Dear Elder ______,
Happy Easter! I'm going to use a little different approach to writing a missionary letter today. No personal comments--just a group letter. I have thought of your specific missionary assignments and in dong so I reflect once again how the General Authority who goes over each prospective missionary's papers seeks the guidance of the Spirit. Then he KNOWS where the Lord wants you to serve. A visiting authority to our stake some time ago described the process of the authorities' deciding where a missionary will serve. His description left no doubt that revelation is involved in the call. The assigner does not have to wait a long time for the decision to come to him, either. (I wonder with the great surge in missionary work just how many of the brethren might be involved in issuing the calls now. Isn't it exciting!)
This past week has been a thriller for this young man. On Friday evening I was able to go to the Bountiful Temple with Grandson Mitch as he received his endowment blessings before he goes on his mission. I was glad to have two of his brothers alongside me to help me in times of dizziness. I'm sure that Satan would have liked me to stay at home that evening for two reasons--so I couldn't give loving support to my grandson, and for the fact that one more of our ancestors got his endowment that session. I got such a thrill out of seeing all of my son Blaine's family there to support their youngest family member as he prepares to go on his mission
I'm sure Mitch was pleased to get his endowments that early so he could accompany 14 other members of my family as we drove to Twin Falls to be with my 85-year old sister -in-law Alice as she went through the temple for the first time. We had been trying for quite some time to encourage her to take this big step. I hope that by recounting her experience here you might be able to use some part of it in your teaching in the mission field.
Alice was active in the Church in your younger years. She had good LDS friends whom she enjoyed and with whom she participated in the programs of the Church. However, she made her first big mistake in dating a non-LDS fellow. He was likable in his way, but he was not taught like our LDS people. He was a returned military fellow, and I can only assume that associating with others of his kind led him to unchaste behavior. Anyway, Brad and Alice had to get married, which was a great disappointment to her family. She could have had a husband who would have enabled her to enjoy great happiness. Instead, the path which she chose kept her from enjoying the blessings of the temple for over 60 years, Think of what she might have enjoyed in those 60 years if she had just lived as she had been taught.
Now her husband is in a care center suffering with Alzheimer's, and there are some days when he shows no signs of recognizing his wife. Her three daughters are inactives; in fact, one has joined the Presbyterian Church. All three are divorced. Of course the mother still loves them, but I'm sure she has cause to reflect upon what might have been had she made right choices early in life.
The fifteen members of our family who accompanied her through the temple were her only "family" yesterday. And she was so appreciative to have us there. One of our daughters got to accompany Alice and assist her as needed during the session.
After the temple session, Alice (a very capable hostess) had us all come over to her home for lunch before we returned home. She gave me a big kiss and thanked me for helping her to get where she needed to be. Our prayers were answered, but it had to be Alice's decision before the wonderful blessings were made available to her.
I hope that recounting these experiences will enable you to glean some bit of truth that will help one or more of your contacts during the remainder of your mission experience. God lives! How grateful we can be for the Atonement of His Son!
May the Lord bless you, Grandpa Taylor