So this afternoon, Tuesday 20 June, this text came to each of our phones:
We decided to wait until evening to open it, when Adam would be home from his work at the hospital. Then we gathered around with our phones and opened the call. Here is a part of what we read:
We are THRILLED. It’s just what we hoped for. We learned of this opportunity last August while we were at Ashley Lake in Montana. That afternoon John turned to me and asked, “are you ready to go again??” I knew exactly what he was asking and said, “YES!!” That evening we went on the Missionary Portal to see what kinds of options were available for Senior Missionaries. We quickly found 2 requests for missionaries in Frankfurt, Germany that spoke to us. One was an Archivist Record Extractor, the other was a Public Communications Specialist, both in the Central Europe Area Offices.
When we got home from that trip, we called on both, wondering if I could do Records and John could do Communications. We learned the records job was filled. We had trouble reaching someone about the other job. When we finally connected, we learned that the couple (the Parrys) in Salt Lake recruiting for all the world-wide Public Communications posts are dear friends who served in Ghana while we were in Bamako.
On 7 October, The Parrys arranged for us to have a Facetime call Dinis (pronounced Deneesh) Adriano, the Public Communications Director for the Europe Central Area. He was in town for General Conference. We had a great visit and he asked how soon we could come–next week?? We told him we could be ready early in the new year, possibly February or March. He was thrilled. We were thrilled.
We started filling our our application papers and scheduling doctor appointments for all the medical checks. I went in for my yearly mammogram that week. A few days later they called me back for a second mammogram check. I wasn’t worried, that happens.
On October 13, I recorded in my journal: “Today John has his yearly physical at 2:15 with Dr Stalehi. I’ll go and get my TB test read. He’ll do his labs. All needed for our missionary papers. It’s been excellent timing to have these Dr apts this last week and this. I’ll go next Tues for my labs and the 2nd mammogram. Tues afternoon I have my dentist apt. Then my papers will be complete. John goes to the dentist on the 27th. That will be the last thing we need before submitting our papers.”
On October 26, I had to go for a biopsy. The mammograms revealed a small tumor they were concerned about.
On November 1, I got the call. I had breast cancer. We took our trip to Germany and Israel in December and January, then I had surgery. Radiation followed in February. Mission plans were put on hold. I recovered and by April, I was given a clean bill of health. In May we submitted our mission papers. And now we are ready to go!
The Europe Central Area, headquartered in Frankfurt includes 20 missions, 34 stakes, 20 districts and 37 countries: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
We will live in Frankfurt for 18 months, doing what we can to promote good relations and awareness of the Church in these areas, working with the country public communication specialists and leaders in the stakes. There will be training and traveling. It will be an exciting and interesting job. We are really excited to contribute what we can here.
Here is the mission photo we submitted with our applications: