Mom and all, (11/27/89)
This one will probably be short. See, I’ve been on the go all day going down to the base to play football (soccer) with the ward – what a blast! – then up to Brackley to catch a bus to Northampton for a cold Thanksgiving dinner (we were late) and service scavenger hunt to here at the train station where we’re waiting for the next train to get us home too late for an appointment. What a day. It’s 6pm and we haven’t started laundry or shopping for the week. Fun, fun, fun.
Not a lot’s happened since my last P-day (Tues). Just a great teaching time. We taught an English lady (the one with 6 kids, did I tell you?) the 2nd discussion and it was beautiful. She basically said she knew it was true ’cause she’d been asking God about it. She reads the Book of Mormon on her own (without us asking) and cooperates and everything!
Obviously, actual cooperation from investigators is a rarity.
We did have a true American Thanksgiving. Would’ve been surprised if we hadn’t, being near a base and all. A huge family feast with a 20 pound turkey and 5 pies and eggnog and and and and… Pretty different, though. Not only did they spend the day cooking the dinner, but also making the benches for the table.
Strange, fast times lately. Here’s Elder H from Spanish Fork, Utah. He’s in my district (Rugby) and was my district leader in the MTC. And with no further introduction…
Yo Mom, How is it going? This is Elder H. I am here to assure you that your son is doing a fine job. We get to see one another on occassion. It’s great to see him. We have both learned so much in the short time we have been here. I’m sorry this is so sloppy. We are riding on a train. He is a great example for me. Well I’ll sign off. Cheerio, Elder H.
Great guy. Neater writing. Ought to get him to write my letters, eh?
Just remembered to answer your last letter: transfers are usually every 3-4 months. Looks like I’ll be here till the end of Feb. Address extra money to Elder P at the Mission office. He handles my account and could do it easier than I, I think. That way, you get the best exchange rate, etc. On second thought, address it: Financial Manager.
The jacket’s great. You have to get one when you come over (?are plans still on for that?). Mine’s mid-thigh length. It’s not as odd-looking as it sounds, it’s just very waterproof. We hear the big news, like Berlin and the Czech’s, but nothing about UFO’s 🙂
I am SO tired. What a day. So glad tomorrow’s Sunday. Not that we get to rest or anything, just ’cause Church is a nice break. Who’s best at deciphering my chicken-scratch, anyway?
Love ya, Elder Chris
This next one is out of sequence, dated 26 Oct 89, but I just found it. It’s actually from my Mission President home to my parents. It looks to be mostly taking an opportunity to go over a few of the rules regarding contact with home, but some of you may not be aware of just how seriously the Church takes making the missionary spiritually and emotionally independent.
Dear Brother and Sister S:
We are pleased to inform you that your son has arrived safely in the England Coventry Mission. He is well and excited about being here. He is now in Banbury, his first proselyting area. The enclosed picture shows him with Elder B, his first companion, Sister G and myself just before he left here for Banbury.
Please accept our thanks for sharing your son with us. We appreciate the preparation he has made and his desire to be a successful missionary. We hope we can reinforce your teachings by further gospel study and quality experiences.
Missionaries look forward most to letters from home. We hope you will write him weekly giving encouragement and assurance of your love. Talk of problems at home and loneliness for him will make it more difficult for him to focus on his work. He is asked to write home once a week. If you detect any continuing problems through his letters, please write me if you feel we can help.
We have one concern and hope you will understand. Telephone calls between a missionary and family or friends almost always distract and keep a missionary from serving effectively. As a part of his commitment as a missionary, he is asked not to telephone parents, relatives, or friends while he is in the mission field. The purpose of this Chirch-wide policy is to avoid undue expense and unnecessary distractions from the purpose of his being here. We ask your help by honouring this policy. As a practical matter, many of our missionaries do not have access to telephones other than public pay phones. If there is an emergency, please contact me or one of the office staff in my absence. We will relay messages and support as quickly as we can make contact and in a way that will be as helpful as possible.
Perhaps is is also useful for you to know of a related Church policy asking that friends and relatives refrain from visiting missionaries in the field. This can be a real temptation for those on extensive trips and we ask for your help. If a special need arises requiring an exception to the policies, please contact me.
Once again, thank you for sharing your son in this great work. Heavenly Father will richly bless you and him in his service ans a missionary.
Faithfully, Pres. G
[handwritten note} He’s had a great start with a recent baptism.