It’s a Small World, or I want to go back to Germany!

As I have mentioned before, I work tech support for a large global organization.  What I actually mean is, I work tech support for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is a unique and amazing opportunity to work ‘behind the scenes’, so to speak, to help the Church function.  This job definitely has its intangible benefits.  It’s nice knowing that you were able to help people with their computer problems so that they can do their jobs and help the work of the Church move forward.  I have helped Family History Centers get the equipment they need, I have helped a secretary prepare and print a report on Senior Missionary candidates for the Missionary Department, and I have helped seminary teachers have what they need, and know how to use it, to teach their classes.  It’s really fun.

But, every once in a while I have an opportunity or an experience that really makes my day, if not my whole week.  I had such an experience yesterday.  I have worked here for almost 3 years, and I am now a trainer, helping new employees learn what they need to and training other employees on new programs and products that we support.  I have enjoyed my opportunities to teach and to improve my training skills.  Yesterday, though, I was giving a training on a program used in Mission Offices worldwide to manage all of the information about Missionaries, Proselyting areas, financial information for housing and other expenses in a mission, etc.  This program is a really neat tool which makes managing the details of a mission so much easier.

The way this training usually goes, I log in to the program and bring up a random mission’s database and show the new employees just what it looks like and how each screen works.  Being the nerd that I am, I usually pull up my old mission, Germany Hamburg.  But, that mission, sadly, no longer exists.  It was split and combined into the Germany Berlin Mission and the Germany Frankfurt Mission on July 1st.  So, in this training, I pulled up the German Frankfurt Mission.  Part of the training covers the Missionary section, with all of the information about each missionary, so to demonstrate this I clicked on the first missionary in the list, which is alphabetical.  I didn’t recognize the name, but when I opened it up and saw his picture and then looked back at his name — I knew him!  This was a kid that we had baptized just before I left Germany!  I interviewed him for baptism!  This kid, a couple of weeks before he was even baptized, brought 6 non-members to Church with him, friends and family.  His parents later got baptized.  I absolutely loved this kid when I was a missionary, and here he was serving a mission himself.  It was such an amazing experience to see his name.  What made it even funnier, I was able to see the first area he served in, which was a city literally 20 minutes from his home.  And, now that the Hamburg mission has split, his home ward is now in his mission! Kinda funny, really.

But, it just goes to show that the world is a pretty small place, and the Church is even smaller. For being a large, global organization with millions of members, it’s great to run into people you know in the strangest places.

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