Calendars, Caliche, and Customs

Well… I made the mistake of putting my blog address in the family “Christmas” letter which just landed at the homes of 60+ close friends and family members. Which means my two month forced hiatus from the blogosphere is officially ended!

Turns out all the suffering due to wisdom teeth (or lack thereof) was worth it. On April 12, I received and accepted the call to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’ll “labor in the Taiwan Taipei mission… for a period of 18 months” starting August 3, 2011. Speaking Mandarin, of course!

This news kicked my life into high gear — sending my passport and visa application off to the Travel Department, finishing out my Japanese Encephalitis vaccine, coordinating flights for Grandma to visit, interviews with the Bishop and Stake President, investigating fabrics and fits, scheduling the Temple, finishing Temple Prep classes… the list goes on, and it’s nowhere near complete… after all, there are still ugly “sister missionary shoes” to buy!

What’s been most humbling is this (and I’m kicking myself that I am already using a few classic Sister cliches, please forgive!): with each step in the right direction, doors open I didn’t even know existed. Since I started my job at the gun range, I’ve religiously skimmed 10% off the top to pay tithing. Two weeks ago, I evaluated my finances for my time in Taiwan and realized I was short. By a couple thousand dollars. I applied for a couple Summer positions as second jobs — a lifeguard at my neighborhood pool, a morning stocker at my local HEB, etc. Frankly, jobs I’m overqualified for and should have been easy to get. After almost two weeks of nothing, stress headaches started to get the better of me. Monday, as I reorganized the reloading section, the woman who doles out paychecks pulled up a chair. She began apologizing profusely that the raise I’d been promised had not been showing up on my paycheck for the last several months (hahaha — I never open my pay stubs because of direct deposit. Oh well!). To make up for it, even, she was increasing the raise and it would cover all back hours and from here on out. A quick calculation had me almost in tears: that was the exact amount of money I was short. So, as crazy as it sounds, God gave me a job at a gun range. And He’s determined that’s where I need to be until I leave for the MTC.

V, or Sister V. šŸ˜‰

Ps — if you would like a postcard from Taiwan, please send your address to sistervoler(at)gmail(dot)com. Weekly emails to the family will be posted here for your reading pleasure.