O. Henry lives!

Hurrah! O. Henry is alive and well and writing for the New Era under a new pen name: E. D. Telford. “Religion, Rebellion, and Rebecca” in the September issue really brought me up short at the end. It made me realize that Mormons don’t have a corner on all the goodness and virtue in the world. (Sometimes we tend to think we do.) More stories by E. D. Telford, please. Although, at the ripe old age of 37, I can’t say that I’m one of the youth of the Church, I am still young at heart and thoroughly enjoy the New Era every month.

Karleen B. Liebschutz
Salt Lake City, Utah

They took time to care

I was so excited to read “Conver(t)sation” by Laird Roberts in the October New Era. When I read “The best way to get someone interested in the Church is to be friends with him,” it really hit home. My best friend, Diane, is responsible for my conversion. Thanks to her loving patience and friendship, I am now a member of the Church. We were close friends for about four years before I was baptized, and in that time she never once passed judgment on my actions or tried to force the Church on me. When the time was right, she made an appointment for me to have the missionary discussions. She sat through every discussion with me. Her entire family became involved, and her older brother helped teach me the gospel. He confirmed me a member of the Church and recently left on a mission. What a choice experience my baptism was for me! Since my baptism, Diane’s been the perfect example, and we’ve become even closer friends. I am so thankful for her and her family. In fact, they even subscribed to the New Era for me. It is because they took the time to care and offer friendship that I am now a member of the Church.

Becki LeDoux
Sacramento, California

The right move for any direction

I enjoyed and appreciated the article “A Move in the Right Direction” in the September New Era. I recently moved from Burley, Idaho, where the population is about 70 percent Mormon, to Kellogg, Idaho, where the percentage of Mormons is quite small. I was reluctant to move, but I decided I should make my own move in the right direction and make the best of our small ward. I had the summer to get acquainted with the kids my age at Mutual and at church. I have always been active in the Church, and when I went to school for the first time in our new town, I could see a lot of work that needed to be done to bring the inactive back and convert some of the nonmembers. As the new Laurel president, I will strive to set an example for those about me. Thanks for a great article and a great magazine.

Paige Richins
Cataldo, Idaho

Rebuking a rebuke

I object very strongly to “A striking rebuke” in the October Feedback department. My mother, Vera Bigelow, is the most wonderful mother in the world. I am Janell Bigelow, and I’m the one who sent in the Mormonism. I signed my mother’s name and told the story from her point of view because I couldn’t think of the right words to describe it from my point of view. My wonderful mother has always given me all of the soft, cuddly toys, dolls, love, and everything I have ever needed. My mother loves me more than words can ever express. She has given me and my five brothers and sisters much more than 15 minutes of cuddle time each day. She has spent most of her waking hours working in our behalf. Everything she has done has been out of extreme love for us. I said, “Take me out and spank me,” because I was a very bored little two-year-old who used any excuse I could think up. If ever an angel has walked this earth, it is my mother. I love her with all my heart, mind, and soul. I am now 15 years old and have a wonderful life. I have been the president of my Mutual classes three times. I have been the pianist for Primary for four years. I have taught Primary and Sunday School classes, and I am very active in seminary and other Church organizations. I know that I owe all of my successes and accomplishments, my testimony, and everything I have ever had to my “child beating” mother. Her wonderful spirit has kept me going when I was ready to quit. I don’t claim to be perfect. I am still striving, as everyone is, to be worthy of living with my Heavenly Father and my wonderful family in exaltation.

I feel that everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but I think Sister Schoels has gone too far when she tries to accuse my mother of not raising me right. I say once again that there could never be a more choice, wonderful, understanding daughter of God than my mother.

Janell Bigelow
Prescott, Arizona

Rome, Nashville, and the Spirit

I was impressed by Brother Steve L. Taylor’s article “To Every Man in His Own Tongue” in the September issue of the New Era, especially as he deals with myth number three: “If you study a certain language in high school and college, you are automatically called to a mission where that language is spoken.” The First Presidency said, “This is not necessarily so … but as the Spirit of the Lord directs.” How true! I was born and raised in Rome, Italy, a Catholic most of my life. And yet the Spirit of the Lord has directed that I should teach the true gospel of Jesus Christ not among my own people, where I could easily speak the language, but in a country where I can be of more use for the Lord. This call did not come because of my knowledge of a foreign language but because of me as a person. The Lord knew I could reach people here in Tennessee. Mission calls are truly made “as the Spirit of the Lord directs.”

Elder Carlo Caroli
Tennessee Nashville Mission

Strong in Stornoway

I have been a member of the Church for two years, and in those two years my testimony has really grown strong. I live in a small town called Stornoway where there are only three members of the Church. I am really grateful to Elder Rose and Elder Clark, the missionaries who brought the gospel to my brother and me and baptized us. The missionaries are doing a great job here, and I know with all my heart that the Church is going to grow here in Stornoway. The New Era has been a great help to me, both as a nonmember and a member.

Carolyn Smith
Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Stirred blood

We would like to thank the New Era for producing an inspiring publication for the youth of today’s world. The New Era has played an important part in our lives and in our preparation to serve missions. The New Era teaches gospel principles in everyday situations that we can easily relate to. The missionary stories are enough to stir the blood of any 20-year-old Latter-day Saint. Each story shows that obedience, sacrifice, and humility lead to the choicest experiences. The New Era is number one among magazines!

Elders Simon J. Gibson and John A. Beveridge
Canada Halifax Mission

Looking up

I would like to comment happily on the inspiring article “Faces and Attitudes” by Elder Thomas S. Monson in the September 1977 New Era. I have just recently moved from my home in California to this new area, leaving behind the ward I’ve been in since my baptism in October, not to mention my father and numerous friends and families who were examples and brought me into the Church. I was so settled, and then suddenly I had to come to a new area and start from scratch. I can really relate to the faces of fear, doubt, and idleness that Elder Monson mentions. Now as I look back, I can see that things are looking up. That is what is so fantastic about the Church. Wherever you go in the world, it will be the same! For all those faces of failure, there are attitudes of accomplishment to bring you up. With the attitudes of faith, work, courage, obedience, and a loving Father in heaven, I feel I can handle my new situation with a better spirit and overcome failures.

Cindy Thelen
Tucson, Arizona

Beyond measure

I would like to thank Sister Moulden of Bremerton, Washington, for subscribing to the New Era for me several years ago. The New Era has enriched my life beyond measure. Sister Moulden has been an inspiration in my life, and I hope the Lord will bless her greatly.

K. Williams
Newport, Oregon

A humble missionary

I was really surprised to see the photograph I took on the cover of the August New Era! My head swelled so big that my glasses broke. I popped the buttons off my collar and stretched my tie. Just think, I used to be a humble missionary!

Elder Kelly W. Smith
Washington Spokane Mission