No one guessed …

I am SO SORRY that I’ve kept you waiting this long!

We had an eventful weekend, for sure!
It’s hard to believe that with 300+ guesses, no one would correctly guess the destination of Clark’s mission.

This is because Clark has been called to serve in the Salt Lake City South mission, where he’ll be speaking Spanish and working with the growing Hispanic population there.

I’d be lying if I told you Clark was excited (initially) in fact, our reaction was shock. And after that, there were tears. It broke my heart to see my son cry and to feel his disappointment.
He has such a spirit of adventure and he has always wanted to serve a mission and has always thought he would serve in a foreign country, so never did any of us consider the possibility that he might get called to share the gospel in Utah! The headquarters of his mission are just 30 minutes away from the BYU campus and my brother Theron and his family actually live within his mission boundaries. We spent Friday night processing together and there has been much prayer and discussion in our home since. Clark flew back to Utah late yesterday afternoon and I’m just now getting a chance to post. I’m happy to report that he is NOW very excited to serve so close to home. What is most amazing to me is Heavenly Father knew that Geoff and I would not be prepared to help Clark understand, so He prepared several others that called and shared very specific scriptures and experiences and insights that were exactly what he needed to hear to fully embrace his call. I am so grateful for tender mercies like this!

We absolutely believe that Heavenly Father knows Clark and knows where he will be able to do the most good. He will be leaving on June 6th.
Thank YOU so much for your support, enthusiasm and guesses.
I’ll come up with another way of sharing my CHA goodies.

Stay tuned!


  1. A boy from my home ward, Joseph Hansen has been serving in that exact mission since Dec. He is a fantastic young man, with a great smile and spirit. I hope your son will be able to serve with him. I remember hearing from a BYU professor of mine that he had lived all over the world, and the most baptisms in any ward he ever has lived in were in Ogden, UT. Take care! Its all exciting, just challenging too.

  2. Congratulations to Clark! I suspect that he will be an awesome missionary and will soon think that his mission is the best of all. Here in Utah we need wonderful missionaries!

  3. Hi Stacy! I’m not sure I’ve ever commented here before, but I’ve been a fan and follower of your blog for years. I just had to comment today because we live in Ogden Utah, and we have the special privilege of housing missionaries (we have a tiny studio apartment behind our garage where they live.) This gives us a great opportunity to get to know lots of missionaries, and most of them have a similar story of being shocked/disappointed at first, but I can tell you ever single one of them just LOVES this mission and wouldn’t change it if they could. In fact most of them are from neighboring states such as California, Nevada, Idaho and have been to Utah before, if not lived here before. The best story was one Elder who actually grew up in Salt Lake City, believe it or not! He actually moved here from Korea when he was very young, but basically only remembers living in Utah. His comment was that Heavenly Father definitely has a sense of humor! But, like all the others, truly loves serving here. The missions in Utah are so full of opportunity and I know he’ll be a great missionary.

  4. I NEVER would have guessed SLC. I can understand the whole family’s response — but I have heard so many wonderful stories lately about missionaries and how each one truly is sent where they are supposed to be. He will be an amazing missionary (and you’ll be able to sleep at night). It can’t get much better than that. Happy week!

  5. Wow! We have had 2 mission calls in our stake in the past 2 weeks and both were to Utah. One to Salt Lake (Im not sure on the exact mission but it is spanish so maybe the same one as Clark) and one to Provo. We are only a few months away from my son turning in his papers so I am always watching and wondering where he will be going. Good luck Clark! You will be an amazing missionary!


  6. A guy in our ward just got called to the exact same mission last week! He’s a great kid so your son will be in good company !!

  7. Wow! That definitely would be a shocker. It didn’t even cross my mind to guess Utah because I knew you had family there. We are just finishing up my oldest son’s mission papers – what an emotional time for a mother!

    Congratulations to Clark – he will be a superb missionary, I am sure!

  8. Wow that would be a shocker!!! He will experience SLC like he never has before.
    Congrads Clark for making this commitment to go and do.

  9. I live in Calgary, Canada and me and my family assist to a Spanish Branch. And I’m always very surprised how fast the missioners learn Spanish. When they finish the 2 years they speak a perfect Spanish even whitout an accent. Plus they get very delicious latinamerican food when they visit for souper :) He will be in good hands. :)

  10. Good luck to Clark in Salt Lake City, Utah. He will do a great job, I’m sure. These teenagers put us through a lot but I, too, like to think that God has a plan for them and us!

  11. I guess he’s followingin his Dad’s footateps of serving close to home.

  12. WOW, so excited for you Stacy that he will be close. Congrats to Clark.

  13. Wow! That was definitely a surprise, but I’m sure it will be an amazing experience! I’m looking forward to the day when I am in your shoes!

