Bill Guttery, a counselor in the stake presidency of the Queen Creek Arizona Chandler Heights Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the father of six girls and didn’t know if he would ever be the father of a full-time missionary. So when his fourth daughter, Mckenna, surprised her dad with her mission call envelope, he was speechless.
“Many have asked me how could you not know your daughter was planning on a mission and even more that she already had her mission call,” Bill Guttery said. “Mckenna worked with my wife, our bishop and the other members of the stake presidency to keep it from me so that she could surprise me. She knows how happy it would make me if she went but I never put any pressure on her to go. As a dad of six girls I was starting to think I might never have an opportunity to send out a missionary.”
A week ago, Bill Guttery had an impression when he saw Mckenna that she was going on a mission. He asked her if she was and it surprised her. She quickly dismissed it, and he felt bad for asking.
Later that evening, she pulled out her mission call. The family captured the moment on video.
“My dad has always been a huge role model to me,” said Mckenna Guttery, a student at Brigham Young University. “He actively serves as a member of the stake presidency, so the church is his second home. … I don’t know exactly where the idea came from, but I knew it would completely blow him out of the water if I surprised him with my call.”
Mckenna Guttery went through all the proper channels of working with her stake president to submit her mission papers and had the help of her mother, Vonda, but sometimes had to dodge her father.
“I loved the idea of having (the mission call) sitting on the table when he walked in from work,” Mckenna Guttery said. “Or him checking the mail and seeing an envelope with ‘Sister Guttery’ on it. It happened a little differently than that, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen my dad’s face light up so much. I’m so happy and excited to be going to Ecuador in December to serve the Lord and the people there.”
McKenna Guttery will serve in the Quito Ecuador Mission and will enter the MTC in December. Her dad will be her biggest fan.
“I have been a bishop twice and in two stake presidencies so I have seen a ton of families send missionaries out,” Bill Guttery said. “I have seen the joy, pain, anticipation, worry and fear as they sacrifice the presence of their child. … Now I am starting to know how they feel.
“I am so proud of Mckenna. I am thrilled that she is worthy and willing to give up 18 months of her life to be a full-time representative of the Savior. I am excited about all that she will come to know as she loses herself in the service of others. It is obvious to me this is his church and his work. I know our entire family will be blessed because of Mckenna’s service.”
Watch a video of the opening of Mckenna Guttery's mission call, created by her sister Breea Guttery, below.