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  • Writer's pictureSean Foley

Transition Time

Our two marvelous weeks of formal training ended Thursday afternoon. It was a great experience, and it was especially wonderful to see the tremendous time and resources the church is putting into missionary health, both physical and mental.


One very positive addition are Mission Health Councils (MHC). As an Area Mental Health Advisor Vivian will attend these for various missions, at the virtual table with the Mission Leaders, Mission Health Advisor, and Area Medical Advisor. These monthly scheduled (an ad-hoc when needed) meetings have a deep support team of professionals on call to join in and consult, and some really modern technology tools. In one of our last classes, we attended a simulated MHC. Despite it being only a simulation with fictional cases, I felt a powerful spirit of love for all the missionaries and genuine concern for their well-being. I am proud to be part of this great work and Vivian and I can't wait to work with this army of good!


With our training done, we are now in this awkward position of waiting to be able to travel to Singapore. We feel like nomads: in our five and a half weeks between leaving home and flying to Singapore we will have slept in eight different beds across five different states. Despite the transience of it all, we are really enjoying the time connecting with family. We are also relieved to see that our house rental is doing well, with four guest nights successfully completed and twelve more booked at this point.


In addition to connecting with the living, we are loving remembering and serving the dead through a lot of time in the FamilySearch library and various temples. We brought with us in the car boxes of pictures, slides, VHS, camcorder tapes, reel-to-reel videos, documents, DVDs, and CDs. Using the church's great (and free!) resources, we have digitized, converted, and uploaded half a terabyte of data. It has been long but enjoyable work. Sunday night it was fun displaying some at a big family dinner and sharing a lot of great memories together. It was so fun to see things we hadn't seen in years or decades.


That's the update for this week! In closing, a great thought from "Adjusting to Missionary Life", a wonderful booklet that is a resource for missionaries in making the physical and emotional adjustments. This booklet in general and quote in specific give me courage...both for myself and for the great young missionaries we'll be supporting:


Sometimes a mission feels like a wonderful spiritual adventure—or at least a challenge you can handle. You calmly move forward with faith, realizing that much of the nervousness or worry you experience is temporary. You take courage in knowing you will adjust with time, grow spiritually, and develop many new skills. Experiences you once feared become more manageable. You even come to cherish aspects of missionary life that once felt overwhelming. You rely on the Spirit, grow in confidence, and find joy in your service.

At other times, however, you may face unexpected problems or experiences that are more difficult or unpleasant than you anticipated. You might wonder how you can succeed. Resources you once relied on to help you cope may not be available. Instead of feeling motivated to try, you might become anxious, irritable, exhausted, or frustrated. You might have physical symptoms like pain, upset stomach, sleeplessness, or illness. You could have trouble learning or connecting with people. You might feel discouraged or want to quit.

Like gauges on a car’s dashboard that remind you to slow down, get gas, or check the engine, these symptoms are signals to remind you to slow down, fill up your spiritual “tank,” and look for new solutions.




Pictures (l-r, top-bottom)

  1. Outside the Orem Temple Open House

  2. With our Missionary Medical training group in Salt Lake. This great group of people is going across the world...to Arizona, to Ghana, Zambia, Cambodia, Germany, Philippines, Peru, and Mexico City.

  3. A P-Day lunch at Mint Tapas and Sushi in Sugarhouse. A wonderful restaurant owned by the family of a great guy that has been a big support to Sage in connecting with her birth family.

  4. At the rooftop gardens of the Conference Center.

  5. Our life on a luggage trolley...moving from house to house, hotel to hotel. (Probably not going to get any sympathy from our pioneer ancestors, but still a hassle! :) )

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6 Comments


kathyduffin
Nov 29, 2023

I didn’t realize you were using the family history library to do the scanning and video conversions. That’s really cool that they have those resources. We have some videos and DVDs and mini camcorder videos that we should digitize sometime.

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Sean Foley
Sean Foley
Nov 29, 2023
Replying to

It is well worth doing!

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Rebecca Morgan
Rebecca Morgan
Nov 14, 2023

Living vicariously through you! Love the updates!

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Sean Foley
Sean Foley
Nov 15, 2023
Replying to

Thanks!

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mikaele.foley
Nov 14, 2023

HIGH ADVENTURE, as we like to say. I'm curious about your visa status, bc over the years we've seen a number of missionaries temporarily serving in/around Laie as they await visas for their assigned mission fields.


For example, you may remember that Sally & I live in a duplex, and when the family staying in the front half finally moved out (to Utah) a few months ago, we decided we would try to rent to full-time missionaries.


It's been interesting (e.g., we had to "train" missionaries NOT to run the a/c with the windows open . . . but I digress), several of whom were waiting for visas to Latin America. I've also known a few others who we've had…


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Sean Foley
Sean Foley
Nov 15, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Mike - this is very interesting info. We have also worked with visa-waiting missionaries over the years. Fortunately the requirements for Singapore are only that we re-enter the country every 90 days. That is fairly simple given the proximity to Malaysia which is also in our mission.


Virtual meetings have certainly been a game changer. COVID was really awful and something we will never hope to experience again, but it did stimulate some real advances there.


I am leaving my warm clothes (even suits and long sleeve shirts) in Missouri! I Hope to see you and Sally soon after our mission when we will be needing some real R&R!

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