We were originally called as an Area Medical Advisor to serve here in the upper left-hand corner of South America for two years, finishing this coming September. However, the Lord had a different plan.
In early October, we received a call from Salt Lake in which a Church authority asked about our family situation and availability to serve. On Halloween, while we were in Quito, we spoke with a member of the First Presidency of the Church, also by video chat. During that conversation, he called us to be Mission President, a three-year assignment, beginning about July 1st of this year.
The Church has more than 350 geographic Missions throughout the world, each presided over by a Mission President and his wife. Each one normally has from 150 to 200 young missionaries serving within its borders, though this number will probably increase during the next year because of the change in age requirements for missionaries. The Mission President makes assignments as to areas of service and missionary companions, he counsels and trains the missionaries, and works with local Church leaders. The specific assignment will be made in the next several months, and will most likely be Spanish-speaking (sorry, Paula).
We are excited, though nervous, about this next phase of our lives. Instead of leaving Colombia in September, we'll pack up mid-March in order to have time to visit our kids, grandkids, siblings and other family members, and we'll be in Raleigh for long enough (we hope) to re-pack and get affairs re-settled. During the three-year assignment, I'll be asked to not leave our mission area, and Paula can travel home briefly only for the most important family events, such as weddings and funerals of immediate family.
We'll continue the blog; we hope to stay in touch with all of you!
Like it says, out of the frying pan...
Dave & Paula
P.S. Here's the announcement. I really AM bald. http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/63195/New-mission-presidents.html#