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Monday, February 10, 2014

Future Missionaries and Valentines

Dear Bro Jo,

First off I would like to thank you for your blog!

I have found so many answers to things that I have been looking for! Thank you for taking the time to answer every question and responding to the best of your ability.

I have a couple questions for you today, and they all tie in together.

I was wondering about mission papers, I'm not sure I understand, if a male is in high school, is 18, and fills out his mission papers, would he leave a month or so after graduation?

Or does he choose a date to leave?

Okay and now my other question still involves this boy, let's just say that I really like him, and I have reason to believe he likes me (at least that's what my friend, and my dad says... And he has dropped some hints )

Well I am wondering if it is a bad idea to start "kindling" a relationship with this boy because he has already turned in his mission papers. Does that mean he is really close to leaving?

And I understand that we can still go out on dates and stuff, but, I guess I'm getting into a slightly serious relationship topic. I don't know what do to..

I want a serious relationship but I don't want to go against Church dating standards.

And my final question is about Valentine's day:  what does it mean to have a valentine?

Is it someone you like?

Does it mean anything relationship wise?

Thanks again for spending the time to read this and respond!


- the awkward teenager

Dear Teenager,

When a guy, or girl, or older couple, fills out mission paperwork they can indicate the date after which they are available.

That might be after graduation, the end of semester, when they anticipate having everything in order, or have completed certain work or other obligations.

A guy may begin his mission paperwork before high school graduation, if his Bishop says that it's okay, but he must graduate high school (or his local equivalent) before he can serve.

The application asks for a guy's Melchizedek Priesthood ordination date, and it used to mean that that he needed to be ordained before hitting send on the application, but with the change in missionary age that's no longer the case.

With the influx of applications over the last year, I'm less and less certain (not that I ever had it all figured out) what the timing of reporting to the MTC will be. I've known recent missionaries to have everywhere from three weeks to five months to report. The Lord calls us on his timetable, not ours. 

Kindling a relationship?

No. Not a good idea at this age.

Going on Casual Group Dates with this boy and getting to know him better?

You bet!

As far as Valentine's Day . . . It means different things to different people, and that can vary widely depending on the local culture. Where we live, everyone is my five-year old's Valentine.

My middle school kids don't have a Valentine (though they may wish they did), and our one high-school boy who has a "special friend" bought her flowers and candy on Valentine's Day.

Sister Jo is my Eternal Valentine. I always just think of it as an expression of love. My advice is to keep it simple.

[BTW:  Bro Jo thinks that all of the Single Adults who get bitter about Valentine's Day need to build a bridge . . . and "get over it".  Like so many things in life, if it bothers you, fix it; if it doesn't bother you, stop whining.]

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks for the insight!

And now that I understand the whole missionary thing, it solves a little bit of my dilemma.

Yeah... I didn't think about that... I guess I could go out on some group dates with him and that would be great!

Also thanks for clarifying the Valentines thing for me too.

I thought that Valentines were just for the special someone / boyfriends and girlfriends.

I appreciate it!


- the less awkward teenager

Dear Teenager,

Happy Valentine's Day!

- Bro Jo

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