Sunday, February 2, 2014

In the Beginning

We are finally here in South Africa.  After arriving on February 1, 2014 Polly and I are reflecting on the process that resulted in our mission call.  Getting here was not easy but we have seen many tender mercies that allowed us to arrive on time.

We first sent in our papers at the end of June 2013 only to have the Stake President call us to inform us that we could not apply for a mission until the surgery on my feet was completed.  At first it seemed like a rejection by the church.  Neither of us knew of anybody who had been told no, but then we realized we were just being told to wait.

After surgery and finally an okay from the doctor our papers where resubmitted the third week of October.  We waited impatiently, checking the mailbox daily.  Finally on November 19, after two previous trips to the box that day,  we found the big white envelope staring at us from its dark tunnel.

With shouts of excitement we hooped and hollered and then I told Dalen he had to wait until everyone could get to his mothers house to open the letter.  He thought I was crazy but then seeing how serious I was and just how much I wanted the kids and grandkids to be there when we opened it he agreed to have patience and wait.  We call everyone and told them there would be pizza and root beer floats at Great Grandma Buck's house so they needed to hurry as quickly as they could get there.  Again we waited as some families could get there early and others later.   After the feeding frenzy at nearly 7:00 Kevin and Kim got there with there kids.  All were accounted for except Jason who would be participating by using Skype. What a crazy, wonderful, loud, and excited crowd we made as we all anticipated the opening of "The Letter".   Dalen deferred to me to open and read it aloud to everyone.  It finally got quiet as I started to read then exploded again when I said the words "called to serve in the South Africa, Durban Mission". 

When we got the call it seememed the date of our departure was a long way away but then as shots, Thanksgiving, more shots, a baptism, Christmas, our final talk in church and even more shots kept happening the time flew very fast.  Family kept coming and going through the rest of the months of November and December.  It seems like one big wonderful blur of excitement and before we knew it it was time to go and we still had no FBI clearance for visas. On January 18th when we left it was an act of faith that everything would turn out so we could leave to South Africa on time.

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