So, when Andy left on his mission a few months ago, I thought it would be helpful to send some pre-written letters with him. Ones that he could open and read, or re-read when he needed them. So I wrote six letters for him to take. I think. I didn't actually make notes until after he left, so I am remembering as best I can. If I didn't remember perfectly, then these are six letters that I wish I had written! I wrote each one on a card, with a scripture or thought on the front of the card, and the body of the letter inside. I am going to share the quotes and subjects, or ones that I think would be helpful, since I can't actually remember everything! I wrote when he should open each letter on the outside of the envelope.
1. Open on First day-I wrote this on the front, "Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation." (Doctrine and Covenants 31:3) This was the scripture Sis. Pinegar read to us when I entered the MTC many years ago, and it struck me with such great force that I remembered it often both as a missionary, and since. I wrote inside about how joyful we were that he was getting this amazing privilege to serve the Lord. And how much joy he would receive from this great opportunity.
2. Open when things are hard with your companion- Idea for the quote: "“Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.” C.S. Lewis
I shared my experiences of difficult companionships, and also my advice- to serve and pray for your companion.
3. Open when things are good- I put this scripture on the front-"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." Alma 26:12-This was the scripture I chose for my mission plaque. I tried to always remember that I was just an instrument in the Lord's hands, working for his glory. Inside, I wrote about humility and gratitude.
4. Open when things are really hard-Idea for the front: I think I put this scripture "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Ether 12:27. I think I wrote about just hanging in there when things are tough, because you are never alone. And how trials really do strengthen us in ways that we can't see or understand at the time.
5. Open when you are doing everything right, but nothing is going right- I think I put this scripture on the front about the stripling warriors. "Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them." Alma 57:21. I wrote about how sometimes, we have an "obedience month", as one of my companions called it. When the Lord wants to see just how obedient you will be, even if the blessings aren't coming right away. Actually, I think he wants US to know how obedient we can be. Every missionary has an obedience month or two.
6. Open on your last day- I didn't send this letter with him, thinking that I would mail it as it gets closer. I just hope I don't forget! Scripture for the front: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." Matt. 25:21
I would write about all the blessings we have received as a family, and that he has received as a missionary, and how great a privilege it is to serve the Lord with all your heart.
I know that in this digital age, we need something tangible that we can hold and touch and read over and over. I hope this gives you some ideas that you can use to help your missionaries! I had the experience of serving a mission, but even if you are not an RM yourself, you have had many experiences in your life that you can draw on to give counsel and encouragement to your warriors!
P.S. My son is brilliant. I mean that literally. But he JUST figured out that the cards OPEN and that there is something INSIDE! *sigh* So if your son/daughter is of the absent-minded variety, you might want to let them know that these are more than just quote cards!!!