Friday, March 28, 2014

The Australia Brisbane Mission Office

We have been here six weeks. There is a routine to our weekdays because we are in the office. We get up at six, shower and get ready. My American blow dryer is holding up. It is plugged in to a converter because the plug portion is different than Aussie outlets, but also in the states we use 120 volt power to outlets and here it is 240 volts. I know at some point it will die, it sounds funny and acts weak but it does blow my hair dry. We have breakfast which is often Greek yogurt with muesli, or cold cereal (we recently bought a small box of frosted mini wheats for five dollars, yum!) most of the cereals we have never heard of we just go by the pictures on the box. Sometimes we have an egg and a piece of raisen toast. The eggs here are always brown with really dark yellow yolks, I don't know why. We read scriptures together, often make a lunch and leave for the office at seven thirty. Depending on the traffic it takes us 20 to 30 minutes. We live in Kangaroo Point, the office is in Ascot. On the way to work we stop at the post office where we empty our post box and pick up at a separate window any large packages. We take two reusable bags to hold the mail. We get a lot of mail! With 270 missionaries you can imagine. We get to the office shortly after 8:00 am. We sort the mail into the 10 zones, we have a wall of mail cubbies which has a desk area under it for the mission office elders. The office also includes a conference room, a store room/kitchen, president Hendersons office, a wall of desks and computers along a long wall of windows, one other small office and the secretary area. It is not a bad place to be. It is air conditioned and we can use the internet when we have time (we don't have internet at our apartment yet) to email, etc. there is plenty of light from the windows. We are on the second floor and the area is nice with a lot of small shops and restaurants on the street. 
Ken is doing the finances, he pays the bills, processes tenancy agreements for flats, manages missionary support cards which are the cards the missionaries use for their expenses. Manages the mission office credit cards and keeps the mission money on the straight and narrow. He is also involved with the cars. Yesterday he received three or four calls requesting extra K's for the month (kilometers) from missionaries who have reached their limit for the month. There are 88 cars spread out over the mission, it is a big job. A local brother, Elder Orth helps and he does the bicycles, every missionary has a bike. The secretary duties are answering the phone, calls come in about all kinds of stuff. Handling correspondence. Tracking and managing incoming and out going missionaries. Which involves, visas, passports, travel, reports and lists. Also ordering supplies, filing, copying, mailing, assisting the president and did I mention answering the phone 20 to 30 times a day! Some days we don't do anything we planned on doing and other days are a little more quiet and we get more done.
There are four assistants to the president, two office elders, President and Sister Henderson, Elder and Sister Miles (who leave the end of April) and us. Everyone is not there all the time, but coming and going. We often have missionaries dropping in for something. Sometimes during the day we make another trip to the post office, airport or go get some lunch. We leave to head home sometime after five. We are busy trying to learn all we can, some of it is sinking in, some is floating around. We might need life preservers!

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