Last August Claire came to me and Christian and told us that after
lots of prayers she had felt inspired to serve a full-time mission.
Christian and I were of course were beyond thrilled!
(I admit, my heart kinda hurt thinking of her leaving too).
So she began to prepare for her mission by getting all the necessary
doctors' appointments and spiritual leader interviews.
And just this week she will finally have saved up enough
money to pay her own way for the full 18 months with the two jobs
that she's been working at.
Paying for her own mission was really important to her,
and I so admire her for that.
Claire is beyond ready and knows that she will dedicate her life for the Lord.
She is committed to serving Him, and clearly understands that a mission
is not an opportunity for her to have cool experiences,
rather a mission will require her to work hard both physically and emotionally
forgetting about herself and serving the Lord.
And she is ready.
She and Christian have been studying the Preach my Gospel
handbook together in the mornings.
She is learning what it's going to take to find, teach, and baptize
those she serves, and who she will help come unto Christ.
She is beyond ready and will be a mission president's dream come true!
She is mature, spiritual, calm, quick to learn, level-headed, and obedient.
Last week as I was cleaning up Lottie's room Claire calmly walked into
the room and said to me "mom, it came."
Claire always told me that when she got her mission call,
she didn't want any fuss (like a mission reveal party).
She also wanted to take her call (which came by e-mail on her phone)
to the secret park near our house and open it alone.
So, off she went with her phone, scriptures, journal,
and her Patriarchal Blessing to find out where in the world she'd be living
and serving for the next 18 months.
Christian and I watched her out the window
as she disappeared behind the tall trees with great anticipation for her return.
She came back with a GIANT smile on her face and TEARS
in her eyes, which is kind of a big deal since she's not my
most emotional child. She hugged us and said she was not expecting this
assignment, but so excited!
Earlier in the week, she had gotten an email from our Stake President
who interviewed her before she submitted her papers.
He told her that they were reviewing her mission application
and would be assigning her a call on her 19th birthday!!
That night we all wrote down on a piece of paper where we thought
Claire would get called.
Minutes before she opened up her e-mail call,
she opened the white envelope with all the family guesses inside.
She read the predictions and I asked if anyone had
guessed her mission. And yes, someone DID!
Our little family gathered around Claire as she finally began
reading the letter from our Prophet, President Russell M. Nelson.
Immediately in my mind's eye, I saw years of Claire
growing up; a chubby little baby, precocious toddler,
creative child, lovely teenager, and elegant young woman,
and now we were here. I was crying even before she began reading.
"Ok, are you ready?" she asked us, then began...
"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 Brazil Vitoria Mission and will prepare to
preach the gospel in the Portuguese language!!
We cried, hugged, and screamed together again!!
We spent the next two hours looking at photos of Vitoria, her mission home,
her mission presidents (who are from our area here in NC!!!!!!),
and what life will be like for her.
Then we all jumped in the car and went out to dinner to celebrate!
And, Gigs was the one who guessed she'd go to Brazil!