It is a beautiful thing for a mother to watch her child make big decisions. Especially when you get to observe them claim light and guidance from Above in the process.

And recently Grace has made a pretty huge one. Well, I shouldn’t say “recently,” because this has been a long time in coming. She has thought about this her whole life, specifically in the last few years, and there have been several times she has come to me with a gigantic smile, a beautiful light about her, feeling so excited about that prospect. One of those times in particular was last year surprisingly right smack dab in the midst of when she was trying to decide where to go for college.

But those are all her stories to tell. My side of the story is that it has been pretty cool to watch from afar. Going on a mission is a scary decision: turning in mission papers and being willing to serve anywhere in the whole wide world for a period of 18 months of your life (24 for young men). And especially now, when hoards of missionaries are being sent home and being reassigned, so much uncertainty with travel, etc. Definitely takes a giant leap of faith. But after much deliberation on dates, some beautiful guidance from above, and so much light shining from her as she worked to figure it out, Grace turned in those papers last week. And oh boy, that huge smile on her face was pretty glowing!

I was so wrapped up in Lucy’s surgery and recovery that it hardly registered that that call could come this week. Life is coming at us fast these days I tell you! Grace was checking her phone constantly for notifications. On Tuesday morning it still hadn’t come yet, and she was miserable about that. She was thinking it would come in the morning or not until next week. But guess what? At around 4:00 in the afternoon, right as Claire and I were leaving the dentist, it came. From there it was a whirl of excitement for all of us, the whole family on FaceTime together begging her to open it right then and there. Ha!

But she was level-headed, wanted to have a few family and friends come over and read it together. Gosh she was so calm. And SO HAPPY. Which did wonders for her mother’s nerves.

Dave printed that thing out without looking, and we gathered on the back porch, my heart PUMPING hard, dying wondering where she would be for the next year and a half, but Grace as cool as a summer’s morn, GLOWING with happiness, her calm reaching out and calming her mother right down 🙂

And then she read that thing. She has been called to the URUGUAY, MONTEVIDEO MISSION.

Are you kidding me?? Not in a million years would I ever have guessed that spot in the world. But yet it seemed to suit her perfectly right at that very moment. Her departure date is September 15th and she will be learning the Spanish language…and all of that is dependent upon the state of the world at that time so we will see how that goes. She may have a reassignment in the states for a time if things aren’t opened up by then.

But man, SO EXCITED for this glowing girl of ours!

We spent the next hour (and most of every hour after that), learning so much about Uruguay, diving into it’s government, its history, it’s geography.

(The internet is awesome:) Did you know Uruguay’s national anthem is over five minutes long (the world’s longest)? And that every single house has it’s own unique name? And that it is considered the “least corrupt country in Latin America”? (nice news for the parents). It has a literacy rate of 98%, one of the highest in the world, and it’s the second smallest country in South America?

Nothing like a mission call to give you some motivation to find out everything you never knew about a country where your daughter will be living.

As I looked at the flag I love that it has that sun up in the corner: Light. To me, a symbol of where Grace has looked for guidance and inspiration.

There is so much more to say, but for today I’ll just say that I’m so happy for this girl, the direction and guidance she has reached for and found, and all the grand adventures that lie ahead.

It won’t be easy. There will certainly be many ups and downs, heartbreak and pain along with all the beauty. But man, she’s going to learn a lot. And we are already all falling in love with the people of Uruguay we have never met, but who will teach her so much, and love her too.

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  1. I’m not LDS but was your heart pumping because it’s less cool to go somewhere in your own country or considered less of a mission? Or nerves? Also, is she allowed to change her mind or how does it work?

    1. Good question, it was pumping because she was going to find out where she would be heading for a year and a half! And since it could be anywhere in the world it pulls at your heartstrings because there are so many different places she could go! She was ready to go anywhere, from somewhere an hour away or somewhere across the globe. Definitely not less of a mission to be called in the U.S. So many pros and cons to both! I’m kind of assuming she will serve in the States for a little while before she leaves due to COVID, but who knows? And yes, she can change her mind, this is all completely voluntary.

  2. Congratulatoins to Grace!!! I served in that exact mission from 2013-2014 and aboslutly loved it! The people are so loving, the food is delicious and the Church is growing in wonderful ways. She’s going to have an incredible experience! ( I’ve been following your blog since I was a single college student and I actually remember being sad I was going to miss seeing your posts for the 18 months while I served haha. 😉
    Thank you for sharing your family, faith and light with the world!

