Dear Robert James Walker,
It's probably really odd to be the only boy in the home. There is only two of you left. Monica and you. Robert, I'm super proud of you. For the longest time I thought you were 12. Turns out you are 13. In this ward, the Orangeburg ward, I am well acquainted with the 12 year olds and I am surprised how grown up they are. I was thinking they were older than you (you were younger than they now are when I left). Upon discovery of your real age, I've come to realize you are a lot more grown up then I remember you being. Both in height and maturity and strength and wisdom and knowledge. Wow. You are probably amazing.
Don't forget to keep up with daily scripture study. Read the Book of Mormon if you haven't read it by yourself yet. Start by prayer to help you understand the scriptures.
You are a leader. Part of the responsibility of being a leader is to figure out how to lead. This is done by prayer and fasting and searching the scriptures. If you ever have any questions about anything I recommend asking Dad; if he, or Mom doesn't know the answer to the question you might pose, ask Monica. If she doesn't know, ask Alexandria... Oh wait... Scratch all that, ask me first (after God). =)
I love you lots Robert. You are super. I look forward to seeing you in October. Hopefully you get this letter before you leave to Idaho... Second thought, I'll mail this letter to Alexandria, then you'll get it for sure. Now that I'm going to do this... are you surprised you got a letter in Idaho? Hahaha.
I read somewhere that one of the biggest sins members of the church will commit is that of ingratitude We are so very blessed of God. It is amazing how immediately he blesses us (Mosiah 2:24). Be sure to remember what a great son you are of God. You have divine potential. I cannot even fathom what that means. You are developing characteristics unto perfection. Learn the gospel. I promise, Robert, if you learn about the Restoration, about the Plan of Salvation, about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and about the Commandments as given to us in Preach My Gospel chapter 3 well enough to teach the lessons before you are a missionary, you will have much the advantage in the mission field.
Take time from Family Home Evening to practice teaching parts of the lessons to the rest of the family. Teach one principle at a time until you can teach two principles at a time and sooner or later teacher all the gospel in full before you go on a mission. Invite your friends to church. Invite your friends to scout activities. Invite your friends to service projects. I wish I had done this more. It's the same thing as your friends inviting you to go fishing with them or to a birthday party. Except you will be offering a much more important and eternal blessing to your friends. If you really love your friends wouldn't you share with them the most important thing in your entire life that they can get, for free? Bear your testimony. One of my favorite quotes is, "Personal testimony is the strongest arrow in my quiver." Keep the highest expectations for yourself. Mom, Dad, Joshua, Alexandria, Monica and I have really high expectations for you. We've all seen you grown up and we all love you and know where your heart is. But not as well as Heavenly Father. He knows you perfectly, better than you know yourself and He is preparing you to be divine. He has perfect expectations of your. When God says you can do it, He's right, you can do anything with the Lord's help; just remember to ask for help. Develop meekness (great power unter complete control). I feel like that will be part of how Heavenly Father is going to use you in the future. You will be a great tool in his hands due to your meekness.
I would encourage you to write in your journal daily. Ask Alex for one if you don't have one. She's sure to know where to find some. Every day write down in your journal what you are thankful for in that day. I promise you will find strength in this when you go through struggles and need to feel the spirit, if you go back to journal and read those things you have been thankful.
I love you lots Robert,
Elder Benjamin Ray Walker
What exactly are you going to do on your mission?I have accepted the calling to be a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so that I may share the gospel to those who are yearning to know of the truth of the gospel. I have answers to questions that people don't even know to ask. I am going to tell people where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. I will explain to everyone that will listen why Christ is the center of the Plan of Happiness and why the Atonement that Jesus Christ has provided for us is necessary for our salvation.