Wedding Photos

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Called to Serve

I am very excited to announce that my brother Austin, the younger of my two brothers, just received his mission call to Vancouver Canada, Mandarin speaking!! He leaves for the MTC at the end of October.

We find his call especially endearing because since Austin was 10 or 11 he has always wanted to serve his mission in China and speak Chinese. We knew China wasn't open to missionary work at the time, so we would tell him, "you never know what can happen." So for the last seven years or so, he has been fascinated with the Chinese characters and the Chines cultural. He has had a Chinese calendar and a souvenir that I brought home for him from NYC Chinatown hanging in room for years!

So when he read his call and came to the part that he would be speaking Mandarin, nobody believe him because he was going to Canada not China!! We had to ask him several times, "Are you kidding?! Austin, are you serious?" We just couldn't believe it because he has wanted so badly to learn Chinese. (I am opening admitting ignorance and I do not understand the difference, if any, between Chinese and Mandarin so I hope I am not sounding too foolish.)

Here is a map of his mission. Before 1974, this area was known as the Alaskan Canadian Mission.

I also did a little research on Vancouver because I was curious as to why there was such a large Chinese population. I didn't quite find my answer---but I am short on time and I have a baby that will be waking up any minute wanting to eat and if anyone knows why, I would love to learn about it---but I did learn that since the mid 19th century, Vancouver has been home to one of the largest Chinese populations in North America. And apparently it has a beautiful and clean Chinatown. And it has the first authentic classical Chinese garden to have been built outside of China. Here is where you can find some more information.

But we are very excited for Austin that he has this wonderful opportunity to serve the Lord as a full-time missionary for two years. He is a hard worker and has a strong testimony of the restored Gospel. I know he will do great work in Vancouver!


Michelle said...

That's awesome, congrats to him. Just to answer your question...Chinese is a written language, not spoken. The two main spoken languages are Mandarin and Cantonese but within each of those are hundreds, if not thousands, of different dialects.

Tawni said...

Congrats to him! Dave & I went to Victoria on our honeymoon and we had plans to actually visit Vancouver and their Chinatown, but due to some unforseen circumstances (like our car breaking down on the way to the airport from the IF reception to the SLC airport and thus missing our flight and having to take one the next day), our Vancouver trip had to be removed from the schedule, so we never got there. But that area is just beautiful and I'm sure he will have a great mission-- best of luck to him!