Beginning this May, it will be two years since some of my best friends’ started to receive their calls to serve LDS Missions before we had even graduated High School. At that point in time there was plenty exciting going on in my life, with graduation, a senior trip to Greece, becoming a USU Ambassador, and just the general transition from little to big. Although I had so much going for me I always felt jealous of all my friends who got to go through the process of doing their mission papers, receiving their call, and just even the thought of taking off two years of real life for an adventure. You could also say that I have just always hated being left behind.
Through several adventures and experiences over the last year (including spending a month by myself in Europe) I had already made the decision that I had wanted to serve a mission for the LDS church; it was just a matter of when I wanted to fit it into my life plans. Then October Conference happened, and it was an answer to so many different prayers on so many different levels. I knew that my time to serve was immediately. My goal was to receive my call before my older sister entered the Missionary Training Center (serving in the Finland Helsinki Mission) on Nov. 14th, and after several glitches that were put in my path I submitted my papers on Nov. 4th. By Nov. 9th I had a call assigned, which was shocking that it happened that quickly with the increase of papers being submitted- we thought my call would miss my sister by one week. Instead, we had it pulled from the Church Headquarters mailroom and picked it up after our last family dinner.
My mother was in denial, and immediately began freaking out that she didn’t have any paper to make a banner like we did for Kamille’s to surprise all our friends and family with when they came over to say goodbye to Kamille. My Dad was anxious. Kamille was beyond excited. Maddy was feeling left out. And me? I was completely calm.
I couldn’t believe that it was HERE! It was my time to find out what the next two years of my life held before me. And it even made it here before we shipped Kamille off to Finland! And I was 19 years old, and not 21. So many Tender Mercies. Because I wasn’t really expecting to open my call I hadn’t come up with what I wanted. Instead of waiting for all of my friends and family to come over we decided we couldn’t stand it any longer so we opened it as soon as we walked through the door.
This is how it went down:
Was I expecting any of that?
NOT. AT. ALL.
Africa? They send Sister’s there? That moment of surprise is a moment that I will never forget. Such a strong confirmation of what I was doing was the right plan for me. After further investigations, I found out that due to safety Sisters’ only serve in the country of Botswana.
(This is what pulls up when you Google Botswana. Probably not the most accurate thing.)
I am so excited that I have this opportunity to preach the gospel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to the incredible people of Botswana, and for a time in Johannesburg. I hope that I’ll be able to give them the gift of happiness that this gospel has given me throughout my life, and to bring them unto Christ and his teachings.
Cheers to the next 2 years of my life.. IN BOTSWANA!
I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER!!!!!!!!!!Sister Kaitlyn Beth Clifford South Africa, Johannesburg Mission Reporting to the South Africa MTC April 4th, 2013
If you are interested in what I’ll be preaching check out this website: http://mormon.org/
If you are interested in how the LDS Church assigns these “Mission Calls” go to this link: