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"There are some people who come into your life for a reason. Usually a reason greater than your own comprehension. The people who have been sent your way by a greater being, with your greater interest in mind. These companions influence your decisions, therefore influencing who you are, and who you will become. They influence your life for the better. They teach you valuable lessons through their actions and the way they interact with you. I can think of no greater companion than my best friend and self proclaimed brother, Jaron Whipple.
From a very young age I always wanted a brother. Those of you who know myself and my family also know that I was the only boy born to my mother. I don’t have a brother. Don’t get me wrong, my little sister, Paris, was an amazing substitute for a brother, playing football in the mud, wrestling, running all over the place, and usually getting into trouble. Despite the amazing efforts of little Paris I still somehow knew that I needed a brother. At this point, I’m sure you can guess who that brother ended up being.
I did not, however, expect to meet that brother in the 7th grade, and I definitely did not expect my first words to my future brother to be “you bastard!”. (Me, being myself, started being mischievous and troublesome. Jaron, being himself, had told the teacher that I was breaking all the rules!). I’m sure you can imagine how glowingly warm our relationship started out! Not at all warm, while not sworn enemies, we did not really like each other that much. Not until junior year of high school did we finally become friends. Best friends. Brothers. The countless memories and experiences we share together will be treasures in my memory for the rest of my days. I love my newfound brother dearly. He is and always will be irreplaceable in my heart.
I am a few months older than Jaron, and I am about 60 lbs bigger. We always jokingly referred to ourselves as master and apprentice. Bigger brother and little brother. Myself being the mentor and big brother, Jaron being the learner and younger. As reluctant as I am to give up my master status, I must do so. While he may be smaller and younger, Jaron will always be, to me, an older brother and teacher. His selflessness and kindness remind me of that of our Savior. He has taught me so much through his example and actions. I might be taller than him, but I will always look up to my brother Jaron. I know I will always be able to look to him for guidance. His impact on my life will remain until the end of my days. I will never forget the kindness he shows his friends and family. I will never forget the long hours spent working hard together, his shoulders never drooping, and his ethic never swaying. Most of all, I will never forget how much happiness he brought into my life as a friend and teacher.
As mentioned in the quote in the beginning of this writing. It is our journey, our decisions in life that make us who we are. Not the beginning or end result. I know that my brother is making the right decision. His choice will only make him better, and I know that he will return an even better man. Despite the beginning or end result, Jaron has not only made his own life great through his decisions and actions, he has influenced many along the way for good.
To Jaron...I know you have made the right choice. I know you will be a valiant warrior of light in a world full of so much dark. I know that this is not easy for you. It isn’t easy for any of us. But all of us know that you are doing the right thing. You are meant to be in Peru. There are families there, lost in the darkness of the evil and cruelty of the world. They will have no one to look to for rescue, no one to look to for comfort or kindness. And then they will meet you. You will bring them the answers to their questions. You will show them the path to happiness and service-oriented life. The children whose hearts you touch will tell their own children of you after you have long returned from your mission. They will talk about the young man who showed them the way. The young man who will be, for generations, a loved and respected figure among the quaint people whose hearts he touched and lives he blessed. Be safe, my brother. There are many adventures still left for us to have. I love you more than words can describe. You will be in my thoughts always. Your lessons and example always in my mind. You are and always will be the greatest friend I have ever had. See you in two years!
Your Brother, Jordan"
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