By Ray Rahman
Updated March 29, 2012 at 05:11 PM EDT
Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

David Archuleta fans will have to start counting the days until 2014.

The American Idol runner-up is now starting that previously reported two-year break from his career to serve as a Mormon missionary in South America, he announced in an emotional video posted on YouTube yesterday.

Archuleta says he spent a “very emotional last week” with friends and family before going on to thank his fans for their support and to say goodbye (for now).

“I was able to have a lot of family and a lot of friends come. I gave my farewell, kind of last talk this Sunday to my neighbors, my friends and my family…It’s a decision everyone knows about but it’s a very personal thing and I wanted to keep it that way. So I hope you guys respect that, and you guys have so I appreciate that.”

“It’s going to be crazy,” he said. “I am going to South America, and I’m excited to be more part of Spanish culture and Latin culture.” Archuleta’s mother hails from Honduras.

Check out the singer’s taped farewell below, and say adios to Archuleta in the comments.

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