The Surprise
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“The Surprise,” Friend, Dec. 2002, 13

The Surprise

Based on a true story

Comfort those that stand in need of comfort (Mosiah 18:9).

Jason was sad. It had snowed, and all the children were outside playing in the snow. All except Jason.

“You can’t go outside today because you have the flu,” Mom said. “I’ll open the drapes in the living room window, and you can watch the other kids.”

“But that’s not the same as being outside,” Jason whined. “I’ve been waiting for months for it to snow so I could make a huge snowman. If I bundle up good, may I please go out for just a little while?”

Mom hugged Jason. “No, honey. I’m sorry.”

Jason ran into his room. “I’ll never get to make a snowman,” he sobbed.

His big sister, Heather, came in and sat on the bed. “Jason, Mom wants you to take a nap now, but I promise that when you wake up, you’ll be happy.”

Jason was tired and slept for more than an hour. When he woke up, Heather came in smiling. “Ready to have some fun?” she asked. “I have a game called ‘Surprise Hunt.’”

Jason felt grumpy. “I don’t want to play a game. I want a snowman.”

“This game will make you happy,” Heather said. “You’ll have six clues that will lead you to a surprise. Come on, Jason, give it a try.”

Jason felt even more curious than grumpy. “OK,” he said. Heather handed him a piece of paper with the first clue.

I’m in a room with a fireplace, and I turn dark into light.

“The fireplace is in the living room, so the next clue must be there,” Jason said. He went into the living room and looked around. “‘Turn dark into light,’” he said. “The lamps!” He checked all the lamps, and under Dad’s reading lamp, he found the second clue.

People live on my planet and can spin me to take a pretend trip.

“We live on the Earth,” Jason said. “But what can I spin to take a pretend trip?” He thought a moment. “My world globe!” he shrieked. He ran to his room and found the next clue taped to his globe.

I taste good and am good for your teeth.

Jason thought deeply. “Hmmmm. What could it be?” He smiled. “I bet it’s the toothpaste.” He went into the bathroom and looked at the toothpaste, but no clue was there.

“What else could it be, Heather?” Jason asked.

“Think, Jason. You’re doing fine so far.”

“Oh, I get it!” Jason exclaimed. “It’s the food!” He went to the kitchen and opened the pantry door but found no clue. Then he looked in the refrigerator. On the top shelf, taped to a bottle of milk, was the clue.

I have 12 months, 52 weeks, and 365 days.

“Mom’s calendar,” Jason laughed. He went into the hall and looked behind Mom’s calendar. There he found the next clue.

When you’re thirsty, you want me.

Jason smiled. “Back to the kitchen.”

“Keep up the good work,” Mom said. “You’re doing great.”

Jason looked in all the cups and glasses in the cupboard and in the water and juice bottles in the refrigerator. No clues. Then he spotted a small cup on the counter. Inside was the clue.

Sometimes I’m open;
Sometimes I’m shut.
My wood is
The same color as a nut.
I’m always ready
To do as you wish.
You and dad go through me
When you go to fish.

“This is a tough one,” Jason said.

“Keep trying, Jason,” Dad encouraged.

“Let’s see. My closet door does as I wish. It’s sometimes open and sometimes shut, and it’s tan like a nut. But Dad and I don’t go through it. It can’t be a window or a cabinet door. What is it?” Jason frowned. He was about to give up when he turned and saw the back door. “That’s it!” he yelled.

Jason ran to the door, opened it, and looked out. In the backyard was his surprise—a giant snowman holding a sign:

Get better soon, Jason. We love you.
From Mom, Dad, and Heather

[Serve Others]

Elder Robert J. Whetten

“Like faith, love must be exercised to grow. … Each of us … is presented each day with choices in our relationships with others. As we … reach out to serve others, the Spirit will refine us and teach us. …

“Brigham Young taught, ‘We should [begin] our labors of love and kindness with the family to which we belong.’”
Elder Robert J. Whetten
Of the Seventy
(Ensign, May 1999, page 30.)

Illustrated by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki