I have a missionary who is currently serving a mission in France. Is it OK for a missionary to leave a girlfriend at home? While he is gone, what should I focus on when I write to him? Since he is gone and growing a great deal spiritually, what should I do to prepare and grow spiritually while he is gone?
Gennie, from Rialto, California
Those are good, thoughtful questions from someone who has a boyfriend on a mission. If you really love this young man, I’m sure that you would want him to have the most successful mission possible. Your letters would probably help him most if they somehow encouraged him to concentrate on devoting himself exclusively to the work of the Lord. Too frequent letters would be a distraction, causing him to think too much of home and girlfriend. If you let him know that you will be writing rather infrequently because you don’t want to distract him from the work, he would probably understand and admire you for it. Depending on how close your relationship is, I imagine that it would also be a good idea to relieve any of his anxieties about whether or not you plan to be there for him when he returns.
Now concerning your own preparation for his return. You will do your part well if you are faithful to your commitments to the Lord and are actively participating in the growth of the kingdom. Attending Institute would be a good idea. But in an attempt to be on his level spiritually when he would returns I would suggest that you immerse yourself in the Book of Mormon. He will know it well and love it. So if you could also know it well, it could become a great bond between you. I would set up some sort of a schedule to spend a reasonable amount of quality time in the Book of Mormon every day. You may be surprised at your own growth as you ponder and personalize the divine truths that are so aptly revealed therein.