Monday, June 16, 2014

Our Papers Are In!

Our missionary applications have now been officially submitted!   All the planning, praying, pondering leading up to this have been a powerful time for us.

I feel like I'm standing on the precipice of a great dividing line in my life.  In John Steinbeck's novel, The Pearl, he tells the story of a poor Mexican-Indian man named Kino who finds a giant pearl.  There is a line in the book about how Kino and his wife, Juana, would forever be changed by that pearl.  They would always think of their life as what happened before the pearl and what came after the pearl.  Sadly, in the book the pearl represents great tragedy.   This mission will be quite opposite from that.  But it will be a marker experience for us without a doubt.

I am reminded of when Larry and I built the pond in our backyard last year.

We started out with just an idea, thinking it would be nice to have a water feature up close to the house so we could hear the flowing water.  (For a long time we had the IDEA that at some point we would go on a mission together).

We happened to pick up a pre-formed liner from our neighbors at a yard sale. They had planned on building one in their yard but never quite got around to it.  (Larry's friend, Bruce Beckstrand, put in HIS papers to go on a mission - making us think more seriously about it ourselves).

The spot we had picked for putting the pond had a tree growing smack in the middle of it, so that had to be removed.   That was REALLY work.  (We had some barriers that needed to be rooted out - my attachment to my job, our fears about leaving our family and worry over the expense)

We found a place in where we could get the kind of rocks we were looking for and got a rock permit.
Then we set about the hard work of hauling a truck load of rocks.

When we got out to the spot where the rocks were my big strong man played billy goat and climbed the side of the hill to haul them over to where I was.  Then I would pick them up and take them the 100 yards or so to where the truck was parked.  Rock by rock by rock we had some great teamwork going on.

(All through the planning and preparations putting our applications together we have worked together as a team.  We have supported each other through each step of the process.  I'm sure we'll have lots more of that in days to come.)

After Larry carefully dug the hole for the pond, poured a layer of sand to support the liner, then leveled it carefully, we worked together to place the rocks .  There was more than a little second guessing as we moved them back and forth, this way and that, until we finally had them arranged in a way that was pleasing to both of us.

As we have explored options for this mission - should we say we needed to stateside or be open to an international assignment -   how long should we serve for?  What type of mission should we request?  All of that we had to carefully communicate with each other and with the Lord until everything settled in just right.   Like the pond you see pictured above, we ended up with something very special.

Now the count down begins, waiting for our official call.

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