Drum Roll, Please!

Wednesday was a crazy day. We’d been anxiously awaiting Collin’s mission call to come (they usually always arrive on Wednesdays in Utah) and got the sad news from the post office that no mission calls had arrived that day due to the Monday holiday (Martin Luther King Day).

So–one more day of waiting.

Thursday morning I got a call at 6:15 a.m. from the post office telling me that a special envelope had arrived for Collin Bearnson. My dear friend and neighbor, Sandy Modersitzski, also was awaiting her daughter’s mission call (the cute gal with Collin in the last post). So, being ecstatic and a little crazy moms, we drove to the post office together in the wee hours of the morning to collect the calls!

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I was a bundle of nerves the entire day. Where would Collin go? When would he go?

The bewitching hour, 7:00 p.m., finally arrived and Collin opened the envelope in a room full of family and friends who adore him!

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We had all guessed on a huge map where he’d go:

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On June 6th, 2013, Collin will begin living in the beautiful country of New Zealand for two years!

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He will primarily be living in Wellington and surrounding areas:

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Four people guessed Auckland, New Zealand but none for Wellington!

Collin, our entire family and and all our friends are extremely thrilled! This is one place on my bucket list to visit so hmmmm–maybe we will go pick him up! This is what my sign says today:

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Thanks for all your notes of support and love! This mom’s heart is breaking a little but I’m so glad my boy is spreading his wings ready to fly! Oh–and his friend, Ally, is going to Bulgaria in June. Her older sister, McCall, will also be going on a mission to France in April.

Love, Lisa

P.S. If you’ve ever been to New Zealand or currently live there, please leave your advice on weather, culture, etc.


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40 Responses to “Drum Roll, Please!”

  1. karen says:

    He will love New Zealand !!! My sister went to a LDS college there for a year and my grandparents dear friends are from there. the people are amazing. He will love it. Congratulations !@

  2. kat-in-texas says:

    Looks like everyone wanted him to stay close by in the States! What an adventure lies ahead for Collin!!! It’s not going to be the same around this blog without his presence, but from past experience, it seems to go by pretty quick! God will be with him no matter where in the world he is and I know that’s a comfort for you and your family, Lisa. The internet makes for a small world too, thank goodness!
    Congrats Elder Bearnson!!! :)

    (I hope he gets some work done cuz he’s awfully close to the ocean no matter where he is!)

  3. Vickie says:

    Wonderful! That sounds like a great place to go. My youngest boy is in New York- been out since mid-December. It’s hard but we adapt, don’t we?

  4. Lisa says:

    I’m not a Mormon, but congratulations. New Zealand is on my bucket list of places to visit. Where will Collin’s friend be going?

  5. SammyD in OZ says:

    OMGosh how awesome and congratulations Collin! Here’s a link for y’all to have a look at http://www.newzealand.com/au/
    I’ve been to NZ South Island and absolutely loved it… the people were so friendly, the countryside beautiful and scenery spectacular! I’m sure the North Island is just as nice and Collin will love it as much as you when you visit Lisa!

  6. Melissa Woodall says:

    CONGRATULATIONS to Collin! I actually studied in Australia and New Zealand my senior year in college and just loved it!!! New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever traveled to. As I remember it, the culture is fairly laid-back and youthful in the population centers. The climate was just terrific. Traveling from Texas, it took me a while to become acclamated to the southern hemisphere and reverse seasons. As a 21 year old, the culinary experiences were always a treat. I tasted the largest, most wonderfully sweet wild raspberries that I remember to this day. I also was introduced to eel – not bad but I have not had the desire to partake again. The foods were not as spicy as southwestern foods but were very flavorful with lots of seafood and pork options.

    I will be happy to try to answer any questions. Again, congratulations and hugs to you and Collin!

    Melissa Woodall
    Mesa, AZ

  7. Stacia says:

    And where will his friend be going…? You can’t just leave us hanging!

    I took my youngest two kids to NZ two years ago (they were 6 and 10 then), and we traveled from Auckland, down to Wellington, then over to the South Island, and eventually down to Christchurch. Beautiful country, as you know, and lots and lots of cool things to see! Before we went, I didn’t realize, for example, that they have an enormous volcanic basin like Yellowstone with incredible mudpots, etc. (middle of the North Island).

