[Editor's Note: Throughout this first part of Elder Simons' mission, I have received letters and phone calls from the people in Elder Simons' area, and thought I would share part of the most recent one, which happens to be from the bishop's wife of the ward in which he is serving. I love knowing that he is loved and taken care of at a time that I can't be right there]
Thank you for writing to me! I'm thinking, "where to I begin to talk about Elder Simons!" I wish I could express adequately what a sweet privilege it is to have gotten to know your son. He is a pure joy to be around and has such a great personality; he makes us laugh all the time now that he knows us pretty well. Doing things for him is small in comparison to what he does for us! He has this incredible heart for serving and there are many times when I would think..."I wish his mom could see him right now"...washing our dishes without being asked, helping us move stuff in the rain, entertaining my 5-year old during church which isn't always easy, clearing our old garden stuff before dinner, and just plain being patient with all of my kids who love him so much that they get all crazy when he comes over.
And then there are several times when I pass him on the road and He's riding his bike between Gridley and Biggs with all of his might. He works hard to meet his appointments no matter how far he has to ride. He is definitely getting plenty of exercise! He has such a desire to teach, serve and help. I love his testimony of the Savior which he bore a few weeks ago.
I have enjoyed doing sewing for him so don't worry about anything that way. It's really just a blessing to be able to.
There's just one hard thought and that's that he inevitably will get a transfer and that's going to be really hard for me and all of us because we love him a lot. I always cry when my kids go off to college or something, and it feels just the same way. I've never had a missionary feel like one of my own. I hope you don't mind me saying that. Elder Simons will always be special to us; I'm glad he started here so we can kind of keep track of him throughout his mission and hopefully be of support also. He loves you so much and always talks about his parents and family with great fondness and gratitude.