Monday, June 16, 2014

The adventure is about to begin!

     I can't believe in less than a week we will be at the MTC! The last months have been very interesting and we have experienced a wide range of emotions as both of my parents passed away and we received our mission call and assignment to serve in the Philippines, San Pablo mission.

     On September 20, the day after my mom's funeral, I was relaxing and watching my granddaughter Ari when the phone rang. When I answered it was a woman from Elder D. Todd Christofferson's office asking for Bart! He was at work and I called him with the message to return the call and the appointment was set for 3 weeks later. We met with Elder Christofferson on October 11 for an initial interview. Elder Christofferson was kind and personable. It was an interesting and humbling experience to be asked questions by an apostle. At the end of the meeting he asked us both to bear our testimonies. That was an experience I will always remember. Although I was nervous it was a sweet experience to visit with this great man and feel the Spirit during the process.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson
     On October 28 we met with President Henry B. Eyring where he extended a call to Bart to be a mission president in an English speaking mission. He then extended a call to me to be a missionary and companion to Bart in whatever mission he presided in. Wow, talk about a surreal experience! President Eyring was warm and friendly with a great sense of humor. We visited about an hour and had a wonderful experience as he counseled, encouraged, and taught us in his loving manner. What an overwhelming but amazing experience!
President Henry B. Eyring
    We shared the news with our children and grandchildren a couple of weeks later and then with our parents and siblings at the end of the month of November. There was excitement and tears shared. All of our family have been very supportive and encouraging about our mission call. On December 13 with our children and their spouses we opened the letter to read our assignment. Although we knew it was possible that we could go to a foreign, English speaking mission, we all felt it would be the United States or Canada. We were surprised to read that we had been assigned to the Philippines, San Pablo mission!

     Immediately our children were on their phones and iPads looking up facts about the mission area. It was immediately apparent that the area is beautiful. As we have met people during the past 6 months and shared where we will be serving we have heard nothing but wonderful things about the people of the Philippines. We have learned through different meetings that there are wonderful things happening with the growth and establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines and we are looking forward to being part of the work.

      Although this calling and responsibility continues to be overwhelming and it will be very difficult to leave our children and grandchildren as well as Bart's parents and our siblings, we feel humbled to be asked to serve as Mission President and Companion in the Philippines, San Pablo Mission. President Eyring told us we needed to remember that we can not do it on our own--we have no doubt of this fact. We do believe that as we put forth our best efforts to serve faithfully we will be blessed with the enabling power of Christ's atonement and we will be able to accomplish all that our Heavenly Father asks of us. As one friend said, "This is a high adventure mission." We know we are about to have the adventure of a life time that will change our lives as well as the lives of our family.

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