We witness tender mercies and mini-miracles every day as we find joy in pressing forward. We are immensely grateful for our time of service as missionaries in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Life and opportunities continue. See our missionary and life story in pictures by clicking here: http://rayc.shutterfly.com/
Thursday, January 26, 2012
The call letters, signed by President Thomas S. Monson, arrived with the missionary packets on Wednesday, January 18. Expecting letter-size envelopes, Ray sorted the mail late Wednesday and again said "No call." However, intermixed with the weekly ads was the large envelope we'd been waiting for.
We opened our individual letters simultaneously, and looked up to exchange warm smiles as we discovered where we are heading. A sweet spirit of peace enveloped us. Our prayers have been filled with expressions of gratitude and humility. We had originally expected to leave Utah for two winters and one summer and hoped to be headed to a mild climate. We will now be serving in the warm Southern States for two summers and one winter. We know it is the right place and the right time.
The evening and days after opening the envelope have been filled with phone calls, emails, and conversations with dozens of family members and friends, telling them the good news. Our son, David, was in Phoenix on business, so we called him to share our happiness. We wanted to announce the call to Michael, Wendy, and the grandkids together, so we traveled to the South Davis Recreation Center to watch granddaughter, Faith, compete in a high school swim meet (our only time to see her this year) and then joined the entire family at Mike's house after. None of them guessed our destination, but several predicted warm climates. They knew Ray was hoping to avoid heat and humidity, so they were on the right track. We invited Nephi and Lilla (our future house sitters) to dinner on Friday to share the news. Everyone was excited and supportive!
It's been fun to call our brothers and old work friends, email extended family, and announce the news to ward and temple family. We have read the packet information several times, prepared our acceptance letters, and shopped for raincoats. We are anxious to hear from our Mission President to learn about him and more about our specific assignments and destination, hopefully by the end of next week. Then we can finish up our final preparations and shop for warm-weather clothing. We are in the final stages of house preparation; income taxes and business items are pretty much complete. The missionary books have been read, and the much-welcome snow that arrived this week has invigorated the air and spirits. We hope to finish up preparations by mid-February. February 16 and 17 will be our last days as ordinance workers in the Bountiful Temple as it closes for semi-annual maintenance on February 20th. Those days will be bittersweet. We have been so blessed by the work, spirit, and friends there. We will miss it sorely. We plan to take a couple of short trips in the new few weeks and spend time with family and friends.