Right after Julia returned home from college for the summer she told me she wanted to get her mission papers submitted so she could receive her mission call as soon as possible. Her plan was to get the call before Mother's Day, one of the two days in the year when Elle would be allowed to call home and talk with the family. She also wanted it to be a surprise for Elle, meaning I was not supposed to talk to anyone about it until after it happened. (Torture.)
Julia got all of her doctor visits and paperwork and picture and interviews finished by the last week of April and we found out that her call was issued on April 30th. That meant we had 9 days of anxiously stalking the mailman to see if the large, white envelope had arrived in the mail. It came on Saturday, the day before Mother's Day. Julia had to leave the house for the entire day because she was dying to just rip it open and see where she would be called to serve for 18 months.
On Mother's Day we went to church and then eagerly anticipated Elle's call the rest of the day. She told us in her weekly email that she would be calling some time between 3 and 6 pm so we were practically glued to the phones. I even tried calling our home phone from my cell phone to be sure it was working. That turned out to be a bad idea because Allen the Younger kept calling the home phone from his cell phone to see how we would react. Elle finally called us at about 5:45.
Once we had skype all set up Julia told Elle, "Hey! I got a letter from a friend that I want to read to you!" Elle asked, "What's your friend's name?" Julia responded, "Thomas S. Monson!" and pulled the white envelope from behind her back. (Thomas S. Monson is the current leader of our church.) It went perfectly - Elle was surprised and kept saying, "Julia! You're so sneaky!" and then...
My sweet Julia is going to be serving the people of the New Hampshire Manchester area, which includes five states in the New England area: New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, New York and Massachusetts. She leaves exactly 2 months after Elle returns home from her mission in Louisiana.
This was seriously the best Mother's Day I can remember.