Laney loved to write to missionaries. So much so that she started a club to get her friends involved in writing them, too. She encouraged others to serve missions because she knew it was the right thing to do. She knew that sharing the Gospel was one of the reasons we are here. She firmly believed that she didn’t want to get to the other side and have people ask, ” You knew this all along? Why didn’t you tell me about it?”
So, when she went off to in college, she started the WAM club. It stands for Write a Missionary. She had a standing time every Sunday when the young adults in her ward were all invited to come to her house and write missionaries. Laney wrote to her friends. And then their companions. She felt that maybe if she wrote encouraging letters, it might make a difference. She knew that her letters might be the only mail they received on their missions.
Laney has over 110 first cousins. One of them holds a special place in her heart. He is the same age as her and they and grew up together. She was constantly encouraging him to go on a mission. It took a little longer than normal, but he is now proudly serving a mission. I am sure that she is there beside him when he is discouraged, encouraging him (or maybe kicking him in the behind, if we know Laney).
My little four year old nephew, Soybean (not his real name), knows how important it is to serve a mission, too. He has a little Sunday suit and he calls it his missionary suit. He wants to wear it all the time. He loves it because he knows that Laney’s boyfriend wears a suit. That he wore one on his mission. Soybean wants to be a missionary when he grows up, just like Laney’s boyfriend. He is Soybean’s hero. He is our hero, too.
Laney had so many close friends serving missions, that upon news of her accident, their mission presidents were called by their parents. Two of her best friends, Josh and Solomon were still serving, getting ready to come home. They immediately wrote our family, giving us such sweet tender mercies. Josh came home just two months later. It was so sweet to meet with him after he got home. He brought with him more of those tender mercies that we so desperately needed.
Now we are waiting for Solomon. He will be home in March. I cannot wait to give him the hug that he was waiting to get from Laney. At our house, my family loves super heroes. But they love real heroes more. And real heroes wear name tags.