End of 2019 Pt 1

Well, it’s the Christmas time of year and we are almost ready for 2020 – Almost because there is still so much that I want to do in 2019 but will not have time to do.

Still very busy with the mission – They finally got some help with the IT stuff – so I just must make sure that that everything gets turned over properly.  This will free me up to do what I’ve been called to do.

I’m not sure what I thought a mission would be like.  I think I imaged that it would be like what we did in the Maryland Baltimore mission when we were inspecting the missionary’s home.  That is really the nice part – you travel around to meet the missionaries at their apartment, talk with them and ensure that they have a clean place and that they are keeping it clean.  We were to be there for them if they needed someone to talk to- That’s something that I would enjoy. –

Well, the mission is nothing like what I thought – running the mission office is much like a business – things need to get done and someone must do them, however, since everyone is a volunteer you can’t fire anyone.

Doing housing is far more work than I thought it would be. There is the normal routine work that needs to be done, ensure that all the leases are up to date and that all the apartments are in good order. With over 65 homes to watch over it can be a little overwhelming.  Then you add in buying cleaning and other supplies for all the homes, fixing/replacing broken furniture and things and finding new homes when needed – it’s downright stressful.  It is not a job for someone that is disorganized or easily stressed and can’t tolerate change 😊   Fortunately I can manage those alright – I stress for 5 minutes and then get to work.

I think I also thought of a mission as ministering to the spiritual needs of others. But what I’m doing in ministering to the temporal needs of others.  Not quite the same thing until I realized an important fact.

When Jesus ascended into heaven and left the apostles to continue His work and feed His sheep they started to, but found that they had so much to do –

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.  So, the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.  Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

The way I see this is that some missionaries are called to “wait on tables” so the work of preaching the Gospel can go forward.  And that is what I am doing by ensuring that the temporal needs of these teaching missionaries are met so they can be about the work of the Lord.

Once I realized this, things got a little easier.

Being on a mission at our age affords us more freedom than it does for the younger missionaries.  We can watch TV – go to movies – visit friends and relatives – we have more free time than the younger ones do.

We got to go to St George twice to see Liz and Steve and family – Johanna and Aaron cam for Thanksgiving, we’ve seen several old friends that were in this area. And in 2020 plan on seeing several more.

Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Years – and remember
If you want to find Peace and Happiness in this life look up to your God, if you look to the world for Peace and Happiness you’ll be disappointed –

Elder Johnnie Franco