Last night about 6:30, we received a call from Jon's new mission president, President Richard Holzapfel...no Jon's not heading to Brazil--he hasn't received his visa yet. Don't you dare scroll or look ahead to see where he's going! :) So where on earth, do you think he will go?? Yes, he will be staying in the states. Not the east coast, as he previously surmised. Try deep south... What do you guess? No, not Florida. Not Georgia. Not Louisiana. Not Mississippi. What's that one right in the middle? Oh yes! It's the very first state in an alphabetical list of states: ALABAMA! He will be leaving Monday, July 26 (his "estimated date of departure" has become his actual date of departure:) to go to the Alabama Birmingham mission.
President Holzapfel is a rather well-known BYU professor and author of many books (specifically dealing with Middle Eastern Studies, Jewish History, Ancient History, American History, and Nineteenth Century American Religious History--got that from Wikipedia:). President Holzapfel and his wife Jeni have just begun serving as mission presidents in the Birmingham mission as of July 1, 2010. According to Chris' conversation with President Holzapfel, Jon's first companion will be one of the assistants to the president, and they will be working in the Birmingham area. Jon will likely be in Birmingham for about a month (hopefully his visa will come before too long!), and then he will go to Recife Brazil.
In the April General Conference, Elder Ronald A. Rasband (of the Quorum of Seventy) explained the process of how missionaries are called, and bore this strong witness of that process: "...every missionary called in this Church, and assigned or reassigned to a particular mission, is called by revelation from the Lord God Almighty through one of these, His servants [one of the Twelve Apostles]." We feel assured that Jon is going where the Lord wants him to be, and we're very excited for him to serve the Lord as a missionary in Alabama!