I can’t believe it was in November, four months ago since we last blogged here.
We belong to a lay church. This means we all serve in positions and no one gets paid. We look upon service to others as one of the main purposes of this earth life. Sylvia and I were given the opportunity to serve a full time mission from our home. We are Family Search Support Missionaries. We serve from our home via email and Skype and provide support to the thousands of people who use new FamilySearch to research their family trees. We are English Missionaries which means we provide support to all English speaking people which includes North America, the United Kingdom, Australia/New Zealand and South Africa. The work is challenging, stimulating and very rewarding. The people we interact with (Patrons) email, chat, or Skype us to help them with problems they encounter as they search out their family history.
Now you may be asking yourselves what does this have to do with the last time we blogged. Well, it was in November of 2011 that we started an intensive training course to prepare us for the types of questions we would receive from Patrons. We probably attended classes and studied and practiced for more than forty hours per week during November and December. Then in January we started interacting with Patrons. So our time has been tied up a bit.
But now we have been serving three months and our schedule is getting somewhat regular. As “fulltime” missionaries we are asked to serve a minimum of fifteen hours a week and be available to help out sometimes when things get especially busy. Our regular time is Monday through Thursday. We usually start around eight or nine in the morning and stop about one. But on Tuesdays we have a meeting from Salt Lake City that usually lasts about 1 ½ hours where we are kept up to date on changes and additions to the data base. And on Wednesdays we have another meeting with our Missionary Team that usually lasts about an hour.
It is a sort of shape shifter: to the very young, it seems to drag on; to the old, it flies by. The young think that Christmas or the next birthday will never arrive; many older people can hardly believe how quickly the years have passed — it seems only a short while ago that their now grown-up children were babes in arms.
Members of older generations identify with Tevye's questions in the wedding song of "Fiddler on the Roof." Tevye is amazed that the little girl he carried has grown "to be a beauty" and "the little boy at play" has grown "to be so tall," and then wonders, "I don't remember growing older, When did they?...Wasn't it yesterday when they were small?"