Monday, January 31, 2011


I woke up this morning with a feeling that I should call and check on my flights to  California tomorrow. After about 20 minutes on the phone the agent recommended that I change my flight for today, if possible. I quickly emailed Melanie since I figured it was too early to call. Then Tricia called her at about 6:45am.  She happily announced, "Mom is coming to see you today!"  Melanie told her that she had her days wrong and that I was coming tomorrow.   After it was all sorted out, Melanie called me and got the update and changes. When I saw the news the following day, I was so grateful that I had missed the mess.

Dallas Hazardous Cold, Dangerous, Not Going Anywhere 

The airport said airlines canceled more than 600 departures at DFW because of weather impacting air traffic in 30 states.

Chicago Airports Nearly At Standstill

American Airlines shut down operations at O’Hare International Airport for the rest of the day at 4 p.m., up through Wednesday morning more than 1,300 flights had been canceled at O’Hare. were landing or taking off Tuesday afternoon and operations were not expected to resume until Wednesday afternoon.

American Airlines spokesman Ed Martell said a shutdown of operations is an extremely rare event. He said in 10 1/2 years with the company, it has never happened.


And, it was so fun having a bonus day together!

Saturday, January 29, 2011



It is Doug’s birthday. We played some tennis with our favorite doubles team and then they took us to Maggianos for a fabulous dinner. (Both Doug and Rick were heard saying that they are Not eating that much in one sitting again.) It was delicious!

We wish him many more!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

telling all the world

Last night at the Missionary Preparation, Doug asked the six former stake presidents that live in our stake to give brief messages. It was very inspiring.

Then Doug showed the group two plaques that had been ordered for our stake with plates for all those who have been called on missions since our stake has been created. Forty-one of the forty-five plates on the first plaque are already engraved. Doug said that calls have been received for the next two plates. He then had Sister Orton stand and tell about her call, which most if not all of the people in the group already knew about. Then Doug asked me to stand next to him. Actually, we stood there quite a while and then Doug very emotionally told the group that we had been called to serve a Spanish-speaking mission.Carter square

It was also New Beginnings for the Young Women last night. Afterwards, Brianna announced the call as well. It was a very happy and sad evening. If you are interested in our story, read the following posts today.

shots and passports

December 13, 2010DSC09843

Doug and I headed for the Health Department in downtown Eustis. We both began our hepatitis vaccinations. The first, in a series of three. Doug also got a Dtap, but I opted to wait another day for that one.

DSC09844It is a walk-in clinic, but we didn’t have to wait too long. They were helpful and apparently, we’ll be getting to see them a few more times.

After that, we picked Brianna up at school and went to the passport office in Tavares. We all had expired passports, so we filled out the paperwork and sent them off to be renewed.


the packet

December 13, 2010

President Uchtdorf told us to relax for a few days and that we would be receiving an information packet in the mail.DSC09841

It arrived today. Complete with a 31 page booklet entitled Preparing For Your Mission.

One section lists the missions that will be getting new presidents this year. There are 12 missions in the United States and 30 outside the United States.

meeting with president uchtdorf

 DSC09794 December 2, 2010

We arrived about half an hour early for our interview. Salt Lake had already called in and the technician was waiting for us to check sound and quality. He told us that President Uchtdorf would be with us in a few minutes, that he thought he was in the building.

President Uchtdorf started the interview almost 15 minutes early. He asked Doug how the stake was doing. He referenced our conversation with Elder Nelson and asked us if anything had changed. Was our health still good?  Do we still love each other? President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

After receiving affirmatives to all of his questions, he told us the following:

He said that our names had been discussed several times in their meetings in the temple. He said that he felt like he knew us. Nevertheless, that was not what was important. What is important is that the Lord knows us. The Lord has confidence in us and wants us to serve a mission, to a Spanish speaking country.


I nodded to Doug and he answered for us in the affirmative. President Uchtdorf asked us if we had any questions. Doug asked him about when he would be released and was told not to worry about anything and that the church would take care of it all.

He told us most importantly,  just to take a few days and let it all settle.

After about 25 minutes, the interview was concluded and Doug was asked to give the closing prayer. It was an emotional, heartfelt prayer. 

We drove to Christian Home and Bible School and checked Brianna out of school. We brought her home and explained what has been going on the past couple of months and particularly today. She was happy for us and also very sad. She loves her life here.


December 1, 2010

Doug said that when he saw the number come up on caller ID his heart leapt. I don’t think his heart does much leaping, but so it should have.

