09 May 2013

The Call

[Originally posted on our family blog here, we thought it would be appropriate to include on Rain's "Mission blog" as well.]

What's next for Rain? He's been accepted to Brigham Young University and currently plans on majoring in Electrical Engineering. He will not, however, begin his attendance there just yet. Rain has chosen to defer his enrollment until after he serves as a missionary for our church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). In April he "submitted his papers" (basically his application for consideration as a missionary) and last month he "received his call." Missionaries do not choose the city or country where they will serve, they are assigned a location based on what we believe to be inspiration. Here's a video of Rain opening his mission call letter and learning that he has been assigned to serve in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa:

We are excited for this upcoming adventure. Rain will report to a Missionary Training Center in Accra, Ghana, on September 20th. After twelve days in Ghana he will head to Liberia for ongoing training and real life missionary experiences... for two years.

For the next ninety seven days we will be preparing for his journey, spending family time together, learning all we can about Liberia, and laughing. We will share some of these good times here on the blog. Then we will share stories from Africa, as Rain waves back.

And as our nephew, Cameron (the world's beloved Ken doll), pointed out, our prayers for the next two years may be sounding a lot like a Toto song, "I bless the Rains down in Africa."

Pre-Mission Call Thoughts from Mom

A couple days ago (on my birthday) Dale and I were driving around and I asked him if he wonders much about where Rain will be called on his mission. Dale says, no, thinking about it or wondering about it won't change it, or effect it in any way, so he doesn't really think about it. 

I think about it. I think about it ALL. THE. TIME. I wonder in the night. For weeks now I've wondered if the post office is going to call at 6am to tell us it's here. Monday the stake president stopped me as I was running to tell me that it had been assigned and we should have it in the mail this week. The bishop texted Rain and told him it should be here on Wednesday. This morning Rain needed to be at school at 7:00, so I dropped him off and headed to the post office. I'd heard that if you knock on the after hours door around 7:15, they'll give you the call early. I'd also heard that some weeks there would be moms lined up to get their son's calls. I arrived at the post office around 7:05. I watched for any other moms or dads coming to get calls. A couple other people dropped off letters, but nobody seemed to be picking anything up. I texted Rikki. I wondered. I wanted to go inside to check, but didn't want the disappointment of it not being here just yet. I thought about the anticipation.

I waited until 7:15 then went inside. I saw the door I was told to knock on. I could hear someone talking on the other side. I knocked. A woman opened the door, but she was on a phone call. She signaled for me to wait. I could hear her conversation, she was calling someone to get someone else's phone number because their son's call was here. I was in the right place! She got off the phone and I told her I was looking to see if my son's call was here. I gave her the name and address. She said our carrier wasn't in yet, but she'd go look for it. She came back just a couple minutes later with the envelope. It didn't seem real. I checked the name, and it was Rain's (well, "Elder Makani Rain Price"). I grinned. She was watching my face, I could tell. I grinned some more and thanked her yet again. So unreal. So surreal. I went outside and took a picture of the front of the post office. Then I took a picture of the envelope and texted it to Rain. Then I sent it to Dale and Rikki, and all my siblings and my parents. The plan is for Rain to open it after school today, after Ryatt gets home. We'll have a phone call set up for those who want to listen and a video camera to record the moment.

It's hard to believe the decision has been made. It's hard to fathom that the next two years of Rain's life have been determined by a force superior to us. What is most mind boggling to me, though, is the magnitude of the news that is in this envelope. Not only is this the "where," this is the people, the culture, Rain's everything for the next two years. And beyond. This will define him. This becomes "his story." The experiences he has in this "mystery" place will refine him and create his future self. It is overwhelming in its magnitude. I hope and pray that my head and heart can easily accept his assignment. I want to feel thrill and joy and excitement and the possibilities that lie ahead. Mostly, I just want to know. 2 hours and 14 minutes to go...