The Mango Miracle

by Jana Seiter

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    It wasn’t quite the harvest we had been looking for, but it was sure welcome.

    Mango season had arrived in Retalhuleu, Guatemala. The heavy costal rains had ended, and the heat of the dry season settled over the Guatemalan pueblo. My missionary companion, Sister Coronado, and I didn’t mind the rising temperatures—at least not too much—because during the heat of the day we would gaze overhead at the mangos ripening in the sun. We loved mangos. We practically lived on them. Our generous investigators and members would fill our backpacks with them, and when it was too hot to eat anything else, Sister Coronado and I would feast on them and laugh at each other as the juice dribbled down our chins.

    Hermana Coronado and I were good friends. As we walked around our area each day we would talk about everything. One of Hermana Coronado’s favorite topics was what I call “everyday miracles.” As our time together progressed, Hermana Coronado taught me to recognize these little miracles. Things like meeting someone who was feeling lonely, or running into an investigator that we hadn’t been able to contact were often miraculous blessings.

    One day Sister Coronado and I were disappointed to find that a family we had an appointment with wasn’t home. Just outside the family’s home, we spotted the most beautiful mangos we had ever seen. This tree was loaded with what promised to be perfect fruit. We found ourselves drawn towards the makeshift family store that was propped up against the base of the tree.

    “¿Hay Maria?” From the counter of the deserted store we called out the traditional Guatemalan greeting.

    “Si, ahorita vengo,” a teenage girl replied that she would be right with us.

    We asked the smiling girl if we could buy two of the mangos, but she explained that they had sold the entire crop of mangos to a company from the capital city, so they were only allowed to eat those mangos that fell from the tree naturally. We must have looked terribly disappointed because she apologized profusely that there weren’t any mangos lying on the ground. She assured us she wouldn’t charge us for the mangos if we came back another day when more had fallen from the tree.

    “Oh, it’s okay,” we sighed and began to turn away. The girl watched as we pulled out our weekly planners and decided what to do next. Then all three of us heard a big thump from behind the store.

    “Wait!” the girl called out and ran around the back. She came back with two beautiful, ripe mangos. They had fallen together and were still connected at the stem. We wondered if Heavenly Father had sent us a thank-you note in the form of two mangos to let us know our work was appreciated. It was a small thing, but that day in the Guatemalan heat, recovering from the disappointment of not being able to teach the family we had an appointment with, it was a small miracle.

    Sister Coronado gave me an invaluable gift—the ability to recognize the hand of God in my life.

    Illustrated by Scott Snow