  14. Wow! That *is* a shock, isn’t it?! Someone in our ward was recently called to SLC, and I believe my words were, “Are there *actually* still people in SLC that aren’t LDS?” Hee hee hee. I kid. I kid. We all got a big laugh. ;-)

    But you know… I’m sure it will be such a blessing having him close to home, and some place that you *know* is “safe.” That has to bring some comfort. I’m so happy for you guys and Clark! I’m sure he’ll have a wonderful time, and he’ll bless the people of SLC South tremendously! :-)

  15. I don’t know where his mission covers but I live just outside of Orem, UT. There is a large spanish population here and he will be well taken care of! My husbands family attends a Spanish ward here and they are all really fabulous people. There is a lot of teaching to do within the Spanish community but I’d say the best part is that they are the most hospitable people, they will welcome him and he’ll make friendships that will bless his life forever. Congratulations to Clark!!!!

  16. Thanks for the update, I’ve been checking your website all day. That is a surprise and I’m sure an initial disappointment that he will stay so close to home, but glad he is coming to terms with it.

  17. Julie Lueck says:

    My Friend was raised in West Jordan Utah, but moved to Canyon Country in Callifornia (North of LA) and all the rest of her Family still lived in Utah. She sent her papers from California and was called to serve in SLC Temple Square. Very humbling. However, they went through the proper chanels to let The Church headquarters know and be okay with the fact her family was in her mission area. Whoops, it wasn’t and her call was changed to Texas. If he has family in the area, they may want to change his call. It happens.

    • Julie Lueck says:

      Actually, I am pretty sure they do not let you have family in your mission boundries. He could very well serve in your brothers ward.( I just reread your post, because I wasn’t completely sure you did say you had famiy within his mission boundries) I am curiuos as to what the stake pres says about family with in his mission boundries. I am sure he will be a fantastic missionary where ever he goes. And when he meets the one person he was meant to teach, he will know, that was why he was called to serve where ever he goes.Maybe Heavenly Father is counting on him to make sure that it is okay he serve close to family, in order that he does get his mission called changed to the place he is supposed to end up.

  18. Emilie Ahern says:

    Hey Stace-

    When I received my mission call I lived in Utah and was called to Nebraska, just one state away. I was thrilled but everyone else was very ho-hum about it.

    The thing is that by the end of my mission I came to believe very firmly that it doesn’t matter WHERE you serve it only matters HOW you serve. If he does his best, is obedient and works like a slave – his mission will be amazing…no matter where he goes.

    Amazing moments are just ahead! Congrats Clark!

  19. carol in seattle :) says:

    Weird….I typed out Utah and then changed my mind and wrote Japan. I’m sure Clark will be a great missionary no matter where he goes!

  20. Yay! That is exciting. A good family friend just returned from that mission last spring. He loved it. It was a shock for him at first too. :)

  21. I’m still in shock that you have a son old enough to go on a mission! My youngest, Tom, just got accepted into BYU, so his mission isn’t far off.

    Just as a note: My nephew got called to an Idaho mission, in the same mission boundaries that his aunt and uncle lived. I don’t think he ever served in their ward boundaries, but he did end up there for dinner once…maybe in the town, just not in the ward. So I’m not sure about the extended family, if that qualifies. Regardless, there’s plenty of opportunity for service there.

    It was good seeing you at CHA. Hope all is well with you and your family!

  22. Wow! I can imagine his initial disappointment, but I’m so glad to hear that he’s embracing the call and excited about it. Best wishes to all of you!

  23. Congratulations. We have a young woman in our ward here in California that also just got her mission call to the Salt Lake City South Mission. She reports in April. i know they don’t want to hear that they serve where they are needed, but I know it is true. Good luck to him. My son got back from his mission in October and his mission flew by for us.

  24. When I put in my papers years ago that is where I wanted to serve SLC as I had never been to Utah!! Imagine my surprise when I got called to Japan!!

  25. I love how honest you and your family are about your initial reaction. I understand the journey of shock to acceptance and excitement. I am currently going through the same thing as my husband has just been transferred across the country with his Church Education position. The anticipation of the adventures in store is growing. Good luck to Clark! With such great parents he should do wonderfully well.

  26. Kathy Jo Camacho says:

    It doesn’t matter where you serve when you are serving and sharing God’s word. Congratulations! I know Clark will do an outstanding job.

  27. Oh.


    I can understand what he must be feeling.

    And good for him for understanding, despite the initial shock, that he is NEEDED here right now.

    All our love from Utah…

  28. {{{hugs}}} sometimes it is so hard to accept how things are going to be instead of how you wished they were. That is an adult lesson he had to experience. I’m glad he was able to find answers and understanding.

  29. They always say god does things for a reason. I’m not LDS, but I’m sure Clark will make a difference where he will be. I’ve always felt that there were plenty of people that need help here in America.

    Good luck Clark!

  30. Bec Kilgore says:

    Clark will be fabulous no matter where he goes. Just look at who his parents are :).

  31. A mission’s, a mission’s, a mission… no matter where you go (I was just talking to someone about this yesterday). Save the exotic places for travel, and serve the Lord on your mission. There will be people there in Utah that need him, and only him. It makes me excited just thinking about it.

