Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Learning the Art of Mass Mailings and other Novice Missionary Endeavors

As newly appointed missionaries, our very first assignment is to begin building a team of ministry supporters. Can I just tell you, we have SO much to learn! To begin, we had to compose our first support letter. Now I realize that as a Grant Writer, I fund raise for a living, but asking General Motors or Bill and Melinda Gates for money is VERY different than approaching 250 of our closest friends, with whom we hope to remain friends throughout this process! Fortunately, this first letter is all about sharing information and asking for prayer. And boy do we need prayer! After carefully wording and rewording the body of the letter, we discovered that the writing of the letter was actually the EASY part! We have spent countless hours gathering and updating addresses, learning to use the mail merge and label making features of MicroSoft Word, ordering photos from, folding letters, stuffing envelopes, peeling and sticking labels (making sure the names on the envelopes match the names on the letters), peeling and sticking return address labels, peeling and sticking stamps, and peeling and sticking envelope closures. This has been a team effort, with every family member doing a part, and even so, the entire endeavor has taken us weeks to complete. And apparently, thanks to modern advancements...we have it much EASIER than the missionaries of the past! Without mail merge, we would've had to hand address everything. And without peel and stick stamps and envelopes, we would probably all be hospitalized for glue poisoning. In addition to the physical labor involved with this mass mailing, we have been experiencing sticker shock over the cost:

Printer cartridges needed to print 250 letters--$50
Letterhead from our sending organization--$20
Family Photos from SnapFish--$58
Peel and stick envelopes--$10
Peel and stick address labels--$15
FINALLY getting our first letter ready for the mail--PRICELESS

In the very near future, we hope to be able to do the majority of our supporter contact through e-mail. This will be both a time and money saving advancement, especially once we are overseas. I can hardly wait!

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