Land stewardship

The article by Bruce Hronek, “Leave No Trace,” in the March 1988 issue of the New Era was excellent. The theme of “service to others whom we may never see” was most appropriate. We in the Forest Service appreciate your conveying this message to the youth of the Church. “Leave No Trace” is a Christian land stewardship ethic that must be put into practice if future generations are to have natural places for spiritual and physical renewal.

Thanks for the article on the Heber Valley youth group that volunteered to construct a wall. That wall prevents flood damage at a popular recreation site in the Uinta National Forest. This kind of service creates enjoyable surroundings for the public and saves a lot of tax dollars.

Your entire March issue should provide a wealth of service ideas to youth and their leaders. Thank you for allowing us to be part of it.

Philip B. Johnson Interpretive Services Coordinator, Intermountain Region Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture

“Different”

I want to deeply thank you for the well-written article in the February 1988 New Era, “Who Do We Think We Are?” I know what it is like to be without nice clothing, to have physical defects, and to be verbally abused by associates and shunned by social cliques because I’m “different.”

With help from prayerful scripture study and the Holy Ghost, I’ve learned to let my experiences be stepping stones, not stumbling blocks. Living through the effects of that and other challenges has taught me a tremendous love for those physically, mentally, or emotionally disabled. My life has been filled with such friends. I have many friends today. However, I especially look toward befriending these “different” people. I’ve learned that they’re some of Heavenly Father’s choicest children, and my association with them enriches my life immensely.

My dearest friend, before he died, lived well the following standard: “One is handicapped only when he fails to cope with his disability.” I feel sorry for those in today’s world who don’t “know who they are.” They are handicapped.

Carol U. Rickman South Gate, California

I can’t wait

For a while now I’ve feared being called on a mission. Maybe it’s because I knew it was the right thing for me to do, and I was denying it. A few weeks ago I received my patriarchal blessing saying I would serve a mission. This upset me, and I knew it shouldn’t, so I prayed that my feelings would change. The following Sunday my Young Women president gave a great lesson on serving the Lord. Things were looking up. During the week the March 1988 New Era came. I’m so thankful for the article “Called to Serve Him.” My views have changed, and I can’t wait to serve a mission for the Lord! Thanks!

Cheri Johnson Sterling Heights, Michigan

G’day

G’day! I’m just writing to say a quick thank you to all those full-time missionaries out there doing the Lord’s work. It’s one of my goals to serve a mission one day. I’m currently on the last few months of a year’s exchange to Australia. This is one country where the gospel is virtually unknown and sometimes joked about, but I know that at least in my area people know a lot more about the “Mormons” and what we believe.

I’m so glad the things I learned in seminary and from teachers, advisers, and especially my parents, have paid off well. Plus, all the news and strength I get from each month’s New Era really sees me through both good and bad times. I’ve passed on some issues to friends at school (a bit of premissionary work I guess) and know I’ve opened a few doors to those searching for the truth. I’m hoping to be able to be true to the Lord, my family, my friends, and myself wherever I go and in whatever I do. The New Era has really helped me in that, especially the Scripture Lifeline.

The Church and gospel are quietly progressing in the land down under. I am lucky enough to attend a small branch every Sunday, and have noticed the unwavering strength of the Saints here. There have been times when changes in the Church format are unknown (as it is fairly isolated), and we are behind in a lot of the programs, but testimonies are real and the love for God is beautiful. The members are setting wonderful examples for others and are greatly admired for the standards they follow. I’m proud to be a member of the Church here.

Lisa Stamps Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia

Can do

I’m very grateful for the New Era. As a missionary for the Lord it is very hard to find some books to uplift us. And I have found that this magazine can do it. I am in the Australia Melbourne Mission, and I love it. Thanks, New Era, for making my mission what it should be. The gospel is true. I love it.

Sister Rachel E. Warr Australia Melbourne Mission

Strictly business

Our eighth-grade English class at Lehi Junior High is writing business letters. I thought the New Era was a good place to write to. I would like to thank you for all of the many great articles and stories you have brought to me. They have made life better for me and the people around me. The Mormonads are probably my favorite.

Angie Smith Lehi, Utah