Thursday, February 9, 2012

Misson Call

This post has been a long time coming...19 years!  In the Mormon faith, boys at age 19 are expected to serve 2 year missions.  They go through lots of 'training' to get ready for these 2 years. All through high school there are various activities to help them learn the gospel & be prepared to serve others.  And then it intensifies post high school with weekly meetings to study & be sure that is where & what they want to do.  Then they visit about 100 doctors to make sure they are physically capable to be called to almost anywhere in the world.  After that they fill out their 'papers' with their parents & bishop.  At around 18-and-a-half it is a common question for boys, 'Are your papers in yet?'  'Have you submitted your papers yet?'  'When can you submit your papers?'  There is lots of talk about their 'papers!'  The 'papers' are merely all their info from doctors, parents, bishops & the missionary himself...kind of like an application form.

Once they are filled out, then they are submitted.  Which means they are sent to Salt Lake City, where church headquarters are.  Each missionary will then receive a 'call' or assignment from our prophet, Thomas S. Monson.

Once they are submitted, it is a waiting game.  Mailboxes are checked.  Online statuses are double checked & fingernails are bitten.  All in anticipation of this white envelope:

 Kevin's call arrived on a Thursday & he was on a flight home from Provo that night.  We waited around ALL day on Friday so we could all be there Friday night when he opened it.  There was a lot of speculation about where he might go...

I looked online to gather my 'best' guess as to where he might land...did you know my family is a bit competitive? even spreads to things like this!  Anyway, I had no idea how many missions there actually were...The Congo, Thailand, Ukraine, Figi, Ghana, Armenia, Singapore, Italy, Korea, Marshall Islands...the list went on & on.  Some I found intriguing & others left me nervous!  Mongolia! Mozambique!  Madagascar! I didn't even know where half these places were.  We had a good idea he would probably go foreign {meaning out of the States} because of the amount of postage on his white envelope.  Kevin & his {1million} friends leaving on missions soon have noticed that the foreign calls typically have more postage on them because they are heavier with paperwork.  So for instance, some of his 'state side' friends' postage was about $.60 while his other friends going foreign were about $.80.  His postage?  $.90.  I told him he was probably going to be the first missionary on the moon. {Did you know Newt Gingrich has a colony there?!?}

So we all made our best guesses.  Scot choose Scotland.  I picked Thailand.  Scoobs chose Mexico & we chose California for The Lady...I guess they have a lot of missions in California, so she had good odds!

And then it was time to open...he reads through the intro...we are all holding our breaths...and he keeps reading...stumbling over some words & finally gets to it...'you have been called to serve the people of Samara Russia.'
I will admit I was nervous & excited for him all at the same time.  I first thought, at least it is a developed country.  Scot didn't have running water some of the time on his mission...I figure, he's okay in Russia on that count, right?  But cold is it there?  Needless to say we were on google about 1 mili second later.  Turns out the average temp is 42 degrees.  yeesh.

And then I kind of felt like throwing up.  I can't believe it's here & he will be halfway around the world this summer.  He won't be beaching it or spending the 4th of July around the pool with us.  He will be in Russia, which is where he needs to be, but it is always bittersweet.  I know it will be an amazing experience for him with a lot of growth, but that doesn't happen without some harrowing days in there & my heart aches for him in advance for those days.  My little Scoobs is already missing him & he hasn't left yet!

But even though my selfish self is really sad {I love having Kevin around}!  I am so very excited for him to fall in love with the people in Russia & have those experiences.  He is prepared beyond measure to go & serve & exudes goodness.  They are so lucky to have him.  I can't wait to hear all about it in his letters & I'm grateful for his example to Scoobs.  He always surprises me with his maturity & discipline & for that I am most grateful.

Oh...and my mom, sister & I all showed up in the same thing.  Funny part is, I saw my mom earlier that day & we both had on something else.  Great minds think alike. 


Amberly said...

this kinda makes me wanna cry! i'm excited for him and excited for you and your family to have this experience through him. you'll have to fatten him up before summer time so he won't freeze!

Natalie said...

why am i crying??? i love your family. i remember when kevin was born! have i really known you guys longer than 19 years???

he'll do a great job in excited for him!

BrownEyedGirlsMom said...

Congrats to your little brother! Can't wait to hear about his adventures on your blog.

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