Brother to Brother (Part Three)
    Footnotes

    “Brother to Brother (Part Three)” Friend, Mar. 1989, 11

    Brother to Brother
    (Part Three)

    Dear Buddy,

    Sometimes my mission is more exciting and rewarding than anything else that I’ve ever experienced. But other times it has been just a lot of hard work and challenges. This past week has been mostly hard work and challenges, so it was really great to get your letter. It means a lot to me to have you cheering me on to do my best and wanting to hear about what I do so that you can share in my mission.

    I’m glad that you’ve set a goal to go on a mission when you are old enough, but did you know that you can be a missionary right now, even though you’re not even eight years old yet? You don’t have to be nineteen and wear suits and a name tag and have a companion, to tell people about the gospel and the Church.

    Elder Watts and I are still working with Will Landers. We’d hoped that he would be ready to be baptized with the Brooks family, but he decided that he wanted to learn more before he made a commitment, so we are teaching him twice a week now.

    I’m glad that you didn’t give up on baseball. We all get discouraged at times. Just keep practicing, work hard, and let me know how the season goes.

    Love,
    Reed

    Dear Reed,

    I’m trying to be a missionary, like you said, but it’s hard. When I went to the mall with Mom, I waited on a bench while she was in a store. A man sat next to me. He was smoking. I told him that smoking is bad and that Heavenly Father didn’t want him to smoke. He laughed at me. He said that I shouldn’t tell him what to do. I think that I’ll wait to be a missionary. I’m not ready yet.

    My team this year is the Indians. I want to play catcher, like you. But Sam and Rollin want to play catcher too. I think it’s going to be a big problem.

    Love,
    Buddy

    Dear Buddy,

    What you did in the mall was brave, but maybe there are other ways to start being a missionary. One of the best ways is just to show people what you believe by how you live and by the things that you do.

    To be a good missionary, we also need to study the gospel. At your age it would be good to memorize the Articles of Faith. I wish that I had studied the gospel even more than I did before I started my mission. Will Landers has a lot of questions, and we get into long discussions about the plan of salvation and other things. He wants to know the answers to everything, and sometimes we just don’t have them. That’s why I wish that I had studied more. If you study now, you’ll be better prepared.

    Remember, two keys to being a good catcher are limber knees and a quick throwing release. And practice, practice, practice! Good luck! I know that you’ll keep our family’s baseball tradition going strong.

    Love,
    Reed

    Dear Reed,

    You will be proud of me because I am going to memorize all the Articles of Faith before you come home. Mom is helping me. I already know the first two. I told Mom that I want to do the hardest one next, so we picked number thirteen. Every day she tells me part of it, and I repeat it until I have it memorized.

    But maybe you can tell me something, Reed. Why do we believe in being chased by an elephant? Last night when Ben, Natalie’s date, came to get her for a movie, I told him that we believe in being chased by an elephant. Natalie told me not to be silly. But I was serious.

    Natalie thinks that it’s great to be sixteen and to go on dates. But I’m only seven, and I went on a date! Your girl-friend Melissa took me to a movie. She said that you wouldn’t mind. When we got home, Kelly’s car was at our house. I saw her outside with Mom, but Melissa didn’t. I told Melissa that I’d buy her an ice-cream cone, and we walked to the ice-cream store. That was a close call! I think that having girl-friends is hard work!

    Love,
    Buddy

    P. S. Melissa said that she sent a surprise to you.

    Dear Buddy,

    I think that I’ve figured out the mystery of being “chased by an elephant.” Sometimes things sound different from what they really are. What sounded to you like “chased by an elephant” is really “chaste, benevolent.” Those are big words, and they’re not easy to understand. Chaste means to be pure and clean in the things that we think and do. Benevolent means to be kind and loving in everything that we think and in our treatment of people and all other living things. Keep up the good work in your memorizing. I’m proud of you.

    Somehow I knew that Melissa’s surprise would be chocolate chip cookies. We took them down to Mrs. Palmer’s because she invited us for dinner. She’s our landlady and lives on the main floor, under our apartment. She’s not a member of the Church, even though missionaries have lived in her apartment for many years. She invited Will to come to dinner, too, and we waited and waited, but he never showed up. It was very disappointing, and we felt sorry for Mrs. Palmer because we waited so long that the dinner was cold before we started eating. But Mrs. Palmer felt sorry for us, too, so she let us show her the video that we were going to show to Will. Then the three of us ate all Melissa’s cookies. They were delicious! Please give Melissa a big thank-you hug for me.

    Love,
    Reed

    (To be continued)

    Illustrated by Jerry Harston