Thursday, February 9, 2012

Another Step in Our Lives

Isn't it interesting? Just when you think you're finished - something more important comes along. In the past couple of months as Tony and I began to contemplate our final move from our apartment in Hollywood to our home in Lancaster something just didn't feel quite right. One afternoon after church I found a pamphlet in a box I was looking through and it was regarding senior missionary service. I read it and all of a sudden I got a 'charge' through my whole body, and I knew we needed to go on a senior couple mission. When Tony got home I showed it to him and he said, "Yeah, I've seen this pamphlet before - what about it?" I then told him my experience and we briefly discussed it, then went on about our evening.

The next couple of days the thought of my experience weighed heavily on my mind, but I didn't bring it up again. About three days later Tony mentioned it and said we should go on line and see what type of missionary service was available. Then voila! We found out we could serve a CES (Church Education System) mission, which would include teaching seminary and institute. We did some more research and then Tony called the phone number on the web site and was connected to Bro. Don Bell, Director of CES Missionary services in Salt Lake City. Tony asked him what was available and told him we would be available for a mission by July 1st. I was shocked! Bro. Bell said we could serve almost anywhere in the world and would be able to teach in English. He told Tony we should pray about it and then go see our bishop. Which we did. We both received a confirmation in the affirmative and went forward with our plans.

(This picture will be our missionary photo.)

In a second phone conversation with Bro. Bell we found out a mission opportunity would be coming up in Athens, Greece. When I heard that I just knew that's where we should go. Tony agreed, so Bro. Bell has put our names in as perspective missionaries for that particular mission. We are currently in the process of doing all the necessary preparation for an international mission, i.e., getting passports, physical, dental and eye exams, and a host of other important items.

We have already completed the paperwork for our passports and are waiting to receive them from the U.S. State Department, and I have completed my dental work and have received my new prescription lenses - and I have an appointment for my physical exam on February 28th. Tony just had a colonoscopy yesterday and we are awaiting the results, and he will be seeing the opthamologist in a few weeks to complete his vision testing and to order new lenses as well.

We have completed our first interview with Bishop Badurek and after we have all our medical information ready (signed by our doctors,etc.) then we go to Pres. Bragg for our big interview. Then we turn all our papers in to the mission committee and from there they are sent on the the First Presidency for approval. After that it will be about two weeks before we receive our mission call in the mail.

If all goes as planned we will report to the Senior Missionary MTC in Provo, UT in mid-September and after 10 days of intensive training we will fly in to Athens on September 27, 2012.

Bro. Bell has told us there is a 90% chance we are going to Athens, barring any great change and revelation from the Brethren. So mentally we are preparing to go the Athens, Greece. We are excited at the prospect of going up on Mars Hill in Athens to teach the institute students about the Apostle Paul's great address to the Greeks when we teach the New Testament, and many other of the sacred events that took place while Paul was teaching in Greece. We will get to walk in his footsteps, which is an incredibly awesome prospect!

I will continue to post all the news and information about our up-coming mission call and all the preparations as they arise.

Please pray that the Lord will protect and keep us in good health, and prevent us from any harm or danger as we prepare for this most wonderful assignment - the crowning glory of our service in the church.


Roxy Dozier said...

I got the chills reading your post! I am so happy for you and Tony, what an amazing adventure you'll have. I can't wait to hear all the details!! My daughter Sydney loves everything about Greece, she'll be looking forward to seeing pictures. Good luck and our prayers will be with you!

Susan Vargas said...

Thanks Roxy. We're just starting to tell everyone. The blog will help facilitate the telling - we won't have to separately let everyone know. My son says I should post the blog to my Facebook page too.

Jen said...

YEAH!!!!! I'm soooo excited for you guys! I can't wait to hear about the whole experience. You will be awesome and this will be such an awesome experience for you! Wow!

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