My best friend is serving an LDS mission across the US. I am going to miss him dearly. Can you please lend some tips on how I can help preserve our friendship as I won’t see him for 2 years?
Friendships are preserved through proximity and common interests. Obviously you’ll be losing the proximity aspect, but fortunately that issue was solved years ago. Missionaries are to write family weekly, and are free to keep correspondence with friends outside the mission. So write him, send him packages, tell him what’s happening in your life. Just keep in mind that missionaries are busy, so he may not be able to reply to each one (or he may have never been much of a writer to begin with).
As part of your correspondence, you’ll continue to build common interests by sharing exciting moments in your life and asking him about his. During this time, you may want to have some missionary experiences yourself and see how they compare with your friend’s. You can spend time with your local missionaries, and then in your next letter when you share your experience, follow it by asking if he’s had something similar. Also, he’s reading his scriptures every day (especially The Book of Mormon), so you should too. Share a passage that’s found new meaning and ask if he’s read anything particularly inspiring lately.
The idea in all this is that you are still engaging him in conversation. It’s an interrupted and slow dialog, but it’s still a conversation nonetheless.