Brother to Brother (Part Four)


Dear Reed,

I saw Melissa at stake conference. When I told her that you wanted me to give her a thank-you hug for the cookies, she grabbed me and squeezed me hard and kissed my forehead. She’s so pretty! I like big girls better than sisters or little girls. Maybe when I’m big like you, I’ll have a girlfriend too.

I practice baseball almost every day. I’m getting a lot better. Dad practiced with me twice, but most of the time I practice with Sam.

I have a big problem, Reed. Coach said that we’ll have final tryouts for positions on Sunday. I want to be catcher. Sam wants to be catcher too. We’re both good catchers. I think that I could beat him, but I can’t because I don’t play baseball on Sunday. Did you ever play it on Sunday?

Love, Buddy

Dear Buddy,

I’ve never played baseball on Sunday, and I’m proud of your decision to keep the Sabbath Day holy. But since you don’t play on Sunday, you’ll have to work harder to show the coach how important baseball really is to you. I know that you’ll be blessed for doing what you know is right.

I have some sad news. Will has dropped us. That means that he doesn’t want us to teach him anymore, and he doesn’t want to join the Church. Maybe someday he’ll change his mind. I learned an important lesson from him. Elder Watts and I were trying to convince Will that what we were teaching him was true. We forgot that a person has to listen to the Spirit to know that the Church is true and that you can’t convince someone with mere words. I hope that I never forget that again.

I also have some good news. Mrs. Palmer went to church with us and wants to learn more about what all “her” missionaries have been teaching other people!

Love, Reed

Dear Reed,

I’m happy about Mrs. Palmer, but I’m sad about Will.

I’m sad about me too. I won’t be the Indian catcher this year because I didn’t go to the final tryouts on Sunday. Sam will be the catcher, and I’ll just play in the outfield. I don’t want to be an outfielder. I want to be a catcher like you. Maybe we only get blessings some of the time when we do what’s right.

Love, Buddy

Dear Buddy,

I’m proud of you for doing what you know is right and for working hard on your goals. You be the best outfielder that you can be, and you’ll enjoy it. You have many years ahead of you, and you can try again for catcher another time.

Love, Reed

Dear Reed,

Guess what! Coach says that I can be backup catcher! Sam is happy to be the regular catcher, but he told me a secret. He said that I’m a better catcher than he is! He knows how much I love baseball, and he asked me why Primary is better than baseball. I told him to come with me and find out, and he said OK!

Mom says that I’m being a missionary by example. Am I, Reed? You were right about getting blessings when we do what’s right.

Love, Buddy

Dear Reed,

I know that I just wrote to you yesterday, but two exciting things happened at church today. One was that Sam went to Primary with me! He liked it. Sister Johnson taught a good lesson about how we got the Book of Mormon, but he liked Sharing Time best because we played chalkboard baseball. We got hits when we correctly answered questions about the prophets. We could help Sam because he was a visitor, and he got a grand-slam home run. He never did that in real baseball. He wants to come again.

The other exciting thing was that Bishop Carter was released. Guess who the new bishop is—Dad! He will be a good bishop. I raised both my hands when I sustained him—one hand was for you.

Love, Buddy

Dear Buddy,

Thanks for sustaining Dad for me. I know that he will be a good bishop too.

We just had a zone conference at the Peter Whitmer farm, where the Church was organized in 1830. Our mission president talked about the first missionary of the restored Church, Samuel Smith. He was Joseph Smith’s younger brother and about the same age as most of the missionaries in our zone.

Just after the Church was organized, Samuel took a few copies of the Book of Mormon and went out to preach the gospel. Nobody believed him, and he was frustrated, just as we are sometimes. He left a Book of Mormon with Reverend Greene, a methodist minister, and it was passed on to a carpenter who studied it and was baptized. Samuel Smith didn’t think that his mission was a success, but that carpenter was Brigham Young! So sometimes great results come from what seems like an unimportant incident.

Love, Reed

Dear Reed,

Sister Johnson let me read your letter to our Primary class. Then we made up a play about the organization of the Church and the first missionary. Sam got to be Samuel Smith, and I got to be Brigham Young!

Love, Buddy

(To be continued.)

[illustrations] Illustrated by Jerry Harston