Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Missionary's Progress: Week 1

This is an experimental draft of a creative project; please feel free to offer criticisms, suggestions, or questions in the comments.


Week 1

Dear Dad,

            You were right. I’ve only been here a day, but I can already tell that the MTC is going to be amazing. My companion, Elder Hypocrite, is from a little suburb just outside the Celestial City limits called Whited Sepulchre, and I just know that we’re going to be a terrific team. Right after our orientation session, the MTC President called us as district leaders over the other four new elders who bunk in our dorm room as well as two sisters, and Elder Hypocrite has already come up with some fantastic rules that will help us to make the most of our time in the MTC. For instance, we’ve decided as a district that all of us are going to wake up at 6:00 AM instead of 6:30 so that we can all get in an extra half hour of personal study time. And, to make sure that we don’t get distracted by news from home, we’ve decided that we’ll only check our mailbox once a week; Hypocrite’s got the key, so the rest of us won’t have to bear the burden of temptation!

            I’m one of two elders in my district that’s going to Vanity Fair—oh, and one of the sisters will be coming too. The rest of the district is headed overseas to Frivolous. We just had our first class in Frivvlish, and I’m afraid that learning this new language is going to be harder than I anticipated. Maybe some of the Frivvle immigrants that I’m supposed to be teaching will speak English? Well, I’ve got to run. This is just supposed to be a quick note to tell you that I’ve arrived safely and am well. Say hello to everyone in the ward for me, and please ask them to pray that I receive the gift of tongues!

                                                            Elder Christianson

Dear Son,

            How interesting that you and Elder Hypocrite have been made companions. If I remember correctly, on my mission thirty years ago I met a less active member by the name of Talkative who told me he had cousins by the name of Hypocrite. I wonder if they might be related? We never did have much luck in persuading Brother Talkative to come back to church; he always accepted our invitations to pray and read the scriptures, but whenever we followed up with him, he always had an excuse ready to explain why he had been unable to act on those commitments. I never saw him in church, but he seemed to think of himself as an active, fully-invested member of the ward! You should ask Elder Hypocrite if he’s related to the Talkatives; I would love to see if anything’s changed in the last thirty years.

            You’ve heard me say this before, but you’re lucky to have the MTC. When I left on my mission, they strapped on the armor, handed me a sword and sent me on my way. It was touch and go in that first battle with Apollyon! You’ll be much better prepared than I was. Have you started fencing classes yet? And tell me about the other missionaries in your district. Which two will be going with you to Vanity Fair?

            I love you. And trust me: everyone is already praying for you. We all love you.

                                                                        Dad