SophJ

What to write to a missionary if I am a nonmember?

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SophJ, I was inactive when my buddy went on his mission.  We wrote each other often.  20+ years later, they are pretty meaningful to me.

Write him!  Keep it light at first, just talk about stuff, invite a response.  You don't need to be anything other than yourself.  Fake is pretty much always horrible IMO.  Anatess's example is a good example, if you can say stuff like that and be genuine.

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10 hours ago, SophJ said:

I grew up in the church, and up until about a year ago I was an active member. I am no longer active nor do I wish to be, it’s not something that works for me. The complicated side of that is I was seriously dating a boy who left on a mission recently and I have no idea how to write to him. I want to write to him and send him uplifting things and support him, but I don’t know what to write about considering I don’t believe in the same things as the lds church. So I don’t want to send the typical weekly miracles, favorite scriptures, uplifting Sunday school lessons, etc. because that would just be fake. So what do I write? He knows me, he knows I’m not active and don’t plan on being, and that’s been totally okay for a long time now. 

As the resident non-member, I sometimes see posts like this a bit differently. I served 7 years as a missionary in Korea (teaching English and offering Bible studies 'on the side'). So, I am just imagining if an old flame from high school, who was clearly not a Christian, wrote to me. If I was still tempted by the relationship (in my church interfaith marriages are not approved) the letter would serve as a distraction, at minimum. On the other hand, if it's just an old relationship that went by the wayside, ended well, and now there is some catching up, and remembering of the past, and some tidbits from home, it could be fine. My bottom line suggestion:  If your goal is to bring a bit of light encouragement and memories, keep the material casual. If you are hoping for a future with the boy, think twice. Do you really want someone who will always be hoping you "come back?" He may love you as you are, but he'll pray for what you could be--every day. Personally, I counsel against it. I believe the Apostle Paul backs me up.  But hey...I'm not even a member, so just take this as "for what it's worth."

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10 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

As the resident non-member, I sometimes see posts like this a bit differently. I served 7 years as a missionary in Korea (teaching English and offering Bible studies 'on the side'). So, I am just imagining if an old flame from high school, who was clearly not a Christian, wrote to me. If I was still tempted by the relationship (in my church interfaith marriages are not approved) the letter would serve as a distraction, at minimum. On the other hand, if it's just an old relationship that went by the wayside, ended well, and now there is some catching up, and remembering of the past, and some tidbits from home, it could be fine. My bottom line suggestion:  If your goal is to bring a bit of light encouragement and memories, keep the material casual. If you are hoping for a future with the boy, think twice. Do you really want someone who will always be hoping you "come back?" He may love you as you are, but he'll pray for what you could be--every day. Personally, I counsel against it. I believe the Apostle Paul backs me up.  But hey...I'm not even a member, so just take this as "for what it's worth."

I appreciate the concern with my relationship, but I’m not going to think twice about a future with someone over something like religion. He has come and gone from the church but ultimately decided it’s something for him, and fully understands my perspectives. I was not asking for advice concerning my relationship choices or whether or not I should keep in contact. This is not just “an old flame” from high school. Thank you for the advice and concern but it’s not the situation you are describing and trying to give advice for. Thank you.

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11 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Yeah, I don’t quite get the perception in the Church that missionaries need to be remotely mollycoddled.  They’re grown adults, for one thing; and for another they’re getting plenty of spiritual nurture from the work that they’re doing.  The value in a letter from home is in the preservation of old friendships and in passing on news of interest; not in yet another dose of spiritual saccherine pulcritude.  Don’t dump drama on the guy—but don’t be afraid to keep things real, either.

Thank you so much! This is super reassuring and helpful haha

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9 hours ago, SophJ said:

I appreciate the concern with my relationship, but I’m not going to think twice about a future with someone over something like religion.

He might.  ;)

And it would be super sad to see him go on a mission and leave the church to marry you.

