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

Saturday, August 4, 2018

A Family History Mission: What we brought vs. What we needed

No. 75

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.

We are a camping family. Even now, in our "advanced age" we spend some of our vacations tent camping. As an aside, some of our friends back in Provo, Utah cannot believe that we actually sleep in tents on the ground. We have what to take camping down to a science with specific lists for specific conditions. But coming on a year-long camping trip is more of a challenge. As Senior Missionaries, the guidelines about what we can bring on our missions are a lot more liberal than those for young missionaries. Here are a few thoughts on the categories of things we needed and those we actually brought here to Annapolis, Maryland. 

The first main difference between young missionaries and Senior Missionaries is that if you live in the United States and are called to the United States and have a car, you bring that on your mission and depend on your car to drive to and from your mission and for transportation while on your mission. For us, that meant we could bring only what would fit in our Subaru Outback. As I have written previously, we did a test run and loaded empty boxes into the car to see what we could and could not take. 

For us, our first priority was our computer systems. So those boxes came first. We are glad we brought our computer systems with us including a printer. One hard drive has crashed since we came and so we had to buy a replacement. 

There are unexpected but ordinary and some extraordinary expenses on a mission. One minor one, for example, is that we do not have any way to wash our car living in an apartment except to pay for a car wash. Other expenses, although unexpected, can be major, such as doctor bills, medicine, and etc. These are not necessarily things we would not have had to pay for if we had stayed at home, but in some cases, they would have been for things we had left at home. Another example is pillows. We left ours at home because of space requirements. We had to buy new pillows when we got here. We now have quite a few pillows because the first ones we bought didn't work well at all. If you leave a paying job to come on a mission, that is a major consideration. 

One thing we did bring that turns out to be necessary is tools. I brought a selection of tools, i.e. hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches, etc. and that turned out to be very useful. Some of the missionaries brought more tools and they have used their tools to upgrade some of the things we use for digitization in the Maryland State Archives. One missionary designed a clamp that is now being used by other missionaries across the United States. 

Food is always a consideration. I would have brought less. But Ann brought the things that are not easily replaced such as spices and other similar items. Unless we want to eat out every day, we have to cook. We do not eat out much. In fact, we have eaten out at restaurants more on our mission than ever before in our lives. Most of the kitchen items were kindly supplied by our mission, but we did end up buying a few things. We did buy a chair for one of our computers, but that was incidental. 

In our mission, the apartment came completely furnished. I understand that is not always the case. We even were given some basic supplies like TP and soap. We also made a trip to the mission office and got a few more things we needed. Some of those things have needed replacement, such as a mop that broke. 

Clothes are a problem. Since we lived in Provo, we had winter clothes. Had we come from Mesa, where we used to live, we would have needed more winter clothes. Snow and ice require gloves, car window scrapers, and all sorts of things. Since we work in the Archives with old records, we wear regular clothes to work. We love our raincoats. We can live without a lot of variety, so we brought about what we needed. 

We obviously have to buy food here. It took us a while to find the stores and work out the prices. 

All in all, we brought about what we have needed and now have to figure out, at some point, how to get it all back home. 

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