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HOW TO MAKE THE TRANSITION EASIER BOTH PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY WHEN MOVING TO A NEW AREA

During my more than 40 years as a college professor, my family and I have moved to a new state or area seven times, one of those moves being to Canada. We have developed the following guidelines for a happy move:

- Include the entire family in planning and praying for guidance.- Become familiar with the geography, history, climate and social problems of the area. If possible, tour the area with your family, guided by a long-term resident, preferably a Church member. Ask about schools, hospitals, government and cost-of-living.

- Decide what household furnishings are absolutely essential before talking to a moving agency or renting a truck, and get rid of the rest.

- Send books, if you have a fair-sized library, by U.S. Postal Service (book rate). It is much cheaper than a moving company. You will need a receiver who will store them until you arrive.

- Tell your present bishop or branch president when you're moving and your new ward or branch, as soon as you know it. Tell your new bishop or branch president when to expect your family.

- Open a checking account in your new area before you move to pay local expenses and to establish credit.

- Ask whether income taxes will be levied in both your new state and your old state on any pension paid from your old state.

- Obtain copies of your medical and dental records to give to your new health services. Ask your present practitioners for recommendations in your new area. - Calvin C. Kuehner, Murray, Utah

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How we did it:

Contact new ward, branch

Having moved eight times in 51/2 years, we have a pattern for when we move:

- On knowing our destination, we contact the bishop/branch president and tell him when we will be arriving.

- On arrival, we contact the elders quorum and Relief Society presidents to tell if any assistance is needed.

- On arriving at Church the first Sunday we make an appointment with area leaders. At this meeting, we present temple recommends and give a short family history and callings we have held. - Mihalj and Glenda Olman, Mackay, Australia

Other newcomers

Moving to a new area with our first military assignment was exciting and a little unnerving to our little family. Our new ward seemed very unfriendly to us. We attended Church several weeks before anyone even said hello to us, and each week it became increasingly discouraging to go to Church. Our parents' examples of unfailing Church service and attendance kept us going back week after week.

Then we realized if we felt lonely, other newcomers might feel even more lost than we do. The next Saturday night, I prepared a Sunday meal large enough for two families. We went to Church looking for someone who looked new and lonely and invited them to our home for dinner. Continuing this practice for the three years we lived in that ward, we had some wonderful experiences. Many of the newcomers we invited had barely moved in and were especially appreciative of the welcome and the meal. One couple, hurt by an experience in another ward, had decided to give this ward "one try" and not go back to Church if no one welcomed them. Our ward developed a reputation for being very friendly. Within a very short time, our loneliness vanished, replaced by the joy of service and friendship. - R. Hilton, St. George, Utah

Normal routines

Maintain normal family routines as much as possible during the preparation for the move, while traveling to your new location and while settling into your new home. Above all, don't neglect family prayer and scripture study. Use family home evenings to discuss aspects of the move with your children. This will ease many fears and frustrations on everyone's part.

Avoid comparing your new area with the one you just left. Differences can be good for us! - Catherine Van Leuven, Katy, Texas

Same situation

My husband got a job transfer from Israel to England. We arrived one week before school started without a clue where to find schools. We didn't know how to work the gas central heating or where to get reasonably priced food. We moved into a house owned by a single man, so we didn't have enough bedding or chairs for the living room. We had no idea how to connect the cable television. It was a real challenge. We prayed, we struggled, we prayed again. Then, just as we thought all was lost, a young woman brought us cookies. In addition, a missionary couple in the same situation came along. By then, I had bedding. They did not, so we shared what we had.

If would have been nice if things had gone smoother, but it made us think how charity often comes from those who know the struggles of life. - Susan Dotan, Southfields, England

Time, effort

As a missionary, I have the chance to move to a new area about every three months or so. It's crucial in missionary work that I get to know everyone and let them get to know me. It takes time and effort. It's OK to ask someone his or her name if you have met them before and forgotten the name. At least it shows that you care enough to ask. - Elder Nathaniel V. Greenwood, California Anaheim Mission

Joined choral group

I found two avenues of help that enabled me to reach out and feel a commonality with my new neighbors. One has been my lifelong love of music and choral singing. I found and joined a community choral group, attending weekly rehearsals and performing on a regular basis. This allowed me to make new friends with a common love of music.

The second avenue is I accepted callings within a short time. Sharing testimonies and a love of service are the best ways to explore the feelings and attitudes that Church members share all over the world. - Patty Southard, Montrose, Colo.

Family newsletter

After being in our new community for a short time, we like to send a newsletter out to our old friends and our relatives and let them know all of the wonderful things about our new home. - Korine B. Miller, St. Joseph, Mo.

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How to checklist:

1 Maintain family routine such as prayer, scripture study.

2 Contact new Church leaders; accept callings, offer service.

3 Learn about your new area; study its history, geography.

4 Reach out, be friendly; don't wait for others to greet you.

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WRITE TO US:

Aug. 26 "How to be sensitive in your efforts as a member-missionary."

Sept. 2 "How to find comfort after the death of a pet."

Sept. 9 "How to find positive direction, focus in your life."

Sept. 16 "How to overcome obstacles to meaningful Church activity as a new member."

Sept. 23 "How to forgive a child for the heartache caused by rebelliousness."

Sept. 30 "How to benefit from stake conference as an individual and/or as a family.

Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, or send fax to (801) 237-2121. Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.