Chris sighed. “Do I have to go to school today?”
Mom looked up from tying Alicia’s shoes. “What’s the matter, Chris? You love school.”
“I used to,” Chris said. He took his little sister’s hand and started the walk to school.
“Today we’re going to make applesauce!” Alicia said as they walked down the hill. She loved her first-grade class. She reminded Chris of how he used to feel about school. Before they moved, he ran to school every morning because he was so excited to do math, work in his writing group, and do science experiments with his friends. Sometimes he played four square with Michael and Ryan at recess. Other times he stayed inside with Janet and Caleb so they could help their teacher organize the class’s books.
But now his family had moved to a new state, and even though he still got to learn about math and writing and science, it just wasn’t the same. Chris didn’t have a single friend at school. He walked into his classroom by himself, stared at his desk while his teacher talked, and sat alone at lunch. At recess he wandered around looking for shiny rocks, but he didn’t really want to keep them.
He tried to smile and be a good example for Alicia as he dropped her off at her classroom, but he just didn’t feel very excited about another lonely day.
“How did school go, Chris?” Mom asked when he got home.
“It was OK, I guess. I don’t really have any friends, though.”
“Do you remember what we talked about in family home evening yesterday?” Mom asked.
Chris tried to remember. Alicia had planned a game of musical chairs, Mom had picked out Primary songs to sing, and Chris had helped Mom make the treat. Then he remembered the lesson. “Dad told us about praying for help,” he said.
“That’s right,” Mom said. “I know you’ve been reading your scriptures about how much God loves us. Heavenly Father wants you to be happy, so if you have a problem, you can ask Him for help.”
“Do you think I could pray to Him to help me find friends?”
“Let’s try it,” Mom said.
As Chris said his prayers, he felt like Heavenly Father was right there, listening to him. The next day, as Chris walked to school with Alicia, he still felt a little lonely, so he said a prayer in his mind: “Please help me to find some friends at school today.”
School started just like every other day: he walked into his classroom by himself, stared at his desk while his teacher talked, and sat alone at lunch. But during afternoon recess Carlos from Chris’s class ran up to him. “Hi, Chris! I’m having a birthday party on Friday night.” Carlos handed Chris an orange invitation.
Chris was excited to get home and tell Mom about his new friend. He burst in the front door, but before he could say anything, Mom said, “Chris, I just got a phone call from Jared’s mom in our ward. She invited you to Jared’s birthday party at the zoo on Saturday morning.”
Chris was amazed. He told Mom all about Carlos’s birthday party. When he was finished, Mom handed him a letter. “This came in the mail,” she said.
Chris looked at the blue envelope. He never got any mail except from Grandma. He tore it open and inside was an invitation that read: “Dear Chris, you’re invited to my birthday party on Saturday night.” It was from another classmate.
Chris looked up at Mom. “Three birthday parties in one weekend?”
Mom smiled. “Heavenly Father answered your prayer.”
“That’s right,” Chris said. “I’m going to go thank Him right now.”
“I hope you will gain a testimony that Heavenly Father loves you and that He answers your prayers.” 6
Sister Margaret S. Lifferth, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency
Illustrations by Brad Teare