Month: December 2015

Missionary Portal

Landon’s mission call seemed like a long time in the making.

His bishop unlocked the Missionary Portal for him in August and he started his “mission papers” on August 6th. Mission Papers are not actual papers anymore. You login on the Missionary Online Recommendation System and start working on the Candidate Checklist.

checklist

This took nearly 2.5 months. He had to get his braces off, complete all the medical and dental items, get a haircut (for passport photo), apply for a passport (passport and visa information came in a separate yellow envelope from Church Travel Services), and so on.

haircut passport

Finally on October 16th he pushed the “Enter” button to officially submit his papers (“Submit Online Recommendation”). However, now it goes to his bishop. Landon attends a YSA ward so it’s not as easy to follow up as it would have been in his home ward! He has his interview with his bishop who then submits the recommendation to his stake president, but there were problems with the system and people in Salt Lake City had to help figure stuff out. Once they did, it was off to the stake president. Landon had his interview with him. We later find out that his stake president wants all young men to be Melchizedek priesthood holders before he will submit their recommendations. Another set of interviews have to be done for this purpose. All these setbacks take weeks to straighten out and complete. On December 3rd, while we are walking around Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Chris receives a call from Landon’s bishop saying that they will be able to ordain Landon to the office of an Elder and receive the Melchizedek priesthood after their Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. We don’t usually go to Temple Square so early in December. We had a great time there and a great discussion with some sister missionaries and we all felt like our prayers were answered in part by doing the right thing, and being at the right place at the right time.

Being at the Right Place at the Right Time!

Being at the Right Place at the Right Time! Chris got a call from Landon’s bishop. He had to go inside to hear him because it was too loud outside at Temple Square.

AllyLandon

Ally and Landon at Temple Square

sistersSLC

Sister Rajah, Ally, Landon, and Sister Sonku

December 6th – Landon was ordained an Elder. Some time in the next few days his Stake President submitted his missionary recommendation to Salt Lake City.

December 15th or 16th – His big white envelope left Salt Lake City. His mission call was dated December 15, 2015.

December 18th – Landon received his mission call!

Crazy thing is, we thought that come Christmas, Landon would already be out in the field serving as a Missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, from the time his missionary portal was opened to the day he got his call was just over 4 months. Now he has to wait another 3.5 months before he can go to the MTC. Sometimes this waiting and “trying” to be patient is not so easy or fun!!!

 

Christmas Skype & Reading of the Call

December 25th –

Landon still wanted to wait to tell anyone else where he has been called to serve until Sister Gomm skyped on Christmas Day. So, with Keyan now here and Sammy online, he read his call again. What a special moment for all the siblings!

Christmas Day reading of his mission call.

Christmas Day reading of his mission call.

December 26th –

called to serve

Finally, he had an official reading of his mission call for extended family and friends. We’ve had a world map up a few weeks before his call came. Only one person guessed correctly. Of course it would be his missionary sister!

guess guessing taipei  friends2 friends1 friends3 friends4 treats sistergomm

The Call

Mom’s perspective:

I just had a feeling that Landon should go with me to get the mail. I crossed my fingers as I opened the box (Landon didn’t want to open it). I opened it, shouted something, and jumped up and down, all while I moved out-of-the-way so Landon could grab his big white envelope!

Yes! It's finally here!

Yes! It’s finally here!

Landon was super nervous walking back home. It was a Friday afternoon and we were the only ones home. We walk in and he heads straight for the knife block. “WHOA…hold on…are you going to open it now?”  “YES”  “Um… maybe we should have your dad here first!” So we get in the car and drive across town to Chris’ work. I call him along the way. He meets us in the parking lot. It is also time to pick up Ally from Provo High School, so we drive over to pick her up. All this time Landon is anxiously, nervously, sticking his fingers under the top fold slowly lifting, but trying really hard not to open that big white envelope! Leading up to this day, Landon had told us that he wasn’t going to open his call until Christmas day when his sister (serving as a missionary in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission) skypes us. So this sudden urge to just open it came unexpected, I think even for him.

Ally mosies across the Provo High Student Parking Lot. We are all about ready to scream at her. She had no idea that Landon is using every bit of self-control to not rip that envelope open. She doesn’t even know he has it. Chris thought that once Ally gets in the car that we would drive to the temple or to a nearby park to stop and have him read it. NO… as soon as Ally is in the car, he rips it open!

Dear Elder Gomm:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Taiwan Taipei Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 24 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Mandarin Chinese language. Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president. …

Lots and lots of TEARS… All I could think is that Heavenly Father KNOWS his children. He listens to our prayers.

Landon and Ally - our car could not contain the joy and love that we felt. We had to jump out and give hugs.

Landon and Ally – our car could not contain the joy and love that we felt. We all had to jump out and give hugs.

 

Side note: The call was dated December 15, 2015. It arrived in Provo, Utah on December 18, 2015.