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From How to Write Missionary Letters: Practical Tips to Make Your Words Come Alive, Alvera Mickelsen, 1995.

Planning your letter:

Collect information.
Collect interesting letters from other missionaries to give you ideas.
Keep a journal.
Keep a record of the letters you have written.

Options for beginning your letter: (first sentence is the most important)

Pose a question.
Begin with an anecdote or story.
Begin with a startling statement.
Begin with a statement that summarizes the subject of your letter.
Begin with a reference to the reader.

Questions to ask yourself as you write and rewrite your letter:

Have I committed this letter to the Lord in prayer?
Does my beginning sentence and paragraph grab the reader’s attention?
Did I write the way I talk? Does my letter sound like me?
Did I share what I really wanted to say?
Is my letter interesting and informative as well as truthful? Can I make the facts of my story more interesting by writing poignantly, dramatically, humorously or in another style?
Will people, places and events mentioned be clear to my readers?
Is my letter concise? Do I need to cut unimportant or unnecessary details?
Is the ending to my letter memorable? Will it call my reader to action?
Did I check grammar, punctuation and spelling?
Is my full name and contact information on my letter?