This is when I opened my call:
Don't mind my sudden inability to properly read a sentence. I was so nervous! And everyone was staring at me!
If you have never experienced opening your own mission call, and being a newly called missionary, let me explain what it is like. Everyone's is different, but this is what mine was like:
Almost the day after the stake president officially submitted my papers, I was already having to refrain from checking the mail. I did have some self control and let a week to go by before I allowed myself to start checking the mail. Even after a week I knew there was no way it would be there, but I couldn't help myself. The very earliest it could get to me would be 2 weeks, and I highly doubted that was even possible since it would be sent internationally. by the time I hit the 2 week mark, I was starting to go crazy. I graduated from walking to the mail box, to running to the mailbox, to riding my bike to the mailbox, to driving at full speed to the mailbox. Keep in mind that the mail box is only at the end of the street. I think heavenly father was watching over any possible children that might have been playing in the streets during the times of my mailbox runs.
I'm sure my mom was amused when I knew very well that the mailman wouldn't come before 2 pm, and yet I would still check it at 12, and then at 1 again, and then watch through the window until I saw the canada post car drive up to the mailbox. I couldn't help it! I was so excited!
Many times I felt like I was in competition with Shae, only she didn't really know we were competing. I definitely felt like she was winning though. Every time I checked there was a letter or package for her, and nothing for me. I came to realize that Heavenly Father loved her more than me during those weeks. Kidding! I do think He has a bit of a sense of humor though. I envision Him watching me walk to the mail box with high hopes, and my call actually sitting in the mail, but just as I turn the key to open it He changes it really fast to a letter for Shae, just for his own kicks. Silly. The funniest/worst was a time I checked with Cheyenne. It went something like this:
"THERE'S A KEY IN THE MAILBOX"
Me jumping up and down and all around.
"Maybe you should use it then"
Cheyenne using her braincells.
We opening it up and saw a large mission-like envelope. Unfortunately it was pitch black outside, and our street doesn't have streetlights.
Me freaking out!
Cheyenne keeping calm and collected, grabbing it from me and waiting until a car drives by to use the light to read the envelope.
Cheyenne reading,"Sister Carter"
Me, screaming, snatching it from her hands, and running towards the house at inhuman speeds... Or jogging...
We got to the house, burst through the door and read it again, "Shae Carter"
Fine. I wasn't excited anyway.
When I finally did get my call in the mail, Cheyenne conveniently decided to take a last minute trip to Florida 3 days before... There was no way I was going to open it without her, meaning I would be waiting at least another 5 days. So I had to pretend I didn't notice it sitting there staring at me on the kitchen table for 5 days. The little crack in the bottom of the envelop wasn't helping at all. My dad kept smelling through the crack and claiming that it smelled foreign. My mom kept threatening to steam it open so she could read it before me (she hates surprises), and maybe even put a fake call inside. She was so offended that I actually didn't trust her. But if you only knew my mom. She gets clever mischievous little ideas in her head and if someone like Denna Kaopua eggs her on in the slightest, she can be quite the prankster. Ask me sometime about the time when she created a profile for me on LDS singles without me knowing, making me look like the biggest joke. I have to hand it to her, It was hilarious. I laughed so hard when I discovered it. So nonetheless, sorry mom, you can't be trusted.
FINALLY the evening of my opening came, Cheyenne was finally home and guess who we were waiting for this time? Cheyenne again. She decided an hour and a half before I was to open my call that she would go to the gym with a friend... Without a cell phone. I love Cheyenne.
That whole day I was SO stressed. I had so much anxiety. Normal people would probably be excited through the roof, but I was so anxious. I didn't know where I was going, what language I would be speaking, or when I was going. I was in limbo. All of the answers to my questions that had me sitting, waiting and not moving forward with my life were found wrapped up in that little envelope on the kitchen table. I wanted to call it the evil envelope, but I guess it was the source of all my joy for the past 3 weeks.
You cant see by the video, but when I finally opened and read it, I was washed over with a wave of peace. I went from no answers to all the answers. I finally had a time line, direction, and no more fear of a new language. Most people felt bad for me that I had to wait 5 months, but I was so satisfied just to know. And who doesn't love more time. Everything about it felt right. I never would have guessed California, but now it feels PERFECT! And yay English. Yep, I was so perfectly content, and happy. So happy. And I still am. I have had moments of wishing I didn't have to wait so long, but then I remember to be grateful for time.
My favorite question people like to ask me is, "Are you excited?"
Nope. I am not excited... Haha of course I am! I don't blame people for asking. I would too. It is just funny as a newly called missionary to get the same repeated obvious questions over and over and over again. Usually at church in the hallways.
"Malia, where are you going on your mission?"
"Santa Rosa, California."
"When do you leave?"
"End of July."
"What Language are you speaking?"
"That is so exciting! Are you excited!"
At this point there are no more questions to ask and they don't really know what else to say, or even how to end the conversation, so they awkwardly say something like, "... cool" and shuffle away, leaving me to wait for the next person to begin the questioning. I find it quite entertaining actually. And when you are a social butterfly like me and can't help but say hi to everyone, you find yourself in those conversations a lot.
Not sure if it's too early to be calling myself "Sister Carter"