Marshall has had some great examples along the way. He grew up hearing wonderful stories of his father's mission to Paris, France. Rich served for two years from 1976-1978. Marshall's older brother, Chris, served in Knoxville, Tennessee from 2002-2004. Marshall's brother-in-law, Joseph, served in Samoa. I have always loved this picture of Chris and Marshall. They didn't have too many matching pieces of clothing like the girls did, but I loved these shirts!
Marshall has a cousin-once-removed (that would be his cousin's son) named Perry Sessions. Perry recently received his mission call to New Zealand. Marshall and Perry's paths have crossed occasionally over the years. They've both been at BYU for their freshman year. Can't remember how long ago this was! But we're sure excited for Perry also. He leaves July 2nd.
A couple of years ago we were at the church museum in Independence, MO. There was a display showing all of the languages that the Book of Mormon has been printed in. Have you ever heard of a language called "Marshallese"? We thought that was great. I've often wondered where in the world they speak "Marshallese".
Thanks to Chris, Rich, Sarah, and I were able to see Marshall open his call, via a web cam. It was pretty chaotic, but definitely memorable. Here's a fine picture of the group right afterwards. Apparently there was some discussion as to whether my "known-to-be-very-emotional son" would possibly shed tears when he finally read the letter, but no, he was ALL smiles and very thrilled. We had all tried to guess where it was that he would go, but we were all pretty off the mark. Oh well, the possibilities were endless!
I am so thrilled with Marshall's desire to serve. What a commitment from these 19-year-old young men to put their life on hold for two years, pay their own way, go anywhere in the world they're asked to go, and preach the gospel they love with all of their hearts. I'm so pleased. I have no doubt that he will be blessed immensely throughout the remainder of his life for the service he will render to the wonderful people of Brazil. I love you Marshall!