I am leaving the Foreign Service. That is a sentence that I didn’t ever (at least for a long while) think I would say. However, there are times that unexpected opportunities come to change the direction of the journey. That is the case for us right now. When something comes up like this for us, we pray about it, think about it, talk about it…talk some more about it, and if it feels right for our family, we go for it full force. Some of you know, but many of you don’t, so this is our ‘official’ announcement of my career change. We are moving again, this time the difference is that we will not have a 2 to 3 year deadline before we have to move again.
I was offered a position at LDS Philanthropies based in Utah and will be working with the Hawaii area team. I am really excited to work with them, the LDSP team has some amazing individuals. Lady Hiva is excited for the new adventure too. We will be more stable, can have a yard with plants of our choosing, live close to family and the list goes on and on. That is not to say we will not miss the Foreign Service and all that it offers. We have made some amazing friends and colleagues and had some memorable experiences. Thankfully for social media so we can stay in touch with people all over the world.
This was a hard decision because we were choosing between two ‘good’ choices. Those are often the hardest decisions to make. We know that moving to Utah is going to be a cultural shock (that is the one aspect of all of this that I am not as excited about) but the Foreign Service has taught us we can adapt to any differences. I am so glad to be working with our beloved BYU-Hawaii again and have a connection to home.
There were times in this process we weren’t sure it was going to work out…the cards really seemed stacked against it at several points. A rare position came open in LDSP and I was happy to know that I would be considered. I did two interviews via videoconference and then one interview back in Utah. Because of the time difference the teleconference interviews were at midnight and I really dressed up—I had my suit jacket and tie, but was wearing basketball shorts, making it the first interview ever I did in shorts. As anyone knows an interview for a job is really important and I feed off of the energy of the people in the room. In a videoconference that is there is a lag in communication, awkward pauses, and you cannot get a real pulse on what the others are thinking. My interviews must have been alright because I was invited back for a face to face interview in Utah.
We nearly did not make it. It was scheduled on the last day of the fiscal year for work here and I had to ask to leave on one of the most important days of the year. Luckily management was supportive of me leaving on that day to go to another interview! Of course our flight carrier was on strike so we had to reschedule. After two days of missing flights we arrived. But our luggage didn’t! I had to go buy a suit so I was sure if I didn’t I really would be wearing my basketball shorts to the interview. I was glad I did because when our bags arrived late that night everything was soaking wet inside, including my suit. The next morning I dressed in the dark to not wake Lady and the Lucky Dragon. We were all a bit bleary-eyed and jet-lagged. When I arrived at the interview I realized I had brought the wet jacket that was out to dry instead of the new jacket. I hoped during the interview that they did not notice my pants and jacket did not match or that they were too close to smell the wet dog/wet wool scent of a damp suit. (Luckily, to smell nice was not a requirement for the position. Haha. But as you know I am obsessed with smells, especially if I feel like I am the one giving off the bad smell!)
But despite all of that, the offered me the job. That was all great, until I tried to leave the Foreign Service. There was just as much paperwork and hoops to jump through as there was to join the Foreign Service! Not to mention it took several months and LDSP has been so patient (thankfully) through it all.
So here we are…off to our next adventure! Who knows what to expect!