Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Where Will He Serve? Ethan's Mission Call!

Ethan received his "call" (or assignment) to serve as a volunteer missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on February 20, 2013. What a day!

He had worked over the previous Christmas break to finish up his paperwork, doctor and dentist visits, interviews and recommendations, and submitted his application on Saturday, February 9, 2013. Just a week-and-a-half later, we were so excited to learn that he received the big, fat packet in the mail. We couldn't wait to find out what it said!

Ethan with the packet containing the news
of his whereabouts for the next two years.
Check out that smile!

Since Ethan was away at school at Brigham Young University, he received his mail there and arranged a time with us for the big reveal. Doug, Andrew and I sat on the couch in the office at home and skyped with Ethan to hear him read his letter from Thomas S. Monson, President of the LDS Church, that indicated where he was being assigned to serve -- McAllen Texas, Spanish speaking! (Where?? The map showed it was essentially on the southern-most border of Texas and Mexico. How exciting!) Doug had an impression the few days prior that Ethan would be serving in the United States. We also were thrilled for Ethan to have an experience with another language as he really wanted to have that opportunity.

The letter also said that Ethan would report for his mission on June 5, 2013. This was great timing as he would finish his freshman at BYU, and have about five weeks at home to prepare, shop, pack -- and spend lots of time with family and friends before leaving for this amazing experience dedicating his life full-time to serving the Lord and others. That night, gathered close on the couch, we had a special time as a family hearing Ethan's call and seeing his excitement to serve! We could sense the beginning of an extraordinary journey for him, and for our entire family.

After we absorbed the news and details, Ethan went out into the hallway of his dorm, May Hall, and read the letter again with his friends at school. We watched this over skype as well -- check out the video clip below to get a glimpse of the excitement!