Friday, April 25, 2008

Musical Link to Home

We discovered the most wonderful thing last week. We can listen online to FM100 "Soft Sunday Sounds" 7 days a week, anytime of day. This has been such a blessing and brightening to our days. We love to have music playing in the Mission Office, but have played the CD's we brought from home so much, we have every hymn and song memorized. Even the ones the family have sent have been played for hours, between our vehicle, apartment and Mission Office. But, now we have a fresh and unending supply of beautiful Sabbath day music at our fingertips. We love it! Sometimes the small and simple things truly are the most significant!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Telephone Messaging Dilemma

We have a real problem at our house. There is no space left on the phone answering machine for messages. After 14 months in Michigan it doesn't seem unreasonable to me that there are 14 months of precious phone messages that absolutely CANNOT be deleted. The 18th undeletable one came tonight from JT. Now what's a gramma to little message space, so many people calling to fill it up with unimportant facts and details. The next 9 months may be interesting!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Family Visits

In February 2008 Heidi came to visit. We had too few days with her. Because we were short handed in the Mission Office, we celebrated not by discovering some wonderful Michigan winter destination, but by taking her with us each day and working her fingers to the bone! Apparently we were so preoccupied with our labors that we didn't even take pictures. What a couple of fun hosts we are! So come on everyone, visit Ron and Mary on their mission and see how you can be put to work!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Thought for the Day:

Regarding missionary work, President Hinckley said:

"You will bless the lives of those you teach, and their posterity after them. You will bless your own life. You will bless the lives or your family who will sustain you and pray for you.

And above and beyond all of this will come that sweet peace in your heart that you have served your Lord faithfully and well. Your service will become an extension of gratitude to your Heavenly Father. You will come to know your Redeemer as your greatest friend in time or eternity. You will realize that through His atoning sacrifice He has opened the way for eternal life and an exaltation above and beyond your greatest dreams."

Monday, April 7, 2008

Thought for the Day

"A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race."
Joseph Smith

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A week in the life of Elder and Sister Brunner

It has a been awhile since we have blogged! Missionary work is very time consuming!
To catch up a little I thought I would tell you about an average week for us.

Our typical day starts at 6:30 am. It should be 6:00, but that is really early for us oldies. Especially since our time zone is 2 hours different than our kids. That means we talk to them late at night and don't get to bed until VERY late. So 6:30 feels plenty early. We begin our day with scripture study. This has become our favorite time of the day. We often become so absorbed in what we are studying and learning that we lose track of time. The time goes faster than at any other time of the day, and we often find 7:30 has come and we must start racing through the shower, eating breakfast, making lunches and pulling it all together before we race to the Mission Office by 9:00.

While at the Mission Office, Ron usually works on apartments and cars and cell phones and problems with cars or oil changes or utility problems, why those heating bills are so high, what to do with that flat tire.... You get the picture. Oh, and he just got 10 new cars, so they need to be switched with the old cars, sent to the most responsible missionaries, then sell the 10 old ones. After that, it is back to teaching young men how to remove mold from a bath tub (yes, it involves a scrub brush and some soft scrub) and ordering new glass doors that missionaries have shattered, by playing darts, or working through yet another car accident and all that paperwork. There is always something new and interesting. Then he moves on to reports that need to be filled out on all 60 vehicles. The only problem is that he has to wait for the information to come in from 60 missionary companionship's. You know where this one is going, right? He enters in every oil change and gallon of gas spent and all this information gets sent to Church headquarters. These are a few of the things that keep Ron busy during the day.

My day is spent answering all the calls that come into the Mission Office, and trying to direct, fix or assist with that call. I start my day by doing the Media Referrals. An average of 5 to 25 referrals come in every day. People request items or want to know more after visiting, viewing our TV spots, attending a pageant or stopping by a visitors center. The information is entered into the computer and then we determine which area and missionary companionship the referral should go to. I print them a referral, then I text message the missionaries. (Yes, I text message!!) My goal is to accomplish all this within 24 hours from the original request. Someone who looks at on Sunday night will have missionaries visit him the next day. Isn't that amazing. The Lords work is moving onward so quickly, literally! After referrals, I work on the mail. Anywhere in the world the Church has a mission, the missionaries mail comes to the associated Mission Office so those precious letters and packages from home aren't lost when the missionaries transfer to a new location. This can be a huge job, especially during major holidays. But it is a rewarding job, as we've learned the very most favorite thing for every missionary are those letters and packages.

We do all the ordering of missionary and office supplies, name tags, and other issues. We also do all the communicating with the missionary families. Every six weeks there are brand new missionaries leaving the MTC, excited and scared and anxious to begin the work they've been preparing for so long. And every six weeks we say goodbye to the most amazing, valiant young men and women, who we've come to love. Over the course of 18 months for the sisters, or two years to the elders, they truly become saviors on Mount Zion. We marvel at their abilities, goodness and testimonies. We have more hope than ever that the Church and the world are in good hands as this rising generation makes itself known. We send home with them a gathering of as much information possible from their 2 years of service, a letter from the President and we make a nice packet for them to leave with. Of course we have a special dinner the night before they leave, which Ron and I have been blessed to be apart of. The next morning they leave and later that same day our new missionaries arrive. They need information and an orientation of what to expect regarding their cars, apartments, phones, mail, supplies, etc. More letters to moms and dads back home. This all occurs the day after transfers, and we send letters to parents who's missionaries are being given leadership positions. More letters to those missionaries and training information. All of this is really a lot like running an office, but it is an office for 150 missionaries. We just try to take care of every need we can. Financial, transportation, housing..... Helping to make it easier for them to function and serve in their work.

We have a wonderful senior missionary sister who serves with us in the office. Sister Fredline has been the financial and travel secretary for 4 years. She is there every day until around noon, and we're so grateful that we don't have to do all that she accomplishes each day.

We leave the Mission Office between 5:30 and 8:00 pm. If we have time, we try to visit the 12-16 less-active and part-member families we are working with. We find ourselves frequently purchasing more food and preparing meals for functions or struggling families. It's a lot like what we all do at home, we just do it more frequently now than we usually did at home.
It is good work and it is busy work.
Time just doesn't always allow for us to do journaling and posting the way we had planned.
We love our missionaries. We love the work and we love serving our Heavenly Father at this time and in this capacity.
We also love and miss all of you!