Nice story… reminds me of a similar story I heard about an elderly woman
who was in a clothing store one day and after getting to know the sales clerk
and discovering that she was a struggling college student, ended up all but
paying for the rest of her college expenses.The difference however
was that story contained no religious overtones and so it was not necessary to
expand the definition of a word (i.e., miracle) to the point of rendering it
almost meaningless in order to explain this generous act of kindness.
I think it is important to realize that often Heavenly Father works his miracles
through us. We must learn to be receptive to the spirit and then act on
promptings we receive. To do that we must work to improve ourselves, to live
such that we might hear and respond to these promptings. Then we can be
instruments in our Heavenly Father's hands.
Events don't need religious overtones to be "miracles." They are
often just events that are highly improbable, extraordinary events,
developments, or accomplishments, or to some even something as mundane as waking
up alive each morning or taking a breath.The definition of the word
notwithstanding, these 15 young people experienced something very special, and
it's nice to see a financial institution doing something positive for
people besides trying to find new and unique ways of taking their money. (Imagine if other financial institutions started actually working with
people with the goal of helping them get ahead rather than just making a buck
off of them. Now that would be a miracle!)
I've been part of the financial services industry for 29 years and can say
without hesitation that many banks and credit unions - and other businesses -
provide countless hours of voluntary service, resources and thousands of dollars
in donations to good and worthy causes on a consistent basis. On a positive
note, "giving back" through donations of time and money is the right
thing to do and helps build and strengthen company morale in addition to the
good that is done for communities and causes.But make no mistake:
Events like the one in this story also make for great publicity and very
inexpensive promotional opportunities. The financial institution
that is the subject of this story helped a few, random folks out, and that is
great. But they have also tapped into a cheap (economical) way to promote the
Although a lovely story, this must be terribly disheartening to the many other
missionaries who are struggling with the financing of getting ready to go.
"Why would Heavenly Father make a miracle for this elder and not for
me?"It could serve as a reminder for us to be more aware of
those in need and do what we can do.I heard recently of a
"missionary shower" thrown for a young sister on her way out to do the
Lord's work. Not a bad idea.
I am for missionary work, supporting the missionaries, and legitimate miracles
of all kinds that help further the work. However, I could not help but observe
one detail here. I recently bought myself a perfect pair of dress shoes at
Payless in Orem for $25. If I were to go on a mission again I'd take those
shoes with me. My intuition tells me those shoes can survive at least 1000 miles
of running for a 145 lb runner at 7:00 per mile pace - so walking maybe 3000
miles. This should be enough for two years of missionary work. If money is a
problem perhaps Missionary Mall is the wrong place to shop - unless you
experience a similar miracle, of course.
Sasha, I am lucky to have feet like yours. Any shoe and I am fine.
Unfortunately others may need better shoes. My wife and my current two
missionaries need better, more supportive shoes. A cheap shoe would have them
hobbled in no time. I had to be over $100 before I started finding any that
would be acceptable.I also think you have over estimated the
expected mileage of your $25 pair by about 2500 miles.Tyler, To
Petrungaro it was a miracle, plain and simple.
A similar miracle happened to me nearly 20+ years ago. I was still 18 when I
put in my mission paper work and still had 6 months before I would turn 19. My
parents did not have much money, but they told me they would do their part to
pay for my day-to-day living, but that I would need to come up with the money to
buy my suits, supplies, etc. I thought I had six months to do so; however I got
my call back a week later, telling me I had 1 week to be in the MTC. I
didn't have any money and had no suit the day of my farewell. My family had
no idea. I told them I was ready, so they wouldn't worry. I prayed that
morning that God would provide a miracle. And He did. As I walked outside to
go to my farewell, hanging on the house doorknob was a brand new suit, shirt,
and tie....all my size. After the farewell, many members gave me envelopes.
When I opened them, I had enough money for six months of my mission. Please
convince me this wasn't a miracle.
Fred - Thanks for sharing. Your story has made my day!
I'm a little suspect about sponsored "miracles" to get publicity.
"But when thou doest alms, let not thyleft hand know what
thy right hand doeth"
@Try My Best – “Tyler, To Petrungaro it was a miracle, plain and
simple.”@Fred Vader – “Please convince me this
wasn't a miracle.”Please understand – these are
great stories (they should give us faith in humanity) and I don’t mean to
denigrate them at all, but what’s wrong with simply calling them what they
are - the amazing kindness of others?Semantics maybe, but it strikes
me as odd to use one word – miracle - to equate buying clothes with, say,
raising someone from the dead or parting the seas. How do we distinguish between
these if we only have one word? Maybe we can capitalize the M when
the laws of physics are truly suspended…
Why the snarky comments on a very nice story. Leave it be.
