Upstream in Rialto

I was extremely impressed by the articles “Swimming Upstream,” and “Cool, But Straight” in the July New Era. They were especially meaningful to me because of the close relationship I had with most of the youth from the Rialto California Stake before I left on my mission. I can honestly say that most of them were “swimming upstream,” and staying “cool, but straight.” One girl was an example to all of us. I never knew a moment when she lowered her standards, and she was blessed for it. In her senior year she was elected student body president of a school that has 2,500 students. At basketball homecoming she was first runner-up (the second runner-up was also a Mormon) to the queen, and at the end of the year she was voted the most outstanding girl student. I want to say thanks to all the youth of the Rialto Cahtornia Stake for helping me prepare for my mission by setting such good examples. I think LDS youth everywhere should remember to be cool, but straight. I know that the Lord will bless them as they live the standards of the Church.

I also liked the Mormonad “Friends Are Easy to Talk To.” As a missionary I’ve sure learned how great a friend our Heavenly Father can be. I just wish I had started communicating with him before my mission. It surely would have made things easier.

Elder Jeff Broeker Canada Vancouver Mission

In two days

I really enjoy the spiritual messages in the New Era. It helps us young people live righteous lives. It has been a great help to me, and I recommend it to my friends. In two days I will be baptized and confirmed a member of the Church. It’s going to be one of the happiest occasions in my life. I want the New Era to help guide and strengthen my new life.

Mary Jo Tansy Baton Rouge, Louisiana

What’s the big idea?

Hey, what’s the big idea? Boy, you sure know how to mess things up! Here we poor, hardworking missionaries are trying to keep to a strict schedule of time and yet you continue sending this fantastic magazine. How do you expect a missionary to go back out and tract after lunch when a fresh New Era has just arrived in the mail? Talk about temptation! Last Sunday my companion and I stumbled across a box full of old New Eras. Needless to say, we spent the next two hours reading them. After that we were ready to go out and convert the world. The New Era is most inspirational and a great help to the missionary work. But please—have it delivered on preparation day!

Two Missionaries Auckland New Zealand Mission

Respect for creation

Having been quite well-acquainted with Heber Valley and the surrounding mountains, I was interested in “His Father’s Sheep” in the May New Era. I was very disappointed, however, when I saw a photo of Doug Clyde carving some graffiti into the trunk of a beautiful white aspen tree. I was even more dismayed to read a caption that seemed to justify the act. Carving on trees is not only illegal on government land but is also condemned by the U.S. Forest Service and all conservation organizations for obvious reasons. That a Church magazine noted for its beautiful nature photography should encourage such behavior is outrageous! I would like to see a printed apology.

Neil F. Andersen Cambelltown, New South Wales, Australia

We gladly apologize if we have seemed to encourage the defacement of trees. Editor