It was a dreary January day in 1928. As I looked out of the schoolroom window at the gathering clouds, I wanted only to be home sitting on my mother’s lap. It had been a very hard day. My family had recently moved from a small farming community in Utah to a mining town in Nevada. My first day in second grade in this new and very different school had been anything but pleasant.
My mother had brought my older sister, Marjorie, and me to school early in the morning. The principal took me to my classroom and introduced me to the teacher. I heard the other students whispering about “the new girl,” and I felt my face turning red. I wanted to find my mother and go back home. The children were not very friendly and I didn’t feel welcome. The only bright spot had been the teacher, Miss Quigley, who was very friendly. She tried to make me feel a part of the class.
As I looked out the window and saw huge snowflakes filling the air, I longed for the bell to ring so I could find Marjorie and go home.
The minutes dragged by. Finally, Miss Quigley announced that it was time to put away our pencils, books, and papers and line up to go home. How I welcomed those words! I quickly put on my coat and found a place in the noisy line.
My mother had reminded me several times to wait for Marjorie, who was in fourth grade. She would help me find my way home. So I stood by the radiator in the school entrance and waited. She didn’t come and I began to worry about where she was. The snow was now swirling down. I was anxious to go home and talk to my mother about my miserable day, but still Marjorie didn’t show up.
Miss Quigley appeared and asked, “Avonell, why haven’t you gone home?”
I explained that I was waiting for my sister who was in the fourth grade.
“She won’t be out of school for another hour,” she explained. “You had better run along home before the storm gets worse. Can you find your way home alone?”
I was too proud to admit that I really wasn’t sure. So I nodded my head and said, “Yes.”
I left the warmth of the school and ventured out into the cold, snowy world. By now there was a blizzard going on and it was hard to see where I was going. I walked in the direction of my home but when I arrived at the first row of houses I realized that in this mining town all the houses looked alike. I felt a gnawing in my stomach and wished I had stayed and waited a little longer for Marjorie. But I pushed on through the snow hoping I could remember where my house was. I walked up one row and then another. I couldn’t even remember the number on my house. I began to get colder and more worried.
What should I do? It wouldn’t do much good to stop at a house and ask because we had just moved in a week ago and we didn’t know the neighbors yet. Besides that, I was too shy to even consider that choice. I thought of going back to the school and waiting for Marjorie, but I wasn’t even sure where the school was in this blizzard. Tears rolled down my cheeks, mixing with the snow that was blowing in my face. I was cold, scared, tired, and lost.
Then I thought of my mother telling me about prayer and reminding me that when I needed help I should ask Heavenly Father. This made me feel better. I bowed my head and asked Heavenly Father to please help me find my way home. As I finished my prayer I noticed my new shoes were all wet, and I realized that I hadn’t put on my galoshes that morning. I had left them sitting on the top step of our porch.
Then a beautiful thought came into my head. All I had to do was walk up and down the rows of houses until I saw my galoshes. Then I would be home. A flood of happiness filled my whole body and I hurried through the gusts of snow looking for my galoshes. They were not on the first row nor the second. But on the steps of the second house in the third row I saw a most welcome sight—my galoshes! I was finally home! I opened the door and ran into my mother’s loving arms.
“When we receive help from our Father in Heaven, it is in response to faith.”
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayer,” Ensign, Nov. 1989, 30.