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Three siblings receive their mission calls the same day and enter the MTC together

By Caresa Alexander

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 11 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

Sister Haley Pinkston, left, Elder Patrick Pinkston and Sister Heidi Pinkston point to the world map at the Missionary Training Center in Provo. Haley was called to Singapore, Patrick was called to Argentina and Heidi was called Russia.

Pinkston family photo

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — “Dear Elder Pinkston. 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 Argentina Buenos Aires …”

Before Patrick Pinkston, 19, could finish reading his mission call, a large whoop went out from family members who had gathered at home in Simi Valley to hear the news. But that was just the beginning.

Heidi Pinkston, 21, who had been covering her face with her hands while her brother read his mission call, was next. “St. Petersburg Russia,” she read, and more cheers rang out from the captive audience.

Two down, one to go.

There was much speculation as to where Haley Pinkston, 23, would serve. “How about Oregon?” called out a family member. “Oregon would be good,” replied another.

But after the foreign lands of her siblings, Haley was a little anxious. Patrick strained his neck to catch a glimpse of the paper as Haley read: “You are assigned to labor in the Singapore mission.” Again, a roar came from family members.

“Wait, really?” someone asked as Haley held her hand to her forehead.

“Singapore,” Haley exclaimed. “Where is … Where’s a map?” she asked as the family laughed and continued with their applause.

“When do you report?” came the next question. Nov. 9, 2011, for all three Pinkston missionaries.

It is not often that three Mormon missionaries from the same family are out at one time. And it's even rarer to receive their mission calls the same day and report to the Missionary Training Center together. That was the story of Patrick, Heidi and Haley Pinkston.

The three Pinkston siblings sat on folding chairs at their grandma’s house and took in the thought of what the next year and a half to two years would bring. It would be a change for them and also their parents as they prepared for their missions. Their mom, Julie, recalled that day with fondness.

“It was overwhelming,” she said. “I was in awe that my Heavenly Father was sending these three incredible young adults to foreign lands so far away from each other, but teaching the same message, the gospel of Jesus Christ. I feel so blessed to be their mother.”

Pinkston and her husband, Rob, who served a mission to Spain, have always encouraged mission service. They talked to their children from the time they were little, about when they served a mission, not if they would serve a mission. Sunday nights included gathering with extended family and hearing updates on cousins who were serving missions. But the decisions to serve were always up to the Pinkston children. The two older Pinkston children, Jessica and Jamie, chose to serve missions and were both called to Brazil.

Jamie recalled that just before she returned home, she wrote her family and told them that her first two days back would consist of sharing mission stories with her family. She continued to lend her knowledge to her younger siblings as they prepared to leave.

“I have talked to them a lot about my experience and everything I did,” Jamie said. “As far as my mission goes, I’ve done everything that I could to convey to them the importance of what they are doing and give them advice.”

Some of the advice that has been passed down through siblings is to love their mission companion, communicate with them and above all, obey the mission rules.

“The most important thing was to obey all the commandments that they had and that way God would help them in everything they would be doing,” Jamie counseled the three missionaries.

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