(this is my mission call! legit with the prophet’s signature and everything.)
My mission call arrived on January 31, 2013.
I had expected it a few weeks earlier, because I had turned in my papers at the beginning of January, and it usually takes a couple weeks from that time to when you actually receive your call. However, my papers weren’t actually submitted until mid-January, so I waited all month anxiously for my mission call.
Taking the advice of my wonderful Institute choir teacher, I took my unopened call and drove somewhere to be alone. The place I chose to go was the cemetery my grandma is buried in. My Grandma Carr passed away last July from cancer. She served two missions with my grandpa and is one of the ultimate examples of an exemplary woman I could ever have. I knew I would not be able to find her headstone (everything was buried in three feet of snow) but I knew I could find solitude and a peaceful atmosphere, and I knew she could be there with me.
I trudged around in knee-deep snow until I came to a certain place, where I knelt down in the deep snow with my call in my hands and prayed to my Heavenly Father to know if this call truly came from Him. I prayed that I might feel peace and confirmation when I opened it. I prayed that I could be excited and that I could know that it was where I needed to be. I felt complete assurance and peace as I prayed, and I knew that wherever the call said was exactly where I needed to be.
I went home, and some close friends and family were there, some in person and some via phone and skype. And suddenly, I had my call in my hands and it was time to open it.
I read it line by line, and as my eyes came to the words “Philippines Cauayan Mission” I stopped, partially out of shock, partially out of amazement, and partially out of the Spirit I felt in my heart confirming the mission as mine. And I read it, stumbling over how to say “cauayan” (haha, now I know it is pronounced like ‘hawaiian’ but with a ‘c’) and continued to the sentence that reads, “You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Tagalog language.” I just couldn’t believe it. Never in my wildest dreams. I had ruled out the Philippines the day I knew I could serve a mission. I had a good friend who had been there for almost 2 years already, and one of my best friends had his call to the Philippines as well, also Tagalog speaking. I simply thought it would never happen that I would go there, too.
I was kind of in shock for a few minutes, but quickly the excitement kicked in and I have been incredibly excited ever since.
I am going to the Philippines!!!! It could not be more perfect. 🙂