A 17 year old kid at Sylvan asked me the other day how I got a girl to wait for me while I was on my mission. I am not sure how this conversation started. I think he was referring to her telling him she wanted to date while he was away.
I was a bit dumbfounded when he asked me this question. I had never actually given much thought as to how it happened. It had happened, and thank goodness that it did.
The young man that had questioned me was himself looking for advice on how to keep a girlfriend while you are away for two years. At the time, I only told him to "write her letters". Brilliant! I thought so too.
I remember one day in the MTC, my teacher pulled me aside and asked me if I had a girlfriend. I told him I did and for some reason he took this as a personal challenge to convince me that she was not going to wait. I recall him saying these immortal words: "She's not going to wait. Only 1% of girls wait. You might as well focus on your mission because there is no way she is going to wait,"
The odd thing about this exchange was that I felt focussed and I had only mentioned that I had a girlfriend to a couple other guys in our district. It was such an odd conversation and if I was focussed before, I certainly was not following the news that, "there was no way she was going to wait."
Well anyway, she waited and I have given it some thought as to why. As a gift to my hundreds of readers that are leaving on missions soon, and that also have girlfriends, I present to you a list of suggestions that worked for me.
1. Give the girl just a few personal items to "hang on to". These don't have to be huge or expensive. Perhaps a few CD's or a iPod. Certainly try not to give them something you are too attached to or would be devastated to lose in two years. After all, only 1% of girls wait. By giving the girl your old Chicago CD, you are saying, "I trust you and only you to hang onto this for me. This is not a responsibility I would entrust to just anyone. Oh, and by the way, listen to 'Love Me Tomorrow' over and over while soaking my picture with your tears."
2. Consistently remind the girl that only 1% of girls wait and she has a chance to be part of that special group. Girls want to be part of a prestigious club. The more you stress the 1%, the more they want to be part of it. Perhaps even giving them a few "Future 1%" stickers to hang around their room would be appropriate.
3. Forbid them to attend BYU, BYU-Idaho or BYU-Hawaii. These are not good institutions for ladies in waiting. These places want to brainwash young girls into getting married young. Further, the boys that attend these places are weak in mind and spirit. They go out of their way to wine and dine you at the local Hogi Yogi, Coldstone and Brick Oven Pizza place. If they choose to go to one of these institutions, you did not want to marry them anyway.
4. Date a girl that is one or two years younger than you. Lets face it; you increase your odds of her waiting tenfold by simply dating a younger girl. My girl was one year younger than me and she was in no hurry to get married. Note: This does not work if you are over the age of 22 when you choose to go on a mission, or for married couples.
5. Be a complete and total stud. Be such a man that no other man could ever compete with your manness. This kinda worked for me in that I was lucky enough that the girl did not realize how much man I really am. Do not, however, refer to yourself as "The King of Awesomeness."
6. Buy as many "RM Wife in Waiting" tee shirts as you can afford. Preferably one for each day of the week. Except Sundays. Sundays are sacred. Buy her a "RM in Waiting" pendant to wear around her neck for that day. Also, have her check the "Waiting for my missionary" website every day.
7. Every month, send her a tape of inaudible crying and begging. Make sure she can decipher the words "I love you." and "Don't leave me!". Ensure that there is a 3:1 ratio of sobs to "I love yous." The last two minutes of the tape explain that you are totally committed to serving the Lord.
8. Instead of a giant jar with a jellybean for each day that you are gone, give her a giant jar with Cadberry Eggs filled with pictures of you.
9. Call your girlfriend on Mother's Day. Make sure you call your own mom too.
10. Give her a CTR ring. Make sure it is the biggest ring they've got. Inside the ring inscribe the words, "I would die without you. No, really, I would literally die on my mission. If you die on your mission, you go straight to the CK, where I the tables will be turned and I will be waiting for you!"
What I didn't mention is that the most important thing is to be very, very, very lucky.