Steve got a phone call on Wednesday from Elder Ballard's secretary asking if we could come and meet with Elder Ballard on Thursday. He called me at work and said I should sit down before he told me what was up. Both of us had to juggle our schedule to get off on Thursday for the appointment. I dressed in a suit, and was getting all sorts of questions at work about where I was going dressed up so nice. Steve called me that morning, and said that it had been postponed because of some family emergency, and we would go on Friday instead. I had to endure questions from co-workers for the rest of the day on how nicely I was dressed. Apparently, Elder Ballard's secretary called Steve and re-scheduled three different times.
Friday, Steve and I were both off work, so it turned out nicely. We were told to drive to the underground parking right under the church office building, and tell security we had an appointment with Elder Ballard. Well, we did, and she couldn't find our name. She looked under CALLINGS, and then looked for an appointment with Elder Bednar. By the time she figured it out, we had a line of cars waiting all the way up the ramp and onto the street. It was kind of embarrassing. We went to the waiting area in the Church Administration building and ooohed and aaahed as different important people walked past us. The most memorable was Elder Neil L Anderson, who waved to us as he walked past. We kept saying this didn't seem real. In fact, neither of us could remember Elder Anderson's name because our minds were in such a whirl.
When it was time to go to Elder Ballard's office it was pretty quick. He told us that Steve was NOT being called as a mission president, but they are looking for 165 new mission presidents, and they are interviewing 190 men. He said if Steve is not called, it is not because he isn't worthy, but because of many other factors that they look at. He proceeded to ask a lot of questions. He was straight to the point and very business like. But in the end he recommended that we get our affairs in order and that he would recommend that we are called on a mission. He said to expect a phone call from the office of the First Presidency sometime in October, and if we did not hear by November 1st to call his office back. In November, if we made the cut, one of the First Presidency will call us on a mission, at which point we can tell people that he is going to be a mission president. We would not receive the call in the mail telling us where we will go until later. And then we will be given a private tutor to help us learn Preach My Gospel. We will go for training in June, and leave in July for which ever mission we have been called to. So we still have MANY months to prepare, IF we are called on a mission.
As we were leaving, we had a member of the seventy approach us in the parking lot, and asked, "So, How did you do?" It was pretty funny. I think we were in and out in 15 minutes, but what a neat experience to spend time with an apostle!