Sunday, March 31, 2013

Called to Serve...Rome, Italy

February 16, 2013

It will be a long time before we forget this day.  We finally received our mission assignment.  We are going to Rome, Italy.

Skyping with Heather's family as we read mission call

We knew our assignment was eminent.  It was just two days later than we anticipated.  Steve Allen, director of the missionary department and our former stake president, had called to tell us congratulations and that we could expect it in the mail in a day or two.  Because it was being sent by FedX and we were in Salt Lake, we figured we would get it the next day on Valentine's Day.  Nope.  It didn't come.  I personally was okay with that because I had oral surgery that day and don't remember anything that happened for the whole day.  I was glad it didn't come on a day when I wouldn't remember anything about it.

We went to the MTC for training the next day and figured it would be there when we got home.  We did our training at the Provo MTC and then stopped at the Jordan River Temple and did the iniatory work on some of the family names that needed to be done.  We were so prepared to finally get home and find our assignment on the door step.  We had talked to the other couple that is learning Italian and knew they had received their assignment the day before.  The instructions said not to tell anyone where they were going prior to February 16th, so they didn't tell us where they were going.  We were so disappointed when we got home and it wasn't here.  Michael called the missionary department and they tracked it on the FedX website and told us it would be here by noon on Saturday, Feb. 16th.

We went to the health club to work out about 10:30 am and it wasn't here when we left, but when we returned shortly before noon it was on the doorstep.  It must have just come before we got home.  Wendi and Brian and their kids came right over.  We called Heather and had her family on skype when we opened it.


We had always assumed we would be going to Italy, but we didn't know for certain.  When Michael was there on his mission 45 years ago, Italy was all one mission.  It was later divided into 4 missions and then consolidated into two missions--the Milan Mission and the Rome Mission.  Both missions are due to receive new presidents in July.  We kept thinking we would be called to the Rome Mission, but really didn't know.  After opening the letter, I was so relieved to know that our impressions had been correct.  It would have been a real downer if we had been wrong and hadn't received inspiration.  Michael told me Bruce R. McConkie would have been proud of me.  Several years ago when my brother, Layle, was called to be in the Stake Presidency in Afton, Wyoming, he called me in Salt Lake late on a Saturday night and asked if I could have my mom who was staying with me in Afton by 9:00 am the next morning.  It's a four hour drive.  We made it.  When we went to the setting apart performed by Elder McConkie, I asked him if he could just call and give us a little advance warning next time.  He looked right at me and told me I should be in tune with the spirit enough to know next time.  I'm glad I was listening to the spirit and knew we would be going to Rome.