Well, after sixteen days, Finn received his mission call. When you agree to go on a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you have absolutely no say in where you will go. The church leaders who make the assignments prayerfully consider the file of each missionary and look at the notes added by the leaders who interviewed each potential missionary. But there is pretty much no input from the missionary him/herself. It requires a lot of faith that this missionary will go where they are needed. Sometimes the call makes sense (the missionary who gets sent to France after taking four years of high school French). But most of the time there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason. But nearly every missionary I have spoken to has felt like the place he or she went was exactly where he or she needed to go.
I was shocked when India and York both went to Brazil. First of all, because Brazil is just not a country on my radar. But also because their personalities are so different and it seemed absurd that they would go to the same place.
Now that she’s home, it’s easy to see that India’s experience was so perfect for her. Being naturally shy and introverted, the warm and welcoming people of Brazil were just what she needed. She was able to talk about God freely with Brazilians, most of whom have at least a passing belief in God and aren’t ashamed to talk about it. The laid-backness of the culture helped her take her anxiety and perfectionism down a couple of notches.
Brazil, for York, has been a place to learn humility. Nothing like living in the third world in an apartment with mold growing on the walls and no heater or air conditioner to teach you about what is important in life. It’s been amazing to see York focus on the importance on the family (Brazil has a LOT of deadbeat dads and families that are fractured) and see how fortunate he has been to have a caring mom, dad and siblings that provided him with a stable and peaceful life. He has told us numerous times how grateful he is for us and how sorry he has been to not appreciate us in the past. Sadly, that is not how he felt before his mission. We were all a bunch of idiots who were trying to make his life awful. It’s been wonderful to see that change of heart.
We’ve been excited (but mostly stressed) to find out what Finn’s mission call would be. He for sure didn’t want to stay in the country. He was also hoping to learn Spanish. I knew he would be so let down to get a call in the United States, but we tried to prepare him for that possibility (I’d say the odds of going to a mission in the U.S vs. foreign are about 50/50). So where will he be going?
Finn is just thrilled with his mission call. I’ve heard it’s a great place and, despite it’s crime during the the 80’s, it’s become the gem of Latin America. Also, the temperature year round is an average of 72°, giving Medellin the nickname of “Land of Eternal Spring”. I think we may need to visit!