Sunday, April 22, 2012

Extra, extra, hear all about it...

As we contemplate what we should do when we get home from our mission, a few options came up.
  1. Go back to China to teach at a university again for one year since we had such a good experience there.  BYU Kennedy program for China Teachers now has an age limit, so we contacted Soochow University which we visited before coming back to China in 2009, and they were interested and asked us to send our requests to teach there.
  2. Move to Taiwan for Shirley to do her family history:  we've gone back to Taiwan for a week or two each time, and there was not ever enough time to do much research.  We have a desire to find out more about Shirley's ancestor's since we learned on our last trip to Taiwan that the Sung Family came from Zhang Zhou, Fujian 彰州, 福建 around the 1650's.  Some of the relatives have gone there to visit and found the Sung family ancestral worshiping hall.  How wonderful it would be to make some connections.
  3. Stay home and stay busy with children, grandchildren and projects.
We decided to go in and talk to the local church leaders about our ideas.  We felt that since most of them have worked in Asia for a long time, they could give us some good feedback.  The answers and counsel we received was very astonishing.  Southern Taiwan needs family history missionaries.  Why not go on a mission there to help people with their family histories while working on your own?  What a revelation!  We immediately got hold of all our children and discussed the possibility of going on another mission, hopefully to Taiwan.  The answers were very positive.  We agreed that if we were to continue to get on Skype group video each Monday morning (Mountain Standard Time Sunday afternoon), we would see the children and grandchildren even more often than when we lived in the States.  Of course, we'd miss everyone, especially Kong and Cami's kids since they live downstairs from us.  I could not bear to tell our dear friends who I look so forward to coming home to.  After much fasting and praying, we decided to throw our hats into the ring.

We are getting old and the chance of coming out to serve another mission after we go home for a period of time would be slimmer.  Besides, there are so many projects that I wanted to get involved in, such as the Chinese immersion program in St. George for the local schools, a hands-on, minds-on science program for elementary age children, teach a couple of classes for Dixie, teach University of Phoenix again as I did years ago...the list goes on.  So, the decision was made that we'd start the application process for another mission before we even go home.  We know once home, being with the grandchildren and all the things that we wanted to do, the mission idea might go out of the window quickly.  Knowing how much we love to serve, we put that as a priority for now.  We started the application process.

Applying to go on a mission out of the States has been quite an experience.  We are so glad that there were angels along the way to help us out.  The physicals were a concern to us since Elwin had a triple bypass in 2010, then the stent in 2011.  We figured our family doctor probably would not recommend us to go on another mission.  But Dr. Lim told us that wouldn't be a problem.  In fact, she didn't even charge us for the physical, except for the labs.  She said that she appreciated people willing to serve the Lord, and that was one small part she could do as a doctor.  The dentist, not a member of the Church, charged us half price and told us the same thing:  thank you for your service to the Lord.  Isn't that wonderful!  The angels pop up here and there and watched the whole process.  We felt the lift and the support along the way.

On Saturday, March 14 as we were preparing to go home from a day of service at the temple, Elwin said:  There is a FedEx envelope on the counter.  Let me check.  And there it was, a letter from the First Presidency addressed to us.  How appropriate it was to open it right there.  So we didn't even wait for the children (sorry about that, you were all asleep then), and opened it.  So here it is:  

"...You are assigned to labor in the Taiwan Taichung Mission.  Your primary assignment is to labor in the Taichung Taiwan Family History Support Office as a family history specialist.  It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Monday, September 3, 2012.  Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president..."

We are thrilled and grateful for the new calling. 

1 comment:

  1. Just think, you will only be a 45 mins. flight away from us this Fall! You will be missed in the Hong Kong temple. love you both, E/S Dean