Six months ago when our oldest daughter AJ decided that she wanted to serve a mission we had many discussions on the subject.
She began the process of filling out all the required paperwork, scheduling and going to doctors and dentist appointments for needed physicals and check-ups, meeting with our Bishop and other church leaders and finally submitting the papers for approval. This process took a few months to get done...Whew!
Once the paperwork had been approved it was sent to Salt Lake City where we sat on pins and needles for two weeks waiting to find out where she would be assigned.
Friday April 19, 2013 we received the letter in the mail, but wouldn't you know it we were out of town and she would have to wait till Monday when we returned to open the letter.
Monday came and we invited local friends and family over, called out-of-town family and friends and had them on phone and Skype as AJ stood in our living room and opened the letter that would reveal to her where she would be spending the next 18 months of her life.
Dear Sister Carr,
You have been called as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You have been assigned to labor in the Philippines Urdaneta Mission........... you will prepare to teach in the Tagalog language.........you will report to the Provo Mission Training Center on June 5, 2013
What???!!! Philippines?? we were all shouting and crying....happy tears of course. I couldn't believe my baby girl was being sent to the Philippines for the next 18 months!!
So now the countdown begins as well as the rush to get things done before she leaves, passport, additional immunizations, shopping, temple trip, etc.......
I'm thrilled that she has made this decision in her life and I know that she will receive countless blessing as well as bless the lives of the Filipino people for whom she serves, but........ I have to say that as her mom I'm going to miss her so much!!!! The house will feel a little emptier and quieter, but I'll take solace in the fact that my daughter is serving others.
Her younger sister Sarah has also decided to serve a full-time mission and will be submitting her papers in a month or so. Along with the two girls out serving missions I still have two children at home attending college and high school so there will be lots to write about!