I'm sorry it's so long since I wrote. Life has been crazy.
This week we dropped my brother off at the Missionary Training Center. He's going to spend the next few weeks there learning how to be a missionary and brushing up on his Spanish, and then he'll spend the next two years at his own expense, teaching the gospel to whoever will listen. He'll get to call home twice a year--on Mother's Day and Christmas Day, and I'm already looking forward to hearing from him.
I'm very proud of Elder Dave. He's prepared and excited, and he'll make a great missionary. See what a handsome guy he is?
David and I have gotten close these past few years, and I was sad to see him go. I'll miss him a lot. But I know he's doing the Lord's work, and that he'll be strengthened as he goes forth to lose himself in service.
We got him a journal to write his mission experiences in. I wrote a little note in the front, and I thought I'd share it with all of you:
I am so proud to have you as my brother. I'm glad that you are worthy and prepared to serve a mission for the Lord. Your dedication is an example to me, and I love you.
This journal is for you to record the events of your mission--events that will change your life and mold your character. Make it yours--and I expect to get a letter from you in a few months saying that you've used up all the pages, and I'll send you another one. Write so that you will remember these years, so that your descendants will know of your life, and so the angels can quote from your record (Assuming, that is, that the angels can read your handwriting).
Write the words of God to you so you can have them when times are tough (Mosiah 26:33). Write the blessings of the Lord to you so that you will remember to show gratitude for his mercy. Write about the good days and the hard times, and the Lord will bless you for it.
I love you, David, and I'm proud of you. Always be obedient, and the Lord will strengthen you as you do His work. In the words of an old Irish blessing I have long loved, "May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of His hand."
I love you, David.