Miracles are real. Miracles do happen. I learned this very quickly on a snow campout on mount hood a few years back.
It all started pretty uneventfully. My scout group and I drove up to the mountain and then hiked up deeper into the woods. We then began to make preparations for the night. We had decided the safest and most comfortable option to be snow caves. For those of you reading this who don’t know what those are, what you do is you find a snowbank and you dig into it. This works well because the snow naturally insulates and contains your body heat. This causes the ceiling to melt, but don’t worry, this doesn’t cause any structural dangers. Inside you make a dome shaped room as best as you can. If you don’t round the ceiling correctly then the melting ceiling will drip instead of neatly running down the sides. There is one very important rule of snow camping, stay dry and warm. This rule is crucial in order to just survive the night, yes SURVIVE. The temperatures on the mountain drop to dangerous levels, especially when you are wet. So this is when my story really starts.
I was digging my snow cave and pretty close to done. Then, I noticed the boy in my troop, who has special needs, was having a lot of trouble digging his. So I offered to just enlarge my cave and share it with him. He gratefully accepted and so I began doubling the size of my cave. After that, I realized that my friend, being considerably taller than me, would not be able to comfortably fit on his side of the cave. So I naturally dug his ceiling taller. I didn’t realize at the time, but I completely ruined the curvature of the ceiling because I left my side with the shorter height.
After dinner, it was time for us all to head to our caves and get some rest. My friend had headed back a while before. As I arrived at my cave I curled up and got ready to go to sleep. Then “Drip”… “Drip”… “Slosh”… the cave was very rapidly soaking me and my things. That’s when I decided it was a very bad call to stay in my cave. So I climbed out and headed back to the fire pit. I was the only one awake. Luckily, the fire was still smoldering. I sat down and began to nurse it back to health as I watched the moon peek up over the mountain. There I sat and watched the moon make its trip across the night sky. By what I’d guess was midnight, the fire had reduced to a glorified finger-tip warmer. Things were not looking good. I was still wet, and my one source of heat was very rapidly fading. I was getting desperate. So I said a prayer. I asked for someone to please come and help me or that my sad excuse of a fire would last the rest of the night. I had faith! I knew he would help! And guess what happened next! I opened my eyes and… the fire went out. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little confused. But then I remembered that I asked that someone would come and help me if the fire didn’t last. So I anxiously looked around. No one was there. I was completely alone. So I figured, God knows what’s best. If he didn’t send someone then either my options weren’t right or maybe I hadn’t done my part. So I decided that I would walk around and look in the snow for some firewood and if I didn’t find anything then I would try my cave again.
So I walked, and there was not a single dead twig to be found anywhere above the snow. So, with a little disappointment, I began to walk back. When I neared the clearing with the firepit, I noticed a shadow out by my chair. Not sure what to think, I just waited quietly to see what happened next. Then the shadow went off into the woods. I then walked out into the clearing and noticed something. There was a pile of firewood stacked by the fire and a wool blanket draped over my chair. I then sat down in my chair and the fire started itself. Without me adding any more wood yet or aiding it in any way, a single flame rose out of the cold coals. I quickly built the fire up to a steady burn and said a prayer of gratitude. I would live.
When morning came, I found out that my scout leader had woken up in his car and just felt like he would bring out those things to the site. There was no way he could’ve known that I needed that. I was off in the woods when he arrived, he never saw me. Why on earth would he get up in the middle of the night and feel like he needed to walk firewood and a wool blanket to the firepit? He even admitted it was weird! I know that he was inspired to act and be the answer to my prayer.
This taught me that God really does listen to every prayer, and we need to always trust that he has a plan for us and will always watch over us. It also taught me that we need to be ready to listen to the Holy Ghost at any moment and act on it. I don’t know what would’ve happened to me if he hadn’t followed that prompting. Best case scenario, I get hypothermia from being wet and out in the cold. God acts through his disciples. We are His hands here on earth. As long as we stay worthy of the spirit, and stay listening, He will guide us. We can be miracle workers.
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