Thursday, December 27, 2012

Chapter 23 - Andrew's Mission Call and DJ's Baptism

When President Monson announced the lowering of the age for missionaries it had a profound impact on our grandson Andrew.  We were asked by Brother Hunt, the public affairs person for this island, to get feedback from our institute students about how the announcement affected them and their decision to serve missions.  Dennis told him about Andrew and he asked if we would have him email us his feelings about the change.  Even as busy as he was, he took the time to email us the following:
 ANDREW LEE JORDAN – Feelings about the change in age for missionary service… (Andrew is the grandson of Elder Dennis and Sister Susan Jordan who are serving their mission in the Samoa Apia Mission).
“The Lord works in ways that we rarely understand.  He also does things that are completely contradictory to our own plans.  This can sometimes be hard to understand, especially for a 17year old young man.  The announcement that President Monson gave during this last conference had profound implications for me and brought a greater understanding of the Lord's will and timing.  At the time of the announcement I was living in Salt Lake and attending LDS Business College.  However this was not part of the plan that I had been laying out for myself since I was 11 years old.
 Everything had been going according to that plan until this past April.   I was in my senior year of high school. Ever since I was 11 I had a deep longing and desire to serve in the United States Army. I wanted to be the ‘best of the best’, so I set my sights on the USMA (United States Military Academy), or West Point, as it is more commonly known. The acceptance process was extremely brutal and time consuming. It required that I go through roughly 4 or 5 different groups or committees in order to be accepted.  After this excruciating process I received the acceptance letter.  I was going to report for basic training some time this summer.  Once there, your freedoms were extremely restricted.  I remember signing a paper that essentially signed my rights over to the US military.  Now you would think this would pose a problem for members of the church who choose to serve a mission.  However, the military has been so impressed by the members of the church who have attended at the various academies, that they have made it policy to essentially grant a two year leave to any member who wishes to serve a mission AFTER their freshman year.  The timing would have been great, as I would have turned 19 just before the start of my sophomore year.  Everything seemed to be going beautifully.
 However, in the Lord’s infinite wisdom, it did not go that way.  I received a letter from the Department of Defense informing me that I had been disqualified due to some medical reasons. We appealed vigorously and even had a Senator, a Congressman, and the Army General in charge of West Point try and get a special waiver for me.  All efforts failed and the congressman who helped me told me that the only reason that our efforts had not worked was because it was just not meant to be.  God had a different plan.
Now, I had absolutely no idea what the plan was.  So, I moved from Louisiana and registered at LDS Business College so I could get some schooling in before my mission.  For a while I felt like I was not doing the right thing, even though I had prayed and felt good about my decision.  But still I was so confused.   I started searching for what it was that I needed to be doing.  I realized that I needed to be on my mission.  For several months I thought this and began to ask the Lord frequently for something to happen that would allow me to leave early on my mission.
 You can imagine my excitement when, after turning 18 only two weeks before, President Monson made his wonderful announcement.  As he started his build-up to the actual announcement I caught sense of what he was going to say and I stood up and walked closer to the TV.  Once he said that the age had been lowered to 18 years of age, I unashamedly began to dance, whoop, and holler.  My first thoughts were literally, "I'm gone." I did not even hear that the age for young women had been changed until several hours later.  I called my father in Louisiana and he told me I better get started on my papers.  I ended the call with him and thirty seconds later I had texted my bishop, as well as his counselors, stating that I wanted to start my papers immediately. 
As I sat and pounded the glory of The Lord and his gospel I was struck by the realization that, had I been accepted at West Point, I would not have been allowed to leave for my mission for another year.  I am not naive enough to think that the Lord made this announcement just for me, but I do firmly believe that the Lord has molded my life in such a way that I would be prepared for this point in time, and specifically, that I might utilize this announcement and be able to be of service to a specific people, if not person, in a specific stake of Zion. Someone out there in the world needs me to be a tool of the Lord and allow Him to use me to bring the Gospel to them.  This is true for 10's of thousands of other young men and women who are serving and will serve in the Army of God.”

When Brother Hunt read it he was so impressed that he sent it to the Pacific Island News – the publication for the Pacific Islands and they felt needed to be forwarded to the Ensign and Lahona Magazines for possible publication.  WOW!!!  Needless to say we are very proud grandparents!  Now for the icing on the cake – Andrew got his mission call this week (11/7/12) and he will be serving in the Moscow Russia Mission – which is exactly where he wanted to go!  He goes in the MTC on March 13th – Dennis’ birthday… 
This has been a great week filled with good news….  Another grandson, DJ (Todd’s son) was baptized.  We were so happy to get that news as well.  We are truly being blessed….

No comments:

Post a Comment