Nearly 20 years ago I received my mission call to serve in Japan. With great anticipation and some anxiety, I prepared to leave for my mission in January. Around this time both of my parents lost their jobs.
I had funding for my mission once I arrived, but our family struggled financially. I wasn’t sure where I would get money for upfront expenses like mission clothes, luggage, and other necessities. I was working a part-time job but wouldn’t have enough. I was especially concerned with how I would get money to apply immediately for a passport so I would have it in time to leave for Japan.
One afternoon, in desperation, I went to my room and pleaded with Heavenly Father. I shared my desire to serve in Japan and my gratitude that my dream of serving a mission would come true soon. I choked back tears, telling Him how I needed $75 for a passport that I just did not have. When I arose from my prayer, I knew everything was going to work out. I didn’t know how, but a quiet peace assured me that the Lord would provide.
Later that day I opened our mailbox to find a Christmas card inside. The individual who delivered it had made a concerted effort to maintain anonymity. There was no stamp on the card; it had been delivered by hand.
On the inside of the card was typed, “Congratulations! You are the recipient of random acts of Christian kindness. Merry Christmas, Hannah. Good luck on your mission.”
Inside the card was $100. I stood at my front door and cried. Who did this, and how did they know of my need?
Years later I still don’t know who brought the money to my house that day. I have thought about that person, or persons, a lot since then. They demonstrated what I believe Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917–2008) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles meant when he said: “The compassion of Christlike friends deeply touches and changes our lives. … In this Church, prayers for help are often answered by the Lord through the simple, daily service of caring brothers and sisters. In the goodness of genuine friends, I have seen the reflected mercy of the Lord Himself.”1
That act of kindness changed me, helping me to leave on time for my mission and inspiring me to look for ways to be the answer to the prayers of others.