Saturday, October 31, 2009

....SO NOW WE WAIT -gfh

The follow up fingerprinting session went well! I returned for the second try Wednesday, Oct. 28Th. I have been faithfully slathering my finger tips with Corn Huskers lotion, drinking lots and lots of water and eliminated any antihistamines (just in case). And before we left home Rusty gave me a blessing.
The "slab prints" of all four fingers (on both hands) pressed down at once turned out great! Then each finger individually was rolled and scanned. (by the way, this is all done digitally) All but one of the prints went well! Two others were "questionable" but the clerk said to not worry about them. We sent the results off to the FBI with all of the other official information they needed. Hopefully the results will arrive in two weeks and then we will send off the other information for our visa. The anticipation didn't stop when we got our official letter from Salt Lake. It keeps building and building. It isn't uncommon to be reassigned to a different mission if fingerprints/visa do not go well. I'm feeling like it isn't officially official until we pass all the tests.
...So now we wait.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Butterflies -rh

On Saturday, we went shopping for mission clothing. I was doing fine with Georgia looking for a coat, but then we went to a men's store specializing in two-pant suits. Their private line is called CTR Clothing - guess who they cater to? I tried on several and got to the right size. We picked out the navy blue one and the gray one and had the owner mark the pants for hemming. When I went to pay for all of this, I found that my hands were shaking just like they had been a week and a half previously when we opened "the letter" from Salt Lake.

I guess there will be more butterfly moments as the time draws near.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Preparation Meeting -gfh

Last Friday at temple preparation meeting before our temple shift the coordinator asked Rusty and me to stand and he announced our mission call to South Africa. The temple presidency counselor on the stand acted surprised and somewhat concerned. When he stood he announced the topic of the preparation meeting as "emergency preparedness" but spoke directly to Rusty and me as he make comments expressing concern about the safety of our mission. He introduced the Head of Temple Security to present the instruction for the meeting and before the security brother started his comments he said “Maybe we should change the subject of this meeting from Temple Security to “Henrichsen Security in South Africa”. I spoke up and said “we’ll be on the Lord’s errand”. The president's counselor, now sitting back down on the stand, said “Just keep saying that to yourself morning, noon and night …EVERY day you are there.”
I squeezed Rusty’s hand and we looked at each other. Gulp. I hadn’t felt one bit uneasy about our call until that moment. Why are others concerned for our safety? We're not!


One of the things on our “important to do” list is to get fingerprinted for an FBI clearance before our visas can be issued for our mission to South Africa. Our coastal area Sheriff’s office does fingerprinting only on certain days at certain times. We arrived Wednesday Oct 21st on the morning of the first available day with our digits destined for fame! There was a feeling of International intrigue as we filled out all our forms, paid our money and passed our driver’s licenses and passports through a slot all while talking to the clerk behind a Plexiglas shield which was undoubtedly bullet proof. It was my turn first. I had envisioned messing ink-stained fingers but modern crime investigation technology has advanced beyond that. Now fingers are rolled on a computer screen, scanned and processed (or not) by the computer. In my case it was “or not”. With repeated efforts only 3 of my ten prints could be picked up by the computer. The clerk said that the FBI was very particular and she felt they would not accept that and suggested I treat my hands with “Corn Huskers” lotion and return in a week for a retry. Now this is starting to feel serious. What at first seemed routine was now becoming a concern. We went directly to Wal-mart to buy the recommended lotion and I have been slathering my finger tips with it several times daily. Who would have thought that finger prints would need to be a matter of prayer but they have become just that at our house. I will return Wednesday for a retry knowing that the Lord knows this is an important part of my mission preparation process.
Oh, Rusty’s prints? All but one was a perfect take. Of course. You don’t suppose he’ll go to South Africa without me, do you?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's Started -rh

On Sunday, two of the speakers didn't show. The Branch President said as he introduced the single speaker that was actually there that he would call on some folks to bear their testimonies after Brother Ramrell finished.

Brother R gave a great talk telling us that the way to get the Spirit in our lives is to read and study the scriptures, remember to pray and serve others. Sounds like a great formula.

We didn't expect to be called on since we had spoken in Sac. Mtg. just about a month earlier and we were scheduled to speak in a fireside that evening. The President got up and I expected him to call on some of the folks that usually don't share with the rest of us, but he called on the "Henrichsens since they have received a mission call." Between the two of us we had about 15 minutes to fill, so we had plenty of time to express ourselves to the branch.

Guess we need to be ready to speak at a moment's notice from now on.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Opening the envelope! -rh

This process began last spring when we started checking out the requirements for the missionary application. Things began in earnest in July when we returned from our Mississippi River bike ride. Doctors, dentists, shots, interviews, etc. as well as actually filling out the forms on-line. We thought all was done the last week in August, but we found out that my blood type was missing from the forms. That took about a week to resolve, but then after it was all submitted to church headquarters, there was something else missing that needed to be faxed in before things were complete. We got that done and then began waiting.

We had hoped that a call would come before we went to SLC for conference, but due to the delays it had not shown up in our mailbox. We spent a week with friends from our first mission after conference and expected that the call would be in the mail when we arrived home on Wednesday, October 14.

We drove into Waldport about 1 pm and headed staight for the post office to pick up mail before going home. I was going to be calm, but the fact is that the last miles were very nervous and the last few hundred yards were really unnerving. The top envelope on the stack was from Salt Lake - now the butterflies really started. I drove nervously home and Georgia set up the camera on 10 second delay so we could capture the moment for posterity and our own blog/journal. Here is the picture for all to see.

Georgia had been hoping to go to Africa - you can see the excitement on her face as we read South Africa Johannesburg Mission is our assignment for 18 months beginning on January 11, 2010.

The rest of the day was spent notifying family and friends of the news and trying to settle down. We celebrated by going to Grand Central - the local pizza joint (they really do have good pizza and garlic rolls that Georgia just loves.)

Life is good and it is time to serve again!


Why Are We Doing This? -rh

Well, when we married, we promised each other that we would serve missions. That is plural. We have been doing things around our house and riding our bikes around the USA and so it is time to serve again. Service is the retirement plan in our church - we get some time for personal things and then go out into the world someplace to serve the Lord.

The name of the blog is adapted from the last (?) line in the movie - "Singles Ward". The young man received his mission call right at the end of the movie to the Idaho, Boise mission. His exclamation was "I'm goin' to Boise!"

I haven't done this since we came home from Washington DC, so forgive my errors. I'll try to be coherent and spell things correctly. I am inclined to use sentence fragments and dashes in sentences that probably should be separated. I also am inclined to use prepositional phrases at the beginning of sentences a bit too much.