Elder Preston Ferrell received his call on January 25, 2013. There was no planned fanfare or special event for opening his call. Whether elated or confused, or frustrated, Preston would need time to absorb it. All we asked was that before he told all his friends, he let his parents and all his siblings know. Not a small feat when everyone is spread out and Samantha is in South Korea, a 16 hour time difference.
Preston came home from school with his good friend Connor and a big envelope was in the mailbox. They opened the call together. He tried calling his Dad, but he was on a field trip to Tucson and refuses to carry a cell phone. He then called his Mom who was in a work meeting, but stepped out to take his call, knowing how important it would be. When Preston stated his call to the Czech/Slovak Mission, speaking Slovak, tears welled, because it was an answer to prayer. Preston's Great-Grandma's family was from Slovakia and was the geneology line with missing records. When calling our non-member family, they were elated and are excited about having a Slovak speaker in the family again. One Aunt texted, "The Church knows what they are doing. This call is important to our entire family."
Upon returning home from work, his dad saw Connor's truck in the driveway, unusual for that time of day, figured a call had come. When entering the house he saw the large white envelope, known for containing mission calls, empty on the kitchen table. Preston came running into the kitchen and exclaimed his mission call was to the Czech Slovak mission. Asking over and over again, where? And the answer came each time, "Czech Slovak mission, speaking Slovak." It was totally unexpected by his father, who had assumed the U.S. or Canada, Africa or India, if foreign. Because for the previous few years we had prepared him for serving in Delhi, India, because he held such disdain for the place when we visited it. Excited and speechless, went to look for maps and info on the countries. When announcing his call in sacrament meeting, the ward went very quiet as he walked to the podium. It had been several months since the previous missionary had left. After he made the announcement, there was a buzz throughout, as people asked each other, "where?"
We are grateful to have a young man who wants and is worthy to serve a mission and who has worked so hard to prepare himself. He has been an Eagle Scout, graduated from seminary, taken 4 years of French and has faithfully served wherever needed. We pray for the Lord to bless him with the ability to speak the language and touch the hearts and lives of others.