6:30 am Up, exercise, personal study, dress for the day8:00 am Companionship Study (Book of Mormon, Institute Book of Mormon Guide, and Preach My Gospel)
8:30-40 am On our way to the office which is 10-15 minutes away. (We usually pick up or drop off Von's shirts, and this is CAROLYN's time to crochet.)
9 am - 5pm Office responsibilities. As you know, Von is in charge of housing, key indicators, finance and ordering supplies, etc. Carolyn is in charge of record keeping, phones, solving small problems, assembling various training and welcome booklets, and preparing all necessary records and booklets for transfers (incoming and outgoing).
We usually take a half hour lunch and eat in Von's office.
Along with our duties, we enjoy the company of the Referral/Baptism Secretary (Sister Last from Kaysville), the iPAD/Food Secretary (Sister Williams from Spanish Fork), the Car Czar/Missionary Cell Phones Coordinator (Elder Atkinson) and our Health Co-coordinator (Sister Atkinson) both from Zion Illinois. We also enjoy an occasional visit from some of our missionaries when they need supplies. However, our missionaries are busy with their callings, and spend very little time in the office.
During any six week period, we attend such functions as District or Zone meetings, transfers, transfer dinners, senior couples dinners, Zone Conferences, New Missionary Training Meetings, etc. Sometimes, our phone is forwarded to Elder Christensen's phone so we can all attend these meetings. They take place all over the mission. Occasionally we are called upon to help"find" or be a "member present" at an investigator lesson.
5:00 - 10:00 pm RESTING (believe it or not - not unusual to take a short nap before bed); preparing and eating our evening meal, catching up our personal records and working on our computers, playing Bananagrams, cleaning, reading, laundry, mending missionary clothing, shopping, etc. Often on week nights, Von, Carolyn, Sister Last and Williams meet together and invite missionaries to eat with us. This happens usually about twice a week rotating between apartments. We love this part of our mission. Also there are occasionally church functions to attend. We didn't bring a TV with us, and are happy about that.
Friday Night: Date Night. We go out to eat every Friday - quite different from what we did at home. We try to go to a different restaurant each week. However, we have our favorites, so we go back to them more often.
Saturdays: Our P "Personal" day:
Once or twice a month we are able to go to a baptism in our area, which is always a rewarding experience. Oh, how excited and happy these new converts are. Occasionally there is a ward or stake function. And usually, we try to see the sights of Chicago. Of course, this provides the most interesting pictures, so this is what anyone would see the most of on our blog, except for our cute missionaries. We have had over 14,000 views on our site. Parents LOVE to SEE PIX of their MISSIONARIES.Sunday: Our study time is 1.5 hours, and we plan our Sunbeam lesson. Sometimes we are asked to pick up members or investigators for church. When we do, it takes over an hour to reach their homes and return to the church as we do not live in our ward area. Church is from 1:00 - 4:00. We often go driving after church in this beautiful part of Chicago, then head home for something to eat, and a game of Bananagrams.
Well, that's our missionary lives in a nutshell. Oh, wait. I forgot to mention the most important part. Every day we see and have many tender mercies. They are a constant reminder that Heavenly Father is watching over us on this mission. Always, when we get discouraged because of sad things happening here, or we are missing our family and friends and home in Utah, Heavenly Father seems to bless us extra to remind us how much He loves us, and that He is pleased with our service. As my niece, Dalaney says "God doesn't give me more miracles because I'm a missionary; I just see them better now."
There are other things that happen on a mission that are very hard to explain. Your life perspective changes. You testimony not only grows, but broadens. You come to understand your relationship with God, Christ and the Holy Ghost better. You grow to love diversity, especially in people. Charity - Christ like love - grows. All this in spite of the fact that we spend our days in an office. Yes, we will be glad to return home - but we are so grateful Heavenly Father gave us this wonderful opportunity of a mission in this place and at this time.