Amanda Pratt, CTR Spy


Amanda Pratt, CTR Spy

A spy? Seven-year-old Amanda couldn’t believe her eyes. She traced her finger over Mosiah 9:1 again, just to make sure.

“I, Zeniff, having been taught in all the language of the Nephites, and having had a knowledge of the land of Nephi, or of the land of our fathers’ first inheritance, and having been sent as a spy among the Lamanites …”

A spy! There it was.

Amanda closed her Book of Mormon. She knew she should be listening to Brother Anderson’s sacrament meeting talk, but she couldn’t help but giggle. She knew lots of Book of Mormon stories, but she never knew there was one with a spy in it.

She sank down on the bench and peeked at the page again. Zeniff the Spy. It sounded mysterious. And important.

I could be a spy! she thought excitedly. She knew all about spies. Spies noticed everything. Spies used secret codes. Spies wrote down important information with special pens.

Amanda knew some secret codes. And she had a special pen—well, a very special pencil. She rummaged through her scripture case and pulled out the sparkly yellow pencil she had earned in Sister Wooster’s Primary class for perfect attendance. Then she pulled out her little purple notepad. It had pages and pages just waiting to be filled with important information.

Amanda the Spy! she thought. It sounds mysterious and important!

The closing song and prayer captured her attention. She loved to sing the hymns, and she always wanted to mean it when she added her own “amen.”

Normally Amanda would have hurried to Primary. But today she peered over the back of the bench and watched.

Brian Fisher tripped on his shoelaces. Three babies were crying. And … and … something small and gray was under the last bench.

It was an envelope. A heavy envelope that jingled.

It sounds like money, she thought. She peeked inside. It was money!

Amanda hugged it to her chest. Wow! she thought. I could buy a doll. Or a new book. Or lots of candy! She pulled out her notepad and pencil and wrote, “Found money.”

Then she wondered, It’s all right to keep it, isn’t it? After all, it isn’t that much money. If she’d found a million dollars, that would be different. But this was just a few dollars. Whoever had lost it probably wouldn’t even miss it.

Amanda gave the envelope a quick kiss—then gasped. The letters seemed to jump right off the paper: “Bishop Johansen, Creek Ward.”

It was a tithing envelope!

She plopped down on the bench, feeling like she’d been punched in the stomach. It wasn’t fair! She had already planned what she was going to buy.

It was hers! Wasn’t it?

She looked at her notepad. What would Zeniff have done? she asked herself. Spies were experts at staying out of trouble. Amanda thought she knew what to do.

She glanced around. Brother Campbell was just leaving the chapel. He was a member of the bishopric.

Stuffing her notepad into her pocket and dashing toward the doors, she called to him, “Brother Campbell, I found this envelope in the chapel.”

Brother Campbell shook Amanda’s hand. “Thank you, Sister Pratt,” he said. “I’ll make sure the bishop gets it.”

Turning toward the Primary room, she thought, Amanda the Spy knows how to stay out of trouble, too! She got out her notepad and wrote, “Turned money over to Brother Campbell.”

“Oh, no!”

Amanda looked up to see the box in Sister Kelly’s hand bounce onto the floor, spilling crayons.

“What next?” Sister Kelly despaired as she balanced her crying baby on her hip and desperately grabbed at pictures slipping from her fingers.

Without even thinking, Amanda dashed down the hall toward her CTR teacher. “Don’t worry, Sister Kelly,” she said as she started to pick up crayons. “I’ll help.”

“I can help, too,” her friend Melanie said.

Amanda and Melanie quickly filled the box with crayons.

“Thanks so much,” Sister Kelly said with a grateful smile. “Everything’s been going wrong today.”

“No problem,” Amanda and Melanie said together.

“Come on, girls,” Sister Kelly whispered, glancing toward the Primary door. “We’d better hurry.”

Amanda and Melanie slipped quietly into Primary and sat with their class. Amanda quickly wrote, “Helped Sister Kelly pick up crayons,” in her notepad.

“Sister Kelly,” the Primary president said, interrupting Amanda’s thoughts, “Randy could not come today. Would someone else in your class like to give the prayer?”

Sister Kelly glanced at the four children in her row. Amanda did, too. She knew Jared wouldn’t do it. He was scared. And she knew Wayne wouldn’t do it—he never volunteered for anything. That left Melanie and her. But Melanie was holding Sister Kelly’s baby.

“I’ll do it,” Amanda volunteered. She walked quietly to the podium. When she sat down again, she wrote in her notepad, “Said opening prayer for Primary,” and drew a smiling face.

“What’s that?” Melanie whispered.

“It’s my spy book. I’m writing down important information.”

“Oh. I thought maybe it was a CTR book or something.”

Amanda read all the things she’d written. “Found money,” “Turned money over to Brother Campbell,” “Helped Sister Kelly pick up crayons,” and “Said opening prayer for Primary.” It was like a CTR book. The entries showed she had chosen the right.

She wrote “CTR” in large letters on the cover of her notepad. It’s like a secret code, too, she thought happily. Amanda the CTR Spy! Being this kind of spy really is wonderful and important.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Dick Brown