Enhancement to Mission Office Software (MOS) for Member Housing

So you have the BIG idea that the Church or community needs to develop. Discuss that idea here. Maybe you just want to make a suggestion on a new forum topic. Let us know.
bcpalmer60
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Enhancement to Mission Office Software (MOS) for Member Housing

Postby bcpalmer60 » Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:06 pm

A letter was recently sent from the First Presidency to Stake and Mission Presidents in the US and Canada stating that to the extent possible, missionaries should be housed with members. (There is a list of qualifications, which I won't describe at this time.) Our mission was one of three missions that was a pilot for this new initiative, and it has been a huge success - all but a handful of our missionaries now live with members. They are happier, more obedient, and better cared for. Members are more involved in missionary work.

We've been doing it for about 18 months now, and we've found that by far the most effective way to get members to agree to house the missionaries is to set up housing cooperatives: You get 4-10 families to collectively agree to house the missionaries for a minimum of three months, and a maximum of six months. When their stint is done, the missionaries go to the next home, and rotate through. We also often have a stand-by family ready in case grandkids come to visit, so the missionaries can quickly move out during the visit.

Here's the problem with the current MOS - it assumes that the missionaries are in an apartment, and if they move out, they will never return. It only allows one apartment to be set up for an area, whereas, we'd like to set up all the homes in an area, and then just deactivate those that aren't currently in use. For more detail, please contact our mission secretary, Elder Chapman, a senior missionary who told me about all these issues.

Here are some other enhancement requests:
The report titled "Organization Roster Selected Zones" shows "MTC Date", "Release Date", and "Position Start Date". It would be helpful to add another date column for when they moved into the current home. Another problem he mentioned was that if a missionary changes "position" from a junior to senior or district leader or zone leader, etc, it defaults to resetting the Position Start Date, even though they may not have moved. So maybe there is need for yet another field, "Area Start Date". (You can override the date, but you have to remember to fix it.) Our mission president likes to keep missionaries in an area for as long as a year, so missionaries often start out as a junior, then senior, then district leader, all in the same area. Area start date is much more important to us than Position Start Date.

On that same report, it would be great if it could indicate if a particular "apartment" was a member home, and if so, show their name and phone number.

One of the other issues he also mentioned was that he wanted to be able to allow labeling/splitting of wards, such as "Boulder Spanish" and "Boulder English" or "Boulder North" and "Boulder South". I didn't fully understand what he was talking about - contact Elder Chapman for more detail.

There may be more issues as you talk to Elder Chapman, or as you consider the different perspective of housing in member homes rather than apartments.

Elder Chapman can be reached at 303/252-7191 or 2010208 <at> ldschurch <dot> org. I'd be happy to relay questions as well.

Brian Palmer
Counselor, Colorado Denver North Mission
brian <dot> palmer <at> yahoo <dot> com
Brian C. Palmer
Arvada, Colorado, USA

bcpalmer60
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One last thought

Postby bcpalmer60 » Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:51 pm

Our mission was the 'poster child' for this effort, and we've had a lot of queries from around the US and Canada about how we were able to get so many missionaries housed with members. We're spreading the word that the key is housing cooperatives. Most missions and stakes will figure this out on their own if they don't hear it through the grape vine. I would expect that you are going to get a lot of requests to enhance MOS to support this. If someone could forward this on to the right people, that would be greatly appeciated.
Brian C. Palmer
Arvada, Colorado, USA

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:25 pm

An additional suggestion for MOS, since we are one the topic back when I was Finance Secretary it was so difficult to enter in additional fund information (this would be reimbursements for mission expenses not included in the allowance) that I just created an Access Database that tracked the finances of the entire mission and just used MOS for transmission to CHQ.

A few things I remember that would have been nice for MLS were:
  • Better reports for distribution of funds (There are a lot of reports that would have been nice when I became finance secretary because we were audited like 4 times due to the previous secretary's bad book keeping. So the reports that the church auditor wanted had to be compiled by hand. But by time I left my program made most of them)
  • Constant tracking of available funds in the different accounts
  • Budgeting capabilities
I am sure there were more but time erases the semi-bad memories.
- David

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:08 am

bcpalmer60 wrote:Our mission was the 'poster child' for this effort, and we've had a lot of queries from around the US and Canada about how we were able to get so many missionaries housed with members. We're spreading the word that the key is housing cooperatives. Most missions and stakes will figure this out on their own if they don't hear it through the grape vine. I would expect that you are going to get a lot of requests to enhance MOS to support this. If someone could forward this on to the right people, that would be greatly appeciated.

I will forward along to those working on the MOS project.

Tom

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:21 am

tomw wrote:I will forward along to those working on the MOS project.

Tom

You mean we haven't gotten people from MOS onto the forumns yet?
- David

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:22 pm

thedqs wrote:You mean we haven't gotten people from MOS onto the forumns yet?

We have many people on the forums from different projects. However when I want someone to be made aware of a thread proactively I send them a link vs waiting for them to find it on their own.

Tom

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:07 pm

Oh, I thought you meant that you actually copied the message and sent them an email. Thanks for the clarification.
- David


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