This is a picture taken of Sean in the Fall of 2006. He was seventeen years old, but even then it seemed (at least for mom and dad) as if things like college and a mission were far, far off in the future. But all of a sudden, reality set in as we found ourselves driving him to BYU-Provo so that he could attend the Summer term. Several months later, he submitted his paperwork for service as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
On March 19th, 2008, Sean received an envelope in the mail. He actually received the call before noon, but wouldn't open the envelope until his family and a few friends could get together...via phone or a webcam that he had set up, or in his dorm room at BYU. He must have received that patience from his mother (who always insists on such things as waiting until Christmas to open the gifts) because dad would have opened it and informed everyone else later.
So, with friends and family present or...e-present...Sean opened the envelope and read out loud: "Dear Elder 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 Peru Lima-----Mission." Many of us didn't hear the words immediately following "Peru Lima" because it had gotten rather loud. I went in on the computer to see what I could find on the Lima Peru mission, only to find that there were four Lima, Peru missions. I still didn't know exactly where he was going. Several moments later he clarified it for us. Sean would be serving in the Peru Lima North Mission.
We will miss Sean, but we know that the work that he will be doing is the will of the Lord. We couldn't be any more pleased with his desire to be a full time missionary and know that he will work as if everything depended upon him, but pray with the knowledge that everything depends on God. This zeal will bring success, not only on his mission, but throughout his life, and this is a perfect training ground.
We're also very excited that he is going to serve the children of God in the Lima Peru North Mission. It really wouldn't have mattered to us if he went to Burns or to Brazil, but we take great comfort in knowing that this call came from the Lord Himself.