Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Life Is What Happens To You...
One of the first things we learned while we were in the Missionary Training Center in July was "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape." Been thinkin' about that over the past few months....
It's official and the word is out. We'll soon be off to London. Don has been asked to be the director of the London Temple Visitors Center for the next two years. We return to the MTC on Monday, January 9th, then fly out on Friday, the 13th (yeah, it's our lucky day).
Last June 22, just two weeks before we were to leave for Washington, D.C., and in the midst of the packing and planning, we got a phone message that someone in the Missionary Department at the Church Office Building wanted us to come in for an appointment. We didn't sleep much that night wondering if they had decided to send us somewhere else, change our assignment, or even keep us home. We had no idea what to expect, but we never would have suspected what was about to take place. A new calling; a privilege; a blessing.
It didn't feel like that at first, though. We left the COB the next day in a state of shock and surprise. We had decisions to make. We headed for our car, then found our way to the Draper Temple. We spent several hours in that most peaceful, beautiful place of refuge pondering the call we had been given and our choice: we could go ahead and serve the mission that we had planned and prepared for, or we could accept the assignment approved by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve. Hmmmmmmm.
Understanding from long experience that when we let the Lord direct our lives He makes much more out of them than we can, the decision, ultimately, was easy. We rejoice in the covenants we've made. We try to honor them. It is always a privilege to serve the Lord. We trust Him and want to follow His path for us. Even though 2 1/2 years (the sum of both missions) sounds like a very long time to be away from our family, we will go to London in January -- gladly!
Realizing that we had already cleared everything off our calendars for the rest of 2011, and knowing that there was no way a new CES senior missionary couple could take our place in Washington, D.C. on such short notice, we asked if we could go ahead and serve one semester of our first call. We were thrilled when the missionary department said yes. It's been a great privilege and opportunity. But, now, instead of finishing this mission next July, our mission will end Thanksgiving weekend and we'll be coming home for Christmas. We'll have five weeks to unpack, pack, celebrate the birth of our Savior, and prepare to be gone for two more years.
Judging from the things we've learned, the ways we've grown, and the opportunities we and our family have had while we've been in Washington D.C. these past several months, we are looking forward to this challenge. In fact, we can hardly wait!
We are thrilled to be able to serve on the grounds of the London Temple. There is no more sacred building on earth than a temple. It is a place where heaven meets earth, where eternal truths are taught, where spirits are lifted, where sacred ordinances for both the living and the dead are performed, and where families are sealed together forever. It's a place where faith, hope and love abide. We look forward to sharing that message with others. ~Pat~