Max sent in his mission papers a few weeks ago.
Then a week or so ago we got a notification “assignment made 8/28.”
It made my heart jump (as everything related to the mission call has). We were into September by then so we figured that mission call would be arriving any day (Max put his home address on there rather than his dorm address since he didn’t know what that would be when he turned the papers in).
So every day we checked the mail with butterflies churning inside of us.
Every day Max texted for a report on the “mail check.”
So many nerves and so much excitement all the way around.
That’s a long time. Would it be Australia? Iowa? Indiana? Mongolia?
Dave and I have served missions and we know the impact that they had on our lives, and so much of that impact came from where we served. The people we met, the things we learned, the trials we had, the joys that filled up our hearts.
All of that thought made me so nervous. I like to control things and I had no control. One day when Grace and I were talking she said, “Mom, wherever he’s getting called is going to be the exact place he’s supposed to be.” And I knew she was right. Those calls are made by the apostles in the church and a whole board of people who I really do believe are inspired from God. Sometimes my heart just gets turned in knots of anticipation.
We thought for sure by Friday the call would be here, but Friday came and went with no call.
On Saturday we went swimming at Dave’s brother’s house with a bunch of his other siblings (including one in town from Wisconsin) and watched the amazing BYU game. I wish I had a recording of all the hoopla jumping around cheering when that catch was made in the end zone last second.
We had two cars and raced home to check the mail. Claire and I got there first, came to a screech in front of the mailbox and she raced over to see what was in there.
And there it was…that big white envelope addressed to “Elder Maxwell David.”
If we thought our hearts were pumping before, it was like giant hammers in our chests by this point.
We called Max immediately who immediately HAD to know what was inside that thing.
Now, there’s a whole lot I could write about all the thoughts and energy we all put in before the call came trying to figure out how to open that thing together. We had been trying to figure it out ever since Max turned in his papers. We wanted to be with him with all our hearts. At first I figured I’d take Elle and the call up (free companion pass on Southwest), but the other little girls thought they might die if they missed it. So then I decided we better drive. That drive would be worth it a hundred times over to be able to give that boy of ours a big hug.
Dave looked at us all like we were the craziest people on the entire planet. When he got his call he pulled it out of the mailbox, ripped it open and called his mom a little later to let her know the big news.
And Max, true to form just like his Dad, wanted us to FedEx that thing right up to him so he could just read the dang thing.
A few days before when Dave had realized his girls’ desperation (all of us) he had found a relatively good flight to have Max fly down and open it with us…he’d be here for less than 24 hours but we could soak him up and be together for such an important event. Dave was pretty convinced by this time that this would be the best plan.
But when we got that thing in our hands all our irrational plans went to pot and Max decided he couldn’t even wait for the mail, let alone to fly home the next day. He wanted to open it over Skype.
So we gathered the girls and my brother Josh too and called that boy up on our big computer screen.
So here’s what happened according to Max’s request:
We made some guesses on our big world globe (that wasn’t at Max’s request, just something the girls whipped up quick):
Dave opened that sucker up.
…and took a picture as best he could without looking and sent it to Max.
And here’s a little bit of the footage of what he read: