And for those of you who don't know, I kept the whole mission application process under wraps from my parents... My whole life I had planned on going on a mission in the fall following my first year of college. After finishing my freshman year at BYU, opportunities came up, and my plan changed to include a sales internship for fall semester. As I prepared for the interview, my thoughts were this: if I were to get the internship, I would take it and put my mission on hold. If not, I would go on my mission in the fall instead.
My parents weren't too fond of the internship idea; they thought that if I put off a mission, I would never go. So, being the angsty teenager that I am, I decided that it was my life, and that I can choose to do whatever I wanted. I went to interview for the internship, felt great about it, and two days later got the confirmation that I should instead go on a mission.
At that point, I could have told my parents my thoughts on the internship, a mission, etc. But instead, I decided to play it out and surprise them with my mission call. I told them that I would find out about the internship in two weeks, and if I got it, I was going to take it. HAHA. Meanwhile, I finished up all the interviews for my mission papers and got them submitted.
Flash forward two weeks. My dad gets surgery on a Thursday, the day that my mission call comes. We needed an excuse to have a party at the house so all my friends could come to watch me open my call. So my brother and sister in law tell my parents that they have 'an announcement' that they need to make, and want to invite a couple people over. And when you hear that from a married couple, what do you think?? Of course, a baby!! So we got the okay to have people over for Kent and Jess' 'special announcement'. Both of my parents stay up at the hospital until Saturday, giving my sister, brother, aunt, and I enough time to prepare the decorations and food for the party. I text all my friends about my call, and tell them that I am opening it and surprising my parents with it, to be sure that they don't spread the news to them.
And then, the moment comes. There are about fifty of my friends and family in our backyard when my parents come outside. It took them a second, but they were SO excited and SO stoked about it!
I let my brother Kent peek and look at where I was being called so he could buy a flag and balloons. I watched him open it, and his facial expression didn't change at all! The only other people who knew where I was going was our boss and my aunt, who was making food to go along with where I got called.
Once everyone was settled and ready for me to open my call, I ripped the envelope right open. And at that moment, I saw where I was going. I FREAKED. AH! I read it aloud and it said:
Dear Sister Bates:
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the JAPAN NAGOYA mission.
The Japanese flag unfurled, white and red balloons fell from the sky, and my mom jumped higher than I've ever seen her jump before!
(And this rocks because my mom is Japanese, both my parents served in Japan, and my Obaachan was baptized in Nagoya. Not to mention, my cousin is currently serving in Kobe, which is where my Ojiichan is from. We will be serving at the same time in the places that our grandparents grew up. How cool!)
My awesome aunt came in clutch with all the food! Not only did we have cookies and veggies and bruschetta, but she also made food from the place that I was called! So she pulls out Pocky chocolate sticks, udon noodles for all the guests, and an assortment of Japanese candy!!
All my cute friends and family who came made all the difference!! I loved seeing everyone there.
And how cute is this backdrop?? Love the flowers!!
My friend made a cute video about the whole party, so if you'd like to see my parent's reactions captured in video, or see my mom jump real high, take a gander!