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Monday, December 24, 2012

What Should She Write a Missionary About?

Dear Bro Jo,

I have been reading your blog and looking for a situation similar to mine but I can't quite find one, so I decided to write you.

Long story short, I am 16, a good family friend who at the time was 18 went to BYU.

He would flirt with me when he came home and just be a general teenage boy creepin' on girls.

Well he turned in his mission papers, came home for the summer and we got kinda involved.

We would see each other often and talk and so on and so forth. He kissed me the day before he got set apart.

I am the last girl he was I guess, "romantic" with before he left. I told him I would write him.

So I guess my ultimate question is, What do I write him about!?

I have no idea what to say.

Do I share scriptures with him? And be spiritual?

Or just keep it casual and talk about the weather?

I really like him but I DO NOT want to distract him from his mission.

But I don't want him to forget me either.

I am not waiting for him.

I fully intend on going on lots of dates and liking other guys but ultimately I care about him.

I don't know if he feels the same way or not. It's hard to know what to do.

- Being a Teenager

Dear Teen,

On the left-hand side of the "Dear Bro Jo" page is a Google Search that will allow you to enter a word or string and then search all of my published columns for any topic.

Below that is a list of the tags I've placed on those columns.

At this point there are several that specifically address "writing a missionary" which might be helpful to you. 

You should definitely write him.

Keep your letters focused on him and his missionary service.

Ask him about his experiences and what life like (the people, the culture, the climate, the Church) in the areas where he's serving.

Don't write too much about things at home; avoid "who is doing what" and "just went and did something cool" stories that might make him homesick or sound too much like gossip.  But don't write like he's living in a monastery, either.

And being too casual might make him think you lack substance.

Write about spiritual things that are relevant, like your own missionary experiences, feeling the Spirit, talks that inspire you (or that you're asked to give).

Focus on him and give him encouragement. Tell him that you're proud of his service, the example he's setting, and how you admire his dedication and obedience. Like talking to a guy in person, you'll go pretty far asking him to tell you about him.

Don't worry about how you feel or how he feels until he comes home, and then only if you're still single.

And you're absolutely right; go on lots of dates!

 - Bro Jo

1 comment:

Amberlie said...

A lot of my friends are on missions right now, and it can still be hard sitting down to write them because I always think, "Oh no! What do I write them about?"
And then I realize, that even though they're missionaries, they're still my friends! So I write them about stuff I would normally talk to them about.

Comment on the letters they've sent you. Express your thoughts and feelings, just like you normally would if you were talking to them.

You can talk about--
Ward activities
Spiritual insights, cool scriptures, talks, etc.
Funny stories! (A must!)

Every now and then, send pictures! (Write details of the picture on the back so they know what's going on)

And then something I've noticed that missionaries like is when you separate your questions. They don't have a lot of time to write back, so I have a chunk of questions at the end of my letters, but tell them they don't have to answer every single one. I've gotten comments like, "I'm really glad you did that; it makes writing back a lot easier!"

Follow the Spirit about what to write. Particularly when there's a romantic interest there.

Tell them you're proud of them. Pray for them and their investigators, and KEEP IT POSITIVE!

Happy writing!