It's such a great story, it just thrills me. We are purchasing missionary
stuff for our son right now, and it is costing a bundle. But we are equally
sustained by a generous God, though in different ways. God is in the details of
our lives, to the extent that we allow Him.
Regardless of whether or not it was a promotion for a financial institution, to
the receiver it was a blessing that he will not forget. He was in the right
place at the right time to be the recipient of a wonderful gift. I look at it
that way. And it shows me that even if we are doing business we can still do
good things to help the community and the people around us. There are other ways
this bank could have promoted itself that wouldn't have been a blessing in
these missionaries' lives. So instead of looking at this cynically I look
at it as a wonderful gesture that blessed many lives.
God doesn't suspend the laws of physics. He supersedes them with His
knowledge of higher laws.
@ Tyler D: It appears that you only define a miracle, whether "M" or
"m" as something that requires the suspension of the laws of physics. I
disagree. Miracles can and are performed by everyday folks regularly.But, either way, my "great story" as you so condescendingly put it,
also defies the laws of physics; i.e. a suit that did not exist on our
home's front door when my family walked out the door before me, suddenly
was there when I followed. "Suit from nowhere" seems to defy the laws
of physics, does it not? Or does that still not fit? In not, perhaps you could
more specifically explain your definition of "Miracle".
@Tyler Dthe laws of physics are NEVER truly suspended… no need
to capitalize the M.Perhaps someday our suspended understanding of
miracles will come to an end.
Not really a miracle.
Great story. I’m sure many of us that have served
missions—particularly those of us who are the only Church members in our
respective families—have stories like this, showing the Lord’s
tender mercies. (I know I certainly do.)Congratulations, Elder
Petrungaro. Have a great mission!
@Tyler D If the definition of the word miracle has been
"expanded," it happened long before this news article. Merriam
Webster's dictionary defines a miracle as an "event manifesting divine
intervention" or "an extremely outstanding or unusual event."
I'd say this story, and Fred's experience, fall under the
"extremely outstanding or unusual" umbrella. I can't remember the
last time someone paid for more than $1,000 worth of merchandise at the store
for me. If you disagree with this definition, it's not really about what
the people in this particular story view as a miracle, it's about what the
English-speaking world views as a miracle.
@Fred Vader – “But, either way, my "great story" as you so
condescendingly put it…”Since there was no condescension
in my intent (I really do like these stories), the fact that you would take it
that way says a lot. The parable about the mote in our eye might be informative
here, but only you know what it was you were projecting onto me.As
far as your “suit from nowhere,” not sure if condescension is the
right word (although I definitely intend something like it regarding this part
of your story), I did have to pick my jaw up off the ground after reading you
believe laws of physics were suspended when the suit was placed on your front
door. Maybe the saddest part is rather than focusing on the
(anonymous, in this case) kindness of other people – and perhaps
strengthening your ability to follow the “love your neighbor”
commandment - instead your attention focused on an imaginary figure possessing
Gandalf–like abilities. Anyway, apologies to all if my
trying to keep it real is seen as just throwing a wet blanket on a feel good
congrats and have a great mission young man!
Tyler D. The beauty of this is, is that I know what happened, because I was
there. You're welcome to "wet blanket" anything you choose. It
doesn't change the facts. You are comfortable in your atheism.
We get it. But my understanding of "atheism" is that it is an
admission of "not knowing" while you make assertions above as if you do
know how my Miracle happened.I'm glad your "jaw
dropped". Mine did too. That's usually what happens when Miracles
take place. Absolutely there are logical explanations for how my suit got
there. Could it have been a super fast neighbor who was able to cross our huge
front yard, ascend our front porch steps, place the suit, and leave just as
quickly, before I walked out the door seconds after my family? (All while
guessing my suit and shirt sizes in order to provide a fitted suit)? I suppose
so. If that neighbor suspended the laws of physics. ;)Also in this
day and age of Banks not lending money, let alone giving it away, you don't
think it is a Miracle that this bank gave away over $1000? Really?
