A cold, rainy day in Finland
It is a cold, rainy day in Finland. My companion is sick. We have to stay in our apartment because of his illness, and we have been here for several days. As I was standing looking out our window early this morning, I was overcome by a deep sense of emptiness and discouragement. It is a feeling that can come sometimes to missionaries in lands such as Finland where an elder finds himself seemingly buried under a pile of harsh circumstances: preaching the gospel to people who are usually unreceptive, fighting temperatures of -35° C. on a bicycle, and trying to master the unbelievable Finnish language with its incredible grammar. Add to this an absence of members for miles and miles, and it all combines to give missionaries an occasional feeling of isolation.
Well, as I was standing there looking out the window, I was struck with the thought that I should go and read some old issues of the New Era that were stacked in my closet. When I started reading, the day seemed to get better and better. The articles were so uplifting and full of spiritual strength for a mind that needed a lift. The feelings I received as the Spirit bore witness to me that I was reading the words of a living prophet, real apostles, and men chosen by the Lord were so strong, I just wanted to cry for joy. After three days of reading and studying several issues of the New Era, I can more clearly see why things are the way they are. The gospel gives us so many things to experience and ways to progress toward our eventual goal of perfection. The New Era contains such a vast amount of advice and help from those who have more knowledge and experience, and I’m so grateful that I can receive that advice even though I’m so many thousands of miles from home. Thank you so much for making the words of the General Authorities available to us.
I have heard many other missionaries express the same feelings of gratitude for the spiritual strength they have received from reading the New Era. Besides being interesting, informative, humorous, and spiritually uplifting to the youth of Zion, the New Era is a great aid to our army of Christian soldiers who are spreading the gospel throughout the world.
Elder Patrick B. Stout Finland Helsinki Mission
An added lift
I have received the New Era for many years and have always been well pleased with it. The articles and poetry give me such an added lift toward a good day and help make a sour mood disappear. The idea of combining the January and February issues seemed wrong to me at first, but I appreciate the concern shown for keeping the cost of subscriptions down.
Joanne Harris Lenexa, Kansas
I’ve been receiving the New Era since I was baptized in January and have been very touched by it. It has helped strengthen my testimony and has told me what I can do to help other people be as happy as I am.
I ordered a subscription for my brother David, who will be 20 years old on May 21. He’s not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints yet, but the missionaries are now teaching him, and I know the New Era will help David immensely. He is such a special person. I love the gospel very much and want to share it with everyone. The New Era has helped give me the courage to do this. Thank you very much for publishing such a great magazine! And hurrah for the missionaries all over the world!
Cynthia Louise Kennedy Ontario, Canada
Feeding the hunger
The New Era fulfills a spiritual hunger I have for uplifting literature. Some of my nonmember friends have copies of the New Era, and one says she enjoys reading it very much. I particularly enjoyed “The Emergence of Butterflies” by Jack Weyland in the April issue. We do not attain perfection all at once, but only by degrees. This principle was wonderfully developed in the continuing stories of Elizabeth and Dan. The poem “Consecration—Conversion” by Lowell M. Durham, Jr., was also most touching. Please continue to feed the hunger for righteousness that we all should have.
Sharon Slade Salt Lake City, Utah
The great lessons
I’m writing in regards to the fantastic article in the May issue of the New Era, “I Think Mom and Dad Are Going Crazy, Jerry.” It reminded me so much of my family. We’ve often had four or five drivers living at home and four vehicles that are always on the road. We were always expected to help with the gas costs when we used the car.
I am thankful for the lessons my father taught me. I am also thankful for the articles in the New Era that remind me and help me better realize the great lessons that parents teach their children.
Elder Archie Sheppard Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission
Thanks for the New Era! I know I speak for many people in the Church today when I say that every issue I read seems to have something in it just for me. Some stories have a relieving humor that helps me to know there are other people facing and handling similar problems in life. Others have answers and cause a strengthening of testimony. But most of all, each story or article contains something for everyone, an answer to a problem or a boost for spiritual growth! Each new issue contains a jewel of thought. Thanks for the treasures I get each time I receive the New Era!
Dan Pettegrew Salt Lake City, Utah
Once again I want to tell the New Era what a great job it is doing for the youth of the Church. I have just returned from another youth conference, this time in South Dakota, where I heard a lovely group of Latter-day Saint girls sing “Walk Tall, You’re a Daughter of God” from the April magazine. I have heard this song presented several times lately at girls’ conferences, youth conferences, and standards nights. Thank you for helping our young women remember their divine heritage.
Elaine A. Cannon Young Women General President
I feel I must write about “Your Life Has a Purpose” in the May New Era. This statement is so true. We so often find investigators who think they are nobodies or who feel that there isn’t any meaning to life. Then when we teach them the gospel truths, they change overnight. Many times we teach a person something, and then return later to find him happy and excited about the importance of life. It’s great serving on a mission because we grow in knowledge and love for the Lord. The New Era is great. We love reading it.
Elders Conrad Hafen and Rick Roberts Iowa Des Moines Mission
Thank you for the inspiring words in the September New Era. Reading the New Era always makes me feel closer to Heavenly Father. I am a nurse living away from home, and being involved in shift work limits my Church activity somewhat. But reading the New Era each month always helps to strengthen me. The story “The Old Man Who Sang” in the September issue particularly touched me.
Louise M. Evans Melbourne, Australia
My grandparents gave me a New Era subscription for Christmas. I have enjoyed my first four copies mightily. I am writing to tell you how much I enjoyed the article “The Emergence of Butterflies” in the April 1979 issue. I really thought it was good. Also, I like the Mormonads and other inspiring articles about the members of the Church in different lands. Please keep up the good work!
Elizabeth Dahl Battle Mountain, Nevada
I enjoyed a story called “My Own Movie” in the April New Era. I am a convert to the Church, and the story helped me realize that I ought to do something worthwhile with my life if I’m going to stand before Christ and see it over again. Please tell Dan Lindstrom that our seminary teacher read the article to our class and we all learned something from his terrific lesson.
Deedee Barber Park Forest South, Illinois
On top of the world
Thank you for the January–February New Era. I thoroughly enjoyed “The First Day of Forever.” I’ve only been married 15 months and can really appreciate all the feelings going through the story. The Lord has blessed our home, and with the help of the New Era I really feel on top of the world.
Keri Jarvis Liverpool, N.S.W., Australia