Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Letter to A Missionary

This letter is to this boy.  It was written the day after I went with his family to the airport to drop him off.

Dear Elder X:

I wanted to write you a letter and tell you just how proud I am of you and how great I know you are going to do as a missionary.  You are a great guy!  You are also a great example to the kids in the ward and to your brothers and sisters for going on a mission.  You have been a great example to my kids!  You have been a good example to me.  I remember so many of my adult leader Scouting experiences have been with you or for you.  The Brazos River ~ you and I paddling and those garfish swimming by our canoe ~ seeing each other in the woods at awkward moments.  Waiting for you each day on the Brazos to break down your tent.  Bringing you home from Philmont.  Countless campouts.  Wrestling each other.  Watching you ask girl after girl after girl after girl to dance as Stake Dances.  Good times. 

How much you have grown since almost 4 years ago I was called into the Young Men and you were in the Teacher’s Quorum!  You have grown from a tall kid to an even taller man.  You have come a long way from the boy who would come into my home, walk over to my fridge, open it and ask me what I had to eat. 

Work hard.  Be obedient.  Follow the rules of the white handbook and your Mission President as best you can.  When you make mistakes, admit it, fix it and then quickly get over it.  You are sometimes too hard on yourself.  Don’t beat yourself up for the mistakes you make!  Instead use those mistakes as learning opportunities and chances to correct your personal Liahona.  One of your biggest trials to overcome is being harder on yourself than you need to be.  Your mission at times is going to be hard and it is just going to plain suck.  Don’t worry.  Those times will feel short especially if you dedicate yourself to more hard work.  It is only at the hardest times when you feel like you can’t go on and then you do, does the Lord bring truly “special blessings” into your life. 

Know that my family loves you.  If you need anything, please let me know.  You have my email and you now have our address.  Thanks for letting me come to the airport this morning.  I know it was “family time” but I was grateful to see you off and wish you luck on the Lord’s Errand.  Cherish each moment you have as you serve.  Your mission is tithing on the first 20 years of your life.  Trust me, it is a time of your life that you will refer back to time and time again. 

Remember my philosophy about girls ~ chicks are evil.  Write lots of them, get care packages from them all but wait until you are home and have decided on what path in life you are going to pursue before selecting one.

I know I have done everything I could as one of your Young Men leaders and as your Scout leaders to help prepare you for your mission.  I probably didn’t teach you much but take those small things I taught you and ton more your parents taught you and your Seminary Teachers taught you and apply them to your mission.  Teach your investigators with love.  Make sure they know that you love them and more importantly that the Lord loves them.  

You and your family are in our prayers!


I went with this Elder's family to the airport to see him off to the MTC.  What you don't know is that this Elder has over 8 inches on my 5' 11" body.