Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Full-Purpose Missionary

Our mission call was to serve in the Area Office in Hong Kong as humanitarian missionaries.  I was excited to be going to Hong Kong, excited about working with humanitarian projects, but dubious about the prospects of sitting behind a computer for 23 months.  I understand that many senior couples are also not overly thrilled with the idea of an office mission.

But there has been a term floating around here called “full-purpose missionaries.”  We are reminded frequently that we are needed in many areas of expertise and service, not just one.  So while Elder Coffey and I might have a primary assignment as humanitarian missionaries, we also have opportunities of serving as Temple missionaries, Self-reliance missionaries, Member-leadership support missionaries (MLS), Family History missionaries and office missionaries.   It’s a lot to keep up with!

MLS missionaries - We serve in the Peninsula 3rd branch. Elder Coffey is in the branch presidency.

Elder Crockett, Elder Coffey, President Smart and Elder Chan

He and I teach the Temple Preparation class and when they are ready, we accompany the sisters who have completed the class to the temple. 

Elder Coffey teaching the Temple Preparation Class

I teach Institute as part of our service to the branch.  And we support the sisters in a variety of other ways, helping them work through challenges and offering support

Institute Class
Having a missionary discussion with our friend Simon Lee
Institute sisters signing our "Covenant Keepers" promise.

And sometimes serving as MLS missionaries takes you to places you never imagined!
Branch Christmas pageant 2014

Family History missionaries - We assist the sisters in our branch with Family History work, preparing names of their ancestors to receive the blessings of the temple. Most of them are not able to process names because they do not have computers.  They identify their family names, and we help them get the names ready for the temple.

Temple missionaries - We serve as temple workers, serving in the temple each Friday night, and also on special holidays when the temple is open. This is one of the choice blessings of our service.

Escorting our first Temple Preparation class sisters to the temple

Self-reliance missionaries - We facilitate the Self-reliance class, a 2 hour class each Sunday that helps them learn business principles and skills.  Their goal is to become more self-reliant and start a small business back in the Philippines so they can join their children and families once again.

Self Reliance Class

Self-reliance class graduates

Humanitarian missionaries – This is our primary assignment, one which has been amazing and has taken us throughout Asia as we visit and help train our humanitarian couples who serve in-country.

Our trip to China - 2014

Our weekly Area Welfare Council Committee - 2014

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder Coffey in Timor-Leste - 2015

Office missionaries – And yes, we serve in the Office.  In addition to our humanitarian office support work, we have the blessing of working on special assignments from the Area Presidency - members of the Quorum of Seventy.  These men and their wives are amazing examples of consecration and devotion to Jesus Christ in their labors. And the assignments we are given are actually some of the most incredible and humbling experiences of our service in Asia.

And we love the employees at the office - they hold us all together and keep us going! Jaymi Wong is our Administrative Assistant and we would not survive without her!  And our Area Welfare manager is Patrick Cheuk - such dedicated people that we get to work with!

Jaymi Wong, Administrative Assistant
Elder Coffey with Patrick Cheuk
As Office missionaries, we also are blessed to have the association of some of the most amazing members of the Church – faithful devoted couples who love the Lord and come with vast amounts of talent, wit, dedication, faith and experience.  There are many senior missionary activities organized – monthly Family Home Evening, monthly Saturday activities, weekly lunch together, weekly Sisters’ Institute, and many more - as well as often working together on special projects and events.

Senior missionary lunch
So if you aren't sure about serving an office mission, I'd say - jump in!  The joys and blessings are incredible.  Whether that office is in an Area Office like ours, or a mission office, or some other office, you will be a  "full-purpose missionary" with many opportunities to serve and stretch and grow and draw nearer to the Savior than ever before.

Gotta run - I'm off to prepare for tomorrow's Back to School Institute Party, preparing an Institute Choir to sing in sacrament meeting, getting ready for a music conducting workshop in a couple of weeks, planning the Senior Missionary Family Home Evening (this month it's our turn to host), starting up a new Temple Preparation Class, cooking something for the branch pot luck dinner, and going to a Senior Missionary activity - Cirque de la Symphonie!  

If you aren't sure about an office mission - maybe it's just because you haven't been on one yet!  Come join us!

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