We have some news. We are going on a "mission that's not a mission". In looking at the mission opportunities on the monthly Church newsletter, we discovered the BYU China Teachers Program and we have been accepted! The David Kennedy Center for International Studies at BYU sends teachers to teach English to students at universities in China. It is a "life-style mission" according to Elder Maxwell, because we are forbidden to preach the gospel. We are there to make friends, set a good example, learn more about China, and hopefully open future doors. I told my grandsons (who are 7 years old) that "Nonny and Poppy are going to prepare the way so that you can go on your missions to China". We hope that will happen because 1 out of every 5 people in the world live in China!! We have been assigned to the University of Electronic Science and Technology in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. It is the "MIT" of China. We will each teach 14-17 hours per week in different classes, and we don't have to know any Chinese! We will have a two-week intensive training experience at BYU the first two weeks in August. They will teach us a little "survival" Chinese, but most of the Chinese people are learning English and like to use it. Then we fly to China for the school year, coming back in June or July, 2013. In January, we will go to Hong Kong for a two-week conference with all the other BYU teachers (about 70) who are teaching in 10 cities at 18 different universities this year. BYU has been doing this program for 23 years now, and have sent over 1000 people to teach. A third of the teachers go back again for a second year because they love it so much!! We'll see how we do, but we are "up for the adventure". This university hasn't had BYU teachers since their major earthquake in 2008, so they are excited that we are coming. (No buildings in Chengdu were destroyed; the deaths were in outlying areas around Chengdu.) We will have one other couple at the same university, so we won't be lonely. :) We are really looking forward to this experience and feel very blessed to have the opportunity. (If you are curious about the program, the website is: http://kennedy.byu.edu/chinateachers/)
I have to tell you a special "tender mercy" that I experienced in relation to this. We had to apply in January for this program, but we are still taking care of our elderly parents and have some business issues to wrap up before we'll be "free" to go. BYU had to know by March 1 if we were committed or not, and they told us not to commit if we thought we'd be backing out. We obviously prayed and fasted and felt like this was the right place for us. So we called to commit to BYU that we were going, then hung up and crossed our fingers that we'd made the right choice! The next day, Tuesday, when I was working at the temple, I finished my regular 'line' and volunteered to assist at the 9:00 veil. When I went for my assignment, Sis. Schroeder said, "Sister Mosley, I'm going to have you take the Mandarin Chinese sister through the veil." At first, I thought it was a joke--that my husband had told her our plans (which we weren't telling anyone about yet). But then I looked at Sis. Schroeder and realized she was serious. I felt tears warm my eyes and felt my Father in Heaven's confirmation that I belong with the Chinese. It was very special. Later, I asked Sis. Schroeder why she picked me to do that veil, and she said she just saw my name and thought I'd do a good job. I said, "Let me tell you what is happening with us." She cried with me as we realized that this "coincidence" was really a sweet, confirming message from a loving God who is mindful of each of us. Since that moment, I haven't had any qualms about our decision, and I know that my Father in Heaven has a plan for my mother and I can leave that in His hands.
Thank you all for your support and love--we have had a crazy year and it's so wonderful to finally have our plans made. You have truly been my sisters through this tough time, and I appreciate each of you so much!
Sister Karen Mosley