On November 6th, My call was assigned! Ahhh!!! It was officially on it's way to me! The Lord knew where I was going to serve His children, and it would only be a matter of time until I would know too!
Well, on November 10th, I opened my mailbox to a manila envelope addressed to me from the office of the First Presidency!!! I started texting, calling, and Facebooking friends and family to let everyone know that my call was here and I would be opening it.
About an hour later, I got a text from my mom wanting to Skype, so we did. While we were Skyping, Ben F. Facetimed me... weird. They told me to get the mission call and open it... umm, okay. At this point, my adrenaline is pumping because this is MY MISSION CALL! Well, I open it to read what looks like a real mission call-to the India Bangalore Mission?!? Um, what? IT WAS FAKE!!!
You probably wonder how I fell for it... a MANILA envelope... Well, when you are waiting for your call, you are pretty gullible. Ben also spent a lot of time making it seem legit... here's the back story:
One Sunday, Ben claimed he could pull a prank on me, but my mom bet dinner that he couldn't because she thought, "Emily is smart, she won't fall for it." Oh, was she wrong! Ben made an elaborate Facebook post about an article saying mission calls were now coming in two colors of envelopes. The article said an office that deals with new missions of dangerous areas ordered the wrong kind of envelope and were going to use them until they ran out. He had friends from all over comment on the post to make it seem legit as well. He talked to his MTC comp to help him out with the formatting, mission packet, and mailing it to me from the correct zip code.
Because of all of this and the fact that I was so eager to get my call, I believed that this yellow envelope actually was mine! Of course, once it was open, it was obviously fake. I was called to India, speaking Hindi and Telugu, signed Joseph Smith. My mission president was Brad Pitt married to Angelina Jolie with 27 kids. The bios claimed that Brad served in Omaha, Nebraska (like my brother), born in Roseburg, OR (to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes), and that Angelina was born in Coquille, OR, (like Ben) to Mr. and Mrs. Claus. On the dress and grooming pages, there were pictures of Indians and Rosie the Riveter, a power ranger, Star Wars characters, Utes slippers, cowboy boots, and so on. The MTC map was a Google maps screen shot showing Provo and where McDonald's was.
So basically, I was pranked. Ben did a good job, but at the time, I was not a happy camper. Now I would have to wait even longer for my REAL mission call! I thought I was going to die of suspense!
Side note: Throughout this whole mission papers process, I was kind of freaking out about where I would go. I know that the Lord knows me personally and knows where I need to be, but it was still scary. I prayed daily that I would not be disappointed when I opened my call and that I would know where I am sent is where I need to be. It was hard because as much as I knew I would love my call, I was scared that I would be disappointed to go stateside or Spanish speaking, or worst of all in my mind- to Asia (scared of the language and never connected with the culture). I wanted that wow moment when I saw my call, and I wanted to be instantly happy and overwhelmed with joy.
Now back to my day; I got home from work and set everything up. I got my family on Skype, my grandparents on another computer on Skype, and my friends came over. My brother and his fiance came, along with friends from the ward and from work. It was so great having those who mattered most to me present for this exciting moment!
"Dear Sister Harker:" (I'm a sister missionary- woohoo!!!)
"You are hereby called to serve as a missionary..."
PAUSE- I accidentally dropped the booklet a line and saw where I was going and kinda freaked out inside. So, I tried to keep reading (and crying and so on).
"...of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are... (at this point I was crying from pure joy and shock and it was practically impossible for me to keep reading, but I did with a lot of effort!)... assigned to labor in the..."
MONGOLIA ULAANBAATAR MISSION!!!!
Everyone's mouths dropped and David was laughing and I was still in shock. I then read;
"You should report to the Provo MTC on Wednesday, March 25th, 2015. You will prepare to preach the Gospel in the Mongolian language."
Eventually, people clapped and cheered, and people began to leave. I was ecstatic, shocked, and sure. I felt a surety of this was where the Lord needed me. Here were some of the things going through my head:
-WOW! That's Awesome!
-Where is that?
-Is this another joke?
-No, this is real!
-How will I learn Mongolian?
-I'm so lucky!
-I didn't know there was even a mission there...
-I'm going to be a Sister!
-What? Really? Me? The German-speaking white Oregonian/ Canadian is going to Mongolia?
It took the whole night to sink in, but with the help of Danielle and my family (who looked up videos, blogs, fun facts, and so on), it did. I was and am so happy to have been called to serve in the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar mission! I know that I am meant to go there at this time to touch certain lives. I already love the people and can't wait for my love to grow.