It has begun! Our missionary training officially began today even though we don’t check into the Missionary Training Center until Monday. Today we were able to meet with the head of the wheelchair initiatives for the whole Church. Our meeting was at the Welfare offices of the Church, located on the 7th floor of the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City – seen in the photo below.
We learned that the Church has about 7 or 8 different kinds of wheelchairs it donates, depending on the size of the recipient and the specific need. Thousands of wheelchairs are donated throughout the world to the poorest of the poor who cannot otherwise afford one, making for a life-changing experience for them and their families. We work through local government agencies and non-government organizations in each of the countries to distribute the wheelchairs.
We learned that rather than just give wheelchairs away randomly, it is important to work closely with the local organizations in training them how to properly fit a person for a wheelchair. If a person is not properly fitted for the right kind of wheelchair, they could possibly develop pressure sores, some of which could be dangerous and even life-threatening, particularly in the more developing countries where disease is common. Thus the importance for the Church to work closely to teach the organizations what to look for, how to make sure the wheelchair is the right one for the person, and then to be the on-the-ground contact point for continuing support.
Tomorrow – more training from the Church Office Building on emergency response, medical cares, water initiatives, etc. This is way fun!!!!