Monday, June 24, 2013

Receiving The Call

In Oct. 2013 General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the age limit for young men to serve full time missions was lowered from 19 to 18.  I remember sitting in front of my computer screen on vacation far away from my kids as President Monson started his talk.  I could feel it coming, and I remember saying to James, "Oh no.  Don't do this. I'm not done being a mom."  James looked at me oddly and began asking what I was saying when the words were said.  Young men could now serve missions at the age of 18 or as soon as they graduated from High School.  Wow!!  Immediately my phone was a buzz with texts from all over.  Brothers, sisters, parents, and of course Jed.  He sent a text to James that read, "Does that mean I can go in like 9 months?"  And that's how it all came about.

It's amazing to look back now and see the different experiences Jed had had, just the summer before.  He had grown overnight it seemed in his testimony, and maturity from the different camps and youth activities he had attended.  He was being prepared for this opportunity to go on a mission a whole year earlier than planned.  It didn't take much to get Jed ready.  Waiting was the hardest part.  Feb. 15, 2013 was the first day Jed would be able to submit his missionary papers.  Things just fell into place.  Doctor visits, dentist visits, shots, interviews.  Everything happened so precisely.  The kid didn't even have a single wisdom tooth to get pulled.  I tried to talk Jed into delaying his submission.  We had planned a trip with the family, and I knew his call would come while we were out of town.  Jed couldn't be hindered.  He submitted his papers on schedule, and yes his call did come while we were out of town.

The Paradise Post Master called the morning of Weds. Feb. 27th to let us know a letter had come addressed to Elder Jedediah Clawson.  We asked him to just hold it until we returned home a week later on Mar. 6, 2013.  We headed right to the post office upon returning home, and Jed picked up his mission call.  We waited until that night when we could have family and friends join us for the official "opening".
Jed pointing to the official Call at the Paradise Post Office.

As we picked up the rest of the mail, we noticed another letter addressed to Jed from the Church Travel Services.  We thought it was just a standard letter, but before Jed opened it we talked him into letting me (his mom) open the letter in case it contained any specifics to the mission he was to be called to.  It did.  As soon as I opened the letter the first words I looked at stated where Jed would be traveling to for his mission.  So I knew.  It was awesome and somewhere I had no idea where it was.  It was good though.  I was able to learn a lot about his mission in the couple of hours before the official opening.

That night we had a house full of Jed's friends, family, and neighbors around to witness him opening his call.  Jed was called to serve in the Adriatic South Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!!!!  Wow!!  And where the heck is that?  The Adriatic Sea lies on the East coast of Italy, and the West Coast of Albania.  The Adriatic South Mission had previously been the Tirana Albania mission, but approximately 11 months earlier it had been changed to the Adriatic South Mission, and now included the countries of Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Kosovo.  Jed will be learning Albanian.
The call to the Adriatic South Mission.

His report date is July 3, 2013 to the Provo MTC where he will spend the next 11 weeks learning the Albanian language.  His approximate date of departure to Albania will be Sept. 17, 2013.  We are so excited for Jed, and the opportunities he will have, and the chance we as a family will have by being able to experience Jed's mission.