I remember as a child listening to the many exciting missionary experiences of my father, Albert Lorenzo Cullimore, and how his prayers were answered.
In the early days of the Church, missionaries traveled without purse or scrip. That means they did not take with them any money or other usual items. Instead, they depended upon the Lord to furnish them with food, a place to sleep, and clothes to wear.
While my father was on his mission, he always had a place to sleep and plenty of food to eat. Once, however, he was discouraged because of his shabby appearance and the condition of his clothes. He had walked so far that his shoes had worn through; he had torn his coat and trousers; his shirt was ragged and faded; and low-hanging tree branches had poked holes in his hat. He prayed as he had never prayed before for the Lord to somehow help him get new clothing.
Soon afterward my father arrived in the town that was the county seat. When he went to pick up his mail, he found three letters waiting for him, each containing money. He also met two or three individuals who gave him money. So he went to the store and purchased the things he needed. As the clerk totaled the purchases, the bill came to exactly the amount of money he had received. Father always said, “This was truly an answer to prayer.”
After my father had been on his mission about eighteen months, he had great concern that he would not be able to send his wife a present for her birthday. He was very sad about this and somewhat homesick. How he wished he had something to send home for this special occasion.
This is how my father told the story:
“I prayed earnestly that the way would be opened for me to be able to send a birthday present to my wife. As I fasted, I would especially mention this desire in my prayers.
“At that time we were tracting in a sparsely settled section on top of rolling hills in the Cumberland Mountains. The houses were scattered about two miles apart, and there was little travel in the area. The people living there were very poor.
“One day we were walking along a wagon road where it looked as if there had been almost no travel for months. As I looked down, there on the ground was a beautiful breastpin. It was pinned on a card as if it had just come from the manufacturer. It didn’t seem likely that anyone in that neighborhood could have afforded such an expensive-looking pin. When my companion saw it, he said, ‘This is the answer to your prayer.’
“We inquired at every home we visited during the next few days to see if the pin belonged to any of the people there, but no one knew of it. After we had determined that no one around had lost it, I secured a box and mailed the pin to my wife for her birthday.
“She, of course, was surprised to receive such a beautiful present and wondered how I had been able to afford it. She wore it until I returned home, and when I told her that I had received the pin in answer to prayer, she stopped wearing it for fear she might lose it.”
The pin is still in our family and reminds us of my father’s missionary experiences. It is one of our most treasured possessions.