To start this blog I would like to start from the beginning! That would have been last October during General Conference when Pres. Thomas S. Monson announced the change in missionary ages. I sat in awe and shock as he announced that the age of young men serving missions would change from 19 to 18. My heart was pounding in my chest and I knew that this was from God! I was worried because I knew that this would mean an earlier departure for my wonderful son, Brandon! Then he continued and started talking about the Young Women and my heart really started going wild!!! I knew where he was going and with tears in my eyes I heard him announce the change for young women to go at the age of 19 instead of 21. At that moment, I knew that my wonderful oldest daughter Alecia would be serving a mission and that she would be leaving shortly after the spring semester of college. I knew that she would make the decision to serve for I knew my daughter's deep desire to do so. She has always wanted to serve a foreign mission. I immediately sent her a text because she was at college watching from her dorm room. I asked her if she had seen it and she had not because she had been trying to get the internet up. I told her and she said, WHAT!!! Anyway, I also received a text message from my sister, Sandy, expressing her excitement for the change. It took us a little while but we had her papers in before Christmas. Bishop (Leader of a small congregation for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) sent them off and the Stake President (Leader of several congregations in a geographical area) and things were on their way. We received her call on February 1, 2013. We gathered the family, all 9 of us, and watched as she opened her call. There was much anticipation and curiosity as to where she would be going. Before the call was opened we all guessed at where she would be going. Several places were mentioned: Australia and Britain were two. Our youngest daughter, Jessica, is 9 and not having a great time and she suggested Natchitoches, La as this is where she is now! David, my dear husband, and I both guessed South America. I guess the spirit was preparing me! She finally got the call opened and read where she was going. She read;
"Dear Sister Alford:
Your 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 Bolivia Cochabamba Mission."
I immediately burst into tears. I was so hoping for a stateside mission. But I knew in my heart that this is where our Father in Heaven wants her to serve. I was given the wonderful whispering of the spirit that comforted me. I have to admit that it scares me to send my sweet daughter off for the first time to a different country. The farthest I have sent her without me is Florida! She will not even be going to the Mission Training Center (MTC) in Utah but will be going to the MTC in Peru! I have to send her for her first flight to another country!!! However, I know that she will be protected by my loving Father in Heaven. She will be serving the Lord! She will have the opportunity to learn a knew language and gain a great love of people in a distant land. Her testimony is so strong and I know that she will be very successful in her endeavors.
My testimony is strong too. I know that the Book of Mormon is truly "another testament of Jesus Christ"! I know that the Bible is the Word of God! I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet that he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees. I know that this was in response to his humble prayer. I know that we have a prophet of God to day and that he leads us and tells us what our Father in Heaven wants us to know. He receives modern day revelation for God is "the same yesterday, today and forever". I am thankful for this opportunity to share my beliefs with my friends and family and I hope you enjoy following Alecia's mission with us.
Getting ready to read her call!
Telling someone on the phone (I can't remember which family member it was). Her face says it all!