Sunday, September 19, 2010

52 Blessings—Mission Calls

My nephew, Justin, received his mission call this week. He’ll be serving in Italy. He couldn’t be more excited.

Mission calls are extended to those young men, young women, older women, and married couples that have a desire to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others in the world. There are all kinds of missions: proselyting, service, leadership, teaching, humanitarian . . . and most missions require that the missionary leaves his home and comfort zone. Young men make up the bulk of our missionary force and are mostly called as proselyting missionaries – missions where they share the doctrines that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches.

Prospective missionaries send their applications to Salt Lake City where their information is observed and they are assigned a place to serve. It takes a lot of faith to offer the years, money, and effort to serve a mission. It takes a lot of faith to say “I’ll go where you want me to go. I’ll do what you want me do. I’ll say what you want me to say.” But they do it. They do it.

When Justin received his mission call, my sister Rachel wrote, “He's thrilled. It didn't even enter my radar that Italy was a possibility, I mean not even remotely. But looking back I find a lot of little thinks that make me say, "Hmm..., why didn't I think of that?"

1. We studied Latin for two years and he absolutely loved it. I always thought it would be a good jump off for Spanish, but Justin always said, "No, Italian." I just rolled my eyes.

2. When he found out he was going to get to go to Europe (for educational purposes) he chose all the books on Italy to study. I always said, "Justin! You're only going to be there for two days. Why don't you study France and French or Spain and Spanish where you'll be staying longer? He would just smile and shrug his shoulders. "I dunno. I just like it."

3. Out of all the European books we kept, like the 'travel for dummies', Italy is the only one we still currently own. Because Justin wouldn't let us part with it.

So yes. He's very, very excited. I'm excited for him. He already loves the people and the place.

I thought about Calvin, Abe, Ray, Ty, and Michelle’s calls. Calvin served in the Northwest mission (fancy that, we live here now). Abe served in the Philippines. Ray served in Thailand. Ty served in Taiwan. Michelle served in Arkansas. There was something unique in each of those missions for the one who served there.

And it is as Calvin says, “The important thing is that you serve. It doesn’t matter where you serve. It matters that you serve.” But I still can’t help but find comfort and satisfaction that the Lord has a hand in where you’re going and that He attends to details that only He could have known.


Rachel said...

Ya for Justin! I'm so excited for him! I am also excited that I beat everyone else to writing on this post! Yaaa!!!!

Marie said...

You and your sister look so much alike!

Dirk's sister has about five weeks left before she heads out to the MTC before heading to Kentucky and she is chomping at the bit to get going. Missions are great blessings to the whole family.

Susan said...

How exciting for the Ellsworth family and all extended family!! What a great mission to go to! And may he learn to cook all that great food for the family!

michelle said...

I love this post, Jane. I think it's quite remarkable that so many missionaries are willing to go and serve wherever they are called.

Marc used to speak Italian. Such a romantic language! And I bet Justin will learn how to cook some amazing things as well.

Jill said...

I enjoyed that conference talk last April about the process of choosing where missionaries go. We had a farewell today for a young man going to Chile, plus another one announced his call to Everett, Washington. They're both such great young men.

Ande Payne said...


Grace said...

Congratulations to Justin! I am so excited for him! Italy would be an amazing mission...I wouldn't mind going there for two years, myself!

Tyler - Danielle - Emree said...

I am with Rachel. Ya for Justin! Although I did not win in being the first to comment.

Missions are amazing. With out Tyler's mission he never would have found me!

Bugg's mama said...

Hi, sweet neighbor!

I remember reading my call to Germany. GERMANY?!!! I was pretty freaked but yes, it was the place for me to go.

I really love this blog of yours. Such a safe and happy and special place to come. Thank you so much!

I finished Little House on the Prairie just today! I feel as if those books/show has half raised me. That, and the Anne books.

Love, Bree

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

That is so great! Happy Day Justin!

Lucy said...

All of our family home evenings for the next 10 weeks are based on the 10 things President Faust spoke about the things he'd want his son to know before serving a mission. It is humbling to think about raising future missionaries. I'm excited for your nephew.