A city called Santiago

I’m writing this to thank you for the article “A Land Called Chile” in the November New Era. I have only one negative observation. The article should have been called “A City Called Santiago” because that is where all the information comes from. Let me assure everyone that the same characteristics exist in all the members of Chile. Truly Chile is “A land so beautiful it could break your heart,” and its people “so friendly they could mend it again.” Ask anyone who’s been there.

Thank you for the article “‘Be Not Ashamed’: Facing the Issues.” It renewed my faith in youth and pointed out that we are the ones to solve the world’s problems.

“A Word So Far Away” rang too true to be fiction. It’s something we missionaries live with. And I’ll never forget the Mormonad “This is an apple pie,” or the October Mormonad “This Won’t Work.”

Elder R. Kent Hyer
Chile Santiago North Mission

Disappointing December

I’m one of the lucky young men who has the opportunity of serving the Lord Jesus Christ for two years as a missionary. I look forward each month to receiving the New Era and the Ensign. They give me a spiritual boost, but more than that, they are an excellent missionary tool. I have shared a lot of articles and issues with a lot of investigators. I am, however, very disappointed that in the 1977 and 1978 December issues of both the New Era and the Ensign there was so little written on the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I feel I understand the nativity fairly well, but a lot of the people we are teaching are very much in the dark about what really happened. Our reading material is very limited here in the mission field, and we would like to see more on the birth and life of the Savior—in the December issues especially.

I love being a missionary. These two years are the greatest.

Elder R. Tage Hansen
California Fresno Mission

They’re not!

Before I started coming to church, a friend of mine gave me a couple of New Eras to read, but all I’d do was glance through them and give them back. I never realized the important messages that were contained in them. I guess I thought that they would be like any church publication of any religion. But they’re not! They’re magazines that contain the most important message of all—that the true church of our Savior, Jesus Christ, has been restored to the earth. I am grateful for the publication of the New Era, as well as the Friend and the Ensign, and for the words of wisdom published in them. They help strengthen our testimonies.

Jane Skinner
Selby, Victoria, Australia

A great strength

I am a recent convert, and the New Era has been a great strength to my testimony.

Fort Fraser, British Columbia, Canada

The people’s choice

Just a photo to prove that they love the missionaries here in the South. If elected, of course, we cannot serve until after our missions.

Elders Richard Anderson and Kent Teerlink
Arkansas Little Rock Mission

Who is Jack Weyland?

Please, Mr. Editor, who is Jack Weyland? Is it possible to print some kind of article describing him to the readers who have enjoyed his stories? I have read nothing but excellent stories from his pen over several years. His “First Day of Forever” in the January–February New Era is an exception—it is better than excellent! Please seriously consider printing a book of Brother Weyland’s stories. His efforts deserve a larger audience.

Lamont M. Jensen
Salt Lake City, Utah

Jack Weyland is an associate professor of physics at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota. He is presently doing research in magnetic measurements. He is also working with the Department of Transportation to design highway surfaces that will facilitate snow removal. Brother Weyland is married, with five children between the ages of two and eleven. He has been an early morning seminary teacher and a bishop of the Rapid City First Ward. He is presently the stake clerk of the Rapid City South Dakota Stake.

He does his writing between 5:00 A.M. and 7:00 A.M., Monday through Saturday. He has written the screenplay for a BYU Motion Picture Studio production The Phone Call. This film was adapted from “Sometimes a Phone Call,” which Brother Weyland wrote for the New Era. He is also the author of a science question and answer column for the Rapid City Journal.

Brother Weyland says of his New Era stories, “I can relate to the problems of youth. I like young people. Growing up was sometimes hard for me, and I can still remember how it felt.” Right now he is hard at work on another story for the New Era. Editor.

First four fan

I recently received my first four copies of the New Era and sat down and read them. I was greatly touched by many of the stories. I was baptized into the Lord’s church on May 28, 1978, in Townsville, North Queensland, Australia, by Elder D. Kent Hawkins of Arizona, Elder Randall R. Hess of Idaho, and Elder Clifton E. Jones of Montana. My heart overflows with love for these missionaries. The day of my baptism was a most blessed day for me. I know of a surety that the gospel is true. It brings great joy into my life. I thank my beloved Father in all things. I am unworthy of even a little of his great love for us, his children. I thank him for my Church callings, for my brothers and sisters in the Second Branch, for the great peace and contentment I have enjoyed.

Sharon E. Mewburn
Townsville, North Queensland, Australia

The boomerang smile

I enjoyed the two stories “The Old Man Who Sang” (September) and “Family Night at the Prom” (July). “The Old Man Who Sang” was touching to me because I have always had an interest in older people. They have so much love and compassion for others. Whenever you smile at them, you’re sure to get a smile back.

“Family Night at the Prom” reminded me of my best friend’s family, the Nielsens. They introduced me to the Church last spring, and I was soon baptized. Even though I have now moved away from them, I still like to drop them a line or two now and then. I love them very, very much and will always remember their kindness.

Gretchen Bortfeld
Camp Meeker, California

Tears for breakfast

Today while enjoying breakfast with my mother, I was skimming over the Feedback section of the New Era and found impressive comments concerning “The Old Man Who Sang” (September 1978). They told how several people couldn’t finish the story without shedding a few tears. I like that kind of story, and I mentioned to my mom that I wanted to read it to find out what made it so special. She too wanted to read it. I’m not one to cry over stories (especially if they’re fiction), but I found myself with tears in my eyes, hardly believing that a story could have such an effect on me. When my mother gets back from Relief Society, I’m going to let her read it. (Moms love to cry, I think.)

P.S. It was fiction wasn’t it?

P.P.S. Please tell Dale Kilbourn (who illustrated the article) that he’s my hero!

Val Chadwick Bagley
Mission Viejo, California

It was not fiction. All New Era fiction is clearly labeled as such. Editor.