"So what do you DO all day over there?" friends have asked. If we haven't posted about it maybe it's because it's routine. Here's what we do.
After a morning of breakfast, and a short scripture time, we layer on the clothes, fasten the boots, and walk the 1/4 mile to the office, mostly managing to stay upright on the snow-packed ice. Elder Mac carries our lunch and laundry. He unlocks the door. In the foyer we've learned to take our time removing gloves and hats and scarves, hanging up coats, and changing boots for "slippers." It's considered bad form to walk around inside in your outside shoes--especially in the muddy spring and fall.
Financial Secretary, Elder McEvoy, goes into his office and sits at his computer to check Mission email. Does Moscow or SLC want a missing report? Did the books balance? Did the Elders on visa trips take enough to pay for their apartments and food?
Before he's finished, his phone starts to ring. "Hello, Elder!" he answers in a booming, cheerful voice. The missionary asks for a taxi reimbursement or tells him their apartment had a flood or needs a heater--or a bed! Then he allocates and processes. "Don't forget to go to Church on Sunday," he reminds as he hangs up. In between calls he tries to demystify accounting procedures and prepare monthly and quarterly reports, often calling Moscow or the USA.
Sometimes missionaries come in the office to talk to him about the payment their landlord wants "today" or about trouble with their "cards." After ironing out problems, he gives them an Aggie pep-talk. "BYU?! What happened, did you lose a bet?"
Pictures: In his office in the fall; w/ Sister Zakharova (Moscow); w/ Elder Kurbatov (Ukraine).
Parts II & III later.