Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Mission Call

For our non-LDS friends, service as a missionary is one of the most anticipated church assignments young men in the church strive for. Missions are open to men between the ages of 19 and 27, women after the age of 21, and to older retired couples. They length of missions will vary depending on the type of mission, but are normally 24 months for young men and 18 months for women and older couples. Although most missionaries are called to serve proselyting missions to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there are other types of missions such as serving at LDS visitor centers, historic sites, humanitarian, education and training, employment, and health care. Austin will be serving a proselyting mission. Missions are voluntary, not mandatory, and is normally financed by the missionary and his or her family. To find out more about LDS missions, check out this web site:

http://lds.about.com/od/programs3foldmission/p/lds_mission.htm.

Although every missionary has a dream list as to where he would like to serve throughout the world or what language he would like to speak, the decision on where a missionary is assigned rests with the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So in Austin’s case, he was involuntarily assigned to serve in the Panama Panama City Mission for 24 months as a Spanish speaking proselyting missionary.

Austin received his mission call on May 21st, 2009. This was supposed to be the most exciting day of his pre-missionary experience, to receive his missionary assignment. But when the mission call came in the mail, Austin was actually calm and cool about the whole event. When we first saw the “envelope” from the church, we knew exactly what it was, but we waited until Austin came home to allow him the opportunity to take that exciting walk to the mailbox to pick it up himself. When Austin came home, we asked him to go get the mail and we followed him with a video camera to capture the experience. He knew what all the hype was about and had it been anyone other than Austin, that person would have ran to the mailbox, plowing down everyone and anything in the way to get to that envelope. But No,…not Austin. He was actually pretty relaxed and nonchalant. He picked up the envelope, opened it as if it were any other mail and read through it without any emotion whatsoever. He said he was excited but you definitely couldn’t tell by his monotone voice. Not to worry though, the rest of the family made up for Austin’s lack of excitement. We were ecstatic!

Perhaps before he leaves, Austin will give us some insight to that exciting day.

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