I mentioned back in my “transitions” post that Claire was preparing for study abroad. But she also has another big thing she has been preparing for. She didn’t tell many people, so I waited to mention it here until she was ready. But since it’s now assigned, (and she’s ready), I’m here to say Claire is heading out on a mission!
This means she will be going out to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints for eighteen months.
It has been so interesting to watch each of my girls make a mission decision over the years. Each of them have worked their little hearts and souls to figure it out. And each has had some pretty beautiful experiences surrounding the process. I feel pretty lucky to have had a front-row seat in this business as a mother.
Not only have they grown so much in the process, I have grown too. I have learned so much through trial and error. Isn’t that just how motherhood goes? Love that we have a God of second chances! Since I was a missionary myself (a video of my mission call is in that post) and loved it with all my heart, I at first figured all my girls should go. I mean, what was there not to love there? But I have learned that kids can make some pretty awesome decisions for themselves. And those decisions don’t always lead to missions!
The Big Decision
So Claire sure put in some work to figure this one out. She didn’t want to go just because so many friends were going. Oh they were the best examples, but she wanted to go because she felt it was uniquely what she wanted to do. She read her patriarchal blessing. There were plenty of trips to the temple.
In the end, I hope I will always remember this:
The two of us sitting together the day she got her wisdom teeth out. (This was one thing she was doing to prepare for a mission, but still wasn’t sure yet.) Her whole head was wrapped up in purple medical tape to keep the little ice packs reducing swelling in her cheeks. She started asking questions. Trying to figure out next semester at school or a mission. I told her to envision herself doing both. As we talked, giant tears started falling down her cheeks. She was overcome with this huge desire to serve a mission.
It was such a special conversation, but let’s be honest, she had just had her wisdom teeth removed. I wasn’t sure how clear-headed she was. Ha! But as time went on that girl went forward.
Working on the Mission Papers
She worked on those mission papers. She kept preparing. And when she was home last, she had her last doctor appointment, Elle whipped up her mission picture before she had to leave:
We walked around the temple en route to her appointment:
And that girl turned in those mission papers!
It was a cute story how the whole interview went down, maybe for another day, but she pressed “send” and those mission papers were turned in!
We had a little picnic with Chick-fil-A in the car to celebrate. Can you tell how excited she was??
Waiting for the Mission Call
Then it was time to WAIT. Claire was so nervous! I mean, she could be assigned anywhere in the whole wide world!
A few days ago she got a notification that her call had been assigned. This meant she would be getting her call on Tuesday…which was yesterday.
It just so happened that Dave and I were going to be in Utah for a business meeting that very same day. (And also, let’s be honest, to see Murphy for her three week bday🙂
Opening the Mission Call
Claire was much too nervous and excited once the call came to wait until evening for Dave and I to get there. To be honest, so were we. We were all dying to know where that girl would be going, and we knew we’d get to hug her later in the day.
So she headed to the temple with Max, Abby, Murphy and Grace to open up that mission call!
We all got on FaceTime (including Lu who was en route home from school).
And Claire read that mission call to us all.
I’ll let her tell you where she’s going:
Oh my goodness, It was so crazy, a little hard to hear, but the most special phone call! We were all so emotional! And so excited!
This screenshot below captures one of my favorite moments. Carson was at work in surgery so he missed the actual call. When he was able to get on, all in his scrubs, Claire read it again to him. Which was pretty exciting because IT IS HIS SAME MISSION!!!!
Can you even believe that???
Ok, even though Claire announced it up there in that video, I better put it here too:
Sydney Australia Mission
Speaking Mandarin Chinese
He went to Sydney as well, but he spoke Spanish there. We were all so excited!
Here we all are, so happy for Claire:
That night a group of others gathered once again for Claire to read it one more time to announce her call.
A few of the crew of Claire’s friends and sweet cousins were still in Provo:
Gotta get Dave in here!
My mom was a tad bit late so Claire read it again to her…loved her sweet reaction.
Saren was just a little late too but caught it on Instagram Live:
Oh just so grateful for all that love and support.
And SO excited for this next chapter of Claire’s life.
She will leave for the MTC on September 18th, after she gets home from her study abroad.
What a ride she is in for!
Oh the places you’ll go, Claire Bear! Love you forever!