Thursday, October 4, 2012
Brad and Valarie's Mission Blog:Called To Serve
Brad and I had talked about serving a mission--someday! It wouldn't be for a year or two. . .at least until we had retired and turned 66 so we could be on social security. Then last year, some major changes happened fast in our lives. All of a sudden we ended up selling Brad's business. . .totally unexpectedly! Changes happened so fast, we hardly knew which way to turn. And come January 1, 2012, we no longer owned Nedco. We were retired--nearly two years earlier than we'd planned! Then we started to wonder, okay, what now? What do we do now that we're retired and have all of this time on our hands. Brad had gone to the Priesthood session of General Conference in October, 2011, and President Holland had made a huge impact on him because he had talked about the importance of couples serving missions. He'd said something to the effect to get off the couch and go on a mission! Anyway, Brad came home wondering if we should serve a mission, but again the idea was present to wait until retirement at 66 to entertain such thoughts. But now, retirement was here, and so was the idea to serve a mission. We filled out our papers and sent them to Salt Lake. Eagerly we awaited a letter from Church Headquarters that would contain our destiny for the next 18 months of our lives. Finally it came, and our family gathered, we had cell phones connected to various kids around the country, and we opened the letter. As you can see from this video, I was totally shocked and in disbelief. The Philippines! It couldn't be! I had lived there with my Air Force father and family for two years. Surely the Lord wouldn't have us return to the Philippines. We had requested--Europe, or South America. But no, that was not where the Lord wanted us. We were to serve in the Philippines--but Baguio, where it was cooler. At least we were to serve in Baguio, which was well-known to me as a resort place where we had gone for rest and relaxation and a respite from the heat of the rest of the country. Then, later we found out we would not be in Baguio afterall, but in Urdanetta where the mission home had been moved to. Anyway, we have adjusted to the idea of serving in the Philippines and are really excited to be going there. We have spent the last five months trying to learn Tagalog, their national language, thanks to tutuoring at the MTC two and three times a week. We can say very simple prayers and testimonies, and a limited amount of greetings, but we are excited to try to learn more and are anxious to start on our great Philippine adventure. So, follow along as we prepare to serve the Lord in the beautiful and tropical Philippines.