Thanks

The New Era helps me in what I do and say and helps me strive harder to reach the goal of perfection. I know that many of the writers are inspired by our Father in heaven. If I have a problem, all I have to do is thumb through the New Era, and I will find the answer. Thank you so much for solving my problems.

Diane A. Holm Raymond, Washington

I would just like to say that I really love the New Era. I am so grateful to all those who contribute to it.

Lynn Lewis

Crostic fan

The New Era is terrific and I’ve always enjoyed it. The “Scripture Crostic” was great fun and informative too.

Ollie D. Brown Salt Lake City, Utah

Proud to be LDS

I am writing to tell you how much I enjoy the New Era magazine. It is a missionary in its own right. It is a testimony strengthener, a teacher, a counselor, a leader, and everything we could ask for in a magazine. The world of youth needs it now more than ever. What better tool could we have for a booster in our lives?

I was one of three young LDS girls who traveled with a touring party of seventy in October of 1972. We went to New York, California, and Utah. We visited many, many lovely people. Temple Square is so beautiful, even better than on postcards. Other members of the group were envious of us because we knew so much about the salvation of man and never worried at depressing moments. A few of them were good listeners and even abstained from their unclean habits. We earned their respect, and I know that these people will never forget the experiences we had in Utah. I felt so proud to be a Latter-day Saint and still do.

Now that I am home, I find that my testimony has been strengthened. It was a good experience being in the Promised Land, knowing that there are people on the other side who live the way I do. I only hope that I will be able to return one day.

Pauline Ruru Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Lesson of “The Currant Bush”

I hope you can print my letter because I feel it may help a brother or sister who is struggling to find faith. As our Sunday School class discussed “The Currant Bush” by Elder Hugh B. Brown [January issue], I realized that I have had the same kind of experience. Last fall I was working on Sunday, but I thought nothing of it because I needed the money. I got involved in school too and began to become inactive in church. Then I got an important part in our school play—the best part I ever had. I was thrilled. Rehearsals began and conflicts arose. I knew I would have to quit my job and let my schoolwork suffer because of the play. This did not really bother me because I had a great desire to be in the theater at any cost. Well, just then I got mononucleosis and had to withdraw from the play. I was out of school for months and also lost my job. At first I felt very bitter because I had wanted this part in the play. I felt much the same as Elder Brown. I am a junior, and I had worked for this good part since I was a freshman. I also had plans of being the star in my senior play.

My dreams were shattered, my life’s activity stopped. I had to stay home in bed. For a long time I felt bitter. But then one day as I was watching the sun, I knew this was not a curse but a blessing in disguise. I had more than eleven weeks to think and pray. It finally came to me that the Church was the most important thing in my life, not the theater or my job. Now I am well again and am back at church. Every day I thank Heavenly Father for pruning me so that I was able to start over. I realize now the importance of attending church. Perhaps others can learn this lesson less painfully, but I would not change a thing that happened.

Robynann Mcfarland Keene, New Hampshire

Stunned by Cyrano

Today I received the February issue of the New Era. I just finished reading “Cyrano de Cybernet.” Might I say it was fantastic. I’m still stunned in amazement. I know it taught me a lesson that I will never forget, and I wasn’t even in Carol’s position. It was superb, and I want to thank Jerry Emerson Loomis for writing it and the New Era for giving me the chance to read it.

Cindy Grow Brigham City, Utah

Sister missionaries

I want young people to know that a mission is more than a super charm course and a “Be Nice to Elder’s Week.” Sister missionaries have special callings. We are called as handmaidens of the Lord to teach the gospel to his children. There is a wonderful joy that comes from bearing your testimony and teaching families and bringing them into the Church that makes all the slammed doors, broken appointments, and hard work worth it. Those of you who have served missions know what I’m talking about. I’ve never found a more wonderful or satisfying way of serving our Father in heaven than I have right now on my mission.

Sister Vivian Hickman Germany Central Mission

“I needed something”

I have been receiving the New Era for over a year, and I feel it’s time that I let you know that I appreciate it so very much. I am in an artillery unit here and work in the division post office. Due to my line of work I haven’t been able to attend church as regularly as I would have liked.

We have always been shorthanded, and as the old saying goes, “The mail must go through.” I needed something to help me make it through the year. Well, the Era has provided me with comfort and excellent reading when I have been unable to attend church services.

Lcpl. Danny K. Miner USMC Tooele, Utah

Mormon art

Three cheers for Arthur Henry King and Richard Cracroft! I was so pleased when I received my August issue and read the two fine articles by these inspired men. Their articles were of unprecedented quality in helping me to expand my ideas and understand the importance of literature in our lives and in the context of the gospel. This same line of thinking should extend to the other art fields also. These articles deserve our close attention and study, and they should be read and reread—they are that meaty.

Elder R. Michael Bird France-Belgium Mission

El año viejo

As I was reading my copy of the New Era for January, I saw mentioned a custom of Ecuador with respect to the old year. It involves burning a straw dummy that represents a family’s faults. It is a very interesting custom to see. In Guayaquil the people make the masks for the dummies out of papier mache; then they stuff the dummies and put fireworks in the stuffing so that as the dummies burn, they pop. I don’t know about other places in Ecuador, but here in Guayaquil a family will just lay the dummy in the street instead of putting it on a pole to burn it. Also, if the past year has been bad, they beat the dummy to get rid of all their emotions. They have contests to see who can write the best will and testament for the old year. One other thing—in the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, men and boys dress up like widows of the old year, asking for charity for el Año Viejo. As I understand it, this custom is unique to Ecuador.

I really enjoy the New Era. It is a fantastic magazine for the youth of the Church.

Elder Gary C. Hinckley Ecuador Mission