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Friday, October 24, 2014

Should She Get Married or Go on the Mission?

Dear Bro Jo,

I used to be friends with a young man from the Church. He would sometimes take me on dates but it never got serious.

I liked him a lot, but he didn't seem to like me as much so I stopped talking to him.

He wasn't planning on serving a mission and I was still his friend so I pushed him that he should go.

Finally one day he called me and said he spoke to the Bishop and that he was going on a mission.

We continued to be really good friends.

Finally he left on a mission 5 months ago, and ever since his mission we have been writing each other weekly, sometimes even more.

A little while before he left on his mission, and we were just friends, I had decided that I wanted to serve a mission too.

I am only 18, so I won't serve until next year but since October general conference I have had a desire to serve.

The only problem is, the young man I am writing just sent me a letter saying he hopes to marry me when he comes home and that we should have been together from the start.

What do I do!?

This letter kind of made me like him again, and the possibility of getting married in 19 months when he returns is real, but I still have already told everyone in my ward that I would serve a mission, and I've tried praying about it but it seems like I am not getting an answer. Help!

- A Friend

Dear Friend,

I think you chalk his letter up to "lonely missionary", smile and give it no more thought or attention until you and he are both single, available, and in the same place at the same time.

(Which, by the way, may never happen.)

I think you were premature to announce your mission service to your ward, but that ultimately it doesn't matter what you said or what they think. 

I also think you're writing him WAY TOO much.

You're a distraction. (The Jo Boy Missionaries agree with me.)

When you get a letter from him. Read it. Perhaps begin writing your response, and then send it when three or four weeks have passed.

If he writes you multiple times during that window, put all of your responses in just the one letter. I'm not saying to ignore him, just slow things Way Down.

(Sister Jo would tell you that there's power in letting him miss you.)

Keep praying.

Realize that sometimes "no answer" is an answer; and sometimes it means we're asking the wrong question. 19 months is a long time away.

Live life.

Date other guys.

When you're much closer to 19, if you feel INSPIRED, then start the missionary paperwork process.

If you're UNCERTAIN, then you can wait to submit your papers until after he comes home.

Be Patient.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

I hate how blunt you are but I needed it and you really helped me. I was only writing him once a month because a missionary in my ward said letters were a distraction to him on his mission, but when he insisted on writing me twice a week I thought maybe he needed the encouragement!

I guess I was wrong and I will listen to you, thank you very much, Bro Blunt!

- Friend

Dear Friend,

Sorry about that.

And you're welcome.

- Bro Jo

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