It was one year ago today that my little brother sat down in our parent’s living room surrounded by his family and friends to open his mission call. The large white envelope arrived a few days before but sat unopened until he got home from a school choir trip out of town. Everyone around him was excitedly talking about where they thought he would be going. His excitement and nervousness could be seen in his tapping foot and the way he was quietly biting his lip as he sat by himself waiting for the few loved ones that were calling in on cell phones or video chats to listen in.
Once all the pins showing guesses of where he was going had been placed on the big map, and the final technical issue had been figured out he ran his finger under the seal and pulled out the letter that he knew would change the course of his life for the next two years. He looked at our parents and asked one last time, “Ready?” then flipped the paper over and with tears in his eyes he started reading the words that he’d been waiting for… “Dear Elder Buyers, You are hereby called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints.” A smile crossed his face but he couldn’t hide the emotion in his voice as he read, “You are called to labor in the Uganda Kampala Mission.”
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as we realized that this quiet, kind, amazing young man in front of us was going to be traveling half way around the world to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea and Rwanda.
Thinking back on this day a year ago I’m reminded of the email he sent home on September 16th.
Last night when I was writing in my journal and thinking about the past few days I noticed the song that was playing.