Monday, March 8, 2010

It's time . . .

About last September Farrell started talking about serving another mission.  Oh sure honey, that is a great idea lets start dreaming of Tahiti, Fiji, Geneva or some other exotic place.  He didn't give up he kept talking and telling me he just had a feeling we should go and go now, not wait.  I have always listened when Farrell gets those feelings as he lives very closely to the spirit and always acts on promptings.  You may ask what is a "prompting?"  A prompting is a communication from our heavenly Father urging us to do something that will benefit us greatly if we follow the "prompting?"  

So . . .following that prompting we started the process of applying for a mission.  Since you may not know about this process I want to explain to you how this "Mormon mission process" works.

Our church teaches that we should be actively engaged in good works.  For a couple who finds themselves retired this means we should think about serving a full time mission.  There are many types of missions for our church including prostelyting, humanitarian, employment, public relations, perpetual education fund, temple and others.

The process starts with an interview with your bishop where the bishop assesses your worthiness to go on a mission.  The bishop then gives you access to an online application that starts the process.

You are required to have a full physical exam and a dental exam where it is determined if you have any medical issues that would limit the service you may give. Once these are finished you fill out a questionnaire listing all your experience and interests along with your willingness to learn a foreign language, how long you are willing to serve  (12 mo., 18 mo. or 24 mo.), the amount of money you can afford each month (missionaries pay their own expenses) and your desire to serve in the US or international.  There is a place to also list any concerns or limitations you may have that might affect your service.

Once you have your application finished it is reviewed by the bishop and the stake president and then sent into the missionary department at church headquarters.  After being reviewed the application is sent to a committee that included one or more of the twelve apostles who pray about where this couple should be sent and what type of mission they should serve.
You then receive a formal letter, the mission call, that explains your resposibilities as a missionary for the Church of jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it is signed by the prophet of the Church, Pres. Thomas S. Monson.  In this letter is listed the mission to which you are assigned with the title which you will serve under.

We went through this process and then waited with great anticipation.  The letter arrived and we gathered our family around.  We asked each of them to tell us where they thought we would be going.  Their speculations ran from Alaska to France, from FIji to Hawaii.  I had purchased Rosetta Stone French training in anticipation of going French speaking again.  Farrell and I thought we would go to Paris.  As we sat with our family gathered around us we opened the envelope.  Cell phone and cameras came out and everyone posed to record the announcement.  As Farrell read the letter his eyes grew wide, his shoulders slumped and he proclaimed "we will be serving in Uganda?"  Yes he proclaimed it as a question, asking in disbelief, "Uganada?"
That is right, we are returning to Africa to the Uganda, Kampala Mission with responsibility for humanitarian services to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Southern Sudan.  We are excited to get back into that service mode again and Africa is in our blood.  This will be a mission much like our mission to the DR Congo with the same emphasis but it will be a new adventure and we want you to share the experience with us right here in our new blog.  We will spend a week in the MTC in Provo, Utah doing welfare training and then we will be in the mission field on March 16th.  The adventure begins!

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