  8. Leslie says:

    I was. Way off on guessing

  9. Ali says:

    Hi Lisa
    I live in Christchurch in the South Island of NZ. I am so happy that Collin will be coming here! Will he be covering the South Island too? I heard that no missions are based here but that they are served from Wellington.

    Wellington itself is famous for being windy and getting a bit of rain. However, right now they have 10 days of pure sunshine and heat forecast, so don’t look at the weather forecast right now and assume that’s how it is!! I think the climate could be likened to Seattle. Don’t forget the seasons are the inverse and we are in the peak of summer right now.

    Wellington itself is a port in a basin surrounded by hills, and so he will get even fitter just walking around!

    Culturally he will be fine. NZ is a sporty country with a relaxed and laid back approach to life. We embrace visitors with open arms. He might find that in general Kiwis swear a bit even in everyday conversation, and that might be a surprise.

    I don’t know much about the rules for when he is on mission but I would be delighted to host him with my family anytime he wants to come to Christchurch and eat a roast dinner or get away for a few days! (meat is very big in this country and we are big on BBQ)

    My friend Cheryl and I are good friends of your friend Lori (Cheryl came to your house with Lori once). We would both be happy to help Collin anytime at all. COntact us via Lori.

    He needs to be aware that NZ is an earthquake zone and there are several active volcanoes, two of which are quite active at the moment. He needs to learn how to react if there is a quake, tsunami alert or volcano eruption. Wellington is right on a fault and gets frequent (like monthly) small quakes under 3 magnitude – he just needs to expect them.

    WOW! I am so excited for Collin!

  10. TanyaS says:

    How wonderful (I’d say that no matter where he was sent :) ) Congrats to you all!

  11. Carolyne Hallum says:

    Congratulations – very exciting. It will be Winter and it gets very cold, so pack the winter woolies.

  12. Keri P says:

    Congratulations to you all! What an awesome place to be called to serve the Lord! By the way…. where is Ali going? ;)

  13. lisabearnson says:

    In my excitement I forgot to tell you where Ally is going. Bulgaria! Wow–where is that? I updated the above information.

  14. lisabearnson says:

    Thanks for all your sweet responses! I feel so much love and support!

  15. Trina says:

    I’ve never been to New Zealand, but I studied abroad in Australia and those I knew who had been to both countries raved about New Zealand. It’s on the top of my list of countries to one day visit. Congratulations Collin!

  16. mandyb says:

    i live in wellington NZ and left a comment with links and info…
    it has gone somewhere
    so let me know if you want me to leave it again
    or want to contact me with any direct questions!!!

  17. mandyb says:

    ok your blog doesnt link my comments so will find another way to send links
    wellington rocks!!! he will have a great time!!!

  18. Karen says:

    Congratulations to Collin on his posting to Windy Wellington, I’m sure he will love every minute of it.

  19. Paula N. says:

    Oh, congratulations to Collin! What an awesome missionary experience he will have!! My daughter, Sarah, turned 19 in December and is finishing up her papers so that as soon as she finishes her freshman year at BYU-Provo, she will be ready for HER mission. (*I* am not ready; she is, though!)

  20. Trina says:

    Congratulations and thanks for sharing the exciting news with us! What a beautiful place to spend the two years. Also, Happy Birthday to you Lisa! What a wonderful surprise for your birthday. I hope that you have a great day!

  21. Melanie says:

    WOW!!!! i am jealous. I would love to see New Zealand! He will be a wonderful missionary because he has such a strong foundation. Good luck to him and lots of hugs to you.

