Josie went missing by herself quite frequently as well. I babysat her everyday, all day, for two years while I homeschooled myself. I don't think I could count the number of times I phoned my mom at work and wailed, "I lost Josie again!"
She went missing so frequently that our neighbours would be out looking for her before we even noticed that she was gone. "I saw a flash of pink run this way just a minute ago," they'd say when we finally caught up with them checking the alley...or the park...or the lake...or wherever.
This particular instance, however, was an especially interesting time Josie got lost.
I was in grade nine at the time and, having recently reassimilated into mainstream education, was attending Highwood High School, which was a ten or fifteen minute walk from our house. Josie must have been at Karen's house, but for some reason my mom ended up picking Josie up when she brought Patrick home from Spitzee, the elementary school he was at.
Since neither David nor I were home from school yet and weren't available to babysit my mom had arranged for Josie to play at the Little's house with her friend Dana so that she could go back to work. Patrick was going to play at the the Dupuis' who lived in the same co-op complex as the Littles. My mom stopped by the complex and helped Josie and Patrick over the fence by the Little's house and told Patrick to drop Josie off and then go straight to Tyler's.
When Dana opened the door, my mom drove off, trusting that Patrick, who was around 10 years old, could get to Tyler's by himself since it was just across the parking lot.
So she left Patrick and Josie standing on the Little's doorstep while she sped off to work.
Patrick was eager to get to Tyler's house so after greeting Dana he left Josie at the doorstep and ran off to the Dupuis', trusting that Dana would let Josie inside since he had heard our mom talk to her mom and things were all set up.
Dana, however, had not heard this arrangement being made and was very perplexed.
"But Josie!" she said, "I already have a friend over and I'm only allowed one friend over at a time! I can't play with you!"
"Well, what do I do?" Josie asked.
"Run home, Josie! Run home, quick!" Dana suggested.
And she closed the door on my baby sister, who hadn't even started kindergarten yet.
When Sister Little heard the door close she asked Dana who was at the door.
"Just Josie," Dana answered, "But don't worry. I told her to go home."
"You did what?!" asked Sister Little, heading for the door. She was now the one perplexed since she was supposed to be babysitting Josie for my mom.
"I'm only allowed to have one friend over," Dana explained.
"We're supposed to be watching her!" Sister Little said frantically.
"Oh," Dana squeaked guiltily.
Within minutes a search party comprising of Sister Little, Patrick, and Tyler was composed. Time was of the essense since Josie had this habit of heading to the lakes whenever she got loose and at four and five years old she wasn't the strongest swimmer.
They were looking all around for Josie in every hiding spot they could think of--they checked by the lake, behind the fence, by the dumpsters, in the bushes, and everywhere a little girl would think of hiding.
Meanwhile, back at Highwood, I was hanging out with my friends after school when I had the feeling that I needed to get home right away. So I left, and didn't dawdle on my way home. In fact, I hurried, although I didn't know why.
When I reached home, however, the answer was staring me in the face; my terrified little sister was sitting, sobbing, on the front steps.
"Hey, JoBo!" I said cheerfully, before I noticed she was crying, "Oh, no! What's wrong?"
"Mom took me to play at Dana's house but Dana said she couldn't play and told me to run home so I did and I've just been sitting here all alone and I'm scared and I prayed to feel safe but I don't!" she blubbered through her tears and ran into my arms.
I let her inside the house and we phoned my mom at work to tell her that I was home and that Josie was with me. My mom told me that I should go find Sister Little and Patrick, who were probably still desperately searching for Josie--my mom had recieved a phone call from a desperate, pleading Patrick.
"I lost Josie, but it's not my fault!"
We got it all straightened out in the end. Josie and I found Patrick, Tyler, and Sister Little still dilegently searching for. Patrick and Tyler went off to play. Josie ended up playing with Dana. And I went home to do homework, because I'm a nerd like that.
A lot of prayers were answered that day. Those of Patrick, Tyler, and Sister Little while they searched so carefully for her. Those of my mother, stuck at work worrying about her baby girl. And those of Josie, feeling so scared and alone.
I hope that Josie understands now that Heavenly Father listened to her prayers. He didn't want her to feel afraid anymore so, even though he didn't send down concourses of angels, he sent me to comfort her.
I have spoken here of heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods....Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind.I am so very grateful that I was living my life in a way that allowed me to recieve promptings from the Holy Ghost. I bear testimony that the power of prayer is real; Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. I have had so many of my own prayers answered, more often than not by ordinary people acting as instruments in the hand of God. I have felt the calming influence of the Holy Ghost in my life. I hope that we can all live our lives angelically.
-Elder Jeffrey R. Holland