“Pen Pals and Referrals,” Liahona, Mar. 2007, 44–45
My companion handed me an envelope and said, “Sister Jones, I think this is for you.” I looked at the return address and was pleased to see my cousin’s name printed neatly in the corner. I had just been transferred to a new city from the other side of southern France and didn’t think anyone back home in the United States was aware of my new address. I opened the envelope and read a short note in which my cousin said that she had recently received an e-mail from her French pen pal after eight years of no contact.
My cousin explained that although she and Céline had received each other’s address in their high school French and English classes, respectively, they had never actually written to each other. My cousin was therefore very surprised to receive Céline’s e-mail. She didn’t know if Céline lived in southern France where I was serving, but she included her name and address, asking me to contact her if possible.
Because I was new to the area, I handed the note to my companion and asked her if my cousin’s pen pal lived in the mission. “Not only does she live within mission boundaries,” she responded, “she lives in our district!” Excitedly, we called Céline to introduce ourselves, and she agreed to meet with us. We took the short train ride to Montauban.
As we stepped off the train, we were greeted warmly by Céline and her parents. They invited us to their home and asked us to share our message. As we taught them about the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Spirit bore witness of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. The family expressed their appreciation for the values taught by the Church, and after a lengthy discussion we left them with a copy of the Book of Mormon, a prayer, and a promise to return.
That was the first of several visits with Céline and her family. My mission ended while they were still in the process of learning about the Church, but before I said good-bye to Céline, I asked her why she had decided to contact my cousin after eight years. Her response surprised me: “When I was cleaning out a drawer, I came across her address on a small piece of paper I thought I’d lost. I felt strongly that I needed to write to her.”
On the way home to our apartment I gazed out the train window and marveled at how a loving Father allowed a lost address to be found and an old connection to be made at the very time I was unexpectedly transferred to a new city for the last six weeks of my mission. He is mindful of all and will make miracles happen, even with such a small and simple thing as a pen pal’s address.