August 17, 2013

so this is happening

I put in my missionary papers last Sunday. For those of you that don't know, here is the process for a Latter-day Saint missionary.

1. Initiate paperwork through the Bishop. Bishop Fowers, our local church leader, had been Bishop for less than a few hours when I asked for him to initiate my paperwork. This would basically open up my missionary application so that I could begin.

2. Fill out paperwork. Fact about myself: I hate forms of any type. I love to write and I love systematic things, but I really, really, really hate going through forms. It makes me anxious because I'm never sure if I'm filling it out the right way. I guess it's just a special neurosis I have. Anyway, these forms were no different. It basically asked about my languages, interests, medical history, etc. My favorite question was, "If you have a significant other in the mission field, where are they serving?" I left mine blank, haha. Filling out the paperwork also included going to the hospital and dentist's office for physicals. Fuuuuuuun stuff. 

3. Get interviews from Priesthood leaders. "Your Bishop is your best friend," is some advice I really took to heart during this process. The interview I had with the Bishop and the Stake President (another local leader) was totally awkward free. I felt comfortable enough to be honest. The last question that President Nigliazzo asked me was, "Do you feel worthy to be a missionary?" Answering in the affirmative was such an awesome feeling. 

4. Wait. My process was super speeded. I began my paperwork the day after returning home from Philmont. I got my paperwork completed a week later (with physicals completed). I got my interviews done three weeks ago. All that I had to wait for was my 120 days. The church rule is as follows: 

How early can I submit my missionary papers?

Recommendation papers for full-time service may be submitted to Church headquarters by a prospective missionary’s stake president 120 days prior to his or her availability date. Availability date is the earliest date at which the prospective missionary is available to begin his or her mission. The earliest date young men may enter the MTC is after graduating from high school or its equivalent and reaching 18 years of age. The earliest date women may enter the MTC is after their 19th birthday. Other influences on one's availability date may include completing a university semester, finishing an employment commitment, or stabilizing a medical condition. Speak with your priesthood leaders well before the 120 day submission window to start the recommendation process and to confirm your availability date.
I was really interested in getting my paperwork done as soon as possible so that I could open my call at home. I wanted to share that special experience with my parents and I am super stoked to serve, so OF COURSE I would put it in as soon as I possibly could. The waiting was a little hard, but I know some missionaries wait for months to finish their papers, so I was pretty content.

5. At CHURCH HEADQUARTERS!! So, this is basically what happened when my papers were at church headquarters in Salt Lake City.

(The whole talk is great, but the actual description begins at about 4:10.)

YESTERDAY, MY CALL WAS MADE! Now the wait is just depending on the mail. I'm pretty stinking STOKED. I don't feel exactly like I thought I would though ... I don't feel anxious to open my call and I really don't have any idea where I would like to serve. I'm ready to go ANYWHERE, so I know that I'll be happy where ever I am called to serve.

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