2013. The year of sisters getting mission calls. Everywhere I looked there was someone with a large white envelope bursting with good news. My friend Kellie was always so excited for them, clapping and cheering with such enthusiasm that I couldn’t seem to muster.
That night it was Jackie’s turn to open her call and so we as good members of the ward walked across the hall to support/satisfy our curiosity. As a rule, it didn’t really matter if you knew the person that well, everyone was invited to come over and watch that lucky one open their envelope.
After about 12 of us were seated in the living room, Jackie brought out the envelope. We started guessing at the places and what language that letter would say. I yelled out Belgium and others were guessing somewhere in South America. We asked her where she wanted to go. And of course the standard “anywhere the Lord sends me, BUT if I had to choose I would pick Italy”. I had resolved to put on a better show this time and be super happy for her. If I was not vocal about my ecstatic joy for her then I was not supporting the missionaries. Finally she slipped open the envelope and started reading. “Sister Brown you are hearby called to serve in the Florence Italy Mission.”
My breath caught and I could not believe it, people very rarely got sent where they wanted to go. I started clapping and jumped up to give her a hug. It was so amazing and her prayers were answered for sure this day. “No way” and “Oh my gosh” were being tossed around the room. But there was someone missing in all the cheering.
I looked over at Kellie and she was smiling but not her normal gushing self. Suddenly I was suspicious.
The letter was fake.