  32. I can so relate to this experience although a little differently. Our oldest son has been out for 7 months and when he got his call to Colorado Springs, CO (we live in So Utah)he was so excited and perfectly happy. It really is the perfect mission for him. However, his younger brother, who puts in his papers in a few months, said “If that was my mission call I would just cry.” And he was absolutely serious! We have a nephew from KS who is serving in Provo. You go where the Lord needs you and He knows best. Best of luck getting him ready to go, the first one is the hardest! If you do the drop off, it’s a killer!

  33. Oh, so sorry he was sad, but so glad that he realizes that this is where the Lord needs him.

  34. Sorry about his initial disappointment but so excited to hear that he will be serving in MY mission. We have a Spanish ward in our stake so I will be praying for Elder Julian. We do need exceptional missionaries here in Utah. There is much work to be done and not only with finding non members who want to learn but also with those who for whatever reason have chosen not to be active.
    And about the family, it might be okay, we had a young woman just a few years ago who served in the mission where her dad and step mom live. They let the proper priesthood authorities know and it was decided that her call would remain the same. It truly is in the Lord’s hands.

  35. Karen Schmidt says:

    Good Luck to Clark and your family.

  36. Just want to say bravo to you and Geoff for handling one more step on letting that first chick leave the nest. It’s a hard emotional time no matter where they are going or what they are doing there. Congrats to Clark!

  37. Jen Stockard says:

    i know who his mission president is! He is from my current ward. His 3 daughters are in my ward, my good friends. Clark is lucky to get to serve under President Miller! He will have a wonderful mission even with a shocking start.

  38. BARB TOPPING says:

    God has reasons which we do not know. I am certain Clark will be an exceptional missionary. I was extremely touched by your account of so many within your circle who were able to help with the right words and scripture. How wonderful to have such a great support system. Peace an joy be with you, Clark, and your family.

  39. Hi Stacy,
    I keep thinking about Clark, and his initial reaction, and my heart is so sad for him. I will be praying for him.

  40. How exciting, even though a bit of a shocker at first. Just wanted to share my son’s response to his mission call to Montana (we lived in Provo at the time). I asked him if he was sad to not be going somewhere ‘exotic’. He said, “no way. I don’t have to learn a new language and the food won’t be weird.” My second son, who really wanted to stay close to home (we now live in SE Utah) has been in Toronto Canada for 3 months. He is having quite an adventure for one who wasn’t sure he wanted adventure. Heavenly Father knows, far better than we, what we need.
    Clark will have a wonderful, growing experience that is custom made just for him. I truly love the missionary program for helping our young men turn into men. Amazing how quickly it happens too. Best wishes to him and your whole family as you embark on this new phase of life.

  41. This was my reaction upon hearing I was having my fourth son…now he’s seven and I so can’t imagine him a girl!
    The Lord knows who needs to meet him and has now placed Clark directly in that person’s path. I’m so excited for him and your family! We have a bunch of nephews out and heading out and my oldest will be going in 3 years. I know that time will pass so quickly!

  42. Jenna S says:

    In 1983 I was in high school & attended seminary with my friends because it was a break from the school day. I joined the church that October & have loved it since. Congratulations to Clark on his mission call – definitely a surprise!

    • So the rest of my comment – I was a convert of the Salt Lake City South mission. :) When I was in college, I served as a Temple Square missionary & was able to experience that part of missionary work in Salt Lake City. Amazing place & great opportunity.

  43. jeff henderson says:

    Just came across your blog and read the story.

    Our son was called to the SLC South Mission and has been there for nearly 4 months. Allow me to share a personal story with you. A year before his call… he received his Patriarchal Blessing. In his blessing – the Lord told him “do not be disappointed in your Mission Call.” Needless to say, we as parents were a bit concerned. Would he be called to a mission super close to home? (we are in Raleigh, NC)…or some place that he would just not like? When we got the call and opened it as a family – we were struck with how the Lord had prepared our son. Because of his call to the SLCS mission… he KNEW the Lord had prepared him, he KNEW he was where HE was suppose to be. We all learned a great lesson that day. The Lord knows his children, he is behind these calls and assignments and missionaries are where he wants them to be – for reasons unknown to us.

    Shortly after his call – my wife randomly ran into different members in various places out of town whose sons served in this mission. They couldn’t say enough good about it! It was uncanny to meet these people and hear them speak about their gratitude for their missionary’s amazing experience in SLC missions.

    Our son LOVES his mission. It is a unique mission. He is doing a LOT of reactivation_rescue work. Interesting, the Lord is sending “shepherds” among his “lost sheep” in Zion. He is baptising converts as well. He is surrounded by outstanding missionaries, great church leaders and temples wherever he looks.

    The letters he writes reflect the particular lessons HE is learning in THIS mission. His letters are AMAZING. I served a mission – but learned these lessons maybe ten years AFTER my mission. These are special young men and your son’s call to serve THESE people… in THESE times and under these leaders is a huge blessing.


  1. […] become better versions of themselves. You can read more about Clark (and Chase) serving missions here, here and […]

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