  22. Sarah Crawford says:

    OH WOW… amazing mission call!
    I have been following your blog for EVER it seems, but never left a post before!
    Have love love loved reading all about your family and scrapbooking etc!
    I am LDS too in England and first started hearing about you when I got into scrapbooking when my eldest daughter Neave (now 10yrs old) was born and I stumbled across some old creating keepsakes!
    Anyway… trying not to sound TOOO stalkerish!!!
    But the reason for my HUGE excitement about Collin’s mission call is MY nephew is on his mission (Isaac McKenna) in the New Zealand Wellington Mission. He has only been out 3 months…..AND when I read your post about waiting for Collin’s mission call a couple of days ago… all I could think about was New Zealand Wellington mission!!!! hahahaha!!
    SUPER exciting! I can’t wait to tell Isaac (Elder McKenna) when I email him tomorrow!!! :)

  23. Kirsten J says:

    What a wonderful adventure this will be!!! Lisa – had to tell you, a few nights ago I had a knock at the door and two young missionaries were standing there. I was just heading out to pick my daughter up from softball practice or I’d have invited them to step inside and warm up….it was freezing cold. But I grabbed them some handwarmers and we had a quick little chat. I talked a bit about Kade (like you’re my dear friend, lol) and how I’m sure their families are missing them, but just think about the wonderful reunion. As they left they prayed over me and thanked me so much for the handwarmers – it was the least I could do! and I hope Collin recieves a warm welcome at every door he knocks on – it’s going to be cooold when he gets there!!

  24. Shereen says:

    My sister-in-law and her family live in New Zealand. Her husband is from there, but they met here and lived here for several years before making the move. I LOVE the accent! So sweet to hear the nieces and nephews speak with such strong accents that we could barely understand them. Ha! A favorite memory from a their visit home a couple of years ago was sitting outside in the summer as evening rolled around. As the lightening bugs started to appear my niece exclaimed joyfully, “thunder bugs!” Poor child, they don’t have lightening bugs there!

  25. Megan says:

    Oh wow, thats exciting! I am in Auckland and have been reading your blog for many years so thats exciting he is coming our way! Please feel free to email me if you have any questions too although Mandy is right there in Wellington. I am sure he is totally going to love it!! It is so right up his alley with all of the outdoor activities right at his fingertips!

  26. Ashley says:

    I lived in New Zealand for three years. Absolutely beautiful country and culture. Part of my family still live there in Auckland on the north island. I am not a Mormon but congratulations.

  27. Hollie Carlson says:

    Hey Lisa,
    I was so excited to read about Collin’s mission call. It was especially cool because I know his mission president. Michael Kezerian is a member of my ward. His wife Sandy is an amazing lady. He was a member of our stake presidency in the Hillcrest stake prior to being called as a mission president. He and his wife are two of the best people I know!! He will love them and they will love him I’m sure. We need to get together and catch up.

  28. Leigh says:

    I’m a kiwi who has been living in (and loving) Wellington for 14 years. It’s our small but vibrant capital – very cosmopolitan with much in the way of arts and cultural events. Of course NZ has a lot of nature to explore and adventurous activities. Wellington can have fantastic days and some really windy ones, but we don’t have extremes in the seasons. My
    US ex-pat friends agree that it’s like Seattle. With a US Embassy here, we have a lot of Americans here doing their tours of duty – Wellington is considered one of the best postings because the country is relatively safe and the lifestyle easy. Wellington is a transient city as government is here, and two universities, and a lot of migrants settle here… so we have a melting pot of people from all over NZ and the world. To see the sorts of events that we have here, I recommend wotzon dot com – it’s a Wellington website that has pretty much everything listed from sporting events to free movies under the stars to opera and ballet.

  29. Pat says:

    Where did you get the plate that you wrote the message on?

  30. Sandrine says:

    I’m French, currently living in South East close to Italy and Mediterranean Sea so if McCall needs something or has some questions, feel free to send me an email.

  31. Connie says:

    Congratulations! My daughter is serving in Perth, Australia. I highly recommend joining the missionary moms e-mail list for New Zealand. You will find a group of extremely helpful moms who can answer most any question. Some of the moms live in New Zealand and can give extra insight. If you can’t find the missionary moms list with a search, drop me a note and I will send you a link. Again, congratulations to your son and your entire family.

  32. congratulations to you all –

  33. Sara says:

    Hi I also live in New Zealand, Auckland actually. As my fellow South Island Kiwi from beautiful & brave Christchurch has already pointed out, Wellington is reknowed for wind & rain but it is a truly lovely city and I am sure Collin will love living there! I do hope you get the opportunity to come and visit him and see and experience what us “kiwis” are so very proud of.

