Tot Zeins—Till We Meet

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Tot Zeins—Till We Meet,” Ensign, Feb. 1990, 66

Tot Zeins—Till We Meet

When my oldest brother, Duane, left for his mission to Holland, we anxiously awaited his first letter from faraway Europe. At last it came, with the words Tot Zeins scrawled on the back. Those two Dutch words, roughly translated to mean “Till we meet,” began a family tradition.

Faithfully we continued to inscribe Tot Zeins on the back of our letters to Duane, and even continued the tradition for our next son, David, though his mission was to the east central region of the United States. For us, the message really meant, “Do your best,” “We love you,” and “Our prayers are with you.”

Shortly after the return of the two oldest boys, Ron was called on a mission to São Paulo, Brazil. With his first letter home came the cherished words Tot Zeins, but with an added Portuguese counterpart: Até Logo.

Before Ron returned home, I received a call to serve a welfare-services mission to the Guatemala-El Salvador Mission. As I wrote my first letter home, I carefully inscribed these words on the back of the envelope, including a message in honor of David’s English-speaking mission: Tot Zeins, “Till We Meet,” Ate Logo, and Hasta la Vista.

With each successive missionary in the family came a new message of love and hope, until eight various interpretations of “Till we meet”—in Italian, Indonesian, French, and a southern variation, “See ya’ll later”—were added to the tradition.

When the family ran out of missionaries and the tradition seemed to have ended, to our surprise and delight our parents decided to go on a mission. They left to serve as leadership missionaries in Puerto Rico, and I anxiously awaited that first letter to discover the next message of love.

Following the eight various interpretations of “Till we meet” was Serviendo con Gozo—serving with joy. As I read it, I thought that, as members of the Church, we are all on missions, we are all Serviendo con Gozo, as we share the gospel with our friends and neighbors.

Loving heavenly parents await us, sending their love and encouragement not through letters per se, but through the scriptures, ancient and modern. I can almost see a tiny inscription written on the back of my scriptures. It says, “Tot Zeins—Till we meet.”