The long awaited day is here....we have been preparing for this day since we can remember. I can't believe it has finally arrived. Looking back, I can just see his cute little munchkin face singing "I Hope They Call Me On a Mission" in Primary and now, here he is taking a missionary prep class and turning in his mission papers. We were told that once they were turned in, we should expect it in about 2 weeks. So, by the third week, we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of that big white envelope. We went out to the mailbox with our hopes high, only to have the helium let out of our balloon. Rumor has it that they show up on Wednesdays, so out to the mailbox we go and....no letter. Ahhh! We have to wait a whole other week! Not sure if we can handle this sort of torture!! So, another LONG week goes by and Wednesday finally rolls around again. We had the blinds open and we would glance out the window every two seconds to watch for that mail truck to pull up. Finally, we hear his little engine go by and we know that he's already stopped by. Out to the mailbox we go, camera in hand. We open the mailbox and....one white....stupid piece of junk mail!!! Seriously!?! Now, I know for sure I cannot handle the thought of having to wait another week. It's already been 4 weeks. We start wondering......is it sitting on a desk? Did we leave something out and it's sitting there at Church Headquarters? We knew that things would be delayed a little due to General Conference, but 5 weeks? You can't do that to an anxious pre-missionary and his impatient mom! So, I called the post office and they took down my name and phone number. They said if they saw it come through, they would call me. They usually try to call early in the morning when they see those big white envelopes arrive, but I was told that now, since most of the mail is metered, that sometimes they go straight to the carrier's bins and bypass the actual people. So, Thursday I called the post office again and still nothing. My little nephew, Isaac, got his call on a Thursday so I knew that it wasn't out of the realm of possibilities. But, there was nothing for us. The post office told me that they'd keep their eye out for it and that they would call me as soon as they saw it; and that if I hadn't heard from them by 7:30 am Friday, then I should call them. So, on Friday October 10th at 7:31 am (literally, I could NOT wait another minute!) I called them and he said that he hadn't seen anything, BUT, that there was one more bin yet to be sorted. He took down my name and number and told me that he would call me back if he came across anything. So, can you believe that at 7:50 am the phone rings and the caller ID says United States Postal Service! I couldn't believe my eyes! I tried to mask my overwhelming excitement when I said, "Hello?" In his deep husky voice he said, "I have a big white envelope here for Elder Carston Shields." Eeee! "Elder Shields!" He said "Elder Shields!" It about killed me though because at this point Carston had already left to go work with Brother Pope and everyone else had already left too. I was the only one here with no way to go and get it. I had to wait for the mailman to deliver it. Although I was as giddy as all get out, it was so painful to have to wait! He pulled up around 10:10 am and there it was! The sight we have been waiting for, 4 weeks now! Yeah! I brought it inside and dutifully put it in our mail basket and I was so good. (Well, I must confess that I DID, hold it up to the light, but that was not helpful at all!!) So, there it sat ALL DAY. I called Carston to let him know that it finally came. He later said that it was so hard knowing that the call was just sitting there while he had to mow 5 lawns and think about it while thousands of countries were running through his head. I called Shaun (who then called his parents) and then I called my parents, who all wanted to be there for the big moment. It's amazing how quickly word can spread through the modern marvel of texting! Before long, Allysa Mayne, Trent Zimmerman, Alan Moody, Joey Mason, Chris Fullmer, Matt Cox, Colby Bowen, Chris VanCamp and Rachel Bates were all notified and were all here by 3:00! We weren't planning on opening it until 5:00, but we knew that my parents were postponing their trip to St. George so they could be here, so we moved the time up to 3:00. We got the room quieted down, turned on the video camera, and then the drumroll..... bdddddddddd, He didn't waist any time. He opened it and was so anxious that he read it aloud extremely fast. He said that he knew if he read it slow that his eyes might meander down to the words he was looking for. And then he said it...
"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
MEXICO MONTERREY EAST MISSION
You should report to the Missionary Training Center at Provo, Utah on
Wednesday, 11 February 2009".
I didn't even cry. I thought I would bawl my eyes out, but I was so overjoyed that all I could feel was happiness. The whole room erupted into cheers, screaming and clapping! It was a very surreal moment...one that I'll never forget.
Carston is so ecstatic! He is just so excited to get to go to a foreign country and be able to brush up on his junior high spanish!:) He anticipated being in the MTC during Christmas, so having to wait until February will be tough. In the meantime though, he'll keep working for Brother Pope, being a SCAREcrow down at Hee Haws, and attending his missionary prep class. Carst, we are so proud of you and grateful that you made this decision and have lived your life in such a way to allow you this experience. It's an exciting time in our lives and the kids are just beside themselves with anticipation! Thanks for being such a wonderful example to us all!
The disappointing Wednesday journey to the EMPTY mailbox.
There it is...a sight to behold.
Elder Carston Versal Shields
The anticipation is building!
(Oh, and don't let the same shirt in both pictures confuse you...
yes, same shirt, two different days...)