Neat to see this young man blessed in his efforts to serve. Reminded me of the
time my then-non LDS father took a young, incredibly poor missionary to a local
men's clothing store and bought him a suit, socks and some shoes. My dad
never said anything about it and I don't believe that anyone other than me
and the missionary knew. That action made me admire my dad more than you can
@Fred Vader – “You are comfortable in your atheism…”So at the risk of beating a dead horse and further alienating my fellow
readers (although mission accomplished already based on the number of
“likes”), this deserves a response.I’m an atheist
now? No chance of being a deist, pantheist, or just believing in the Force?But nice play on your part tossing out the A word (as our fellow readers gasp
in horror!), but I guess I’ll give you some credit for not going all the
way and calling me “wicked.”Anyway, I don’t claim
to know what happened for certain (again, putting words in my mouth). I simply
think, based on everything we know scientifically about how the world works, it
is highly unlikely this was a miracle in the classic (suspend known laws of
physics) definition of the word.And before you continue heaping
scorn on my unbelief, keep in mind that religious people have been
“explaining” natural events in supernatural terms for millennia, and
yet today 99.99% of all those explanations no one takes seriously anymore.@ElJefeOchoVery nice story… thanks for sharing.
@Sasha -- that seems like a major overestimate of the amount of wear a pair of
cheap Payless shoes will take before looking dilapidated and then falling to
pieces. From having served a mission, I would estimate shoes of that price and
quality would last two weeks to a month. They might work longer if the
missionary was mostly traveling by car, but traveling by foot would require
well-stitched leather shoes with durable soles. For a missionary, cheap shoes
would be penny wise and pound foolish.
@Tyler D:"Heaping scorn on my unbelief"? What
"scorn" did I heap? I offered up a similar story to the one above that
showed Miracles do occur. You challenged that story by alluding to the
possibility that it was more likely "the kindness of other people." I
proffered additional information to you that it would be near impossible, given
the timing circumstances, for someone to have physically put it there without me
seeing them. Again, I am cool if you do not believe my story, but it
doesn't change the fact that it happened.Atheism is a swear
word now? Not in my book. I am cool with people who say "they don't
know." I am cool with people who say "they do know" even if it is
different from what I know or believe. So you are not an Atheist
(not really clear from your post)? My apologies if you are not, since that
seems to have offended you. I based that conclusion on readings over your
various posts on D-News. So, deist? A pantheist? Budhist? I am a member of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, if not obvious from my posts.
A prospective missionary in my branch paid $175 for a pair of Ecco shoes.
Nothing surprising there--except for the fact that he paid for them himself.
And paid for the rest of his mission as well. Too many prospective missionaries
fail to sanctify the funds of their mission by earning it themselves.
I am happy that this young man got what he needed and was lucky enough to be
there on the right day, but please don't call this a miracle.This was a superb and exceptional act of generosity and volunteerism from a
financial institution that was seeking to reach out to prospective clientele. I
am glad that this institution was honest about their intentions, but I challenge
them and other institutions to reach out in like manner to people who do not
shop just at Missionary Mall. There are many, many young people here that need
exactly this type of help. I am grateful we live in a community and
state that possesses such a spirit of generosity, volunteerism, and goodness.
How is this not a miracle?
So pathetic to read some of the comments on here. This is a great story! Good
things do still happen in this world. If you have nothing better to do than
wait for each story with religious undertones to come out on the internet so you
can make pathetic comments, you might think about re-examining your life.
Everything happens for a reason, there are no coincidences.
Wow, a company with tons of money paid a few peanuts for somebody's stuff
and then made sure it ended up in the news. Marketing sure is miraculous.
Its a blessing ..not neessarily a miracle .
My family has been blessed to know Thomas since he and my daughter were in class
together in elementary school. We've seen him thrive in the Gospel from
when he first started missionary discussions in our home. Watching his response
to challenges and triumphs have been inspirational. There is more than a
cameraman with a credit card to this miracle story.Had this blessing
not happened and made the rounds on the net, there are plenty of us who would
readily have provided the funds as needed. And there are plenty of good people
providing funds for other missionaries every day. That's the
miracle. Lives change for the better. People help other people and all are
blessed because of it.
Why is it that people insist on calling this a religious miracle? Calling it
that implies something at play other than the individuals involved, which there
was not. The article is clear on this. The missionary shows up
with his friend and receives an act of generosity from a very generous financial
institution. I am happy it got on camera and to this website! As
for the other events in his life that led up to going on this religious
excursion, I am genuinely happy this young man had those good influences that
helped him grow. I think everyone who helped him should be applauded and
commended. This young man, store, the LDS Church, and this state
should be applauded and commended. I do not know why some on this
comment board are so focused on those who do not see this as a member of the LDS
Church does. Why is there something misguided and incorrect about providing our
own viewpoint? I do not wait to mock individuals, businesses, or
the LDS Church. I have commented positively on other stories on this website.
