Pres Wall came into the office this morning, and the first thing he said is, "Does anyone know how to prevent a released mission president from returning home?" None of knew the answer, but he didn't stop there. He asked each of the 4 of us present, "Do you? Do you? etc." until we'd all said "No." Then he smiled, laughed and walked to his office. Perfect! I think he's ready for his life's next chapter.
We're in super change mode as the Wall's final hours tick quickly away. They're already living in a hotel while the mission home is thoroughly cleaned with some minor renovating taking place. There are so many little things to do in addition to the mountain of other things that piled up this week as I spent 3 delightful days being inspired and motivated. Many little tasks are just that--little tasks, but some require figuring out where to go to do them. For example, all the fax cover sheets need to be changed from the Wall's name to the Hansen's. So where are the faxes kept. That wasn't too tough--just a word document. Also, the lists of Stake Presidents and Bishops needs to be updated. Now it's like playing hide & seek. Someone hid the excel program, and I have yet to find it. Come out, come out, where ever you are! This may require me to call Sister Olsen for the first time in the 4 months she's been gone. But first I have to go into CDOL--which is maybe a directory for the entire world--and check each ward and stake directory. That's going to take some time.
Another task is making up something for President Hansen to have when he starts Zone Conferences on Monday--yes, June 30 (6 ZC's in 4 days without having time to unpack!)--so he can put names with faces and make some notes. It'll be a few pages for each zone with the missionary's pictures, names and a few other details. Then there's new labels for files, ordering new address labels for the Mission Home, profiles on all the senior couples, some temporary changes on all the IMOS letters, until Pres Hansen has time to personalize them. But they all require changing to his name, so I guess that means changes on ALL the IMOS letters.
Then there are the day to day challenges that just take a bit of time, like getting info to one of our visa waiters. Unfortunately his original information for the FBI clearance has expired, and he has to resend it all. That's crummy, because it's time consuming and expensive, and it's certainly not Elder J's fault. I had to call SLC to correct a misspelled name that I entered for a Baptism and Confirmation record (B&C for short). I called the wrong department then had to wait forever to get the correct one only to find that they don't get the information immediately, so I get to call back on Monday. Then there was the email from SLC about the yearly B&C report that's due when? During transfer week, of course! I'm seriously considering moving a bed in and making the office home for a few weeks. In the meantime, we received 6 of our 19 bikes in 2 days. Things are getting a bit chummy and are about to get chummier.
For several months Elder L has been saying, "Quit doing commissary at transfers. There's too much going on, and things are getting lost or forgotten." I think I ignored him because that's the way Sister O taught me and I wasn't sure I should make changes. Well, I'm feeling a lot more confident now and realize that it's okay to try to make things more efficient. So, after talking to Sister Wall, we made the decision to NOT have commissary at transfers. There's already total chaos when it comes time for everyone to get their bikes and baggage from point A to point B. And that's not just the new incoming missionaries. It could involve 20 or 30 or 40 other changes, double that number and you have a chapel full of moving missionaries. We decided to have it once a month at MLC. That's the first Wednesday of every month when Zone Leaders (ZL's) attend leadership training. Then they present all they learned in MLC at ZTM (Zone Training Meeting) in their zones 2 days later. Excellent! Put the stuff in the trunks of their cars and leave it there till Friday. Finally, an organized way to get commissary, letters, boxes, Ensigns & Liahonas to all the missionaries. All the ZL's seemed to be very in favor of the new plan. Hooray! I hope it's as effective as we're expecting it to be.