The Lost Art of Letter Writing

I love getting mail.  Well… I love getting letters and packages.  With the advent of personal communication technology like text messages and email, getting a letter or card is becoming more and more rare an event (making me even more excited when I get an actual letter).  But I still keep up the tradition of actually writing a letter.

Every week I sit down and pen a letter to my son who is serving a mission (LDS) in Arizona. Before that, I wrote other missionaries and my great-aunt (until she passed away).

I have always loved writing letters.  I am not sure if it is the paper (since I am a well known paper addict) or the pens (ditto).  I write the letters to my son on Star Trek fold and send stationery with my Sakura gel pens (they glow in black light, btw, which is cool and makes me want to draw all over myself and buy a black light for the bedroom…ahem).  This is my favorite sort of stationery.  I can fill one of these little things in less than 10 minutes on a break.

I write a letter much like I say a prayer – giving thanks for the things I have going on that are positive, updating with the news and needs, quirky things that come to mind, then ending with more thanks and gratitude for the blessings I have.  Like prayers, letters should be as positive and grateful as possible.  You want the person receiving them to look forward to the next one.

I know that despite the constant contact we have with even long distance friends, instant messages, webcams, etc. people still love to get letters.  When I was young, you could write to certain youth organizations and get a pen pal – fortunately for us as adults, there are still pen pals out there to gather and write.  Here are a few really great ideas for adults to keep up their writing skills and improve the world just a little in the meantime:

Adopt a Platoon – – Adopt a soldier!  Write someone serving overseas and spread a little sunshine.

Worldvision – – Sponsor a child in another country.  Letters are encouraged in many of the sites where you can sponsor a child.

Check with your local ward, parish, congregation and ask your pastor about people who need/want contact that don’t have access to the internet.  This is a great way to keep your faith community fellowshipped and stay up on your letter writing skills.

If you don’t have a local faith community, try a shelter or a community center and talk to the director about your desire for a pen pal.

The plus side of letters are:

  1. They usually get delivered
  2. They can’t be deleted accidentally
  3. force you to spell correctly without autocorrect
  4. can be much prettier than a text message

And as a bonus I’ll add a video:

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