Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Preparation for Life

Dear Family,

It's great to hear that all is going well back home. Thank you so much for your love, support, and faithfulness. I love you all so much! As for me, things are going well out here in Colby. I love the work and am so grateful for each and every day that I have to serve.

Dear Mom,
Thank you for your nice long email; I really enjoyed it. If it's not too much of a problem, try to make mistakes every once in a while, so that you DON'T get translated--at least not until I get home and can see you again before you go :) To answer your question about advice I have for parents raising teenagers, I would say to find something that you both enjoy doing that you can do regularly. Make sure they really enjoy it, but also you, so you don't have to fake having fun. It could be playing a sport, reading a book, going for a smoothie run, etc... Just find something to do together and try to do it at least once a week. That would be my advice. Strive to develop a relationship as a friend, outside of the parent/child relationship, where you can talk openly with each other. A little bit of that can go a long way. But anyways, it sounds like things are going good, so just keep doing what you're doing. And if things ever do get hard, feel free to tell me about it. I like to hear about it. You don't have to pretend everything is hunky dory. I'll try to do the same when reporting my mission. So to be honest, sometimes it is hard to work, temptations are distracting, and I don't always feel like this spiritual giant that missionaries should be, BUT that's part of life and I keeping going, repenting, and trying to do my best. I'm learning a lot and am being prepared for my life after the mission. I'm so grateful for this opportunity, and I honestly think that it's going too quickly.

As for the package--I can't think of anything else, sorry. Thank you so much for all that you do! I love you tons!

Dear Dad,
Thanks for your long email; I enjoyed it. Those are some pretty cool things that you learned at that meeting. Thanks for sharing! Also, it sounds like you're going to be quite the scriptorian by the time I get back. Thank you so much for sharing your insights; they're very inspiring. You're such a great example to me, and I am very often reminded of the great blessing it is to be your son. Thank you for all your love and support! I'm excited to come home and be able to give back more so than I can on my mission. Oh, and I did have one quick thought to share, coming from a son to a dad. If any of the boys ever do struggle giving respect to Mom, please know that you can be bold with them, put them in their place, and they'll still love you for it. I know it's not my place to tell you how to be a Dad, but I just thought it'd be helpful for you to hear my thoughts on the topic of respecting parents, coming from the bottom of the food chain :) Sometimes it is a lot easier to be the nice guy (in family relationships, in missionary work, and more), but at times it's our duty to rebuke by the Spirit. There's a lot of stories that I've been reading in Alma, where they showed this principle. They were extremely bold, when it was needed, even when it would've been so much easier to just stay out of it. So when parenting, feel free to say what needs to be said and be as bold as you need to be, and I promise you that they'll live to thank you for it. There were times where I probably needed to be rebuked more, and I wouldn't have like it at the time, but it's what I needed. So when it's done by the Spirit and with love, you won't need to worry about severing an important relationship; it probably strengthen it. Anyways, I can imagine that raising teenagers can be pretty tricky at times, but if anybody can do it, you can. Your the best Dad that I could ever hope for! Thanks again. Have a great week! I love you!

Dear Benson,
Dude, I'm serious--you need to write me. Not because I need something to read, but because I don't want to go home to a stranger as a brother. A lot has been going on for you and I really want to hear about it, from YOU! I love you man, much more than you know. Have an incredible day!
Love, Spencer

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