Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in northern France, southern Belgium and Luxembourg.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The day I lost my favourite pen (among other stuff)

Anyone who's ever lived with me, or around me, knew this would happen. Let me tell you the story.

This week after district meeting, we were going home on the bus when we found a gigantic wallet on the seat next to us. It didn't belong to anyone on the bus. We found an ID and some phone numbers and we started calling the numbers to see if any of them were him. Anyway, what ended up happening was that I walked off the bus with the wallet in my hand...and left my whole shoulder bag on the bus as it drove away. That bag contained both my passports, our apartment keys, my debit card, about 80 Euros cash, my planner, my Book of Life...and even my favourite pen. All of them gone in an instant. It was a weight off my shoulder, but not in a good way.

We looked everywhere. We stayed for hours and checked every bus 13 as it passed by. We checked the lost and found, the bus headquarters...everywhere. That bag (and basically my whole identity) was gone.

It's amazing how much more fervent your prayers get when you realize exactly how much you need the help of God. This time, I couldn't convince myself I could do it on my own. Lot even a little bit. I couldn't pretend my efforts alone would make any difference. I was finally 100% beyond hope, and for the first time in too long, I turned the situation completely over to God. I begged Him to change the heart of whoever had my bag and prompt them to return it to the lost and found. 

As I was on my knees begging for our Heavenly Father to somehow get that person to want to return it, a profound impression came. I remembered the wallet, sitting over there on my desk. And a thought came to my mind: Somebody out there has been praying for his wallet to be given back, and you haven't answered his prayer.

So finally, we started putting in some effort to get this guy his wallet back. I won't go into the details, but it took hours of searching, writing, phone calls, a visit, etc. After doing everything we could, we went back to the lost and found this very morning...and voila. There was the bag. The only thing missing was the cash. Someone had my bag, stole the money, and then felt like he should return it to a place I could find it. And find it I did. It even still had my favourite pen.

Take whatever lessons you want from that experience. For me, suffice it to say that God is good.

Love you all!

Elder Stanford

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