Have you ever gotten someone else's mail? I'm sure most of us have, and that is exactly what happened to us! Last Monday we were going through our large bundle of mail from over the weekend and in the stack was maybe 1/3 of a torn up letter.
The letter was torn vertically, leaving us only with a return address. So all the information we had was that the letter was from Elder Nate Harris who is currently on an LDS Mission in New York. But we did not know who it was intended for, or anything about who this missionary was. Some of you may be familiar with LDS missionaries (Mormon Missionaries) some may not. But basically you have young men and women who have decided to dedicate their lives to teach about the LDS church and serve a mission. Men who serve are gone for 2 years, I cant imagine spending that much time away from my family and friends, so we wanted to reunite this missionary with his letter. We initially were just going to put the letter in an envelope and send it back to the Missionary so he could forward the letter to whom ever was suppose to receive it.
Hollie, the owner of The Mending Shed, thought about what to do with the letter, Since it was going to a missionary she thought about what her mom would do. Ellen, Hollie's mom passed away a few years ago, and she loved Missionaries, they were one of her favorite things. Having raised 2 boys of her own whom served LDS missions themselves, she loved to send care packages to her missionaries. Anyone who was lucky enough to know Ellen Palmer could tell you what a sweet and caring person she was. Knowing Ellen would not only return the letter to Elder Harris she would also send a care package, Hollie knew that we had to send this missionary a care package to go along with his torn letter. Its hard enough being away from your family, and then to have you letter get damaged in transit and not get delivered would be hard both for the sender and the receiver of this letter. So we got to thinking what fun way we could return this missionaries letter to him, both in Mending Shed style and honoring Ellen's love of missionaries.
So what did we do? Knowing that we had to act fast as we aren't sure how much longer he would be on his mission or if he was changing locations we got right on our newest project. We forced each of our employees to divulge what their favorite snack was to us. After purchasing each snack, we had all of our employees write to our new missionary. We broke out the 5"x8" index cards and had each employee write whatever they wanted. We got everything from funny humorous notes to spiritual and uplifting messages for him. From apologizing if he had an allergy to the nuts we sent him, to instructions on how the snack should be eaten and inspirational, keep your head up messages.
Now it would be weird to receive your torn up, personal letter you sent to someone with just a bunch of snacks and notes and have no idea who these people are that have received your letter. So we also made sure to send a picture of each of our employees. We had each employee pose for a photo so Elder Harris could get a really good look at the weirdos his letter was intercepted by, we attached the photos to each note and then to each of our employees favorite snacks. It was a great way to waste time and not actually work for a while, you know a usual Friday project.
After we had everything matched up we boxed it all up. We also typed up a letter to put on the outside explaining what had happened to his letter and why we were sending him this care package. We really hope this package reaches our dear Elder, and that it brightens his day and gives him a great story to remember from his mission. Anyone who has been to the Mending Shed can usually tell we like to have fun, and we really hope that Elder Harris thinks we are as awesome as we think we are. Well, Elder Nate welcome to our family, whether you like it or not... you are one of us now.