Here are a few ways that can help change the way family and friends approach that weekly message to a loved one who is serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and create a stronger, closer relationship than when they left.
1. Become your missionary’s closest and most supportive companion. Reduce the emphasis on news and increase the emphasis on revelation.
2. Step out of the “parent role” and become an equal with your missionary child in the search for Jesus Christ. Communicate adult to adult with authenticity and vulnerability.
3. Prayerfully read their weekly email or letter and highlight any concerns or questions. Find their deepest needs and interests.
4. Look for, record and share your experiences with God. Keep track of inspired messages you hear in talks, lessons and in your daily scripture study. Translate these and connect them to the deepest needs of your missionary.
5. Write a draft of the letter early in the week and then continue to pray about it and re-read and re-write it. Let the letter evolve as revelation enters your life. Embrace this as your scripture study, and write for the “profit and learning” of your child.
6. Put the greatest emphasis on your personal “core stories.” These are the moments in your life where you see God’s hand. Committing to do so will cause you to search and find the hand of God. Writing them will turn your communication sacred. Your missionary will eventually respond in kind and the record will bless everyone — even long after their time as a full-time missionary is over.
7. Invite your family members and close associates to join you in a unified community focused not on entertaining or reducing the stress of your missionary, but bringing the power of God to your stressed missionary.
While family and friends tend to mourn the absence of those who are serving, they can choose to reach out to them through loving, inspired letters.
If you go ...
What: Open house/discussion group with Robert Quinn and Shauri Quinn Dewey, authors of "Letters From Home: Lift Your Missionary and Unify Your Family"
When: Wednesday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m.
Where: Denison home, 930 S. 1250 East Mapleton
Shauri Quinn Dewey is the co-author of "Letters From Home: Lift Your Missionary and Unify Your Family" (Cedar Fort, $16.99) with Robert Quinn.