what does reassignment mean?
why is it so strange?
what are the stigmas with it?
do people really get reassigned?
does that make them stupid? or not meant to be a missionary?

ladies and gents. today i am here to speak about MY reassignment.

like so many before. i received a mission call in march ish. i was happy, excited, and ready to serve! i told everyone. in fact everyone just knew. strangers knew. my mission call was very public. when the envelope arrived i decided to wait till Sunday. yes Sunday to open it. let me tell you those were a few long days. but honestly i thought i was just nervous and that's why it didn't feel right. i didn't feel like i thought i would when i held that letter. the letter, mind you going to tell me where i'd be serving for the next 1.5 years of my life.
i'd previously sent many friends on missions. there was one particular opening i attended where the potential missionary opened his call and i saw a flash of disappointment. in that moment i realized that where you go you may not be excited about or that you wouldn't understand why you were called there. so since that day i prayed that the call would be "right".

i waited those few days because i wanted as many people there as possible,mostly my non member friends, to come. and SO many people came and supported.

MARCH : i opened that call and read TAMPA, FLORIDA. leaving June 25, 2014, English speaking. and i just knew in my heart it wasn't the place. i tried my best to hold it together.
yes i was highly disappointed! i'd always pictured my self foreign speaking and somewhere cold.
that's NOT the reason i was reassigned.
many people thought that i made up some sort of "medical concern" so that i wouldn't have to go there. that i would get another chance. but the truth is i really DO have a medical concern. it wasn't diagnosed but i'd struggled with it since i was a child. sometimes i forget it even exists. i struggle daily with it. its part of me. i know my boundaries. and i hardly ever strayed from them.
i forgot to include it on my medical portion of the papers. my bad. just proves i'm not perfect.

after opening that call that night, it was very hard to sleep. when i finally did fall asleep i re woke to absolutely nothing. i wasn't having a nightmare, no loud sound woke me up. nothing. dead silence. the first time i've ever woken my parents up in the middle of night since i was a small child.
believe me i tried to fall back asleep. i even prayed. but i had the to feeling to speak to my parents. so i went up there at 3:30 am and told them. "this is not the call".

since than many meetings took place. my stake president trying to decide if i wanted to be reassigned because A. i didn't want Florida. or B. i really did have a medical concern.

in fact about 2 weeks after the call came my family took a vacation there. and i suffered big time. the heat. humidity. all of it. i realized, Josie you won't be the best potential missionary you can be. you MUST do something. so i prayed.

and i prayed a lot. and than some more. i prayed ALL THE TIME. and i mean it. on my work's bathroom floor, on my breaks, even while i was actually life guarding, or while i was driving. ALL THE TIME.
i clung to my friends. in fact i hung out with my friend Taylor every single day the month leading up to my postponement. every SINGLE day.

Taylor and i

but honestly Taylor was such a blessing. i believe that our heavenly father puts people in our lives to strengthen us. and you bet he sent me Taylor. sometimes you just need a good friend to help you out. because she made me feel like less of a freak. she didn't ask questions. she just accepted who i was. and always answered my phone calls. always inviting me to things. her family accepted me, made me feel like a part of them. and i will forever be grateful for that.

and my answer came.

APRIL: ladies and gents. after one month. i officially postponed my mission. and it was HARD! i felt like i didn't fit in. all my friends had calls, were on missions, married, returned missionaries, or non members/ inactive.i didn't know what to say when people asked. than there was the fact that since a lot of my friends had calls they'd divulge when they were going. because they gave specific dates i would than be interrogated to tell when i was leaving.

also i didn't tell a SINGLE  soul about my decision to postpone. no friends. no extended family. only my parents, bishop, and stake pres knew. nobody else.

i remember walking out of the stake pres. office after it was officially postponed. and i felt on top of the world! i was getting what was right. what i wanted. needed.

i attended a family home evening activity that same night. in fact i drove from the stake pres office to fhe. it was hosted by the bishop and was in his home.

now remember all the people in my ward knew about my call. but not my postponement. and i was not to keen on sharing that.

but at the fhe activity a girl from my ward came and spoke to me about my mission. and i told her it was postponed. i don't know why. i hadn't even told my best friends. but she surprised me. i saw the looks on my best friends faces when they heard me divulge this information. they were STUNNED. luckily one friend pulled it together. but i wanted to CRY! not even my best friends knew. the girl i told from my ward started talking about how not all girls need to serve a mission. how its not meant for everybody.

during my postponement. many of my friends got calls. in fact 4 did. and i didn't attend a single call opening. i couldn't. it hurt to much. i made up excuses not to be there. i told them i was excited for them and even helped with their shopping. but i didn't attend. ever.

my heart hurt. i felt useless. stupid even. why me? i thought.seriously? why me?
my worst fear had come to reality. i got many comments on my "failure".

