Sunday, May 3, 2020

Calendar of Events in the Church and Missouri St. Louis Mission - March 11th - April 20th 2020

A Calendar of Events March 11 - April 20, 2020

So we don't forget... all the incredible, unprecedented moments during 
the COVID 19 Pandemic in the Missouri St. Louis Mission:

March 11th   - in the Missouri St. Louis Mission
·         New Missionary Orientation for 9 new missionaries
·         Mission Wide Transfers  (changes in Mission leadership?....
·         Received Notice that 5 missionaries from Korea had received temporary Assignment to MSLM anticipated arrival on March 23rd

March 11th  Church Announcement:
·         Restrictions on Stake and Leadership Conferences.  Weekly Church services held under the direction of Local leaders.

March 12th  Church Announcement:
·         Gatherings of Church Members Suspended worldwide, branch, ward, or stake activities
MSLM impact – Zone Councils were scheduled for that day. Zone conferences were scheduled for 3 days in the following week – March 17-19, Stake Relief societies were planning meals for 50-70 missionaries each day.

March 13th  Church Announcement:
·         Temples would be closed except for living ordinances

Friday, March 13th  church group email system ‘broke’ .  

Church worked to release a new system, in time to start communicating regularly with parents regarding COVID 19 notices/information.  It was probably related to the fact that the church was revamping it's Missionary portal and asked that all of our mission documents, letter templates etc be transferred to Google Drive... without much instruction or technical support to do so!  It was a huge project that coincided with all that was happening due to COVID19 - 

March 15th – First at home sacrament meetings

MSLM impact - we had 9 new missionaries and many transferred missionaries who were in new areas for the first time and did not have relationships with members or priesthood leaders to support their work... they had to find other ways

March 16th – Church Announcement: COVID-19’s Impact on Missionary Service
·          young missionaries with health issues and senior missionaries may be released from service
·         Missionaries who begin their service and are unable to travel to assigned mission may be temporarily reassigned to another mission
·         Missionaries who would complete their mission on or before Sept 1 2020 may be released after they have served for 21 months

March 17th – LDS provide disaster relief to Tennessee Tornado Victims  (was this the storm where mission vehicles were damaged?)

March 18th – Earthquake in SLC damages Angel Moroni statute

March 18th – MSLM – 9pm President Bell received initial list of missionaries who ‘out of an abundance of caution’ would need to be released.  He called staff and asked us to prayerfully consider who should go home.  We were 'flexing' to have our first zoom zone conference the next day - and would have to include a staff meeting to discuss and decide

March 19th
·         1st Mission Wide Zoom Zone Conference,
·        1st young missionaries and Senior missionaries contacted to and told they were being released
·      Pres & Sister Bell in conjunction with Mission Medical council began painstaking work of identifying others who were at risk, Elder Hatfield & I served on the council for 2 hours during the this day
Elder Hatfield made phone calls to Stake Presidents as names were decided upon, I started preparing departing materials, certificates of release, letters, etc.

Friday, March 20th
·         Received Email from MTC that 6 missionaries who had calls to foreign countries had received temporary assignment to MSLM

March 20th  Church Announced: More Temporary Adjustments made to Missionary Work
·         Coming weeks substantial numbers of missionaries will need to return to their home nations to continue their service
·         14 day period of self-isolation and may be assigned to serve within their home country
·         MTCs will not receive missionaries – training will take place through technology

Saturday, March 21th – State of Illinois Stay at Home Order effective beginning at 5pm

MSLM impact:  No one would be able to be baptized in Illinois. (3 full zones, 2 partial zones impacted)   Missionaries would not be able to gather at church buildings – even in small groups.  (5 zones were impacted by this order  - all of the areas in O’Fallon, Champaign, Springfield, part of the areas in Hazelwood and Cape Giradeau)

·         First of the Senior missionaries started for home (Thomsons & Emmersons)

Monday, March 23rd – St. Louis County Stay at Home Order effective at 5pm

MSLM impact:  Baptisms could be conducted if fewer than 10 people were in the building at the time.  Must observe social distancing practices.  People could gather at church buildings for sacrament meeting – if 10 or fewer people were in attendance and observed social distancing while there.  (parts of 3 zones were impacted, St. Louis, So St. Louis, Hazelwood)
·         We expected the arrival of 5 missionaries transferred from Korea, they did not arrive

Tuesday, March 24th
·         Mid morning received an email from Missionary Department directing our office to make the travel arrangements for all of the missionaries were to be released
·         Sister Bell, Sister Hatfield worked in conjunction with Sister Hatfield’s sister, Kamie Hubbard to begin booking trips
·         Learned 2 more missionaries would be evacuated from the MTC to our mission, for a total of 8 new arrivals on Thursday, March 26th.

Wednesday, March 25th
·         More missionaries received notice of releases
·         Flurry of activity in the office to prepare all the departing packets and welcome notebooks

Thursday, March 26th
·         18 missionaries departed, beginning at 6am, rolling departures/reassignment of companionships
·         6 pm learned that the flight for 8 incoming missionaries had been cancelled

Friday, March 27th
·         7 missionaries departed,
·         8 missionaries arrived transfers occurred in Mission Office Parking lot

Saturday, March 28th
·         New Missionary Orientation conducted via Zoom

March 31st – Church offers new Options for Missionary Service by April 30th
·         Impact on MSLM:  the 6 Korean missionaries and the 3 new missionaries we were expecting on April 21st will be delayed

Thursday, April 2nd
·         3 more missionaries depart

Friday, April 10th
·         1st New Missionary training via Zoom for 17 missionaries (9 from planned transfer in March, 8 from
Monday, April 13th
·         4 more missionaries depart
Monday April 20th
·         3 more missionaries depart

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