This is to be the start of a Mission Journal. To do that, I must go back several months.
Wayne and I started planning for a mission several years ago. Our thoughts were that we would submit our application as soon as he retired and figured that would mean we would be gone by March of 2009. Because of his desire to hike the John Muir Trail before the mission, we had to put things on hold until the end of summer.
We finally submitted our application towards the end of June. We were told that the call would come about 3 weeks after Salt Lake received the application. We figured that we should hear something by the middle of July. To our disappointment we had not heard by the time Libby left for Maryland on July 21 and Wayne left for his hike the next day. There was a hold placed on our mail since both of us were to be gone for 3 1/2 weeks so we tried not to think of it too much for a few weeks.
Due to bad weather, Wayne's hike was cut short after only 2 1/2 weeks and he returned home about Aug. 9th. That began the daily calls from Maryland to Clovis just after the mail delivery to see if the call had come. The answer was always the same, "Nothing today".
Libby left for BYU Education Week on August 15 and so began the daily phone calls from Provo to Clovis. Again, "Nothing today".
Libby came home on Aug. 22 and started the daily trek to the mailbox herself. Again, nothing.
On August 27 Libby went into the hospital for surgery and that afternoon received a phone call from Wayne. The letter had finally come, did she want him to bring it to the hospital or open it and read it to her over the phone. What would you do? We had been waiting for over two months. Of course she said to read it over the phone. Wayne began to read. "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 India New Delhi Mission". Talk about blowing your mind. Words would not come. We will be serving a Humanitarian Mission for 18 months.
We were not to report to the Missionary Training Center until February 1, 2010. With the long delay that we had already had that came as a disappointment. Wayne immediately started reading everything he could on India. He ordered the Hindi Rosetta Stone course and practiced daily. Libby took the "Don't get too excited yet" approach. Wait until January before really getting into it.
It is now the end of December. Time to start getting excited. Wayne's Hindi is coming along slowly and we have pretty much gathered all that we need to take with us. We have had some news that makes us a little concerned that we may not make it to India though. Visas have not been issued to new missionaries since April. Aunti Caye, who works in the Senior Missionary Training Center, tells us that a couple who were scheduled to go to India reported to the MTC and found out that they have been reassigned to Croatia. That sounds like a pretty good trade off to me but we are wondering what will happen to us. Maybe we will be lucky and they will start issuing Visas in the next month. If not, I hope that we will not be sent to Tucson Arizona to an Indian Reservation. Not such a good trade off!
Whatever happens, we are still excited and ready to serve wherever that might be. As the time gets closer, I am finding that it is getting harder to think about leaving the family. We have had such fun with Ashlyn and Preston here in our home. I will miss them and my quarterly trips to Maryland to see Thomas, Lucas and Caroline. We know that the Lord will be with us and will help us make the change and we put our trust in him that things will work out in the way that is best for all.
As our departure date gets closer, I will post more.