Our Mission Assignment . . .

2014-12-11 The Assignment

The assignment has arrived.  We have received a call to open a new mission in the state of Washington, in a place called Yakima!  We’ll begin our mission there on or about the first of July 2015.

Isn’t it so interesting how the contents of one thin envelope can change the entire course of your life?  And isn’t it fun how unpredictable the paths of our lives can be?  Wow.  Yakima Washington.  From what I can tell so far, it sounds very much like the place where I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley in California–vineyards and orchards and farm land.  I will feel right at home there.

It’s been an interesting week as we’ve considered this new assignment and what it will mean for our family.  The envelope arrived a week ago and we were asked not to share the contents until today.  So many thoughts have been streaming through my mind.  Things like wow, we’ll have clean water and hot showers and a Costco nearby and paved roads and we will understand the language and John will have access to Mexican food!  And best of all, our children will only be 10 hours away from us and can come to us when they need us.  It’s hard to leave three children who are launching.  We will not be far away.

Another thing I’m feeling is that it will be easy to focus on our assignment to help and bless the lives of all the missionaries who will be sent our way.  No matter where in the world our missions take us, the work is the same–we are commissioned by Jesus Christ to bring his children home to Him.  What a thrilling full-time assignment!

We don’t know anything yet about where exactly our mission boundaries will be.  It will be fun to learn that as those things are decided.  In the meantime, I’m figuring out ways to wrap up the projects and activities I’m involved in here.  I can’t wait to introduce everyone to those who will step in and help with my Days for Girls work–we’ve spent the week restructuring our organization so the work will carry on in even better ways.  I won’t be teaching my Family History Class next semester, but will take my materials with me.  Maybe there will be opportunities to do some teaching in Washington.  These parts of my life are not easy to step away from.  I keep telling myself, I’m only a phone call or email away.  I will still help as I am able.

So there you have it.  We know where we’ll be spending the next 3 years of our lives.  I am excited and grateful for this opportunity.

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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30 Responses to Our Mission Assignment . . .

  1. Callie Bassett says:

    Congratulations, Ann! How exciting! I know you and John will be awesome! My daughter Kristin just returned from her mission to the California San Jose Mission in November. She was blessed to have two sets of mission presidents and their wives, and I am so grateful for the influence they have had on her life. She still speaks to them frequently! You are such an amazing woman! Thank you for your example! Lots of love, Callie (your San Joaquin Valley friend!)

  2. Sharon Francis says:

    Congratulations, you’ll be super, duper awesome mission presidents. And Yakima will be so lucky to have you.

  3. Glen Mella says:

    YEAH! Congratulations! We have a Sister Packard serving in San Jose from Yakima! So happy for you!

  4. Congratulations. What a wonderful blessing this will bring to you and your family. You will love Washington. I lived there for three years in Everett and loved it.

  5. Kristin Leavitt says:

    SO excited for you both! We lived in Yakima (pronounced “yak-i-muh” by the locals, fyi:) for 2.5 years and loved so many experiences and left so many friends there!! Please let us know if we can help in any way. Like, for example, John can get some great Mexican at El Porton and Antojitos…and many others. We will hopefully be back again and will have to look you up:)

    • Kristin Leavitt says:

      This has been bugging me since I wrote it…it’s “yak-i-mah” …Ha! Just shows what 2 years gone will do. Excited to hear about your adventures! 🙂

  6. Lisa Adams says:

    We have good friends that live in Yakima. We just received their Christmas letter the other day and they talked about how much they love living there. How great for both of you!

  7. Christie says:

    We drive through there all the time on our way to see kids on the other side of the state. Beautiful area! What an incredible opportunity to bless many lives. I see more “Days for Girls” service projects in your Washington future! Having a daughter who just returned from her mission, I know that the tone the mission president set makes such a difference. And I must say that there was definitely talk that the “real” mission president was “Sister X”. I know you two will make a terrific team!

  8. Nancy Seljestad says:

    How exciting for all of us that we will be in the boundaries of this new Mission. I live in a little town outside of Yakima, about 20 minutes or so away, called Zillah. Wendy Cozzens was in our Ward before moving to your Ward. We will pray for you as you tie up all the loose ends in your life. Wow! opening a new Mission! what a wonderful challenge! I look forward to meeting you! would you please give Wendy a hug from me? I’d so appreciate that.

    • Hi Nancy! I had lunch with Wendy today and she told me all about you and many of her especially good friends in WA. It will be so fun to meet you face to face. I’m excited. Thanks for your kind words. I’m sure we will become good friends. Thanks for your prayers. See you in a few months!

  9. Ninzel says:

    I am so excited for you! I am from Washington and you will fit into Yakima very well 🙂 I can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

  10. Nicki says:

    Ann, this is so wonderful! I love Washington and loved serving my mission there. I know you and John will be absolutely wonderful and I would feel good about sending any of my children to you. I can’t say that about every mission president I know. You will be blessed and your missionaries will be blessed with yours and John’s experiences. We will miss you!

  11. Renae Pelo says:

    I am so happy for you. You have been such an inspiration to me both in family history and DFG. May the Lord’s blessings continue to be bounteous as I know they will. Those missionaries will be very blessed.

