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Friday, November 2, 2012

Mission Age Announcement Friday: Relationship Planning for After the Mish, and Preparation Advice for Now

Dear Readers,

While it's typically several months (sometimes a year or more) before an email I receive gets posted on "Dear Bro Jo", so many of you have thoughts feelings and questions related to the "Church Lowers Mission Service Age" announcement that I've decided to dedicate the next few Fridays to just that topic.

I look forward to your emails, questions, and our discussion of how this wonderful and amazing new course will change (if it does) our LDS dating culture and how it affects your lives.

Hope you enjoy the emails!

God bless,

- Bro Jo

Mission age change and relationship advice.

Hey Bro Jo,

I wrote you once before about a guy asking for my first kiss.

Well, he didn't get it (I've realized now that it was because I didn't know him well enough to trust him) and is now on his mission.

He writes to me occasionally, is doing well, and I'm happy for him.

The male I write to you about today is 18, same as me. He is my best friend. He was my first kiss and I was his so he's certainly more than just my friend.

He's the only person my age that I respect and trust, and that sentiment is mutual.

We date often/occasionally[yes, he plans, picks up and pays].

While I am certainly not mature enough to be in love I know that our relationship could grow into love given time. Next summer, in about eight or so months, we reach our mission availability dates and we both want to go on missions.

(We both decided to go on missions completely independent of the other. I knew I was going since I was a child, but the General Conference announcement completely changed my plans and I believe it will change my life. I'm not going because of him. I would be going if I had never heard his name, and I will still go regardless of what happens to this little relationship.)

We'll get back within three to four months of each other.

I'm more than a little thrilled by that thought. Is that unwise?

I don't think of my mission as something to do to wait until he gets back, because it's not.

It's not as if he's my only option and so I have to do something to distract myself from his absence-- not even close.

My mission is something to do for me and for the Lord. I'm choosing to go on a mission because I know it's what I need to be doing.

Even though he's not my only option, it took him two years of work to finally break into my heart and earn my trust, and I'd rather not have to go through that kind of vetting system again.

Honestly- I'd like to keep him. I'd like to see him after our missions and see if we can progress together. 

What should I be aware of?

He, I, and a few other friends have made mutual goals for mission preparation-- visiting the temple for baptisms, reading the Book of Mormon, Bible, D+C and Pearl of Great Price over again, going with missionaries in our area, going to RM firesides, etc.

What advice or observations do you have for me?

Thank you,


Dear Hopeful,

As far as this boy and any possible future is concerned, you have nothing to do or be worried about. Let that happen, if it does, when the timing is right.

As for Mission Prep, I think the more time you can spend reading, studying and pondering "Preach My Gospel " the better. If you don't have one, get one!

Oh - and read "Jesus the Christ", too.

- Bro Jo

PS:  "Only person my age that I respect and trust" sounds either pretty melodramatic or like you're in need of a few more good friends in your life.

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