The call was from the office of President Uchtdorf. He wants to have a video conference with Doug and I tomorrow morning at 10.15 our time.

missionary medical

November 3, 2010

Yesterday, Doug got a phone call from the Church Offices. The brother asked him if he remembered his conversation with Elder Nelson last month. After Doug’s affirmative response, he said that people don’t usually forget. Right.

He made an appointment to have a follow-up phone call referencing “the interview” today.

I was out, but Doug said that he verified many of the things that we talked about with Elder Nelson. There were also more questions. Finally, he told Doug that he would be emailing him a Missionary Medical Form for the two of us to fill out.DSC09574

When I got home this afternoon, the form was there and we filled it out and sent it back.

Doug asked him if he was able to explain what the procedure might be from here. He said that  the paperwork would be sent to the First Presidency as soon as they receive the medical.


October 13, 2010

Last Wednesday, Doug called me from California. He told me that he had just received a phone call from one of the assistants to the Quorum of the Twelve. Needless to say, I haven't slept that well this week. Doug arrived home yesterday afternoon ill a cough, cold and flu-like symptoms. We have talked about the possibilities of things that might be asked of us in an interview. I went to the temple last Friday night also as part of my personal preparation. Today, Doug was resting. We chatted some, but actually it was pretty quiet.

We arrived at the tele-conference room about half an hour before the interview was supposed to start. We got our end set up and figured out how to work the zoom in and out function on the remote. A brother called in from Salt Lake about twenty minutes later and did the same thing on his end. Then he told us that Elder Nelson would be in to talk with us in about ten minutes.

Elder Nelson came in and sat down. He asked us if we had ever done a tele-conference before. Of course, the answer from Doug was yes and the answer from me was no. Smiles all around. He asked us where we were and if the facility was nice and we answered. Then he said that he would not be issuing a call to us today. Then with no further ado, he asked me to tell him about our family. I can't remember the order from there, except that he asked us about our lives and our plans are for the future.

About 2/3 the way through the interview, he told us that he was looking for mission presidents and asked Doug how he would feel about that. It was great moment for me and I felt the Spirit very powerfully. It was a mistake for me not to have tissue available. Next he talked with me about my 14 year old daughter and what I felt the impact would be on her. It was my turn to make Doug cry. I mentioned that she had just received her patriarchal blessing on conference Sunday. There is quite a few references to missionary work in her blessing and I felt that she would see it very much as the beginning of the fulfillment of that blessing.  He said that he had asked me that question specifically because mom's have a better handle on what the impact will be like on their children, but I told him that I had no hesitations that Brianna would handle it very well.

The funniest thing that happened over the course of our half hour interview was when he said that he wanted to give us some advice. And then...all the sound went completely static. We heard nothing! When the sound came back, we were like...we missed the advice...and we were all laughing as we explained what happened. So he gave us the advice again, at least we think he did.

"Brother Carter, take your wife to get an ice cream."

The interview came to a quick end after that. I am sorry to report that we did not go out for ice cream. The adrenaline rush of meeting with an apostle for half an hour kept me buzzing for quite a long time after the interview. I'll deposit that and collect on it another day.

Elder Nelson told us that they would be making calls for mission presidents between November and February upcoming. He said that they like to have it all completed by April conference and that there is a seminar the end of June.

In many ways, it seemed surreal. I wanted to keep talking with Doug about it. That really happened, right?

Doug has a terrible cough. He was awake all night. And he kept me awake all night.

Realistically, I have to concede that I would have been awake anyway since my brain was going crazy playing "what if" games and "what shall we do about ______, if we are gone for three years." Apparently, he was doing the same.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

finishing up

Clear back in August when we returned home from our trip to North Carolina, we discovered a leak that ruined some of the wallpaper in the downstairs bathroom.DSC09986

I was very fortunate that they still make that wallpaper and ordered it from a local supplier. In the meantime, I fell out of bed, and we know where that story ends.

But the following week, Doug carried on with his part of the project and replastered the wall. He came walking in with the air of satisfaction and announced that the walls would be ready for me to paper after drying for a couple of days.

I replied that I would be thrilled to do that…IF ONLY it were possible. Ohhhhh yeah, he muttered.

September, October, November, December, January

It was exercise and exhausting, but the sense of accomplishment was enormous, for me personally as well as for the project itself.DSC09987

And I only need a little bit of help.

Sunday, January 02, 2011