Mission Preparations---George Post
Several weeks ago we received a packet from the Church offices containing information helping us to get ready for our 18-month in Zambia/Malawi. As one might imagine, the Church is an expert in processing overseas assignments, given that it has been sending missionaries, both young elders and sisters, as well as senior couples, around the world for decades. Shortly the Church will have over 90,000 missionaries serving worldwide, of which about 8,000 or roughly 8% of the mission force are senior couples. Our materials included, among other things, instructions on how to get passports (if needed), as well as visas for Zambia and Malawi; a list of the immunizations we needed to be on the safe side while serving in those African countries; information about procuring health insurance coverage while outside of the country; and a list of the clothes we would need for Africa. Carole and I have started working through the list of pre-mission preparations.
Not surprisingly, I started first compiling the information for the visas and getting the required immunizations, leaving until later the trips to buy clothes. On the other hand, Carole got right on the clothes list, worried that it might be hard to find clothes suitable for warm weather as the local stores rotated their stock for the upcoming fall and winter fashion seasons. We understand that Zambia and Malawi generally range in temperature from 80 to 60 degrees, with a wet season of four months, from November through February. Hopefully, we will be able to get through most of the preparations, other than last-minute ones (such as getting a flu shot for the upcoming flu season), within a month or so.