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!


Little Monkey Mama said...

Sounds like fun! Where do I sign up? :)

mom said...

Don't you have a curfew time? Seems like 11:00 pm might be a little late for you to be up lady!!!

Sister Betty - don't know how to change my posting i.d.

Jared, Becky, Emmalie and Kyler said...

You guys are amazing! We are so proud of you and all you are accomplishing!