My parents just got their mission call to the Germany Alpine mission. My Dad served in the Austria, Vienna mission back in the 60's so I'm excited for him to get to go back to Austria. The mission covers Austria, southern Germany and parts of Switzerland. They won't be in Switzerland because the Swiss government no longer allows foreign missionaries. I hadn't heard that! [Insert Swiss ridicule here.]
My parents are signed up to serve for 1 year and then can extend if they feel like they should. I remember when I first thought about my parents serving a mission I felt a little sad about them missing out on events in the lives of their grandchildren. But now I'm just excited. It think this is just what every older LDS couple needs to shake up their marriage and do something that can bring them together in new ways. In fact, Taliatha and I are going to set up our own mission fund so we can go together.
Speaking of missions, I would like to add that I have finally reached the point in my life where I feel more spiritually alive and engaged in the work than I did as a full time missionary. I don't say this to brag about how great I am, but because it is so exciting for me and I hope my excitement is a little contagious. Priesthood service in the gospel is where it's at. I love my farm and other interests, but serving the Lord is rewarding in a much more satisfying way.
At our ward conference in January our stake president challenged our ward to be ready to divide within 1 year. I am on the high council and am assigned to my home ward. I am actively working with our bishopric to reactivate men in the ward and help our new convert men make it to the temple. We've already seen one unlikely reactivation and an incredible conversion.