So the problem with missionary sons is that they never directly respond to the questions you e-mail them, which is why your correspondence ends up looking like this:

FIRST WEEK

Dear Son,

How are you? Things are going well here in "Zion." Spring break was great! None of your brothers got arrested (ha! ha!). BTW did you get the package I sent?

Dear Mom,

Hey! Things are going great here, too. Tomorrow we're meeting with a family that one of the members introduced us to. I'll let you know how things go.

SECOND WEEK

Dear Son,

That's so great about your new investigators! Good luck. I'm sure you'll enjoy teaching and getting to know them. What a wonderful opportunity for you and your companion. Also, did you get the package yet? The one with all the stuff you asked for?

Dear Mom,

The Williams family (the one I told you about) is awesome. The dad has already read half of the Book of Mormon. In one week! Has anyone in our family ever done that? Maybe you should challenge the brothers to read half the Book of Mormon in a week. Just for fun. Maybe if they read half the Book of Mormon in a week, they'll stop getting arrested.

THIRD WEEK

Dear Son,

Your brothers didn't get arrested. I was joking, which is why I wrote the (ha! ha!) part. But OK. I'll challenge them to read half the Book of Mormon in one week. I'm sure they'll get right on it (ha! ha!).

Meanwhile, did you receive the package? With all the stuff you asked for? THAT I DROVE ALL OVER THE VALLEY TO FIND? Did you get that package? Did you? DID YOU?

Dear Mom,

Mr. Williams is getting baptized!! This has been the best week of my life!!

FOURTH WEEK

Dear Son,

I am so very, very, very glad you just had the best week of your life. I, on the other hand, did NOT have the best week of my life. Do you know why? Because I couldn't sleep at nights wondering what has become of the package I sent you some time after "man discovered fire" but shortly before "the dawn of civilization."

Did someone steal it and help himself to all the items I lovingly made and also purchased for you? Did the thief share his ill-gotten gain (see also "booty") with his pals? Or is the package languishing in a post office somewhere between here ("Zion") or there ("Not Zion")?

DID. YOU. GET. THE. PACKAGE?

Dear Mom,

How are the brothers coming on their Book of Mormon reading challenge?

OK. Maybe you all have better luck getting questions answered at your house. If so, tell your missionaries to e-mail me. It'll put my mind at ease to know someone somewhere is getting a package.


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