Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Call

Right around 3:00 PM today, Briana opened her mission call. Mom and dad, Eric and Curtis were seated along with her in the living room when she opened the envelope. She read:

"Dear Sister Layton:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the California Anaheim Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, January 4, 2012. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language."

We're all so excited for Briana and know that this will be a wonderful experience for her. She will have 4 months to practice her Spanish and finish preparing for her mission.

The Chiechi side of the family has some ties to Anaheim. Briana's great-great-uncle, Harold Bastrup, was the Police Chief of Anaheim while Disneyland was still in it's infancy. He knew Walt Disney well and served as Chief of Police for many years there. He ended up with so many stories about his time on the Police force that he wrote a book about it. Both he and his wife are still living there today.

There is a tie on the Layton side as well. Briana's grandmother, Coleen Layton, lived in the Burbank area as a child. Burbank is only about 35 miles from Anaheim.

Not a direct hit but Briana's cousin, Chris, recently returned from the San Diego, California Mission. I believe San Diego is only about one hour away from Anaheim.
Here are a few facts about the mission.
  • In 1966 the Church was preparing to divide the California Los Angeles Mission. Elder LeGrande Richards was assigned to select the Mission Home and Office. He looked for several days, but was unable to find a suitable home until he had lunch with the current Mission President. Elder Richards said "Brother Thomsen your home would make a great mission home." Since Brother Thomsen owned the lot next door, it was decided that he would build an identical floor plan next door, but with a difference facade. The Church would then select the home that they wanted. They chose the new home at 1427 West Janeen Way, which still serves as the Mission Home for the California Anaheim Mission.
  • In the first 3 years after the mission opened, they experienced over 8100 baptisms in 3 years.
  • On August 1, 1974, the California South Mission was once again divided. The California San Diego Mission was created and the California South Mission was renamed the California Anaheim Mission.
  • The mission was divided again in 1976, 1993 and finally in 1998.
  • In terms of size, the California Anaheim Mission is now the 4th smallest mission in the Church. Only Temple Square, the California Long Beach and the MTC are smaller.
  • One of the Stakes in the Mission is exclusively Spanish speaking. It is the second oldest Spanish speaking Stake in the United States.
We're so excited for Briana and are confident that she will serve with all of her heart, might, mind and strength.

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