Last Thanksgiving day, I marked 47 years that I’ve been home from my mission. Me and another elder spent two days playing tourist in Rio de Janeiro and were delayed for some reason, don’t remember now, and arrived at LAX about 3am on Thanksgiving day. Then the flight to SLC was about 7am. Neither myself nor the guy I was traveling with had any money left…I don’t remember what we did for that 4 hours
To make a long story short, I was asking the group if you've saved missionary souvenirs this long since you've been home. I have a box full of letters and some souvenirs and the BOM that my Aunt Leona gave me before I left all full of the red lines.
Do I save it? I already know my kids have NO interest in it and I don't blame them.
Polly, I suspect that you missed that he's been home over 47 years!
I've been home a few months past 50 years. I have two suitcases full of mostly photos. I'm an only child and I am aware that none of my five kids are interested in them. They know their father, but they have no interest in his memories of his mission, not even the one TBM.
I'm of the opinion that all the items I'm hanging on to will be in the trash with weeks of my being caught up to heaven on a white horse named Lucky.
Letters may be of interest to your kids once you're gone. I found letter my Dad wrote home from the Army and his journal after he passed. I'm glad I have them to remember him.
The BoM is a hard call. Do you have other things your aunt left you? Some people keep older scriptures as proof of changes.
I was stranded in Rio about 40 years back. Partied until the money ran out and oddly enough my friends and girls dissapeared at the same time. I was lucky to find 50 centavos on the street and be able to take the earliest bus home.
Even though you've lost that religion, have you dropped your sentimental reasons for keeping family letters and mementos of two years of your life?
My being a sentimentalist I still keep letters from my parents - and they are long ago deceased.
Souvenirs - if they have any meaning to you, why not keep them? You went on an international mission, to somewhere you might not see again. Even if you do, it won't be the same as when you were 19 years old.
So what if your kids won't want them when you're gone? Then again they might. Family history becomes more important to children as they age and mature. And it is a part of your history, so it may matter to them even if it doesn't right now.
As for the BoM, use your best judgment. I've ditched my copies because I don't want it in the house. But then your aunt gave it to you. So there again, that may give it more personal input than just a book of folklore.
Family history and your personal history if it's important to you it is worth keeping IMO.
Sure your kids know you...it's grand kids and great grand kids that will eat up anything that gives them a glimpse of the old farts...where would things be without keepsakes and journals??...depends if they like you I'd guess...most of my old mans stuff just hit the dumpster...not much great to reflect on sad to say...my kids just ate up the pics and journals my mom kept...few tho they were...it was mostly about the old man
People don't realize that there is value in old pictures and letters for people in the future that study the past. A picture of you in front of some landmark or with some person who you think is no one, may be of interest for later generations. Mormon's have no sense of history and I believe exmos are worse, your pictures and letters and sovenirs document what you went through.
My dad kept a very solid wooden box that had really tough hinges and locking clasp on it that he had kept locked since he came home from WWII. Late in his life we discovered my father was gay and he outlived my mom by a number of years. When he died my brother gave me the box and asked me to figure out how to open it without destroying it. I eventually cut off the 1940s lock and the box was full of pictures and letters. Most of them from women who were interested in my father, and you could tell they were quite interested, but his responses were just "friendly." There were also letters from close "friends" who were LDS and also in the Air Force in England. I knew a couple of the people in my dad's pictures and I long suspected both were gay. These guys formed an LDS servicemen's club in the 8th Airforce groups in Eastern England. In looking into the people I identified in the pictures and letters, my wife and I realized that this was probably a group of gay LDS members in the service in WWII who got together for support. We tried to contact family members of some of the other airmen, some were intrigued and as you might guess some were quite hostile. When I retire I hope to write a book about the info we could document.
I saved everything from my mission in Switzerland: name tag, monthly train pass, registration papers from when I moved from one city to another, journal, letters from friends/family, pictures, letters to the mission president, monthly news letter from the mission president, etc. I think I'll burn it all as no one will care about it after I'm dead.
Writing to myself on a blog, putting up one photo at a time and explaining what I remember of it. Darn smart phone cameras are so good so that there's no need to scan the phone, etc. Just click, wait for it to hit the cloud and then copy it into the blog and natter away, while skipping down memory lane.
Maybe one of my kids or grandkids might take a gander, but I kind of wonder how desperate for amusement or entertainment he or she would have to be?
My parents and their siblings hired some hack historians to write family histories and a few biographies of recent ancestors. I was highly skeptical, seeing parents and their money soon parted.
Yet when I read the modest books I found them fascinating. I've pared down my belongings many times, but those volumes plus my old personal journals--as embarrassing as they are--remain secure. They tell a story, which I will one day pass along to my descendants, of how we, their predecessors, screwed everything up.
The ability to convey that information in a few hundred pages is surprisingly important to this skeptical accretion of salt. Which is my way or saying, EOD, that I think anything you can do to preserve your personal story will prove highly valuable to some of your kids and grandkids--and that interest may manifest sooner than you think.
I re-read my mission journals over the holidays. I threw out all the religious stuff and kept the non religious stuff. Throwing out the religious things made me feel more empowered about taking my life back from the TSCC. I have been doing the same with my mental memories too... I purposely do not try to remember anything from my time in the cult.