Many people we have talked to have expressed their desire NOT to serve an office mission. They "want to be in the trenches". They want to be where the Lord's "real work" is happening. One couple even indicated that office missionaries don't get a chance to get out and do things. ???????????????? We are wondering why we are so tired if we don't do anything.Don't think for a moment you won't be in the trenches if you serve an office mission. You are right there, front line, serving as much and as intensely as you want.
We were happy to serve in the office as we both have office skills, and felt we could be of help. Little did we know how desperately our help was needed - not just in Chicago, but throughout the world. No mission can function without the office staff. If the office staff must become the young missionaries for lack of seniors, there are that many less missionaries preaching the gospel.....and NO ONE can preach the gospel like a young missionary. NO ONE!Following is an excerpt from a letter written by Sister Abbott from our office. She has been the nurse and secretary for our mission. We could not say any better how it feels to be a Senior Office Missionary.
"We love the opportunity we have to serve the young missionaries as we all strive to hasten the work. Our service makes their service possible. We do not do paper work, we do heart work. We keep them mobile, healthy, supplied with materials, funds, shelter and love.
The missionaries talk about how they love the people they serve. We talk and talk and talk about how we love the missionaries we serve. There is no feeling of administrative duties here. The mere thought of the opportunity we have to serve brings tears of gratitude. The hours are long, there is physical and mental effort required, but our missionaries pay us with love and gratitude. The Lord pays us with blessings of all kinds.
We feed missionaries, we train missionaries, we answer our phones 24/7. The spirit that emanates from our Elders and Sisters in every gathering we attend fills us with joy. "
Elder and Sister Abbott go home this week. THEY WILL BE SORELY MISSED by ALL the missionaries, their YSA Branch where they actively participated, by the President and his wife who depend on them greatly, and by all the many people they have influenced in Chicago while on their mission.
They helped us see the vision of what office missionaries could be by their examples and words.. Being office missionaries was not something they wanted to do, but they accepted the call of the Lord. You can see from Sister Abbotts words how their mission turned out. And our mission will be much better because the Abbotts, along with the Taggarts taught us what it meant to be Office Missionaries.