The Manteca Stake Stay-at-Home-Missionaries serve in different programs and in different capacities. However one thing is common to them all. They all approach their duties with a great deal of enthusiasm.
Church-Service Missionaries have a wide range of assignments. These missionaries work in the welfare system of the church. “Church-service missionaries labor in the Lord’s vineyard by inviting members to come unto Christ and help them to become spiritually and temporally self-reliant.” (LDS.org) There are several missionaries serving in this capacity at the Bishop’s Storehouse. Jean Murphy and Pat Tubbs (mother and daughter from the Sycamore Ward) have been serving for approximately ten years. They say they were called and “sort of forgotten” so never released and just continued to serve. Now they have formally been asked to continue their services. Julia and Jonathan Crockett (mother and son from the Lathrop Ward) have been serving almost two years and expect to reenroll and continue to serve. Cody Dunford of the Yosemite YSA Ward has been serving for about six months. He says he really enjoys his service.
Service missionaries at the Bishop’s Storehouse are expected to serve at least one eight-hour shift weekly. Their tasks include helping patrons fill orders, and making sure the shelves are stocked. Jonathon enjoys being in charge of the bread.
Hugh and Shelia Brown (Chester Ward) were recently released as Church-Service missionaries after serving as Church Service Missionaries at the Bishop’s Storehouse. The last thirteen months they had been serving as directors.
There are Family History missionaries. These missionaries work from home, providing technical support for those using the Church’s family history tools such as familysearch.org. The duties are described in this manner, “As a FamilySearch Support Missionary, you will assist patrons as they work to identify their ancestors and link families. You will provide both guidance and answers to those who contact FamilySearch by phone, chat, email, or social media.” (LDS.org) John and Brenda Parker (Lathrop Ward) have served as World Wide Support Missionaries now called Patron and Partner Service Missionaries. They provide computer and telephone supports to those using Family Search. The expectation for these missionaries is 80 hours per week. However I find that they indicate putting in much more hours then the required.
Linda Ray of the Northland Ward also services in this capacity. She is a lead of a QI team of approximately 50 missionaries providing support for family search. She indicates she serves with people speaking at nine languages and from all over the world including England, U.S. Germany, France, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Canada and Australia. She serves monitoring groups which supports most of the functions of Family Search. She says if you look across the mast of family search, she works closely with them to make sure they are providing good services. This includes Family Tree, Memories, Indexing, Search, Wiki and several more. Again she puts in much more than the expected 80 hours per month, and is enthusiastic about her calling. She has health conditions which require her to stay home, and this mission gives her the opportunity to help with the missions of the Church.
Rex and Linda Brown also take on an important role as the serve supporting BYUI Pathway. This is a program to help people who may have not been able to finish school, to come back and finish. Linda says for much of the year the commitment is one hour weekly for a group with the participants to see how they are doing. The students participate in network education through BYU Idaho. Linda says that during the recruitment time of year the involvement is much more demanding.
Janet Chance also has an unusual call as a Service Missionary. She indicates she serves with LDS.org. She is expected to help cover the LDS.org phone inquiry and email inquiry system at least eight hours weekly but again she says she actual serves much more than this.
The program of stay-at-home missionaries does a couple of things. It provides opportunities for people to serve missions, who may not have the chance otherwise. It is also an opportunity for people to participate actively in the missions of the church, whether to redeem the dead, help in perfecting the Saints, or make the humanitarian works of the church function economically. That this program is such an important part of the church is demonstrated by the enthusiasm these missionaries have to their calls.