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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Brushes with Fame

My husband served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when he was 19. Generally, when you get a mission call, it is an exciting event. A person could literally get called to serve in any part of the world. Jay was attending school here in Utah, but his family lived out in Maryland, so that's where he put in his papers. It meant that his mother got the mission call out there, and had to call him here to tell him where he was going. After that, he called me. The list of exotic locations was long, and I was just as excited as he was to find out where he was going. I was a little surprised when he told me that he was going to....the Salt Lake City Utah North Mission. He was staying right here in Utah. Where I was going to school.

We were very very good, and except for one truly accidental meeting while he was at the Missionary Training Center, we never saw each other beyond that. My packages always got to him, and his letters didn't take very long to receive, and that's as far as it went. We just never expected for him to serve in such an....ordinary place.....

It wasn't ordinary for very long. Soon after Jay left the MTC, and was placed in his first area, I got a letter from him describing missionary life, and his first companion. He wrote in his letter that his first companion, Elder Herrey, was a Swedish rock star. I thought he was kidding. His letter continued to describe Louis Herrey, who was in a band with his brothers called Herrey!. They had won a Eurovision song contest, and were well known throughout Europe. They hadn't made a debut in the United States yet, so when the time came to go on a mission, they were sent here where not many people had heard of him. He wasn't kidding. Jay was really missionary companions with a Swedish Rock Star!

Was he changed by his brush with fame and superstardom? Not really. Elder Herrey was his favorite companion. They had the same taste in music, for the most part, and Jay liked his sense of humor. They both had a strong devotion to the work that they were doing, and worked well together doing it. And that's really the way it should have been, and what serving a mission is all about.

Rock Stars aside, serving a mission in northern Utah turned out to be a wonderful experience for him. While it may have been pretty darn close to his college home, it certainly wasn't just an ordinary experience.


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