How to avoid stale mail

I deeply enjoy the New Era. I read it every month. I’m currently serving in the Spain Seville Mission. After reading the New Era, I understand how important it is to the missionaries and to those preparing to go on missions. I am writing this letter to make a suggestion that could help the missionaries around the world. In the October 1981 issue there was an article titled “That’s How the Cookie Doesn’t Crumble.” The author writes of some of the problems in sending packages to missionaries and some ways to avoid these problems. After working in the mission office for the past few months, I have come to realize that there are a few things that can be done to insure that letters will arrive more quickly and easily. These same precautions will also help the missions save money.

One problem is that we constantly receive letters at the mission office for elders in the field. When we receive these letters, we forward them to the proper missionary. But many times we receive letters with the address written so big that it leaves us no room to add a forwarding address. We must then either put the letter in another envelope and pay for the postage to resend it or buy white stickers to place over the old address so that we can write in the new one. If everyone would write smaller it would really help out.

Another problem we come up against is the use of nicknames on letters. When we receive a letter addressed to “The Rock,” or to “Elder Cheeseburger & Fries,” we have no way of telling who the letter belongs to. It is also a good idea to include the missionary’s first and last names. These are just a few suggestions that may help missionaries get their mail.

Working in the mission office, I have access to the New Era files. I really enjoy reading through the back issues.

Elder Paul Anderson Spain Seville Mission

Coming across

Since joining the Church a little over three years ago, I have always enjoyed reading the New Era. I have not read it as regularly as I should have, and being on a mission now I get to read it only when I come across a copy now and then.

The other day I came across a copy of the September 1981 issue and decided to take some time to read it. This I did, and now I wish I had been reading it more often. There were several articles which impressed me greatly. Among them were “Swifter, Higher, Stronger” by Elder Robert L. Backman and “President Kimball Speaks Out on Planning Your Life.” I surely learned some important principles from these two articles. They helped me expand my horizons as well as set worthwhile goals, not only for my formal mission but also for my lifelong mission.

Elder Augustus Chin San Bernardino Mission

I had no idea

On July 25th I sang “The Lord Is My Strength” in my ward sacrament meeting. Before I received the June 1982 issue of the New Era, I had no idea what I was going to sing. When it arrived I only glanced at the music, but after I had heard my friend play through the music on her piano, I realized that I had found my song for sacrament meeting.

Now I look forward to each new issue of the New Era, hoping there will be a new “In Tune” selection. I also love reading every story and message that come with every new issue. Thanks for the never-ending guidance I have received through the pages of the New Era.

Tanya Chamberlain San Jose, California

New era of work

I always read the New Era. I really think the stories help in my life, especially the story in the July edition about the pioneer girls and all the work they had to do. When I have work to do I will remember those girls, and it will make it easier for me.

Michelle Middledorf Silver Spring, Maryland

Jy wen die goue medalje

Enforced confinement for seven weeks is a bit tough for a person used to playing sports every day. But that’s what a generous dose of glandular fever and jaundice does for you. It also puts an end to school, church, Mutual, and early morning seminary.

Alas! It does not damage the brain cells, so after five hours a day of studying (the amount required to keep up in school) the New Era is lifted with anticipation as faint strains of music, reminiscent of the Tabernacle Choir, ring softly in the distance. Illness fades into oblivion.

Well, it’s not that dramatic, but it sure is a welcome break and a great tonic for isolation—not just the isolation of illness but also that of living in a small branch. When youth conferences are reported, we devour them with a touch of green around the gills. However, it does give us something to strive for. Maybe we too can have a district youth conference with 400 of us. After all, that’s only 350 to convert.

The New Era is terrific. It’s being used by my English class in their poetry anthologies. As I’m the only Mormon, it’s a great missionary tool. In fact, it’s just all around great. Even when I’ve read all the issues four times already, I can still always find a new article with that special sparkle on the fifth time through. As we say in South Africa: “Jy wen die goue medalje.” (You win the gold medal.)

Tessa Meyer Cape Town, South Africa