Those of you, LDS or not, who make such comments sadden me.
Am very pleased that a bonafide miracle can also be used as advertising copy and
brand polisher for Deseret First Credit Union. It's a miracle how the
interests of this missionary and a corporate entity coincide so neatly in the
pages of the DN.
It is difficult to reconcile as Godly miracle a man receiving a thousand dollars
of free clothes when on the same day thousands of children die of hunger an
disease and hundreds of other children loose their limbs to war casualties.
RE: “miracle” defined by Noah Webster, “an event that
contradicts known scientific law.” So a miracle is a supernatural act in
the natural realm. God actually suspends the Laws of Nature and moves
supernaturally. i.e..1. A miracle over nature would be a miracle
performed over natural things. Jesus turned water into unfermented wine in
John, chapter 2. That was a miracle over nature because those were natural
elements. All the elements of nature are subject to Jesus because He created
them all. (Colossians 1:16) 2. Miracles of Healing, Jesus went
about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the
kingdom, and HEALING ALL MANNER OF SICKNESS AND ALL MANNER OF DISEASE among the
people." (Matthew 4:23). 3. Miracles Over Demon Powers "And
at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and
them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at
the door. And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and CAST OUT
MANY DEVILS; …" (Mark 1:32-34 )
Miracle or not definitely a blessing !!Similarly when our Liahona Branch became
a Ward of Sacramento Stake,California our 1st missionary out a sister,dad in
tears at the Stake High Council meet sayin he doesnt know how theyd survive the
sister being their main source of income and esp.their mortgage..the Stake
Patriach present offered a new house to the surprised non LDS dad > the
mission, and mortgage was paid for by the patriach who owned the Country club ,
local park and area new houses ! n dad her 1st convert !!Blessings or miracle
Most miracles are simply God putting someone in need in the path of someone who
has the means and willingness to help. Hopefully all of us will be in tune
enough to be willing when God places that person in need in our path.
@Fred Vader"As I walked outside to go to my farewell, hanging on the
house doorknob was a brand new suit, shirt, and tie....all my size. After the
farewell, many members gave me envelopes. When I opened them, I had enough money
for six months of my mission. Please convince me this wasn't a
miracle."It's not uncommon for people who are relatively
close in some manner (family, friends, coworkers, church members) to get
together and pitch in for some unexpected challenge one of their own faces.
Don't get me wrong, it's still a very nice thing they did."But, either way, my "great story" as you so condescendingly put
it, also defies the laws of physics; i.e. a suit that did not exist on our
home's front door when my family walked out the door before me, suddenly
was there when I followed. "I don't think he was being
condescending. As for the suit matter, there are perfectly logical explanations
within the bounds of physics for that.
Jesus healed lepers, restored sight, raised Lazarus from the dead -- angering
many. It is easier for mountains to be moved than for hearts to be softened or
for God's hand to be acknowledged by some. Touching hearts is clearly the
tougher task and greater miracle.In our pride, we take so much
credit, as if all good things come solely from our own efforts. Should we take
responsibility for our lives, work our hardest and smartest to help ourselves
and others? I wholeheartedly say yes, and add from the Doctrine and
Covenants:"And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none
is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and
obey not his commandments."This young man's life was twice
blessed: by the gift he was given, and by his humble acknowledgement. More
miracles await him if he retains this attitude, and passes on the love he
received. And whatever the motive of the giver -- individual or institution,
they were truly an instrument for good.
RE: Civil ,Jesus healed lepers, restored sight, raised Lazarus from the dead --
angering many. True, Pharisees and Publicans.How anyone believe that
we deserve anything we have? Sure we work long a hard for a living. But do we
deserve any of the countless blessings we have received? We are especially
unworthy of the gift of His son, Jesus.he does not treat us as our
sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens
are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the
east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.(Psalm
Sasha, I can't get a pair of Payless shoes to last more than a couple of
months. I suspect your "calculations" are more like "guesses"
Tyler - just curious what type of mission you were assigned or exemption was
given for leaving when 18 and a half, twenty years ago? Taht certainly would be
stressful to get called "early" like that.