So as many of you are aware, my 20 year old son is serving a 2 year mission for the LDS church in Mississippi right now. Each week I get an email from him letting me know how things are going out in the field. This week he sent an email that had an AMAZING message about friendship in it and so I am going to include an exerpt from his letter with all of you because it’s more powerful in his own words then it would be if I tried to paraphrase. The letter is about one of the other missionaries he has served with who is finishing his mission up this week and heading back home to his family. To give you some context, the first few months of a two-year mission are a hard adjustment for a 19 year old boy – they are away from home and family, they are serving in a foreign place where they know no one, they are doing missionary work from 6am to 10pm every day, and they are just starting their two year journey that will be very different from normal life. Needless to say, the first few months can be an incredibly difficult time emotionally for the young men as they are adjusting to their new situation. My son Dalton went through that tough time himself in his first month (he has now been out about 16 months) but lucky for him he met a friend (who he refers to as Elder Earnshaw in his letter) who helped him through that rough time of his mission and the letter below speaks to that:
“Earnshaw is finally going home this week. I mean this is it. The guy who kept me out here, is finally going home. The guy who in my fifth week kept me from getting a plane ticket and flying home is finally coming to an end. Like I’ll be honest, I’m going to cry this week. Like a lot. I love Earnshaw!!! I told him that he really did keep me out here. I love him so much. So this is going to be a really short email, but something I want to share. There are those people in this life who I feel like we were destined to meet. I think we’ve all had those people in life who when we find we know that we were best friends with them in the pre-earth life. For me… I’ve met a lot out here…… man this life is all about making those relationships and like… there are people out there who really will change your life I guess. And… y’all don’t know him, but Elder Earnshaw really did change mine. So, in honor of him going home, I just want to tell all of you that I wasn’t able to stay out here by myself. Like not that I couldn’t have done it, but I just want to say that if not for Elder Earnshaw and what he did to keep me out here, I would be home right now, and would not have experienced the immense blessings of serving the Lord. So… know this, we weren’t meant to do it alone.
Love Elder Anderson”
I loved his message! Because it is so true! We are not meant to go through this life journey alone! We are meant to go through it with friends. And I totally believe what he shared about being destined to meet certain friends in this life. I have had that experience time and time again. And those relationships are of life-long value and beyond. So many people have become friends and changed my life for the better and it has been such a blessing. I could never have done the good things I have accomplished in my life if I had to do it all alone. No way, no how. I have been helped by countless people and I continue to be surrounded by amazing people who lift me up and make me better. THANK YOU to all of you in my life who do that. I am eternally grateful.
Today’s message is to remember that none of us are meant to get through life alone, without the help of friends. There is no shame in having help from others – that is why we are all here on this earth! To help each other grow and succeed. Embrace those friendships. Treasure them. Appreciate them. And be one of them to others. As Dalton said “We weren’t meant to do it alone.”