Kevan and Terri and Their Great DR Congo Adventure
Where shall I begin?
From the 4th of July to mid-August of this year (2012) Kevan and I participated once again in Pacific Partnership, serving in Vietnam and Cambodia. At the end of that service, it became obvious to both of us that it was time to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons, LDS).
The end of August was a flurry of family activities including a family reunion, my son’s graduation from Ross School of Business, and a wonderful trip to England with my parents. Upon returning home, we started the process of medical exams, dental exams, and interviews, and our papers were finally submitted to the Church on 14 October 2012. Both Kevan and I decided early on that we would submit our papers without any designation of where we wanted to go or what we wanted to do.
On the spiritual side, as individuals who believe that the men who lead this Church are righteous servants of a loving Father in Heaven, it was wonderful to know that for even for a moment, an apostle would be looking at a photo of Kevan and me and asking God where we would best serve his children. Additionally, Kevan and I certainly do not have knowledge of what plans the brethren have for the mission of the Church, why would we limit the brethren in their choices? For those reasons, and more, we decided to trust in all those who had the authority to make the decision of where we should serve. We knew we had 4-6 weeks before we would get the call, and I (Terri) did well for 3 weeks but then I have to admit that I started to get a bit antsy about the whole thing.
On 28 November, we received our call. We gathered the family by cell phone, two laptops, and two iPads via Skype. We opened the envelope and read that we were assigned to the Democratic Republic of the Congo Lubumbashi Mission. I am to serve as the medical advisor to the mission president, and Kevan will oversee construction of new buildings and anything else the mission president will have him do. We are to enter the MTC in Provo 25 February 2013.
As we undertook a rapid overview of the DR Congo, we found that French is the spoken language and that there is basically no English spoken. We are fortunate that the LDS Church has a wonderful program of teaching language to senior missionaries, and we are privileged to participate. We have a wonderful tutor three times a week, an hour for each of us, and then we spend 8 hours two days a week at the MTC in Provo in immersion. This consists of our tutor, other tutors, volunteer study buddies, computer programs, and wonderful staff and volunteers who work with us on french.