: Changes and Adjustments

An Indenture Document from 15 September of 1800
No. 50

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

Just when we were getting used to our schedule at the Maryland State Archives, out of a legitimate concern about security, we had our whole schedule changed. We have been working from 7:00 am until 4:00 pm, four and half days a week. We will now be working five days a week from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm. We will miss our half day off on Fridays.

We had a very busy week with lots of work. There are four cameras and presently, four missionary/volunteer couples. But we have been transitioning from doing mostly books to doing "loose papers" or what we call "flat work." The camera stations have to be redesigned to handle flat paper and so two of the missionaries, who happen to be engineers, have been converting two of the stations to this configuration. We have to add software, two monitors, and plexiglass sheets to hold the papers flat on the table to make the images. It turns out to be fairly complicated. Apparently, the missionaries are expected to "adapt" their equipment to the needs of the particular archive or repository. FamilySearch does pay for the needed equipment, however. During the transition, we have had two of the cameras with limited work. Ann and I will continue to do books for the time being.

The weather here in Annapolis is amazingly diverse. One day it can be raining and in the low 30s and the next, it can be sunny and over 70 degrees. We check the weather often because it can be different from when we arrive at the Archives and when we leave. We still think the two major challenges of living here in what I have called the "Frozen North" most of my life is the weather and the traffic. We are getting fairly used to riding the Metro train system and find our way around and through downtown Washington, D.C. Any trip is an adventure and it takes both of us, me driving and Ann on the GPS (sometimes two phones at once), to find where we need to go. We prefer the trains, they are more predictable than the streets.

We have started teaching English to some of the Spa Branch (Spanish) members. We aren't trying for large classes, we prefer one on one or one or two class members. I taught English to Spanish speakers for about 3 and half years in Mesa, Arizona and it is nice to get the chance to teach again. I have been teaching one member who has lived here for 17 years and still has very limited English ability. It is sad that they have such few opportunities.

We are expecting a new missionary couple this week. This will help considerably since one of the four couples (including us) is now supervising the volunteers. This will get all four cameras working again.

Spring Break in some of the schools brought one of our sons and his family for a very short, one afternoon visit. We do keep in touch will all of our children and grandchildren across the country and around the world.

I think one the main benefits of being a Senior Missionary is the opportunity to have a regular job with lots of interesting things to do. Changing from "retirement" to full employment is a challenge, but that challenge has given us a lot of wonderful experiences so far. We can always use more Senior Missionaries in the Church. 

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