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.
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.
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.
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!!!