You may have heard about the restrictions placed on missionaries in Russia and surrounding countries. When writing home, they are not allowed to name any members or investigators, to discuss church activities or anything involving the government. No one can appear in photos but themselves– not even their companion.

Still, I haven’t minded because rather than reading about what my son in the Russia Yekaterinburg Mission is doing, we get to hear about what he’s thinking and feeling. I think all his letters are extraordinary, (I’m his mama) but this excerpt is worth sharing:

I used to think of my life as a story. I thought about how some details would be important and how others would just fade away. I thought about who would be the villain and who would be my main friend in my adventures. And then I had a scary thought. I had assumed that I was the hero of the story and that everything revolved around me. But what if the hero was really Ben? Who would I be? Or one of my friends? Or someone in another country? Then I would fade into the crowd.

I thought about this and then I realized that the real hero of this story did live in another country. Even in another time. He lived and died a long time ago, but because He is the main character in this story and everything revolves around Him. We still talk about Him and what he did. I had thought earlier about how if one of my friends was the hero, that my standing in the story would all depend on how close I was to him. And really, seeing as we know that Christ is the hero of this story, our whole eternal standing depends on where we stand in relationship to Him. If we stay close to Christ we can be sure we’re on the right path. So in this story, we are still mentioned. We are the ones who are proclaiming His life many years after He walked the streets of Jerusalem. In any other story, this would not make sense. He lived and died so long ago. But there’s a grand difference in this story, the one that makes it so important.

He lives.



  1. Amira

    June 19, 2014

    That was lovely, thank you.

    I have to say I am happy to hear about this new rule. I’ve lived in that part of the world as a regular member and I’ve been surprised and dismayed at the things some missionaries write home that are then posted on public blogs. I’m sure it’s disappointing for the families of the missionaries though. You only get a tiny glimpse into the life of your missionary and you’ve lost a big chunk of that, but I think it’s wonderful that you get to read more about what they are thinking and feeling.

  2. Lisa

    June 19, 2014

    What an awesome son you have! Sounds like he’s really internalized the gospel. We have a missionary from our ward in Ukraine; these last days can be challenging. But like your son, I’m sticking close by Jesus. He’s the winner.

  3. Bridget

    June 19, 2014

    THAT was great. I would love to get a letter from my son like that (in about 16 years when he’s old enough to serve a mission) 🙂

  4. Carrie

    June 19, 2014

    LOVE this! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Jennifer B.

    June 19, 2014


  6. Barb

    June 19, 2014

    This was great!

  7. Teresa Bruce

    June 19, 2014

    This is a beautiful reminder that we have the agency to write ourselves into our Savior’s story by our choices.

  8. Cheri

    June 30, 2014

    Beautiful! I love how he leads carefully up to the main thing — He lives. I’m going to remember this. He won’t mind if I read his words one day in a lesson or talk?

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