Mailing address difficulties

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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hpaulsen
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Mailing address difficulties

Postby hpaulsen » Mon May 19, 2008 6:52 am

One of the wards in our stake doesn't have local mail delivery, so everyone has a PO Box for their mailing. The clerk has put in separate physical and mailing addresses, which is a nice feature of MLS. Unfortunately, the only way to retrieve the mailing addresses is through the "File->Print Mailing Labels" menu item. We cannot even create a custom report to show the mailing addresses in addition to the physical!

Various solutions have been proposed, but none seem adequate:
  • Use the 9-digit (US) zip-code, where the last four are the PO Box number. This can't work because there are quite a few people (I'm told) who have PO Boxes in a different zip than their physical zip, so mail using the physical zip-code with the PO box extension never gets to the correct PO Box.
  • Use the first line of the address for the PO Box and the second for the physical. This has the same problem as above - we need separate zip-codes.
  • Print out the mailing labels, cut them out and glue them onto home/visiting teaching reports so that people have both. This method seems the only adequate solution yet is unreasonably demanding on time.
Suggestion: at least have the mailing address show up as an option to include in the "Custom Reports"!

If anyone knows a solution that we haven't figured out....

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Mon May 19, 2008 8:05 am

HPaulsen wrote:Suggestion: at least have the mailing address show up as an option to include in the "Custom Reports"!


I agree.
HPaulsen wrote:If anyone knows a solution that we haven't figured out....

I wonder if there is some kind of export that would contain the mailing addresses...

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon May 19, 2008 8:16 am

HPaulsen wrote:One of the wards in our stake doesn't have local mail delivery, so everyone has a PO Box for their mailing. The clerk has put in separate physical and mailing addresses, which is a nice feature of MLS. Unfortunately, the only way to retrieve the mailing addresses is through the "File->Print Mailing Labels" menu item. We cannot even create a custom report to show the mailing addresses in addition to the physical!

If anyone knows a solution that we haven't figured out....


The mailing address is included in the Membership Data Export (in MLS, do File > Export). This does require an MLS administrative account, and it includes confidential information that needs to be treated carefully, but it is certainly an option if you take proper precautions.

The Membership Data Export generates a Comma-Separated Values file called Membership.csv. You can load this CSV file into a spreadsheet, where you will see that columns R-X are the mailing address (columns K-Q are the home address). Unfortunately, the Membership Data Export lists individuals, not households, but it is easy enough to filter the list to include only rows that have a Head of Household (column F).

Once you have the CSV file organized the way you want it, you can use a word processor to merge that file into whatever file you want (letters, labels, etc.).

You never indicated precisely what problem you were trying to solve; there was a reference to HT/VT reports, and another to custom reports, so I don't know if this export solution would be helpful, but it might be an option.

jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Mon May 19, 2008 7:18 pm

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is supposed to read addresses from the bottom up. Having run into a similar problem, and with the USPS format in mind, I formated the problem addresses as follows:

John Doe
123 Sesame St, Somewhere City
PO BOX 456
New York, NY 00000-0000

The advantage of this is that the physical address shows up on most printouts that only print the first address line. (It is hard to home/visit teach a PO Box.)

Another advantage is that if your ward covers more than one city, the place to send the mail and the place to go to visit are all contained within the same address block.

Additionally, you might consider using Ward Geo codes to segment the ward by geographic region. For example Our ward cover an entire county and half of another. There are four or five post offices that service that area. I devised a Ward Geo code that combines the ZIP code and carrier routes in order to group addresses geographically. If anyone is interested in this I can post more details on request.

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hpaulsen
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Postby hpaulsen » Tue May 20, 2008 7:17 am

Thanks for the suggestions. To be more clear, we had a ward conference last Sunday at which the Primary asked for a way to print mailing addresses so they could send out invitations, and the Elders'/HP quorum (combined) asked for mailing addresses on their assignment sheet (why, I'm not sure).

I figured that the easiest way to do this would be to provide ward lists to everyone with mailing addresses on them - but I couldn't figure out how to get them. I fully expected it to be listed in the "Custom Report" field....

I had forgotten about the membership data export. That's a possibility, though I am concerned that it is not viable for the EQ president. But I'll forward this along to the clerk and see if he can figure out how to create a readable custom directory using the membership export.

Along the same lines, I could probably create a OpenOffice database using the membership export and Sun's "Report Builder" plug-in. (Unfortunately, last time I tried it, I had it all working, then had it mess up badly just before I was going to use it. Murphy's law strikes again.)


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