I knew from a very young age that I wanted to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And here I am, on the brink of doing just that.
The journey to a mission was a long and difficult one. It all started with a decision to keep it all a secret from my dad. For just over two months, I went to doctor appointments, dentist appointments, church interviews and classes, and my father had no idea what I was up to.
The day of January 18, 2012, I rushed home from work, completely thrilled and terrified when my mom called me up and said there was a large white envelope addressed to me from the LDS Church Missionary Department. My ideal mission destination was anywhere in South America, although, I was convinced I was going to somewhere in California and I had come to terms with it.
When I got home, I told my dad that I was having a movie night with my friends, and waited for everyone to come to my house.
My friends started arriving, and then some family member showed up. My dad thought a visit from them was out of the blue, but didn’t seem to give it a second thought. My sister, living in Grenada, called us using Skype. And the last to arrive was my brother, Andrew, and one of my best friends, who drove down from Logan, Utah together.
You could see the confusion on my dad’s face when Andrew walked in and everyone sat down. I stood in front of the group and said, “I bet you are all wondering why I called you here today.”
And my dad replied, “Oh, Stacia. Sit down, you are so dramatic,” thinking I was just going to announce what movie my friends and I were watching that night. I grabbed the large white envelope, help it up, and yelled, “MISSION CALL!”
“NOOO WAAY!!!” was all my dad could say to that. For five minutes he sat there in disbelief, asking everyone around him if this was real. We went around the room, everyone saying where they thought my call would be to. On my dad’s turn, he said the Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission. Then he proceeded to ask for another few minutes if this was if this was all a joke.
I was shaking when I opened that envelope.
When I read where I would be spending 18 months of my life, tears came to my eyes, and my hand covered my mouth… I couldn’t speak. I was so overwhelmingly happy. Finally, I said, “Ecuador.”
The whole room started asking questions. When was I leaving? What language was I speaking?
I just broke down with emotion. I couldn’t talk. My mom took the papers away from me, and tried to read the information, but stopped when she started getting emotional, and handed them to Whitney. And during this, my dad’s eyes were full of tears (I am his favorite child, I can see where he would be devastated that I am leaving).
After the details about my mission call were read aloud, we all sat around calling people, texting people, talking about my dad’s reaction. It was one of my favorite nights spent with some of my most favorite people.
I was filled with so much joy.
I still cannot believe it.