  12. Lyn Chapman says:

    What a small world it is… My son, Scott Chapman, and his family (wife, Tiffany, and 3 kids: Ayden, Jacob, and Addy) live in Selah, Washington, just next to Yakima. (think Provo and Orem). Scott is an ER doctor at Yakima Memorial Hospital (hope you never see him there). I’m sure they would love to have you teach your Family History class while you are there!!
    P.S. we visit often, so if there is anything to be transported (item or human), just let us know…

  13. playhf says:

    Hello Ann. Congratulations on your call to be mission presidents. My sister is doing an amazing work in the prison system with family history in Washington State. She’s in Eastern WA, so not close to you, but if you’re interested in what they’re doing, please email me at playhf@aol.com and I will pass along her name. She has many tender stories of giving men with broken lives a sense of belonging and hope that they have what it takes to build a better life. Very inspiring. If you don’t remember who I am, that’s o.k. We met at the Ouelessebougou auction this past year. Best of luck on your new chapter .

  14. Granger and Ruth says:

    Congratulations!! So happy for you. We lived in Washington for a while when we were first married it’s a beautiful state. I’m sure you will be great missionaries! We wish you much happiness in your new calling. Thanks for a great Family History Class we so enjoyed it!!

  15. Lynne Snyder says:

    Congratulations, Ann. With the convenience of a states mission you will be able to focus more on the missionaries and not on the troubles of a foreign country. I know you and your husband will be fabulous with the missionaries and they will remember things you teach them for the rest of their lives. My husband still mentions things that his mission president taught him. Congratulations to the people who will be served by your wonderful missionaries!

  16. Carol Clegg says:

    Congratulations! You will do such a fantastic job. Prayers and good wishes to you and your family.

  17. The Madsens says:

    Great adventures await you! Congratulations on your call and assignment. You will make some new life-long friendships and add hundreds of new “children” to your family. It is difficult to believe we are already six months into our service in Mexico. We have never been so busy in our lives, but, you two are likely already used to it. Your lives will be forever changed as you work to change the lives of the people of Washington and those of your missionaries.

  18. Reid & Marilyn Everett says:

    Just heard the news from another Utah friend who has been taking your family history class. We are thrilled and excited for you and John. What a marvelous opportunity for a marvelous couple! Beautiful locale. We wish you the best as you prepare and serve.

  19. Diana Asay says:

    How exciting. Washington is beautiful. You are going to have the experience of your life! And you will both be a blessing to the people there. You have certainly blessed many people here! I am one of them. Thank you!

  20. Janice Margetts says:

    Congratulations to you and your husband for receiving a Mission President’s call. Take care and you will be in our prayers. Love you and the Lord’s work—–Sister Janice Margetts

  21. Amy Seely says:

    We live in Yakima and we are so excited to have you come!

  22. Lorri says:

    Congratulations Ann & John! You will be great mission leaders. I think you will feel right at home in the farmland and it will bring back treasured memories and relate ability to the people there. It will be a great experience for you both as you dedicate your life and energies to this call to serve. Best wishes.

  23. Ron says:

    You are about to gain deeper understanding of the silent request of three disciples when the desire they had was perceived by the resurrected Lord.

  24. Marina Spence says:

    Having been converts in the mission field, we have such lasting memories of the powerful influence the missionaries and mission presidents had upon our lives as we took baby steps into our new world. You will have opportunities to bless the lives of so many: missionaries, investigators, members, community people, etc. Thinking about how perfectly prepared and fitted you and John are to bring your unique love, faith, experience and testimony to open up a new mission fills my heart! How fortunate are the missionaries and people who will soon come to know and love you as so many of us do. Blessings, Marina

  25. lori king says:

    Hey, Ann, I am excited for you. I’ve been to Yakima (as in “yak-(short) i-ma”) when my cousin got married and my uncle was running an apple business. I AM shocked and a little disappointed your are not going to Africa or even Australia because Judd and I are going to New Zealand and Australia and it would have been fun to visit you.
    You will be such a wonderful mission president’s wife. You are so kind and so guileless; so willing to help people. I think the most important thing I wanted in a mission president and his wife was friendship. I didn’t want a lecture on scriptures or missionary work, I was already working as hard as any elder in my mission. I just so appreciated the trust and kindness of both my mission president and his wife…even after an absence of many years. In your very non-judgmental way you will be very good at offering that. I think there are so many kids going on missions that come from such varied and sometimes turbulent homes, you will offer an island in the storm.
    So I have only one regret from the Christmas party at Julie’s–I wanted to go hug you good bye and didn’t. (you were across the street).
    Love, Lori King

  26. Jonathan Morrell says:

    Congratulations! I did not realize you are “old enough” to be mission president types… That makes me old. I am catching up on Facebook and email while sitting in the Singapore airport. Hope to see you before you go. Lucky missionaries in Yakima!

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  28. Leigh says:

    Dearest Ann and John, from Alan and I…what a wonderful privilege for you to continue to bless the lives of others…as you have done in ours. Your influence for good is widespread and enduring. May you receive all that you stand in need of as you prepare for your assignment and take with you our friendship, love and prayers. (Wish it had been to South Africa….:)

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