We are often asked how to write letters to missionaries that will lift and support them. Here is a step by step process that can help get you started.
Step #1 - Read with Love
Your missionary will send messages home. The messages may be long or short, mature or immature, clear or fuzzy, authentic or forced, sacred or secular. It does not matter. Treat each letter as if it were a love letter. Examine it deeply, trying to understand the deepest feelings and thoughts of the author.
Step #2 - Listen for Impressions
I usually begin with prayer. After my first, normal reading, I do a second reading and try to listen to the spirit.
Step #3 - Identify the Theme For the Letter
As I read my missionary’s letter, I ask, “In writing this, what is my missionary feeling?” I record the impressions that come. When I finish, I think about the impression(s) that I feel most strongly about and then I try to select the single most important idea. I star this idea. Doing so allows me to write with passion because I feel the topic was given to me by the Spirit.
Step #4 - Let the Ideas Flow
Create a mind map, or just record ideas. Once you’ve identified the subject you want to map, write quickly and don’t try to be linear or organized. Record anything that comes to mind and feel free to jump around.
Step #5 - Evaluating
Once your mind map is filled, you can do another evaluation. Triple circle or highlight the phrases you feel most strongly about.
From the ideas you just highlighted, you can create a list of ideas you want to use in a rough outline. You might pick any combination of ideas, but I usually ended up with a couple of personal experiences, a scripture story, one or two new impressions, and a strategy. Whatever ideas you have the most feeling for are the best seeds of a new letter.
Step #6 - Initial Rough Draft
Now you can take the rough outline and formalize it. If you already created an outline or mind map, you are ready to move to writing the letter.
In writing the letter, you can refer to the last letter and tell the missionary the things that impressed you most. You can write of your own experiences with the topic you identified and recognizing the hand of God. You can then connect your experience to similar experiences in the scriptures. You can then bear testimony from your soul and express you love to your missionary. In expressing that love, you might want to ground it in a statement based on something he or she has written that greatly lifts your soul.
Read our blog and search through the posts for topics where you think your child needs support. Use content from these blogs to share with your son or daughter. Additionally, we have included 2-3 questions and/or actions for you to write about in your journal related to the topic. If you do this, it should give you some ideas and content that you can share with your missionary.
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