Last fall Greg and I were still in Hong Kong serving as Asia Area Welfare Specialists. We anticipated coming home from that mission, being in the US for about 6 months, and then going out again on another mission. In preparation for our new mission, we began the missionary application process, which included a medical physical. The extremely thorough Chinese doctors found a couple of possible medical concerns, and recommended having a repeat test done 6 months later.
Because of this recommendation, our missionary application was put on hold. We were so disappointed because we wanted to receive our call and assignment quickly so we could know where we would be going. But we had to be patient in the Lord's timing.
|President Lewis and Sister Mary Hassell|
It was shortly after that, on March 1st, 2016, that the Vietnam Mission was officially created. Elder Lewis Hassell, then serving with his wife as a senior missionary in Vietnam, was called to be the new mission president. Greg and I had the opportunity of working with President Hassell on several humanitarian projects and other special events from our office in Hong Kong. We were thrilled to hear of the new mission creation.
Click HERE to read about the creation of the new Vietnam Hanoi Mission.
Before that time, the possibility of us serving in Vietnam as member leadership support (MLS) missionaries did not exist. The position had not been created. Now, with the inauguration of the new mission, and the newly announced official church recognition in Vietnam, the opportunity for us to serve there was opened up.
Had our mission application been sent in when we had originally planned last fall, we would not have been assigned to Vietnam. We believe the whole delay for the medical re-check (which showed perfect health) was part of a divine plan to enable us to serve in Vietnam.
One of our dear friends serving in the Asia Area Office with us sent us this email when she heard of our new assignment:
Hi Coffeys,Everyone here is very excited for your new mission call. It was announced in devotional meeting today, and caused quite a stir. You will be perfect.Knowing how much you love Vietnam, I can’t help but see the hand of the Lord in the timing of your call. Had you been able to submit your papers when you first tried, I don’t think the Vietnam couple MLS complement would have been in the system. Who says calls don’t come from the Lord?!Best wishes for the new assignment!
I love Elder Bednar's reminder to us that the Lord is in charge of the details of our lives:
“I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. ….Faithfulness, obedience and humility invite tender mercies into our lives, and it is often the Lord’s timing that enables us to recognize and treasure these important blessings…"
― David A. Bednar
I'm especially excited about this assignment since I lived in Vietnam when I was a little girl. I lived in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) from 1968-1972. My dad worked for a civil engineering company. Some of my greatest memories was of our school at the Phoenix Study Group.
Here is a picture of my school class photo taken in Saigon, Vietnam in 1970. I am third from the left. The woman next to me is our teacher. There were only five of us in the class! I'd send more pictures of me in Vietnam when I was little, but they are packed away in our storage unit. Maybe later this summer I can pull some out and post them before we leave for Vietnam.