The essence of darkness

Many thanks for including the poignant and beautifully told story of “Jimmy Drew, Chimney Sweep” in the January-February issue. The illustrator, James Christensen, is to be commended for his excellent portrayal of the story. By placing white print on black you have captured the essence of the miner’s darkness. It is, I think, the best thing I’ve seen in any of the Church magazines.

Lorna Schofield Mt. Lake Terrace, Washington

More Mormonads

I have only been reading the New Era for a year now, and I have enjoyed all the issues. I have especially enjoyed the Mormonads. They have helped me to live a more righteous life. I wish that you had put one in the August issue. I paste them up to remind me how to act and what to do in everyday life. Please keep up the good work and continue to put those Mormonads in the New Era.

Ginger Clark Albuquerque, New Mexico

A future missionary speaks out

My name is William Curtis. I’m a priest. I read and loved the article “President Kimball Speaks Out on Being a Missionary” in the May New Era. Being a convert myself, I felt inspired to write and say thank you. I have been in the Church five months, and I know that the Lord works through President Kimball. I love the Church so much, and I’m so grateful for my leaders and for the missionaries.

William Curtis Maryville, Tennessee

Where would my family be?

I have wanted to write this letter for some time. I would like to first thank you for the New Era. We all need to work on our testimonies, and the New Era helps.

Second, I would like to thank all the missionaries who taught my husband and me. We appreciate their patience and the time they took teaching us. Being very active in missionary work, we know now how frustrating we must have been. To all the missionaries who are teaching dear sisters and brothers who seem like they will never join, please keep praying. Where would my family be now if those missionaries hadn’t prayed so hard for us?

Brother and Sister Thomas Hayes, Virginia

Cowboys need the gospel too

Just a note of appreciation for the article “Headin’ Straight” in the May issue of the New Era. What a fantastic young man Neal Gines was and how we need people like him and his family in rodeo! I have often felt that many Church members steered away from rodeo because it’s a hard and rough sport. I’m thankful to those who let the light of the gospel shine in areas that seem a little dark, because cowboys need the gospel too. I’d like to express my sympathy to Brother and Sister Gines and also to thank them for giving Neal the opportunity to let his light shine in the world of rodeo.

Marlene Hofmann Alberta, Canada

Taking turns

I would like to express my joy in having the New Era in my home. Each month when we receive it, my brother and I take turns reading it. One month I get it first, then the next month he gets it first. Last month my mother got it before either of us and hid it so that she could read it. She always says that when we finish reading each issue we always put it in our rooms where she can’t find it.

Every Monday night our family has family home evening, and each week one member of the family gives the lesson. I always enjoy sharing the prophet’s message, and I look forward to that each month. President Kimball’s messages are the first thing I turn to when I get my hands on the magazine.

Jim Johnston San Antonio, Texas

A fair exchange

I am a nonmember. Eighteen months ago, while I was living in Idaho as an exchange student from Guatemala City, Guatemala, I first learned about the Church. Since that time, I have studied and prayed about it until I received a testimony, a testimony that grows when I read the New Era. I read it from cover to cover, and I enjoy each one of its articles. I especially liked “President Kimball Speaks Out on Being a Missionary” in the May issue and “Private Battle” by Kevin Kennedy in the July issue. I am grateful for the publication of such a great magazine.

I am especially grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Dewey Jensen who gave me my subscription. They were the first two Mormons I met, and they gave me a really good example of what it means to be a Mormon. I consider them to be my second parents. I am also grateful to the missionaries who taught me the gospel. Gracias.

Ana Ovando Guatemala City, Guatemala

Comfort, advice, understanding

I’d like to express what the New Era means to me. I once took this magazine for granted, but now as I read it, it inspires me to learn more about my Heavenly Father and to live the gospel. The messages about the Church and the teenagers of the Church that I receive through the New Era stories and articles uplift me and make me want to accomplish my goals. These stories offer comfort, advice, and much-needed understanding. They also give me greater courage and a desire to be a good example by living the high standards of the Church.

Dawn Richards Espanola, New Mexico

My hunger can feed me

I’ve just finished reading “My Transfer to Understanding” in the January-February New Era. It’s amazing how you can spend your life looking for something that always seems to elude you. Then one warm afternoon just as the sun has mellowed you and your surroundings into a peace-filled oasis, you read a sentence that brings your whole blurred life into sharp focus, exploding your little vision of yourself into a stingingly clear vision of truth. Brother Toscano wrote, “It’s odd, but the truth is that we can never get enough of what we don’t want, because what we don’t want will never satisfy us.”

Heavenly Father has been good to me. He has given me hunger. And slowly, in bits and pieces, he is teaching me how my own hunger can feed me. I’m grateful to him for preparing me to recognize what I am. I’m grateful to Paul Toscano for helping me to see into one of the caves inside myself.

Bianca Branden Osaka, Japan

Waiting upon the Lord

“Walk and Not Be Weary” in the March New Era brought home to me just how important it is to prepare ourselves spiritually for the tests of life, to build up that spiritual reservoir so that in times of crisis we can survive, rise above the challenge, and conquer. My story is similar to Kris Logan’s, although it has nothing to do with skiing. I’m serving the Lord on a mission, but I’ve been having problems with my health. I’ve had to spend a great deal of time in the flat. A lot of that time has been wasted, but I’m just really beginning to realize that Heavenly Father is giving me this time to really prepare myself spiritually, not only for my mission but for life. The scripture quoted in the story, Isaiah 40:28–30 [Isa 40:28–30], is truly beautiful, and I, like Kris, “intend to wait upon the Lord.”

Sister Lesley Burton Australia Brisbane Mission