Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dear Sister Shipp:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Brazil Ribeirao Preto Mission. It is anticipated you will serve for a period of 18 months. You should report to the Brazil Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Portuguese language.

Words cannot describe how I am feeling right now. It doesn't seem real. I was not anticipating my mission call this week. I had heard from my Bishop just last Friday that my call had not yet been assigned but was ready for assignment. I had finally accepted that it would be another week when I listened to a voicemail I had received during my Chemistry class. It said "Hi, Maryann. This is Rachel from the Heritage Halls Central Building. I was just calling to let you know that your mission call is here." My heart stopped. I quickly called my mom and explained the voicemail and told her I was going to go see if it was really there. It was! My dad had just gotten to Canada when I called to tell him the news. We arranged to open it at 5:30 at my grandparents to work around a dinner meeting he had that night. I could not believe it was here. I called pretty much everyone. I am so thankful I had not been anticipating it. Heavenly Father must know how much I love surprises!

The time passed by fairly quickly. Before I knew it, I was leaving for my grandparents. We got facetime ready to connect with my dad in Canada; mom, Ashlee, and Josh in Katy; and a few more friends and family members. With family and friends gathered, it was time to open my call!

I read line by line and then saw Brazil. I just became so excited and felt so good about my assignment. My call was for a little later than I had been expecting, but I feel like it was indeed inspired. A later call means more time with friends and family, more time to prepare, and also means I get to visit Nauvoo with my family and watch my grandparents sing and dance on their mission ;)

Just after things died down a little, I found out I had been called to the same mission as my FHE brother, Josh. This is just amazing and comforting that I will at least know one person in my mission from BYU (home away from home).

I am so thankful for the support of all my friends and family. It has meant so much to me. I am so excited to go and serve the Lord and feel so blessed to have this call at this time. What an amazing day. It could not have been better.

My taste of home! I am so glad this girl was able to come be with me while I opened my call.

I got to spend this special occasion with my grandparents before they leave for their mission in Nauvoo!

New, current, and former roommates I am so blessed to have in my life!

The letter that determined it all.

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