This is the photo of Kristi and I that was sent in with our mission papers. I hope I can get used to wearing a tie every day!
We decided to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on New Year's day 2013. I called the Ward executive secretary and we met with the Bishop and started our paper work the next Sunday. The medical physical and paper work were completed and we met with the Stake President the 3rd of February. Now all that was needed was to be patient and wait.
Finally, on 11 March we received a packet in the mail. We were visiting the Charles Schulz museum with some out of town friends when the Stake President called and said that the assignment had been changed. We are not exactly sure why - we got several reasons. Two couples assigned instead of one or visas for Americans were going to be a problem, something like that. The assignment was just what I had hoped for. It was to Bangalore, India for twenty-three months as Humanitarian Specialists. We went back to being patient and trusting the Lord that wherever we ended up would be the perfect fit for us. I had put on our mission papers that we "preferred to serve a humanitarian mission" but would "serve wherever we were needed."
Finally, on the first of April the new packet arrived. It said it was to confirm the change to our mission assignment from the Sri Lanka Columbo Welfare Country Office to the Zambia Lusaka Mission serving as office specialists. The mission includes all of Zambia and Malawi. We are to report to the Missionary Training Center on May 27, 2013.
We are excited to serve the people of Zambia. We are happy to work with young missionaries. We are happy to share the gospel and how joy and peace can enter into the lives of those who accept Jesus Christ. We have heard many stories about what long hours "office specialists" put in, but if the Lord needs adventurous, healthy souls in the office in Lusaka, we are willing and able.
Our call was opened with our five kids and all our grandchildren watching. Their first reaction was to see where they might be able to visit us on vacation. I am not sure how many will come to Zambia but I think they are all saving their money.
Immediately following our chat with children over the internet we hosted our Monday, Family Home Evening group with dinner and reading our stories from our lives. The photo above was taken around midnight when we realized we didn't have a photo of us opening our mission call. Zambia lies between Kristi's finger and mine.