Our call to the Washington, D.C. North Mission as FamilySearch missionaries will be for one year. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, missionaries and others who serve in various Church related positions, serve as volunteers after being "called" or requested to serve by a person in authority in the Chuch.
As full-time missionaries, after volunteering to serve and after completing all of the requirements, such as medical, dental and financial considerations, we were called by the Prophet and President of the Church, President Thomas S. Monson. Once we accepted the call, we began the process of preparing for our mission. As I noted, our call is to a specific mission of the Church that comprises a specific geographic area. We have been specifically called to serve as FamilySearch missionaries and further to digitize historical and genealogically significant records as Record Preservation Specialists to help preserve records at the Maryland State Archives.
Before leaving for our mission, we were also "set apart" as missionaries by our local Stake President. Stake Presidents are the ecclesiastical leaders of a geographic area of the Church comprised of a number of smaller units called Wards. Being set apart is the last step before officially becoming missionaries. Beginning immediately, we will be attending some training at the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center or MTC. Because, we live so close to the MTC, we will be living at home during this training period.
We were fortunate to have one of our daughters and her family as well as five of our grandchildren who are attending Brigham Young University or BYU, in our home for the occassion. Being set apart for a Church calling is a special opportuntity as is explained in a talk given by Elder Kenneth Johnson, of the Seventy, entitled "Called and Set Apart to Serve." See Ensign, June 10, 2010. Elder Johnson explains:
The principle of setting apart those called to serve is expressed in the counsel of the Lord to Moses when He instructed Moses to “lay thine hand upon [Joshua]. … And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him” (Numbers 27:18, 20).
Through this divinely established pattern, we can rise above our individual frailties, limitations, and even opposition. Consider the experience of Nephi and Lehi, the sons of Helaman: “The Holy Spirit of God did come down from heaven, and did enter into their hearts, and they were filled as if with fire, and they could speak forth marvelous words” (Helaman 5:45; see also verses 17–19).Following this anciently established pattern is an important part of the entire experience and process of becoming and being a missionary.
This ongoing series of posts will report our mission with the tagline of "A Family History Mission."