But you're right, this is not what you wanted to talk about.  Eh, this is the internet.  Everything goes.  At least until Prisonchaplain cracks the whip on us.  Hah! :)

 

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1 hour ago, anatess2 said:

He might.  ;)

And it would be super sad to see him go on a mission and leave the church to marry you.

But you're right, this is not what you wanted to talk about.  Eh, this is the internet.  Everything goes.  At least until Prisonchaplain cracks the whip on us.  Hah! :)

 

Sorry but it’s not your place to tell me what he might and might not want, pretty sure I know him better than you can guess and have actually talked with him about this.  And it’s his choice to leave or not over something like marriage. And I don’t think it’s okay for you say that it would be “super sad” for him to make the decision to marry me just because I’m not religious. Thank you for your input though! 

Edited by SophJ

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7 minutes ago, SophJ said:

Sorry but it’s not your place to tell me what he might and might not want, pretty sure I know him better than you can guess and have actually talked with him about this.  And it’s his choice to leave or not over something like marriage. And I don’t think it’s okay for you say that it would be “super sad” for him to make the decision to marry me just because I’m not religious. Thank you for your input though! 

Ok, I missed something here.  

I thought this guy was just a friend.  What's this talk about marriage?

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41 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

Ok, I missed something here.  

I thought this guy was just a friend.  What's this talk about marriage?

Haha we were pretty seriously dating for several months before he left 

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1 hour ago, SophJ said:

Sorry but it’s not your place to tell me what he might and might not want, pretty sure I know him better than you can guess and have actually talked with him about this.  And it’s his choice to leave or not over something like marriage. And I don’t think it’s okay for you say that it would be “super sad” for him to make the decision to marry me just because I’m not religious. Thank you for your input though! 

Say what?

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23 hours ago, zil said:

blueblack.thumb.jpg.39508c79ea5ba42a6b14336dad22c92d.jpg

I admire your diligence in observing NMD yesterday. "Pulchitrude", indeed! Though I confess the "tr" was a beautiful combination.

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20 hours ago, SophJ said:

I appreciate the concern with my relationship, but I’m not going to think twice about a future with someone over something like religion. He has come and gone from the church but ultimately decided it’s something for him, and fully understands my perspectives. I was not asking for advice concerning my relationship choices or whether or not I should keep in contact. This is not just “an old flame” from high school. Thank you for the advice and concern but it’s not the situation you are describing and trying to give advice for. Thank you.

Your initial post confuses me, then. You are absolutely right that it's a bit forward for anyone to offer you unsolicited advise about your relationship choices, and whether they are appropriate or not. I thought you were asking for counsel on what to write, because you wanted to be supportive, while not being dishonest with your missionary friend. So, without understanding your actual intentions, we did our best to guess, and give our thoughts. If you are planning to maintain the relationship all the way to marriage, then there are a few posters here that are in interfaith relationships. They may give you better insights. Regardless, I wish you well! :-)

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12 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

So, are you actively thinking about marrying this dude?   

Not 100% sure right at this moment to be honest. There’s a definite possibility, but I mean a lot can change in two years so I guess we’ll see. I don’t wanna just stop all communication with him for the entirety of his mission, that’s for sure haha. I can see it definitely moving forward in the future, but who knows. 

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Guys, haha I just needed ideas of what to write in emails/letters because I didn’t know where to start. I truly appreciate all the concern and deep relationship advice about religion and how that could affect it in the future, but that’s really not what I was asking. Thank you for your time and comments though about it 😊 and all this talk about marriage is a couple years off haha, who knows what’s gonna happen in the next two years. I’m not writing to him so he’ll remember to come home and marry me whether I’m a member or not. That’s not at all what I’m trying to do and I feel like that’s what my comments has been skewed to be. I’m writing to him just to be supportive and encouraging because I love him as a person and I wish him the best. You’re all lovely and so willing to jump to my aid in answering things very straightforward, so thank you 💜 just wanted to get that all straightened out and clear haha. 

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