Sunday, July 13, 2014

Return to Brazil

One evening during the first part of April we were bored so we read through the "Senior Missionary Opportunities Bulletin" just to see if there were anything of interest. We weren't even considering going on another mission so soon. Among other things we saw an opening for an Area Technology Specialist (ATS) for Brazil (we didn't even know it existed). It said that they provide training and technical support for Stake Technology Specialists (STS). We put it aside and didn't think about it any more.

A few days later we got an email with the following notice:
Ad attached to a generic email
We thought, "It won't hurt to give a call and find out what it is all about". The next thing we knew we had an interview scheduled on April 16th in Riverton, Utah (headquarters of the church ICS department). After chatting a bit they introduced us to a young lady from Brazil. We recognized right off that it was a Portuguese test to see if we could communicate in Portuguese. Apparently we passed the interview because they told us the next step was an interview with the director of technology in Brazil.

On April 25th we had an interview (personal video conference) with Emerson and Paulo from Brazil. Apparently we passed that interview too (all in Portuguese) because a during the next week we were told to submit our papers for a mission. 

Completing the mission application wasn't easy because of our travel schedule. We had a conference in Rhode Island (and a visit to Canada) from May 5-16. We then had medical procedures and exams every day from May 19-23. We then went to California and Washington from May 27th to April 5th. We got everything done, however before leaving for California.

After completing our physical on May 22nd we pushed the button to submit our papers and called the ICS department so they could flag our application. We had an interview with the bishop on May 23rd and an interview with the stake president on May 26th (Memorial Day). We were committed. 

Then came the long wait for the call. We were told there was a 90% chance we would get the call we interviewed for, but that could always be changed when the apostles met to determine the calls. After waiting 6 weeks (it normally takes 4-6 weeks) we still hadn't received the call so we decided they probably didn't want us. Then the next day we got the call.

Diane opening the call
We got called to serve in the Brazil São Paulo East Mission (the administrative mission for the ICS department) with a primary assignment in the Brazil Area Information and Computer Services Office as area technology specialists. Even though we will live in São Paul (in a condo across the street from the temple and area offices) we will likely need to travel throughout Brazil in our assignment. 

Brazil has about 250 stakes and 50 districts that should each have a stake (or district) technology specialist. Only about a third of them do, most of whom are newly called. Our job will be to encourage the other stakes to call technology specialists and to train the specialists throughout Brazil. It should be a lot of fun increasing technology capability in Brazil to hasten the work.

We are scheduled to report directly to mission headquarters on Monday, October 6, 2014 and serve for 18 months. Visas for Brazil have been quicker lately so we will see when we actually start this new phase of our lives. Meanwhile, we have training in Riverton. Since we have recently been to the MTC, we will not have to return for this mission.

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