Brother to Brother (Part Two)


Dear Buddy,

Wow! Two letters from you in one week! That was great! But now I have a real problem, and it’s all because of you and your good looks and charm. I’m worried that you may steal my girlfriends from me!

Seriously, Melissa and Kelly are both good friends, and there’s nothing too serious between us as far as I’m concerned. But if they both show up at the house at the same time, you’ll have to use your charm and personality to save the day.

Elder Watts and I are teaching some terrific people. The Brooks family has a boy just a year older than you. His name is Bobby, and he’s been going to Primary for three weeks now and has made some friends there. Bobby and his mother want to get baptized and join the Church, but Mr. Brooks says that he can’t seem to get a testimony. We challenged him to finish reading the Book of Mormon and to pray for a testimony of whether it is true or not.

We are also teaching a student from the university, a great guy named Will Landers. Will likes the Church but has to solve some problems before he can join. Please remember all these people in your prayers.

And whatever your problem is, don’t be afraid to tell me.

Love, Reed

Dear Reed,

Today was the second worst day of my entire life! (The worst day was the day that you left home.) We had baseball tryouts, and I was terrible! I couldn’t do anything right. I need you here to help me. Dad says that he’ll practice with me, but you know how busy he is all the time. How can I ever learn to play baseball good enough to get on the team and then play for the high school and get a scholarship for college like you did? Sometimes I feel like a dumb little kid who can’t do anything right.

Do you know now what my secret is? My secret is that I don’t think that I can stand to have you be away for two years. I want you to come home right now! I need you, Reed. Please come home now!

Love, Buddy

P.S. If I ever decide to play baseball again, can I borrow your glove and bats?

Dear Buddy,

Last time you and I played baseball, you were as good as I was when I was your age—maybe even better! Your problem is that you want to be great right now. But you have a lot of work and practice and growing to do. Lots of the guys who were better baseball players than I was at seven and eight years old never made the college teams because they didn’t work as hard as I did all those years. So don’t give up if you really want to do it.

As far as the other problem goes, you know that I can’t leave my mission. But I’ll tell you a secret. Sometimes I get homesick, and it really hurts inside when I want to see all of you and can’t. I miss playing baseball with you, Buddy, and going for ice cream and to the movies and talking in the dark after we’ve gone to bed. What I do when I get homesick is pray for strength and comfort. And then I try to forget about myself by helping other people. That seems to work every time.

You can help Elder Watts and me too. Please pray for the Brooks family and Will Landers. And pray that Elder Watts and I can help them.

Love, Reed

P.S. I’m afraid that my glove and bats are too big and awkward for you, but you can try them if you want. And you can have all my baseballs if you promise to wear them out with your practicing.

Dear Brad May,

My name is Bobby Brooks. Yesterday your big brother baptized me, and I became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Elder Watts baptized my mom and dad. I’m really happy now, and Mom and Dad are happy too. We know that we did the right thing because this is the right church.

Elder May is a great guy! I like him a lot. He’ll be here only a short time, but you’re lucky because he’ll always be your brother. I hope that he’ll always be my friend. I want to be a missionary like him someday. Thanks for sharing him with us.

Sincerely, Bobby Brooks

Dear Reed,

Something awesome just happened! When I got your letter, I tried to do what you said. I prayed for help so that I wouldn’t miss you so much. Then I prayed for the people you’re teaching. Then I thought that maybe I’d write a letter to them. But before I wrote, I got a letter from Bobby Brooks, and he said that you baptized him!

I want you to stay on your mission and find more people who want to learn about the Church. I want you to tell me all about your mission because I want to grow up to be a missionary just like you.

Please tell Bobby that I’ll write a letter to him soon.

I have to go now so that I’ll be on time for baseball practice.

Love, Buddy

(To be continued)

[illustrations] Illustrated by Jerry Harston