  3. Congratulations Grace! You will be the beacon of light so many have been searching for! Your smile is contagious!

    I am a convert and sister missionaries have a special place in my heart ❤️

  4. Congrats to her! My brother just returned from Paraguay, so pretty close to where she’s going. He loved it down there and their culture is so different yet so great in many ways. He came home with a new and great perspective of life.

  5. My son left sept 18 of last year and in his farewell he talked about wanting to wake the light of Christ that is all in people (he had read The Light of Christ by Boyd K Packer which was given to mission presidents). I feel like Grace’s smile alone will wake that light everywhere she goes! SUPER cool.

  6. When I read your paragraphs and looked at the beautiful smiling face of Grace, I felt like I could truly feel how much God loves her. I hope she has a great experience on her mission!

  7. Talk about a glowing woman!!! I’ve been following for years (the only blog I’ve continued to read) and I surprised myself with how teary I got reading this. Life is pretty amazing. Excited for Grace AND the people of Uruguay. ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Can an LDS follower explain the thinking behind young women serving missions for less time than young men. Seems random.

  8. Oh my Goodness Grace,Congratulations.I am so happy for you.She is such a shining light and such a beautiful girl.

  9. This is great news.

    I’m really happy for Grace & I know that Heavenly Father will watch over & bless her & you & your family. x

  10. How exciting!! This particularly made me smile because my family is from Uruguay!! I have cousins and aunts and uncles there from both sides of the family who live in Montevideo. My mom was born there and my dad moved there when he was 10 years old. My parents met there and married in Uruguay, but moved to the United States shortly after in 1964. I have been there a couple of times and would be happy to answer any questions or even put her in contact with family I have there.

  11. Yay for Grace! We are waiting for my sons mission call and I’ve seen how sad it is when it’s not in the email Tuesday morning.

  12. YAY for South America!!! I hear Uruguay is amazing. I served in Chile and it was the best! The people of South America are absolutely amazing, humble, and so dang loving. She will absolutely love it there! Happy happy day!

  13. Congratulations! Uruguay is a beautiful country with beautiful people. Safe travels and wishing her the best in all her future endeavors. Hoping to see cool photos too!

  14. Congrats!! My daughter got her mission call this week too. She’s going to the Uruguay Montevideo West mission. She’ll be in the Mexico MTC, August 25th (if they reopen) 🙏🏻💗 Hopefully they can meet when your daughter arrives.

  15. Gordon B Hinkley said this:

    “With reference to young sister missionaries, there has been some misunderstanding of earlier counsel regarding single sisters serving as missionaries. We need some young women. They perform a remarkable work. They can get in homes where the elders cannot. But it should be kept in mind that young sisters are not under obligation to go on missions. They should not feel that they have a duty comparable to that of young men, but some will wish to go. If so, they should counsel with their bishop as well as their parents.”

    Why the difference for men and women? Why the different lengths of service? Why not “brothers” and “sisters” or all “elders?”

    1. Probably the same reason we call some Mr. some Ms. I think I’d rather be called sister than elder. What if the female counterpart of elder, eldress? They finally stopped calling young women beehives. Yay! At some point they will probably be just called Missionary Pothier, etc..

      Under the age and time frame both could get home in their 20th year.

  16. Congrats to Grace! I think it is wonderful she is breaking from following her older sister’s path, not that Elle’s path isn’t a good one, but I think it is important for each person to follow his own path in life.

    Grace seems to love international adventure and her “gathering” spirit will bring so much to her mission. YOU GO GIRL!!

    1. I think it’s more impressive Elle broke from her brother’s path. Not that his path wasn’t fine. It’s just was harder for Elle for break the Max pattern of choice than for Grace to break the Elle pattern of choice. I’m also glad Max didn’t go to Israel to study like Elle. These kids have too much planned for their lives that are the ideas of others. It honestly means it’s really a choice to go that they all didn’t go the moment they could. Course she and her husband could do a senior mission. Life offers many opportunities. I wish they were not assigning any missionaries outside their own home country for the rest of the year. It just brings about anxiety for all involved. Mostly the missionary’s parents.

  17. Congrats Grace! I saw it on Insta, such good news.
    If she needs some help with her Spanish, she can contact me! I’m a Spanish teacher 🙂

  18. I can believe this!🤗 I read your blog for years now, i live in Montevideo, really near a mormón church( the one in Malvin).
    Grace Will have a friend here if she want to.
    I’m a Christian not a mormón but my doors are way open to her 😉, I Will love to meet her.

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