Just a Scrap of Paper

Just a Scrap of Paper

When the Church was first established in South Africa, missionaries had to travel by ship to get to their mission headquarters. The trip was long, difficult, and expensive. Often missionaries travelled alone, with little support, and no way to communicate with their mission president.

The little boat had been tossed by storms for more than six weeks as it made its way slowly from England to South Africa. Aboard was Elder Franklin D. Price, a young Mormon missionary, trying to get to his South African mission.

Each day Elder Price became more worried, for food and money were scarce. According to the law of the Union of South Africa, no one was permitted to enter the country unless he had at least twenty dollars with him. Elder Price did not have the required sum.

When the boat finally docked, the young elder decided that he would board a train and go as far as he possibly could. As he walked off the ship, he noticed a small folded piece of paper lying at the foot of the gang plank. Without thinking, he stooped over, picked it up, and automatically slipped the paper into his pocket.

In no time he was on a train, speeding down the tracks toward the Union of South Africa. At the border, immigration officials came aboard to check all entry papers. Elder Price was worried about what would happen to him when the officials discovered that he had no money. When the men approached, Elder Price almost panicked. Then, without even knowing why, he reached into his pocket and pulled out the piece of paper that he had found earlier. Elder Price handed the paper to one of the officials. The man nodded his head and returned the paper to the astonished young elder. That paper was an endorsed check in the amount of twenty dollars with the stamp of the Union of South Africa affixed.

As Elder Price told his story at the mission home, tears of gratitude streamed down his cheeks. The Lord truly provides for those who serve Him.

Taken from “True Stories from South Africa,” Friend, April 1972; excerpted by Marnae Wilson