Well, the big news is in . . . I got my mission call last Friday. When I saw it in the mailbox I got VERY nervous/excited. I didn't know it would freak me out that much. It is a very important letter, after all! Inside that letter contained the information of where I will be spending two years of my life. Well, after waiting for my mom to get home, I went downstairs and couldn't wait to open it anymore. My girlfriend Sannah was with me and my friend Stephen, who baptized me, was on speaker phone from BYU-I. He was called to the Perú Arequipa Mission but unfortunately had to come home after only about two months. But he came home just in time to baptize me, so it all worked out! But he kept saying (jokingly) that I was going to be sent to Peru to "finish his work."
Anyway, as I opened the envelope, my hands were shaking, which I also didn't expect. I pulled out the paper and slowly read, "Dear Elder McDonough: You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the . . . (I paused for dramatic and effect and because I couldn't believe what I was about to say):
. . . Perú Piura Mission!
Peru! Of course, Stephen was ecstatic. He is sure it is no coincidence, and I agree. At first I was a little surprised I was going to Peru, considering that because of my extreme gringo-ness I am going to be fried to a crisp in Piura, which--I'm not kidding--is called the ciudad de eterno calor, or the city of eternal heat. But now I believe the Holy Ghost has confirmed to me that Peru is exactly where I need to be. It seems strange that I'd be sent anywhere else. The Holy Ghost has a funny way of completely changing your way of thinking like that. In fact, that's how it was when I first gained a testimony of the Church, I could no longer even understand how I didn't believe the doctrines of the Church before. But anyway, I've been researching Piura quite a bit, and I am excited to be serving a mission there, but also sad for those who I will leave behind, especially my wonderful girlfriend of over two years. But the Lord has always required sacrifices of those who serve Him, and even taught that those who lose their lives for Him will gain them in the end. I believe Him, and I am happy to serve Him, because I know all the good that He can bring to people's lives through His restored Church.