  • Josie not every girl needs to go on a mission
  • whats wrong with you?
  • do you really hate Florida that much?
  • i guess you just don't have a strong testimony.

people said these things to my FACE. with no hesitation in their mouth. no worries of what that might do to someone. nothing. i realized that people say things they don't mean. people leave the church all the TIME because of what members say to them. just remember. the church is PERFECT. the members are not.

after about a month of postponement. my mental exhaustion left. i was tired. i was drained. i needed time to become excited about a mission again. before- every time i thought about my call all i thought was god has a different plan for me. its not Florida. than what is it?

MAY: after a month of postponement i was ready to go through the reassignment process. i was excited! i wanted to get out there!

i spoke to my bishop and my stake pres. they told me i needed to write a letter about my situation and that i needed a diagnosis.
this took a month. ha!

JUNE: spoke to my stake president. turned everything in.
a month passed.i was under the impression that my stake pres. had resubmitted my papers... this was also the month of my original departure date...and THAT was hard. i attended a family reunion on June 25th. the day i should have entered the mtc. and i cried. a lot. i was sad. i was confused. i didn't realize this would take so long. my family members kept asking me about my mission. one asked if i was being reassigned. another asked so Josie if you had gone to Florida would you be gone by now? these comments hurt like DAGGERS. i took a long walk that day. trying not to have ill feelings towards these family members. realizing that my family was gossiping about me. with no thought of caring just curiosity.

than two months had passed. still nothing. at the end of July my parents spoke with their stake pres. (i did everything through my singles ward). asked him what was happening, why my call hadn't come.i thought what is taking so long! i'm ready to go. lets get out there. hello?  eventually i realized that my stake pres hadn't turned everything in. that he wanted me to wait longer. so i did. i was starting to lose hope. in fact i kept reminders on my phone to keep my spirits up. i once thought what if this is a sign that i really shouldn't go on a mission? what if this isn't right? what if ... and what if that. just a bunch of stupid ideas running through my head telling me i wasn't good enough.

  • "god's plans will always be greater and more beautiful than all your disappointments"
  • "it is going to be ok"
  • "don't dip up in doubt what you planted in faith" - Elisabeth Elliot
  • "never give up what you want most for what you want today"- Neal A Maxwell
  • "with any major decision there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been, illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. if it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. don't give up when the pressure mounts...." Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

i wrote my missionary friend about it. i thought he might understand the most. and his response forever changed my view about my situation. he gave me examples about others in his own mission that went home for medical concerns. he said haters gonna hate Josie. "just remember there's a fan club for you  here in Arkansas and i'm the president." i don't' know why. but i just really needed the comments he gave. and maybe its because i couldn't see the "judgement" in him that i came to expect or the fact that i could react any way i wanted to because he wouldn't be able to see my reaction. but his letter brought me to tears. so props to you my missionary friend. you made a difference in one gal's life:)

AUGUST: than my new call came. i opened it alone. i prayed a lot before i opened it. praying that i would be happy. not that it would be right. because i already knew it would be. i prayed that i wouldn't be disappointed. just happy.calm. peaceful.
and i was reassigned to Alaska, Anchorage mission. leaving Sept 3,2014 English speaking.
Alaska Anchorage mission. Sept. 2014-March 2016
doesn't mean i still don't have hardships with reassignment. people still make me feel embarrassed about it.
in fact my bishop called me up to the front of  sacrament meeting. the biggest meeting of the day. and proceeded to tell the ward about my medical concern. why i was reassigned. everything i had tried to keep under wraps. i DIDN'T want a soul to know why. unless i purposely told them. (so the lucky few i did tell. don't tell anyone. please! ). it embarrasses me. now not all bishops make that mistake. hes new. so. don't base your current judgement of your bishop off this post. but that goes down in the books as my most embarrassing story.
i didn't know if i should have been surprised, betrayed, proud, or sad. but let me tell you i walked out of the sacrament meeting and went and cried on the stage alone in the dark.

just remember people aren't perfect.
but the gospel is.
god has a different path for everyone.
reassignment does NOT  make you a freak.

honestly i don't' know why heavenly father wanted me to wait to leave till September or why i needed to go through the reassignment process.
i met a lot of great people. people i probably wouldn't have spent time with other wise. i may never know why. but honestly. reassignment brought be closer with my family and friends.i went on a lot of dates with return missionaries, boys who have gone through the reassignment process, and so forth. i met a TON of great individuals. people i hope to see again after my mission. i gained a strong testimony of patriarchal blessings, bishops, stake presidents, praying, institute and scripture reading.i'd say the reassignment process was worth every second. every SINGLE second. but it's def. not for the faint of heart.

k sorry that was so long.

sister josie thacker.

ps: i'd love to hear any ones similar experiences in any shape/ form. so email me/ write me a letter please!(check the contact sister thacker page).

* i can't respond to any comments on the blog. till march of 2016.