When a person desires to go on a mission, they fill out an application form and have a couple of interviews with local church leaders. The application is then sent into church headquarters in Salt Lake City and, through inspiration, a call is issued by way of a letter from the president of the LDS Church. Our application had been electronically sent in to Salt Lake on June 1. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, our mission call finally came in the mail today. Our mail comes fairly early in the morning, and so every day we had been anxiously awaiting the mail carrier. It got to the point that we were watching him, trying to see what he was putting in our street mailbox. It's interesting how many different types of mail seem to resemble a mission call! Had it come a couple of weeks earlier, all of our children and grandchildren would have been here for the Grand Opening Event. As it was, Devin and his family had gone back to South Carolina, Matt and his family had gone back to Spokane, and even Travis and his family were on a trip to Utah. Luckily Cory was still in town and able to represent his siblings.
In the past, when our sons had opened their mission calls, they had been family events for us, but we figure it would have been fairly anti-climactical to have so few of us here for the opening. We invited some of our close friends over to help celebrate this event. We were even lucky enough to have a former missionary, Chantel Lyman, who had served in our ward, come to our house for this. Thanks to this being the digital age, all of our children and grandchildren were able to share this event with us through the miracle of the internet.
We were not too surprised that we were called to the South Carolina Columbia Mission, but we were very surprised to learn that we were to report to the MTC on August 15th, in less than six weeks. The MTC is the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, where we will receive further instruction and training concerning our assignment. Our assignment is to serve as MLS (Member and Leader Support) missionaries, which means we will be assigned to a ward and help the members and leaders of that congregation in any way we can. With less than six weeks before we leave, we have to get a lot of things done in a very short amount of time; but on the other hand, we wish we were leaving tomorrow. I have prayed that when our mission call was opened, that we would have an assurance that that is where the Lord would have us serve...and he did not disappoint. There is no doubt in our minds that the Lord would have us be in South Carolina. We can hardly wait!