Summer continued on. We had our medical appointments current in August, ready to add to the final steps of turning in mission papers. The time has gone by unrealistically, because COVID has turned life pretty different from the "olden days" a few months ago. With no one over 65 allowed at church. No temple open. No church buildings open. No school. Masks and hand washing and sanitizing often. No make up. Working from home. It was a good time for summer. And thinking about a mission, was unreal.
After we returned from the cabin in August, our temple recommends were soon to expire. So we were interviewed over the phone by Brother Shimimoto. A week or so later, the Bishop let us know he would send our mission paperwork on to the Stake President, bypassing our last interview with him. On August 18, we had an appointment with the Stake President. We were ready to talk about missions, but wouldn't have been surprised if this was only a temple recommend interview. To our surprise, he kept us both in the room as he interviewed us. He said he liked to interview couples together to feel their connections. The recommend interview went nicely. It was nice to sit next to Randy as we both answered those sacred questions together. Then, smoothly the conversation drifted right into our serving a mission. President Tinker sat securely at the helm as he listened to us express ourselves. And he was an inspiration to listen to as he encouraged us, with no fear or doubt of the current state of the world. Happily he explained the continued needs for serving a mission for senior missionaries. He didn't have details, but only wholeheartedly encouraged us. He was a pleasure and comfort for our wondering souls. We left that night with plans to turn the paperwork in right away, without hesitation. Again, yes, yes, yes.
The drive home was when it hit. What are we going to do about telling the kids? When? How? I got a little teary, knowing they had no idea, even though our quest had started slowly about a year ago. It seemed to have spiraled into a mission call over night. The next morning I got a text from President Tinker. He wanted to make sure he understood us right. It seems that our preferred date to serve was in January. If he turned in the paperwork now, the call usually comes in about 3 weeks and the date of service is between 130 days. That would mean we could get called in October and leave before Christmas. As he explained this, we reconsidered the submission date to October, making a more doable time to ease the kids into learning about this. I was grateful President Tinker had called before he went ahead with sending the papers in. Now we could easily get the kids together to tell them what we'd been up to. It did startle us a little, knowing we could have had a serve date before Christmas!
Last week a phone call came from Salt Lake. A message was left on my phone and on our answering machine. It was from a nurse there, who was curious about a blood work number of Randy's that didn't seem right. She was going through our forms and came across this little discrepancy. She was friendly enough. but needed Randy to verify the number to make the forms read reasonably. She also had questions about my skin Dr. appointments and procedures. We both called our different doctors and called the Salt Lake nurse right back. It turns our Randy's blood work number was written 35.? After checking, the right number was 6! It was misprinted! I told Randy that was a really good reason to serve a mission. To have an excuse to correct the numbers now, so that when you are really in need, the faulty numbers don't kill you! Ending the call with the nurse, she made a comment that now our papers were in order and ready.
A little voice keeps nagging us. "You need to tell your kids". We bought ourselves another month after President Tinker altered the date. But now, with this nurse telling us everything was in order, it makes me wonder who is really in charge here? We have found ourselves saying, Yes, yes, yes. But haven't felt the reality of it until this week.
Tomorrow we tell the kids.