Finally everyone is settled and it's go time. My cousin opens the envelope for me since my hands are shaking and weak. I attempt to read the call letter but it's upside down. Oops. I adjust the paper and begin to read.
"Dear Sister Bird:" I'm already crying at this point. I would like to thank my grandpa for my emotional genes. And my parents. And the rest of my family. We're all a bunch of bawlers. Okay, deep breath. I can do this.
"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 México Aguascalientes mission." Cheers, screaming, and clapping fill the room. I have to repeat the mission name because nobody on Google Hangout heard past "Mexico." Oh my gosh! I was called SPANISH-SPEAKING!!! I didn't break the trend! (All of my cousins on my dad's side, my brother, my dad, my aunt, three uncles--you get the point--all served Spanish-speaking, so I didn't want to be the one to break the streak.) No way. Spanish! And Mexico? Who would've thought Mexico? My brother just got back from his mission in Mexico five months ago! No way they're sending another Bird there! Wait didn't the guys' RA serve in this mission? I'll have to ask him about it.
"It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months. You should report to the Mexico Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language." October? Wait, that can't be right. That's like 5 months away! But right now, who cares. I am just THRILLED! Unlike many people, I didn't get the instant feeling that I had been called to exactly where the Lord needed me. My most overwhelming feelings were that of relief and excitement. Relief that I would be speaking Spanish instead of some more frightening foreign language that used weird symbols I couldn't draw and sounds I'd never heard. Relief that I was actually going on a mission! Excitement that my call was exciting for other people too (mostly my brother Austin who just ADORES the people in Mexico). Excitement to serve in a new place and learn a new culture. Excitement to be a missionary!
As I began to learn more about the culture and heard stories from missionaries who served in other areas of Mexico, I began to feel such love for the people I will be serving. Small and simple things happened that confirmed to me that Heavenly Father sees fit to use me as an instrument in His hands at THIS place at THIS time and I can't wait! Mexico, here I come!
|featuring my girl Hermana Moline who is currently serving in the Alabama Birmingham mission|