Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Diet Dr. Mission Pepper

OK! So. BIG DAY TODAY. Got called by my bishop and told, at 10 AM, that there was "good news" about my mission call that we needed to "talk about" at 7 tonight. I didn't have a white envelope in my hands with a picture of a white guy slapping Saddam Hussein on the back of the head

(yes, this picture is featured prominently on the fabled packet of information about your mission which you receive in your "call"), so I figured out that everything, ever, was wrong and proceeded to worry for about 9 hours.

Come to find out that I am an idiot and should not have worried! AT ALL.

Sisters and brethren, I am pleased to announce that I am being assigned to the Dallas Texas Mission for two transfers beginning June 18th! I will be set apart (that is, specially designated; literally "set apart" from the world - a nice blessing that separates me with a mustache from the mustache-less me with a nametag!) as a full-time "short term" missionary for the duration of three months. I'll be serving under President Devin Durant. As in, retired NBA small forward, All-American (and French expat) Devin Durant. As in, the guy who is a dead lock for David Byrne:

Following my completion of said transfers, I'll receive a formal mission call from Salt Lake and will be shipped off to the MTC to begin the rest of my mission.

"OK," you're wondering. "What's this guy's DEAL?"

My deal. Ahem. Friends it's no secret that I suffer from an array of ailments. I can't grow a full beard, I'm obsessed with cats, and I have an unfortunate affinity for barley sodas (Malta India! Vita Malt!). I also deal with chronic (at times clinical) depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. That's also not that big of a secret, too, I guess. I mean, you don't have to be particularly observant to see how dizzyingly anxious I can get.

And so the careful, caring minds in Salt Lake decided to play it safe before sending me off onto a full-time mission. My time spent in the Dallas mission will be a sort of proving ground to make sure I can handle the rigors of mission life. If I can hack it for the two transfers here, then I will receive my official mission call. If it proves too difficult, then I am at least prepared to return to a stable life.

It might seem kind of scary to admit openly here that I've got these issues. It also might seem to occlude the central point of this blog, which is about missionary work. But I include all this to solve any questions about my assignment and to stress that the Lord and His servants truly love us all. By some accounts I'm sure my missionary application looked like a disaster and a half; medications and letters from therapists and explanation after explanation that I am really not THAT messed up. I don't think I believed, truly, that I was actually going to be allowed an opportunity to tell people about how much the Lord loves us in this capacity until the bishop told me the plan today. I truly half expected to never, ever receive a letter or anything from Salt Lake. To just quietly live out the rest of my life waiting. Very dramatic, I know.

But until today I didn't realize to what lengths the Church will go to make sure that A) their members and  missionaries are safe and, B) that everyone gets an opportunity to serve. It's a major source of validation, to be honest. I know I can do this. The Church knows I can too. Here is the opportunity. What a wonderful feeling of trust and responsibility! What a wonderful feeling of loving encouragement.

This is an amazing and overwhelming honor. I can't express my gratitude enough for everyone who has provided comfort and support. My family, Eliza's family, my friends, my ward members, former bishops, cats, and coworkers who, admittedly, think I'm a pretty weird dude.

God bless y'all. The gospel of Christ and the Lord is here to make our lives make sense, to make us happy, to make us comfortable and loving and all around better people. If you want, I could mail you a Book of Mormon? Let me know? Call me, maybe?



  1. Don't worry about issues, dude. I've got 'em too. And I got tired of not having an answer when people asked where I served, so I always tell people that my mission was 'Disneyland South - Troll Speaking."

  2. congrats! this made my day. do you have a cat teddy bear to take with you? i took my et stuffed animal. it sufficed to replace my cats for 2 years. just a thought.

  3. Alex I'm so excited for you! this is awesome!

    -rachel fillmore, maybe you remember me.

  4. Congrats! Good luck out there. You have a good heart.