  34. Lesley says:

    How exciting for your family. I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and Wellington is a wonderful city also. In winter it can get very cold, and windy. Wellington’s nik name is Windy Wellington, so a good coat, and warm clothes for winter is a must. You are going to love NZ the people are friendly, helpful and generally very kind. NZ love rugby, and the” All Blacks”, and is a very col city in general NZ is lucky to host him.

  35. Jennifer says:

    Kia Ora (Hi), I am from NZ, but living in Arizona. As others have mentioned, Collin will love NZ the place, the people, the food and the laid-back way of life. Here are a couple of websites you might find interesting: http://www.newzealand.com/us/. http://www.korero.maori.nz/forlearners/protocols/geetings.html

  36. Renee says:

    How exciting! I have to say I had to go back and look at the picture you posted of Ali. My daughter has a really good friend who is attending BYU this year and she has an older sister named McCall. I was soshocked when I read that. They don’t happen to have two brothers? LoL

  37. Karen says:

    Hi Lisa

    My son lives in Wellington and we visited there and wished we could stay. It is a wonderful small city, the people are friendly, lifestyle is relaxed and i’ve never had so much wonderful coffee. They know how to make coffee there and here are so many wonderful places to visit. I’m sure he will be very happy there. The weather can be wet and windy, for the 3 weeks we were there we had no rain or wind and enjoyed the most wonderful warm sunny days. There are lots of hills around so lots of wonderful views and walks to do. Our favourite walk was from the Brooklyn Windmill all along the hills to Red Rocks. There are also so many beautiful beaches. As South Africans we likened the atmosphere and lifestyle to Cape Town. A special thing to note is the studios where all the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit costumes, sets etc are made and filming is in a suburb of Wellington and worth a visit.

  38. Jennifer Gresham says:

    I know you are a little sad Lisa but this will be a life changing experience for Collin and worth the separation. I know you know this. It is tough letting them go. Congrats to Collin!

  39. Wendy Hansen says:

    Hi, Sister Bearnson!

    Congratulations to Elder Bearnson on his call to serve in New Zealand! That is totally amazing! He will have the time of his life!

    On a personal note: I heard you with my heart when you said your heart was breaking a little because he will be so very far away. That is because you’re a good mom who raised a righteous and worthy son.

    If that sounds familiar, it’s because I’m quoting you. You wrote that to me over a year ago at Christmas, when my own son was at the MTC, training for his mission in Thailand.

    On the day he left for Thailand, I was a wreck! I was so worried that he’d hate the food, and be homesick, get bitten by a rabid dog, etc. So I knelt in tearful prayer, and asked The Lord to take care of my only son. As I prayed, I felt comfort, love, and peace being draped around me, like a blanket or a hug. It was tangible. I knew then, without a doubt, that our Father in Heaven knows our hearts are breaking. He knows and feels what we feel as mothers. He was sending me love and the knowledge that He would watch over and take care of my boy.

    I testify to you that Heavenly Father will also bless and comfort you and watch over your son.

    Elder Teddy Hansen now has about eight months left, and he is amazed at how quickly the time has gone by. He has mastered the language, loves the food, ridden an elephant, and petted a live tiger! He is currently the District Leader, and is loving every minute of his service to The Lord.

    I will pray for you and Elder Bearnson daily. He will be an awesome missionary. Thank you once again for the words of support you shared. It really meant the world to me. You are a wonderful Missionary Mom once more! It’s awesome!

  40. Shani says:

    Hi….I live in Wellington NZ :-) I have done for 20 odd years. I would agree with the statements above re the city and country side. We are a city with lots happening all the time. Very much into the arts and sports. Great restaurants, cafes, and of course the scenery can leave you breathless some days. When it comes to travel it really dosent take long to get any where. The public transport system in Wellington is excellent. We have just had the most amazing hot summer, very little rain. June obviously will be winter….but wont be as cold as you are used to :-) If there are any questions you may have re the city (my husband is in the police so we know what goes on pretty well)…please just ask. Collin will love it here I am sure.

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