Thursday, February 14, 2013

Elder Jacob Avery's Mission Call Arrives!

It's been a nerve racking couple of days at the Avery house. We found out from our bishop on Friday, February 8, that Jake's mission had been assigned at church headquarters, so we assumed he would receive his call in the mail yesterday. When his call didn't arrive, we did some investigating and found out that none of the missionaries in Utah that were expecting calls yesterday received them. So, we thought we might have to wait until next week.

At a little after noon today, I walked out to check the mailbox (for the third time haha!), and there it was! That large white envelope that I've thought about dozens of times since we found out we were having a son. I read his name, "Elder Jacob Joseph Avery", showing through the envelope window, and the tears started to flow. Then I ran into the house, shouting for anyone who could hear me (only Hannah, Abigail, and Kolby were home at the time) that it was here.

I sent a picture of his mission call envelope to Jake at school. Then I shook it around, tried to peer through the envelope window, and Googled how to steam an envelope open. Finally, I hid the envelope between the mattresses of my bed and took a long shower to try and keep my mind off of it.

After my long shower, Hannah, Kolby, and I put sticky notes with our friend's and family's mission guesses on the large maps we'd hung in the living room. As the time got closer to when Jake said he would open his call (3:30 p.m. Mountain Time), guesses were pouring in through Facebook and text. It was a fun exercise and made those last few hours much more bearable!

Guesses for Jake's mission assignment - United States

Guesses for Jake's mission assignment - Foreign

Right before Jake opened his mission call 

Finally our middle school kids arrived and we got Doug (Jake's dad) on Skype, Grandma and Grandpa Avery, Uncle Dirk and Aunt Naomi on the phone, and all the camera phones  ready for the announcement. Jake also had several friends present, including Sister Jeppson and Elder Madsen, and some of their family members.

As you can see, Jake pulled a funny joke on everyone and said he was going to Billings, Montana! I think we were all so shocked that it was dead silent for a second, then he read the REAL assignment:

"Dear Elder Avery,

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Peru Lima West Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 24 months.

You should report to the Peru Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, July 3, 2013, where you will prepare to preach the Gospel in the Spanish language."

I always thought I would melt into tears as Jake read his call. After all, I've been sitting in front of the computer for weeks now, watching YouTube videos of other young people opening their mission calls, and every time I cry. It was amazing the peace that washed over me when he read his letter. My eyes welled up a little, but I was just mostly overcome with a confirmation that this is where my son has been preparing to go for his entire life. I am so excited for him to serve and love and teach the Gospel to the people of Peru!

Elder Jacob Joseph Avery - Peru Lima West Mission

Elder Avery Receives Travel Instructions (March 4, 2013)

Elder Avery Leaves for the Peru Missionary Training Center (July 3, 2013)

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