Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mark's mission call has arrived!

Marks mission call has finally arrived. He had been told by friends that they usually come on Wednesdays. All day Wednesday he stood at the window, wringing his hands waiting for the mailman. When his call didn't arrive on Wednesday, he was disappointed to the point of anger. However, Friday, I just had a feeling it was in the mail.....And sure enough, it was!
Craig left Friday morning for a recruiting trip to Oklahoma. I specifically asked Craig if he would like us all to wait, should Mark's call come while he was gone. He told me no, that Mark didn't need to wait the weekend to open it but to make sure we called him if it came. Here is a picture of Mark calling Cameron while I am calling Craig....
We got out the cell phones and did a three-way call on each of them so Cam and Crystal, Justin, and some other family members could hear Mark as he read his call out loud. It was very emotional for him. Mark will be serving in the Uganda, Kampala Mission. He is to report to the South African Missionary Training Center in Johannesburg on December 18Th.
This is the letter that comes directly from church headquarters in Salt Lake City Utah. It is signed by the prophet, Thomas S. Monson. I don't remember much about the reading of the letter....I just remember thinking, "What? WHERE???" It took a while for it all to sink in. I had no idea where my son was going. Uganda isn't a place I could immediately visualize on a map. Once it did, I had images of malaria pills, orphanages, and civil unrest. Then I worried.
After Mark researched the area a little, he told me some of the things they eat there. Then I worried some more.
This will an exercise in faith for me. I do know that he will be protected, though. He is excited. He is very aware of the difficulties that will undoubtedly be there but knows with the Lord's help he will be able to find those people that may be looking for the gospel. We are all very proud of Mark and his willingness to serve. He is, and always has been, such a wonderful son.

22 comments:

This Country Girl said...

Jo-Anne,

I could just imagine (from a mother's view point) the feelings you shared as you read the letter! I know you're proud of Mark, but he's still your baby boy and mom's always worry! I'll be praying for his protection and that he will reach lots of folks while he's there! YOu just have to trust the Lord to take care of him! Congratulations to Mark!

Tammy

Kim said...

Let me be the first to congratulate Elder Carter on his mission call to Uganda. How exciting! I'm confident that he will serve diligently and will be blessed by that diligence. If he's anything like you I know he will bless the lives of those he will serve in Uganda. We look forward to hearing of his experiences.

Jo-Anne my cousin's family set up a blog for their son so family members and friend could easily have access to letters and emails. The blog is updated weekly by one of his daughters the sister to the missionary. You can link to their blog from my family blog. It says Elder Heperi on my sidebar.

Kim said...

It's me again. My friend in our ward uses mission.net Here's their blog address so you can have a look see.

http://www.missionsite.net/eldergrantherron/main

I thought this was pretty a cool way to do things too.

I have an iMac so I made my own webpage with macs ilife suite called iweb. That was really fun to do. Technology has just gotten better since he left in Feb. 2005. I sure miss having a missionary. You'll love it even though you'll miss having him around. LOTS!

I'm having withdrawals right now with the thought of Mark and Ariel moving away to BYU and UVU. Ariel moves out monday and Mark will move out next week on the 30th. Ugh!!!
So Sad!! But, So Happy!!

Kindra said...

Congrats to Mark on his mission call! He is going to make such a difference. How exciting it must be for him!!

Linda said...

I am trying to imagine what it must feel like to know your son is going to be that far away for so long. The mixed emotions of pride and overwhelming love and then worry and longing. I don't have anything to compare to it so I can't even come close to knowing how you feel. I pray that it is all he expects it to be and that you all find ways to keep in close touch while he is gone.

Lauriej said...

Congrats Mark! You will be an amazing missionary. We shed a few tears across this side of the state line for you and this exciting news :-)

I know it will be hard to see him go but take comfort in the fact that he is worthy to serve. You are a great example of a wonderful mother!

Sara Adams said...

