Wednesday, January 2, 2013

THE CALL to serve as Mission President and Full Time Missionary

We met with President Henry B Eyring via video conference, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints. 

 It was an amazing, powerful, humbling, sacred experience and something we will forever cherish. After 45 min of instruction and powerful counsel, President Eyring extended the call to Rodney A Ames and asked him "to serve as a Mission President for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for the period of 3 years, English speaking" He then extended the call to Kimberlee Nicole Jensen Ames "to serve as a full time missionary for a period of 3 years in the mission in which your husband presides"  We accepted.  Afterwards, we tried to write down everything we could remember while it was all fresh in in our minds of the experience, the counsel, but mostly the feelings and impressions that we had.  This picture was taken just seconds before we were to begin our meeting.  
When I showed this picture to our oldest son Alex, he said, "mom, you look way scared"! (does he know me well or what) I guess my attempt in trying to look professional, dignified and confident wasn't working.

It's official: Mission President Rodney Allen Ames

Note to those who are not members of our Faith

What is the role of a Mission President and what do they do?

Well over ONE MILLION MISSIONARIES have served missions since the Church was organized in 1830.  The Mission Presidents who lead them have a heavy responsibility in direction all the work of individual missionaries.  Newly called mission presidents come from all walks of life, from many geographic locations, from varied experiences in Church leadership and from diverse family compositions.  As mission leaders, they supervise and train on average from 150-240 missionaries during a given time period, but they will work with around 600 young people during their three-year period of service.  Mission Presidents share a variety of responsibilities in their service.  They are directed to first maintain their own well-being and that of their families.  They instruct missionaries to effectively teach gospel principles as well to maintain their individual health.  In addition, the president assumes responsibility for the baptism of new converts and their initial development as new members of the Church.  On a day-to-day basis, the supervising couple oversees not only the physical, emotional and spiritual well being of their own families, but also assume responsibility for each of the missionaries assigned to their area. 

What is the role of the spouse of a  Mission President and what do they do?

(Gerry Avant in the Church News wrote one of the best articles on the role of a mission Presidents' wives that I have read:)

One of the main functions is to travel with their husbands as a companion to the various meetings that they attend including zone conferences, district conferences, and ward and stake conferences. Many times they are called on to speak. They share the responsibility of assisting their husband in various ways so they must be knowledgeable about the Church leadership and teachings.  They should also be motivational speakers since they will address various groups in short talks or by bearing their testimonies. 

You're the ones who give verve, spirit, interest and marvelous spark to our missions. . . . If there's any wife of any mission president who has any question about how important you are: We need you very, very much. The Lord will inspire you and let you discover talents you never dreamed you had, and the power and ability to fulfill every need for every responsibility that will come to you." - Elder Richard G. Scott, at Mission Presidents' Seminar

What is a Missionary and what do they do?

Currently there are nearly 60,000 missionaries are serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at any one time. Most are young people under the age of 25, serving in nearly 350 missions throughout the world.  But it is anticipated that the number of missionaries serving will increase in the coming year due to the recent change in the ages when the missionaries can begin their missionary service.  Young men now begin missionary service at the age of 18 and young women at the age of 19.
Missionaries can be single men between the ages of 18 and 25, single women over the age of 19 or retired couples. Missionaries work with a companion of the same gender during their mission, with the exception of couples, who work with their spouse. Single men serve missions for two years and single women serve missions for 18 months.
Prior to going to their assigned area, missionaries spend a short period of time at one of 15 missionary training centers throughout the world. There they learn how to teach the gospel in an orderly and clear way and, if necessary, they begin to learn the language of the people they will be teaching. The largest training center is in Provo, Utah, with additional centers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, England, Ghana, Guatemala, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa and Spain.
Male missionaries are addressed with the title “Elder” and women are addressed with the title “Sister.”
A typical missionary day begins by waking at 6:30 a.m. for personal study. The day is spent proselytizing by following up on appointments, visiting homes or meeting people in the street or other public places. Missionaries end their day by 10:30 p.m.
In some parts of the world, missionaries are sent only to serve humanitarian or other specialized missions. Those missionaries do not proselytize.
Missionary work is voluntary. Missionaries fund their own missions — except for their transportation to and from their field of labor — and are not paid for their services. 
Learn more at

Here is a picture of our son Elder Ames who is serving a mission in Concepcion, Chile now and has loved every minute of it!