A week ago Saturday, I delivered a box to the donation center at Deseret Industries in Provo. I thought the box was full of cast offs. While rumbling in line, the thought occurred to me that I should look in the box and make sure it contained what I thought it did. I brushed the thought off like an unwelcome insect, and then handed the box through the window to a friendly staff member.
I never gave it another thought until a few days later when I got a phone call from Lovely Daughter Number #2 (hereinafter LD2) who recently returned from a mission.
She called to inquire as to how it was possible that someone could buy her missionary journal at DI.
Gulp. Imagine swallowing an entire package of gum in one swallow, including the wrapper. Yes, that kind of gulp.
LD2 told me that a man had called from her mission saying that a woman from Orem had called him trying to find her. The woman had been walking down a book aisle at the Provo DI and noticed a missionary journal. She picked it up and started turning the pages. She felt prompted to buy the journal and hunt down the owner—a prompting, no doubt, from the same Source that had nudged me on the Saturday before. (Imagine yours truly fidgeting, red faced, staring at the floor.)
The nice, inspired woman from Orem looked through the journal until she found a phone number. She called that number, and someone from Perth Amboy, New Jersey picked up on the other end. The New Jersey woman who answered could not speak English well, and so directed the nice lady from Orem to call a brother-in-law who spoke muy bien inglés. She did call the brother-in-law who then called LD2 with the strange but true story.
LD2 got her missionary journal back two days later, I am relieved to say. Lessons learned? From now until the Millennium I will be double-checking any box or bag I give to DI, plus I will be more sensitive to those quiet promptings which, if heeded, save you and me a lot of grief.
One last question: What else was in that box?