Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Mission Call

Elder Benson Gunther
Greetings! My name is Benson Gunther. I have been called to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This is my blog.

Mission Age Change Announcement

Following the announcement made in General Conference on October 6, 2012 regarding the age at which young men can be recommended for full-time missionary service, I committed myself to much prayer and fasting, and in return received definite inspiration to serve a mission promptly following High School Graduation. I began the mission application process in November and submitted my papers on February 1, 2013. (Exactly 120 days before my availability date)

Mission Call Guessing Map

Big White Envelope

The big white envelope arrived in the mail Valentine's Day, 2013. Friends and family gathered to watch the opening ceremony bright and early (6:45 am) at my house.

The Call

The Call reads as follows: 

"Dear Elder Gunther:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christy of Latter Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Adriatic South Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 24 months. 

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, July 3, 2013. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Albanian language. Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of your mission president..."

As I read my call, my eyes skipped to the climax (to the credit of my impulsive subconscious) but failed to register because of the unfamiliarity of the region. For those of you who question, 'Where is the Adriatic South Mission?' it encompasses the countries of Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro. (Which I discovered in my mission packet following the symphony of gasps and whispers) Anyhow, I could not be more thrilled to serve anywhere else! I have been assured time and again of my mission call's divine inspiration. I trust that the Lord has remarkable reason for me to serve in the Adriatic South Mission, and that he's already begun to prepare His children to receive the message of the restored gospel. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and can hardly wait to dedicate two years of my life to His full-time service!

Presently, there are 38 days until I enter the MTC! I am diligently preparing myself by studying the scriptures and Preach My Gospel, shopping/gathering necessary items, and making a bold yet futile attempt at learning Albanian. (I've never seen so many joint consonants before!)

Albanian Book of Mormon
Albanian Flag flying over Albania

God be with you 'till we meet again!

Elder Benson Gunther