Lois and I then had an opportunity in a more informal setting to meet with them over dinner today. There are 5 Sisters and 2 elders currently preparing to go to Thailand. They travel to Thailand next month and arrive on December 18th. There is one exception. Elder Sukhan from Salt Lake City is leaving a few hours in front of us day after tomorrow (Friday November 8th). He is on an accelerated schedule because he already speaks Thai. His mother and father are Native Thai's. His father happens to be the current Bishop of the Salt Lake 1st Thai/Laotion Ward. The other Elder in the group, Elder Arne has a mother who is native Thai having come to this country when she was 11 years old. He is spending the full 8 weeks here learning Thai.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Office Specialist Training
This week we are staying in the MTC proper as opposed to last week we were housed in the Provo Marriott Hotel. See the picture of me lounging in our room looking at the website called iMOS (internet Mission Operating System). It is what we have been training on all week. I think I got it about down. However, I should have paid more attention to what our ward financial clerk Tom Gold does when I was in the Bishopric. Then some of these receipting and journaling concepts would not have been so foreign.
We returned to the MTC on Sunday evening in time for the weekly departure devotional (strictly for those in the last week at the MTC) and the standard Sunday Evening devotional. A former MTC president and his wife talked.
There are 4 couples taking the Office Specialist training this week. The Pendley’s are going to the Chile Concepcion Mission. Elder Pendley served a Spanish Speaking Mission years ago. They have been married for 11 months. The Birds are going to serve in Mexico City. They both served a Mission separately to Baja Mexico many years ago. Their assignment is MLS (Membership Leadership Services) but the Mission President wants them to oversee the office as a part time assignment. The Pincock’s are going to the Japan Nagoya Mission. Apparently he knows the Japanese Mission President very well and was asked by him to come and serve in his Mission Office. Elder Pincock and his wife have served in Japan together twice already. Once as a Mission President and once as the President of the Tokoyo MTC. In addition, he just retired after working in the Church Missionary department for 16 years. So he is well versed in Mission operations. Our instructors have spent time teaching us the basics of computers, internet, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. I did not learn anything new on that day except a few shortcuts. We are being taught by 6 returned Missionaries (3 during morning session and 3 during afternoon session) who are currently students at BYU. They have served Missions in Guatemala, Australia, Romania, Florida… several others I forgot. They are fun to be with.
They have spent the rest of this week teaching us the ins and outs of iMOS software. It is fun to log on and see the actual data from the Thailand Mission (data was two weeks old). Got to see that Elder Brown (and his wife) who taught me in the MTC 38 years ago is to serve in Thailand starting in February next year. I also tracked down the names and pictures of the current Missionaries being trained here at the MTC. Lois and I got to meet them after the Tuesday evening devotional. We coordinated this with the Branch President who is over the Thai Missionaries. He invited Lois and I to meet with the Thai Missionaries after the Devotional (Elder Zwick and his wife spoke). It was a treat to meet with them and get to know them a little bit.