When missionaries arrive they are paired with a senior companion who can show them the area and teach them what is expected of a new missionary.
When I arrived in June I was introduced to Elder Stewart from Calgary Canada, even though I had had my own companion for 44 years. I wondered what he was saying to me at first, because I didn't understand much. I thought, "That doesn't sound Canadian, what language is it"? It took several days before I really understood him. He would work in his area and with investigators for part of the time, then he would come to the office and try to show me the fine points of Excel and the mission office IMOS program. I am certain he thought I was a hopeless old man. I am glad he hung in there and humored me by listening patiently to some of my "stories."
After I was "trained," Elder Stewart was just a phone call away when he was back full time in his area.
Well, my safety net has gone back to Canada to pursue job, schooling, career and girls. I believe he will be a big asset to the church wherever he serves. I miss not being able to ask simple questions like, "How does the mission account get funded?"
I could have used Elder Stewart this week to keep me out of trouble. It seems you have to request money to get money in the account. After paying utilities and rents for three months in advance, the bank account can go to zero very fast. It was a little embarrassing to tell the mission president that the two couples needed to fund the Zambia Mission for a few days until I could request more "funds". (That is accountant talk for money!)
I really could have used Elder Stewart, just so I could point to the youngster and say, "I guess I wasn't trained." Mission life teaches us all how to grow up and be responsible, no matter how old you are.
My best wishes Elder Teiganne Stewart.