On Thursday, March 23, 2013 we received our mission call to serve in the Fiji Suva Mission. Typically the packets arrive on Wednesday and nothing appeared in the mail. I came back into the house and told Shirley it would be another week before the call would come, however in Thursday’s mail we received the packet. We quickly contacted our family and was able to open the packet Thursday evening. We even brought the Julie, Matt and family in over Skype. As we found out later that some packets were delayed because of the announcement by the First Presidency regarding missionary age changes. They had so many young men and women submit missionary applications that there was a delay. Our grandson Sam heard the announcement in General Conference and immediately went to the bishop to start the paper work.
Following is the quote from President Thomas S. Monson:
“With the announcement of the “Missionary Age Change” in October 2012 conference. “I am pleased to announce that effective immediately, all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. . . .
As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21.
We affirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty—and we encourage all young men who are worthy and who are physically able and mentally capable to respond to the call to serve. Many young women also serve, but they are not under the same mandate to serve as are the young men. We assure the young sisters of the Church, however, that they make a valuable contribution as missionaries, and we welcome their service.”
Location of Fiji:
Fiji is located east of Australia and north of New Zealand. Flying from Brisbane, Australia to Fiji it is around 1700 miles and from Auckland, New Zealand to Fiji it is around 1346 miles.