Daylinda’s New Shoes


(A true incident as reported by Elder Ben Anderson)
By prayer … with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God (Philip. 4:6).

In the Philippines, on an island called Cebu, just outside a small town, there was a little one-room house called a nepa hut. In this house lived a little girl, Daylinda, and her family. They were being taught the gospel by Elder Jacks and Elder Smith, and the family had decided to be baptized. One day when the missionaries were visiting her family, Elder Jacks turned to her and said, “Daylinda, would you like to pray?”

Daylinda’s eyes grew wide with excitement, and she nodded. Ever since the missionaries had started to teach her family, she had wanted to pray.

Elder Jacks told her to bow her head and fold her arms. “First,” he said, “you need to say ‘Our dear Heavenly Father.’”

Daylinda repeated the words. She looked up. “That’s like saying ‘hello.’”

“Yes. Now what are you thankful for?”

“Lots of things.”

“Tell Heavenly Father about them.”

Daylinda bowed her head again. “I’m thankful for my mother and father and all my little brothers, and for the trees and the sunshine. And for having food today.”

“Good,” said the elder. “Now, what do you want to ask for?”

Daylinda thought, What do I really need? I would like a new doll, but I don’t think I should ask for that. She looked around the room, left, right, up, and down. She saw her bare feet, red with broken blisters, flies buzzing around and biting at them.

“Sapatos,” she said to Elder Jacks. “I need shoes. Then I could help Mother with going to the market, and it wouldn’t be so hard fetching the water at the poso (well) or walking to town for church.” She looked over at her parents. “I know we don’t have money to get shoes for me. Do you think Heavenly Father could give me some?”

Daylinda’s father smiled. “Heavenly Father can give you many things. He will find a way for you to have the good things you ask for.”

Daylinda looked back at the missionaries. She bit her lip and bowed her head. “Heavenly Father, please could you find me some shoes?”

Every day after that, Daylinda prayed morning and night, as the missionaries had taught her, each time asking for shoes. As she walked the rocky path to the poso, she would think how nice it would be to have them. When Mother left for the market to sell baskets, Daylinda thought how she could help her mother if she had shoes to protect her feet on the daily walk. When she awoke in the morning, she checked her bed and outside the door for a new pair of shoes. Mother smiled at her and said, “Heavenly Father doesn’t always work like that, Daylinda. He will do it in His own way, when He knows the time is right. He knows what’s best.”

The days passed, then a week, and finally the day of Daylinda’s baptism came. She walked with her family to the church. Her brothers skipped and played along the side of the road. She thought, I’ve asked Heavenly Father every day for new shoes, but I haven’t gotten any. Maybe it will take longer than I thought, but I know that Heavenly Father will make sure that I have the things I need.

She noticed her brothers playing with something at the side of the road. She went to tell them to hurry up or they would be late. Then she saw what they were playing with—a pair of old shoes someone had thrown out. The toe was torn out of one of the shoes, but they looked like they would fit her. She called excitedly to her father. “Do you think you could fix them?” she asked, her eyes sparkling.

Her father turned them over in his hands, nodding. “Yes, they’re still in pretty good shape. I can do it tomorrow, if you like.”

Daylinda ran all the rest of the way to the baptism. She found Elder Jacks and tugged at his hand. He bent down, and she whispered in his ear, “Guess what—I got new shoes!”

“That’s wonderful, Daylinda,” he said.

“It took a long time,” Daylinda said, smiling, “but Heavenly Father answered my prayer. I know He loves me.”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki