Michael’s Letter


“When will Uncle Cory be here?” Michael asked his mother for at least the tenth time.

Earlier that afternoon the mailman had delivered a letter addressed to him, but when he opened it he couldn’t read what it said. Michael’s mother told him that the letter was written in Italian, and all she could read was the closing and signature at the bottom:

Arrivederci, Mario

Michael knew that arrivederci meant till we meet again, because that was how Uncle Cory’s letters were always signed when he was in Italy on a mission. Michael had called his uncle and told him about the letter. Now he was waiting impatiently for him to come and interpret what the letter said.

A few months before Uncle Cory had returned from Italy, he had written and asked Michael and his family to write their feelings about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in letters to individual members of a certain Italian family and send them back to him. He said he would put the letters in a Book of Mormon and give them to the family. Michael had written—

Dear Mario,

I am eight years old. I was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last month. My father baptized me and confirmed me and said that I now have the Holy Ghost to guide me and to help me choose right from wrong. I go to Primary each week. I’m in the CTR class. CTR means CHOOSE THE RIGHT. Last week my Primary teacher taught us about Jesus healing sick children. Jesus loves children everywhere. He loves me and He loves you. I hope you can soon go to Primary too.

Your Friend, Michael

Michael hadn’t expected to receive a letter in return, but now that one had come, he could hardly wait to know what it said.

Pretty soon he heard the sound of a car in the driveway. Running to the window, he looked out and saw Uncle Cory coming up the walk. Michael ran and opened the door and gave his uncle a big hug.

Michael listened quietly as Uncle Cory read the letter.

Dear Michael,

I am nine years old. Today I was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My father and mother were baptized too. Thank you for telling me about your church. My father and mother read your Book of Mormon, and now we are all happy to be members of the true church. Write to me again soon.

Arrivederci, Mario

Michael was so excited to know that he had helped bring the gospel to someone that he thought his heart would pound right out of his chest. He took the letter from his uncle and looked at it for a long time. Then he folded the letter neatly. “I will save this,” he said, “to remind me that it’s fun to tell others about our church. Maybe someday I’ll go on a mission to Italy and meet my new friend Mario.”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Jenae Smith