Deputation Tips Part II
Some enjoy it, some endure it. Some love it, some hate it, but most missionaries do it! It's called deputation. Deputation is a time of visiting churches in order to present your call and burden while making churches aware of the need for the Gospel to your particular mission field.
Below are a few tips or suggestions for how to be a blessing at each place and church you stay!
Clorox Wipes - Portable, handy and quick. You never quite know where you will be staying and sometimes the places (motels or otherwise) may need a little cleaning before you want your babies roaming free. With these wipes you know you'll kill any germs before little hands come in contact with them. Also, they are great for cleaning bathrooms, etc… before you leave.
Allergies - Be up front about any allergies you may have. Let the Pastor know ahead of time before he places you in a home with animals to which you may be allergic.
Baby Powder and many plastic bags for diapers - Not every home that houses missionaries has children. In which cases they may not appreciate stinky diapers in their trash! A handy trick I learned was to use baby powder (or baking soda) and plastic diaper bags (you can find these at dollar stores), place the diaper in the bag, give a few puffs of the baby powder an/or baking soda (kills the odor) and tie the bag shut. Unless the family housing us had children OR specified what to do with the diapers, we would place them in our trash bag in the car and dispose of them later at a gas station. Some families really don't mind if you throw diapers in their trash, but others don't appreciate the extra, smelly garbage. It's best to err on the side of caution to prevent offending anyone.
Always make your bed - It's always a good testimony to leave your room neat and clean. Also, when leaving a home it's always a good idea to strip the beds and leave the room in clean condition. Ask for a vacuum cleaner, and dusting supplies. Be a blessing to your hosts and try not to make too much extra work for them after you leave!
Leave the house as nice or nicer as when you arrived - Leave your room, Prophet's Chamber or Guest House in as good or better condition than when you found it. If you have time before leaving wash the bedding and remake the beds, or fold bedding and put it away. Remember to Be a Blessing!
If you break something replace it - One Prophet's Chamber we stayed in had a full length mirror leaning against the wall. In the early morning as we were preparing to leave the mirror was bumped, fell over and broke into at least a hundred pieces! Thankfully, it was the type that is easily found at Wal-Mart and was easy to replace. If something doesn't work mention it to the Pastor. You want to make sure he knows you didn't break it and you want to make him aware if something needs replaced, fixed, etc…
Hostess Gift - If you can leave a hostess gift, do so. It's a way to show appreciation to the host family for opening their home and taking in complete strangers for the night or week!
Thank You Notes - I'm sure every missionary knows the ins and outs of writing thank you notes! Always remember to send one to the family who hosted you as well as to the church. Be sure to mention the ladies who cooked for the missionaries, the love gifts, etc...
Thanking Ladies for Meals - Many times the ladies cooking the food are over looked. The food is delicious and they work hard, but because they are "behind the scenes" many times it's easy to forget to say a special "thank you" to them. I know that they always appreciate the missionary taking the time to thank them personally for all the hard work they do.
Help As You Can - If you see something that needs done, go ahead and do it. As a young girl I remember a missionary family that stayed in our Prophet's Chamber. The day they were supposed to leave my parents and I stopped by to collect the bedding, towels, etc. from the room. As we entered the parking lot we noticed their car was still there. As we walked into the church we saw the whole family hard at work, vacuuming, dusting, etc. the whole church! That made an impression on my parents and on me as a child. They said that was their way of saying "Thank You" for the place to stay… by cleaning the church building.
Be A Blessing - It's easy to become stressed and tired with all the traveling and packing, unpacking, staying in different places every night, etc… However, we need to remember that each church sees us that one time and the impression we leave with them is the one they remember! Try to be a blessing at each place you are. Remember, you are doing this for the Lord! It can be awkward at times to stay with complete strangers. Everyone's personality is different and you may "click" better with some people than with others. People are People, some seem friendly, some seem rude. some seem shy and others are outgoing. However, make the best of each situation and don't take anything personal!
My siblings and I used to love to visit with missionaries and hear their stories over the dinner table. You never know whose life you may affect with what you say and how you act! Be a Blessing and I'm sure you will receive one in return!