Friday, October 12, 2012

Missionary Life - Then and Now

I am frequently reminded that our son's mission experience is very different in so many ways from when we served our mission twenty-five years ago in Brazil.  So a couple of weeks ago, I asked Elder Tonini if he would answer a couple of questions to help us better understand the life as a missionary.  Here are our answers:

  • Where do you do your laundry?
    • ET:  I do my landry at my apartment.  We have a washer and dryer there in our kitchen.
    • Me:  We either paid someone to do our laundry or wash them by hand ourselves and hung them out to dry.
  • How much money to you get each month?  (This would be used for food, clothing, bike repairs, etc.  Housing and utilities would be paid for by the mission).
    • ET:  We get $125 a week to live off of.
    • Me:  We got $125 per month.
  • What is your commitment/goal each week for service (i.e. non-proselyting time)
    • ET:  We really don't have a set goal/commitment for service each week.  that is up for us to decide.
    • Me:  This concept of providing service (e.g. volunteering at the library) was not part of our missionary schedule.  We would have 70 hours of week of proselyting time.
  •  Where do you email from each week?  What happens if it is closed on Monday (assuming you are using a public library PC)?
    • ET:  We email from the Beaumont LIbrary on Mondays on the computers.  If it's a holiday, we go one Tuesdays to email our weekly report to the mission home and to write our families.
    • Me:  Did email exist in 1986?  We relied on snail mail.
  • Are you on your bike all of the time?  Does that motivate you to do splits with the members so you can be in a car at night?
    • ET: Yes, we ride every where!  I am over 1,200 miles on the saddle.  It does motive us to be better planners so we can be in a lesson at nightfall.
    • Me:  I had one area where bikes were an option and another area where I was in a car.  The rest of my mission was on foot or by public transport (buses and taxis).
  • Are there any mission-specific rules that President Smart has imposed?
    • ET:  There aren't any specific rules but we do have high standards to meet.
    • Me:  In addition to The Missionary Handbook, we also had 19 Points that we would try to do.  It's been so long, I can't even name one of the 19 Points.
One thing that hasn't changed is the attachment and love that you feel for those whom you teach.  Twenty-five years later, I still keep in touch with those to whom I had the privilege of introducing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It will be the same for this Elder Tonini twenty-five years from now.

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