Oh my goodness! Uganda!!! Congratualations. I can even imagine all the emotions that Mark and your family are feeling. How exciting! I know he will be a great missionary, and know that the Lord will protect him!

mkam said...

WOW, Very Cool! Since I know nothing about Uganda I found this tidbit off the Internet that I thought I would share:
AFRICA'S FRIENDLIEST COUNTRY (that sounds promising)
From the moment you land at Entebbe’s modern and efficient international airport, with its breathtaking equatorial location on the forested shore of island-strewn Lake Victoria, it is clear that Uganda is no ordinary safari destination. Dominated by an expansive golf course leading down to the lakeshore, and a century-old botanical garden alive with the chatter of acrobatic monkeys and colourful tropical birds, Entebbe itself is the least obviously urban of all comparably sized African towns. Then, just 40km distant, sprawled across seven hills, there is the capital Kampala. The bright modern feel of this bustling, cosmopolitan city reflects the ongoing economic growth and political stability that has characterised Uganda since 1986, and is complemented by the sloping spaciousness and runaway greenery of its garden setting.

CONGRATS!!

LINDA said...

Jo-Anne, You must be so proud and so afraid for Mark. It is very hard to watch our children grow up and take on adult lives. Mark will be an outstanding missionary. I do not know him but I know that his calling is suited to him. It is amazing and I am so proud of him for giving of himself for the enrichment of others. Praise be!

Felicia said...

Congratulations to Mark! I have no idea where Uganda is, either. My aunt and uncle lived in Namibia for 5 years. They have some interesting stories. They had to travel for around 7 hours just to go to church.

Holly said...

WOW! Mark must be a remarkable young man to be intrusted with such a call! UGANDA! WOW! I can't get over it, so I can't imagine your feelings! What an exciting time for all of you!

Tomatoe Creek Prims said...

I worried about Michael in Maryland...but I guess the miles don't matter it's just that we aren't there to protect them.
Thanks also for entering my giveaway. Good Luck!
Rondell

familywithfivekids said...

I wrote a comment a couple days ago and my internet connection was lost -ugh! I really want your family to know how thrilled we are for Mark and his mission call.
I love the comment Melissa left that describes the area he is going to - sounds promising! :)
Mark will be a fabulous missionary. There are many just waiting for his message!

Gail said...

I teared up a little just reading your post. What an amazing opportunity for Mark to serve in such a place. I am already looking forward to reading your blog with his experiences.

Julie said...

Wow!! Congratulations to Mark and your family. We have a boy in ward who just left for Africa and for the life of me I can't think of which mission. Will he go to the MTC there? WIshing you the best. Julie

Brandy said...

I'm teared u just reading your post. A HUGE hug for you and your son!

Thimbleanna said...

WOW!

Congratulations!

Mark must be an awesome guy to receive such a special mission call. And won't it be fun -- in two years he'll be home just in time for Christmas!

lera said...

I remember the day my brother received his mission call. Unfortunately I had to work the day the mail came (I was fresh out of college). I had "the feeling" that they would come that day, so I phoned my parents from work and asked them to borrow a video camera if the call came in that day. Sure enough, that was the day they arrived. They taped it for me and called me immediately at work. It was a moment I will never forget. So very exciting. And emotional.

Congratulations, Mark!

tumbleweed said...

Oh wow-can't even imagine all the emotion involved! I pray this is just a huge blessing for your family and everyone he meets!!
smiles,
Shayne louree

Nicole said...

Wow, congratulations. If there is one thing that scares me about having boys this is it. As much as I do hope they choose to serve a mission, I know it will be so difficult to let them go. I remember someone in my mom's bishipric saying, "The church must be true because Sister Oram is sending her son on a mission"

Nicole said...

That is too crazy. I am from West Point and also a twin. My twins name is Natalie. What is your maiden name?

erica e said...

oh how exciting! what a wonderful mission he will have. the gospel is really spreading in africa. he'll be watched over. you should definitely be proud!