I was a little hesitant at first to post my son's mission letters on a blog, because I knew that he has weaknesses of character that others would see. As the first few letters arrived, those fears were confirmed. lol They occasionally included words of which I disapprove, or subjects that I felt should not be discussed. In my mind, bodily functions, or any other experience that detracts from the ideal image of a missionary, were ones best left unsaid. But I ultimately decided to post them anyway, because I knew that a mission is a spiritual evolution for the one serving, and those who read the letters will also begin to see that change.
There are many reasons I wanted my son to serve a mission. I'm sure he also had many reasons of his own. First, in our church we feel it is a Priesthood duty to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world. Second, having served a mission myself, I have a great love for this work. Third, I knew that he would have experiences that would shape his entire life. I'm starting to see those happening already. While the first letters didn't show much development, I'm now starting to see the payoff. Only 6 weeks in to his mission, and I can already see a greater depth of spirituality, and maturity.
One of the lessons that my son has already learned is that even though a mission is hard work, it also is a lot of fun. So there will continue to be funny stories, or goofy anecdotes. But even if all of the spiritual lessons aren't communicated in a letter, I know from experience that they are communicated to him. I can't help but think about that old saying, "Be patient, God isn't finished with me yet."