Friday, October 7, 2011

Paperwork fun

We needed to have educational, vocational, and ministerial documents as well as our marriage certificate notarized. We took a couple dozen pages of documents to the bank, told the notary we were going on a mission and needed some documents notarized. I think she looked at the stack wide-eyed and said "All of that??" (Yep, and I couldn't even find one of my documents.) As she was going thru each sheet she noticed some documents with "Utah" on them (she later said she wondered then if she should ask ...), then when she came to Cameron's priesthood ordination papers, she waved them and said "What ward are you in?" I wasn't sure I heard her so I said "Did you ask which ward we are in?", "Yes". I said "Sun City, what ward are you in?"... It was a ward in the North Phoenix stake, her husband is bishop there. We were really surprised since we had no clue she was a Mormon... and outside of Utah it's a little less common to run into Mormons... especially in Sun City. We had a great talk about her parent's mission and all... it was fun (on a day where we had so far made 1 fruitless 2 hour trip to downtown Phoenix for police clearance letters (the Maricopa Sheriff's Office only gives you a letter saying they don't do such letters!), then a fruitless trip to a place to get fingerprinted.) She was genuinely excited, said she couldn't wait to go home and tell her husband! Her parents had gone to Nauvoo and while there was paperwork, it was nothing like this!

Then we went home (our spirits lifted!) and located another place to get fingerprinted (to get the necessary "clearance" letter from the FBI), confirmed that they would do the fingerprints, and do it over the lunch hour, and off we went again. Did the fingerprint thing successfully, then the woman asked us if we needed this for employment. "No, we're going on a mission to Sierra Leone and Liberia." What kind of a mission?" Cameron said "For the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." At which point, she waved her CTR ring in front of us! Her son had served a mission in New Zealand. That was fun again!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Travel arrangements

Today we received another white envelope.  This time it had a checklist of required papers, visa applications, and our travel arrangements.

We are scheduled to depart SLC 9 Jan and arrive in Freetown on 10 Jan.  It's still a 45 minute boat ride (if the boat doesn't run out of gas in the sound, which I understand does happen) to the other side and then a similar drive to the mission home.  Here are the details:
Total travel time is about 26 hours.  Longest flight about 11 hours.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Word of our mission is getting out

Last evening I took our mission acceptance papers to be signed by Bishop Moore before the priesthood session of General Conference began. While waiting for Bishop Moore, Brother Call, the Stake Executive Secretary asked (just as he has each time we've met for the past month), "Have you heard anything yet?" This time I could answer, "Yes!" Brother Call asked, "Where are you going?" By that time I think a few of the Sun City Ward members sitting nearby may have begun to wonder what we could be talking about. Bishop Moore and Frank Munden, his First Counselor, had joined us by then. As Bishop Moore signed the papers he told Frank about our mission ... which elicited some consternation on Frank's part! After Bishop Moore asked me to remind him who would be conducting Sacrament Meeting next Sunday (I would be), he asked to be given a few minutes at the end of the meeting for him to announce our mission call.