It has been brought to my attention that there are some out there in blog land that think we are living in a 'resort' and just having an 'great adventure'!!
Yes, a mission is an adventure. You meet so many wonderful people and have wonderful experiences in a new land and culture. I have been on several vacations that I would consider adventures, but not in the same way as a mission.
Some think that we must not do much because we are not the 'senior missionaries' our helping the Stakes, District, Wards and Branches (like other couples that are or have served a mission). We are in the office doing all of the behind the scenes things that help to keep the mission running and getting the information passed along to church headquarters! And, Elder Jewkes and myself do most of it by ourselves . . . no office elders in this mission.
So, what DO we do each day???
Elder Jewkes makes sure that all of the bills are paid; that there are contracts for all of the apartments and that the rent is paid on time; that all of the missionaries have their support (money to pay their living expenses while serving their mission). He also meets with the mission presidency. He goes to the post office each day to retrieve our mail (they don't deliver mail here, YOU go and pick it up). He is in charge of the vehicles in our mission. The other day the mission president needed a new battery. Elder Jewkes called the area office and they came and installed it that afternoon. There are still other things he does, but the work load changes almost daily for him! (We have found that in other missions here that there is one person that takes care of each of these tasks)
And me . . . I get all of the travel for our missionaries set up, which includes getting missionaries back to Manila to take in a temple session, to a hotel for the night and then on to the airport to travel home the next day. We start that at least 3-4 months before departure dates. I get departure books ready as well as orientation books for new missionaries . . . transfer weeks are always very busy! I send all of the correspondents out from the mission office. I order all of the supplies for the office including all of the materials needed for the missionary efforts. I keep the calendar updated. I put together the mission newsletter, print it and get it ready to distribute to missionaries. I enter all of the temple recommends for the Districts within our mission as well as departing missionaries. One of the blessings that I have is to enter the baptismal records into the church system so that each new member can receive a membership record number. Each time as I am entering these (and some can be very challenging) I think someday someone may be looking for a member of their family so they can do family history. It is so important to put in accurate information. I also help the mission president's wife with the medical issues (that nursing is coming in handy again). With 160+ missionaries, she is very busy. I also do all of the filing for the mission. And now we have cell phones for each companionship, so I will helping with that. It may not seem like much, but we are busy taking care of the mission office. We do get to attend Zone Conferences and some of the other meetings that take place in the zones with the young missionaries. I sometimes feel like I am back in the work place only the 'payment' is much richer here!
No, we are not out 'teaching' and working closely with the members, but we have gotten to know many of the ward members in the Angeles Ward. We will go home with many new friends that we will treasure for the rest of out lives! We have had spiritual experiences. We have been visiting an older couple in the ward. They are always so excited when we go to visit them. They are a very special family!
As far as a living in a 'resort', not sure where that comes from. We do have fun and enjoy the culture and the people. We do live in a nice apartment here at Clarkfield - the old US military base, but resort . . I think not! Maybe it is because I like to take lots of picture to help others experience the Philippines along with us ( and to have visual memories of our mission). Each time we go out, there is something new and amazing to see!
So, I hope that clears it up for those who don't think we are really on a mission. We love the work. We love working closely with the mission president and his wife. We love getting to know all of the missionaries as they come and go in the mission. We also love working with the other senior couples who, like us, have left our families and friends behind for 18 months to serve our Heavenly Father in furthering His work! There is not greater calling!!