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Monday, June 18, 2012

Week 86: The Letter Every Parent Hopes to Get Someday

Father and son, 2003.
Editor's note: Being a parent is full of little rewards, like a kiss or hug, or maybe the occasional "Thanks." But sometimes you wish you could get a little more, that maybe your kids could put into words what you hope they have learned from you. I don't know if other parents get that reward. I hope they do. We got that reward yesterday from our son A.J. He probably has no idea how much this week's letter really means to us. Thanks Elder. -- Dad

Dear Family,

Happy Fathers Day! I am so thankful to be born of goodly parents and I am so thankful to be such close friends with my parents. Especially here in the Philippines I've seen how blessed I have been and what a fantastic blessing the gospel of Jesus Christ is! We are really lucky -- a lot of people are not born with the gospel and sometimes with parents that don't care about them too well or aren't the nicest. A few weeks ago in district meeting our district leader, Elder Rocaberte, had us write down 5 things we learned from our parents. Being especially appropriate now as it is Father's Day, I will share what I wrote down.
1.It is easier to be 100% obedient than 98% obedient.I remember sitting next to Dad in preisthood meeting back in the day and Pres. Monson told the story about the basketball player not playing on Sunday and I remember Dad writing down in my notebook that line and here on my mission I have really reflected about how much Mom ALWAYS was a quiet humble example of being obedient every time. So thanks to both of you. I love you

2. Hard work is very important, and we need to be honest w/ our employer about our work. I remember working with Dad in the orchard and at basketball games and in all kinds of different things and one thing I've learned that I always try to apply is that in order to be honest, that really includes giving an honest day's effort to our employers -- and its doubly important, I've found, out here on the mission as the Savior is the employer and the cause is the greatest of all mankind. Mom is also one of the hardest working people I know.

3. Don't hold back in being kind and generousThis has taken a long time for me to learn while out on my mission and I still have a long ways to go. It's really hard to be generous and willing to give your food, time and other things to others generously and freely without expecting anything in return. Dad is one of the most generous people I know and I believe would give anything even his life for his family. I have observed and watched Mom for years come from long, hard days at work and serve others at home, in callings and constantly being about doing good.

4. Forgive and forget and look for good in othersI've done some pretty knuckle-headed things in the past and I've noticed that conflicts arise, even in great families, but the key that Mom and Dad have taught me is to forgive and forget and move on with life. Here in the mission, it is incredibly important to get over any hurt feelings immediately so that you can be worthy of the spirit. As with a family, it is really important (and sometimes hard) to look for good and avoid thinking about and forgiving negative traits. If we look for bad in another, Satan will help us find something really quick, but the key is to look for good in others.

5. Honesty, doing what you say you will do From a young age I liked to sneak little snacks from the treat bucket at home and cover them with with little white lies. Fortunately, I am a terrible liar, which helped Mom and Dad teach me the importance of being honest. I have also seen Mom and Dad do things that were really hard or out of the way to fulfill a promise. When I asked them about it, I have come to learn that even in hard circumstances if we said we are going to do something, we need to do it.  I have come to know as well that honesty is one of the most important attributes. I am thankful to have honest parents.

6. (Oops somehow my list of 5 become 6 ... I could go on for a while, Mom and Dad, you are really awesome) but #6 is The importance of the gospel.
I have seen for years how Mom and Dad have paid tithing faithfully through good times and bad, served in church callings, always gone to church, studied the scriptures, held family home evening (even when moody teenagers like me tirelessly opposed, at times) and have always shared their testimony through words and actions about how important the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. I have definitely gained my own testimony, especially on my mission, about this principle that you have so tirelessly taught. I know that when we do what is right, keep the commandments and do our best, things will work out -- always! I love this gospel and I know its so true! Thank your for living it your whole lives and showing us that.

So I am running out of time, but things are going great. I am so thankful for our family and for you, Mom and Dad. I hope you know how much I love you and am thankful for you!

I hope Dad has a great Fathers Day and I am so thankful for your letters and prayers.

LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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