Richard and I have always talked about going on a full-time couples mission when we felt like the time was right. Well, several months ago, we started feeling like the time was getting close. We talked it over and started putting things in order to submit our papers. We made appointments for dental exams and physicals, we went to the missionary website and started filling out papers. We talked to our Bishop, Bishop Roger Firmage. Finally everything was ready to go. We sent our papers to Bishop Firmage and then went in for a final interview with the him.
On February 22, 2009, we talked to our Stake President Charlie McQuinn about submitting our papers to go on a full-time couples mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That evening he pushed the button which sent them electronically to the Church. When Richard and I looked over the list of possible mission opportunities, we couldn't decide on one to request, so we just put in our papers and left our assignment in the hands of the Lord.
When we arrived home tonight March 18, 2009, we discovered a large white envelope in our mailbox addressed to Elder Richard Ole Lasson and Sister Carol Jensen Lasson. Excitedly, we called my mother and our children to see when they might be able to be with us by phone, Internet, or in person while we opened our calls. After calling back and forth several times, we decided to gather or make contact at 9:00 p.m. tonight. So, after Richard and I returned home from a ward initiatory session at the Salt Lake Temple, all of our family gathered in person, on the phone, or on the Internet while we opened our call. Mother was waiting for us as we arrived home from the temple. Shortly after that, Sharlene and Brandon brought Emmie, Austin and Cody. Then Russell, Elizabeth, Karie and Mikey arrived. On her laptop, Sharlene invited Heather and Ryan's family to an i-chat video session, while Russell invited Lynette to one. Richard then called Wayne and put his family on speaker while Russell called Andy on his cell phone. We were all together and ready for the magical moment.
Richard asked Mom to say a prayer before we opened the call. She prayed a sweet prayer for us and all of our family while we are gone.
Then the moment came.
As Richard opened the envelope from the First Presidency, we discovered a letter to each of us. Imagine our surprise as we read the following to Richard, "You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are called to the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission. Your primary assignment is to labor with Welfare Services in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia as country director. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months. You should report to the Missionary Training Center at Provo, Utah on Monday, 20 July 2009." Mine read exactly the same except it said that I would be "assistant to the country director."
Pandemonium broke loose. Everyone talked at once and squealed and laughed. We couldn't believe it. Richard and I were in shock! Mongolia! We couldn't even imagine it! Richard ran for his globe to see exactly where Mongolia is located. One thing was confirmed--it's on the other side of the world from Utah!