From the time we started to consider a mission call, I have been very vocal about not wanting to go to Africa. I could think of so many excuses for justification of my feelings: I can’t handle the heat, (Pete told me not to mention that in our mission papers or we would be called to Siberia!) I am fearful of the political unrest, I don’t speak French or the native languages, there are too many tropical diseases and the list could go on and on. Therefore, in my mind, I knew we would certainly be called to a cold climate. I even had winter boots picked out on the internet ready to be ordered when the call came.
On Thursday February 7, 2008 the Post Office called about 8:00 in the morning informing us that our call had arrived and we were welcome to come get it rather than waiting for the delivery at 3:00 PM. (Small town living definitely has it’s advantages.) Pete did go and retrieve it from the Post Office but we left it on the table until that night when all of the family could be here to share in the excitement. I consider this a family mission as it will take the support of every member to take care of home responsibilities when we are gone. Dave and Jody were not here and Tony was on the road going to Idaho for a funeral, so we had Dave and Jody on cellphones so they could listen. Pete and I sat on the couch with the large white envelope between us and each started to open one side of the sealed flap. I pulled it our as fast as I could and was immediately in shock. Kenny said, What does it say?” I replied Af-ri-ca and the next thing I remember was Katie standing in front of me talking about lions! Oh boy, there is another fear. We had to get the globe and find Ghana as we were not exactly sure of the location. The grandkids were sure interested in the location and could see the distant perspective of Blanding to Ghana. Pete was immediately excited about the prospect of serving in Ghana but I must admit It took me several days to accept the fact that I was indeed going to Africa and there was a reason the Lord wanted me there. I would accept it and be more at peace with the calling.
The last three weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. The first thing we had to address was the immunizations. There was one more thing to be fearful of as I could remember the discomfort Dave and Steve had with their typhoid shots. On Monday, Feb 11, we went to the Southeastern Health office and rolled up our sleeves. I needed four, two in each arm and Pete needed three. But the rest of the story happens in the MTC when we need to get three more shots and anti malaria pills. I will note, however, that Mom is tougher than her sons, as I did not feel any discomfort whatsoever from the typhoid shot!
Pete was been on the computer continually getting all of the books in order for the LLC, our personal accounts, the irrigation company and the Stake financial records. Steve and Suzie will team up to handle the monthly and year-end finances. Kenny will do the irrigation company and Andy and Steve will do the office building and bed and breakfast. I think we signed our last bank form on Friday so we are getting closer to be ready to leave. Also, Steve F. and Taylor will take care of the hay field. Yesterday Andy, Alicia and Dad painted Mark Tindale’s room at the bed and breakfast and we gave it a quick redecorating job to make it look more masculine. Jody helped me shop for a few new clothes and did some sewing for us. We are so thankful for responsible kids who are willing to help with anything we need.
Another big assignment was getting all of the papers for a Visa application.It was certainly more extensive than the credit card Visa application. The church travel office does the actual application process but needed everything from copies of our marriage license, diplomas from high school, college and seminary, police letter about any infractions we may have had with the law, resumes, etc. to 14 passport pictures. It took us several days to complete the process.
Andy and Alicia will live in our house when we are gone, which is a relief to us as leaving a vacant house is not a very satisfactory arrangement. They have been moving in already so they can learn the ropes of where everything is and what needs to be taken care of. I know we will leave them a long list as we are not going to have everything done before we leave.