There’s been a lot of excitement for our family the past two months! I will have to just start with today and work backward – because today I am celebrating Mom & Dad’s MISSION CALL NUMBER THREE! And I gotta say, this is an AMAZING one!
The Church has changed how they handle extending mission calls since our parents received mission number one to Santa Rosa CA and mission number two to Louisville KY. There’s no more big white packets arriving in the mail and then the entire family and friends are called over for the “Mission Tailgate Party” where everyone excitedly huddles around, guessing where the call will be, and then the missionary (or couple) dramatically rips open the packet, takes out the letter and slowly reads it aloud while everyone holds their breath… [flashback to Daughter A’s mission call video !] … and then the mission is announced! …
…nope, the calling arrives via an email now.
Yes, a bit anticlimactic.
I am gonna miss all the pomp and circumstance of the old days (and those yummy mission tailgate refreshments) 😥 . But, I do have to admit, it makes sense. It eliminates all of the paper and postage (Saving Mother Earth, Yay!), and logistically, it ensures that people who live in remote places receive their calling without having their mail delayed or go missing.
So, instead of waiting and anxiously watching their mailbox, Mom and Dad waited and anxiously watched their inbox!
What they were SUPPOSED to do [I’m looking at YOU Mom!] is hold a big video Conference Call with us and then click the link … but, of course “someone” was too excited and clicked the email and read before calling us. 😀 We were just as excited anyway, to hear they have been called to serve as full-time missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the … [insert dramatic drum-roll]…
Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission!
WOW!!!!! They are SO EXCITED because this is the mission they were hoping for – And WE are SO EXCITED because they will be so close – and we will get to see them often. ♥ It’s the best of all worlds! This is extra special for me because I have been serving on Temple Square for the past 12 years as a Musical Missionary with the Tabernacle Choir, and now my very own parents will be serving there, too! So, I look forward to seeing them on Temple Square. It is one of my favorite places in the world, and really it has become my second home. So, won’t it be fun to see them there every Sunday morning in the Tabernacle, and possibly meet up with them for dinner sometime before Thursday rehearsals? Yes!!
This mission is very unique from other missions in the church. The mission has 200 young women – (called “Sisters”) and no young men (called “Elders”). These young women come from all over the world to Salt Lake City at their own expense after they receive a call to Temple Square. They are able to conduct tours on Temple Square – and that is why there are over 40 languages available! The sisters also offer live “Chat” sessions with people from all over the world who want to learn more about the church.
Temple Square missionaries serve two missions during their 18 months! Fifteen months are spent on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, and for three months they serve in a traditional mission somewhere in the United States. It’s always a very exciting moment when they get that “Outbound Mission” calling! I recall being in the Tabernacle when one of the sister missionaries was opening her “outbound mission call” and being SO EXCITED to tell her family via Skype that she was going to Portland!
As you can imagine there are a massive amount of logistics and office work behind the scenes to coordinate all of these missionaries in and out and back and forth around the world, as well as provide support and assistance to the Mission President, and manage all of the operations details of the mission. That will be Mom and Dad’s mission work, in a nutshell. And that’s about all I know right now (because, of course I know it is so much more extensive). It will be exciting to find out all of the details very very SOON – because they start in just two weeks (YES, just TWO WEEKS) on Monday March 16!
I am a believer in the power of the Lord to work miracles and pour out extra blessings on Senior Missions! The Lord has blessed our family in very special in unexpected ways over the past 7 years since Mom and Dad started serving missions. We have had many miracles – both seen and unseen. Mom and Dad have also been blessed with an increase in vigor and joy. It always seems they are 20 years younger once they get their mission blessing and put those missionary name-tags on! They are always amazing, of course – but, when they are serving as missionaries there is just an extra special light shining in them. I love seeing how happy they are when they serve. And, I’m thrilled that we will get to share that light often since they will be serving 15 minutes from home!
We love you Mom & Dad / Grandma & Grandpa, you’re the best! ♥ And now we get to share you with hundreds of darling, gifted, vibrant young women from all around the world who need your special love with your kindness as their surrogate parents & grandparents while they are so far from home! And by extension, we will have hundreds of extra “sisters” added to our family.
A Marvelous Work and a Wonder! – Love, Holly