`I know who you are'
While serving a mission in Tennessee in the mid-1890s, C. A. Hickenlooper learned the necessity of placing his trust in his Heavenly Father. And when he did so in faith and humility, the Lord provided for his needs.
As related in the Sept. 1, 1934, issue of the Church Section of the Deseret News, Elder Hickenlooper was assigned to work with Elder W. T. Ogden in Murray County. The missionaries were instructed by their mission president to canvas Columbia City, about 35 miles from where two elders were shot in 1884. Elders Hickenlooper and Ogden were the first missionaries back in the area.
Elder Hickenlooper reported that after they had worked in Columbia City, they moved on to the outlying areas, and finally reached Sawdust, a small town of about 100 families. "We were received kindly by the people and obtained permission to hold a meeting in their schoolhouse," he wrote.
But their success was short-lived. Not only did growing animosity toward Mormons cause the elders to lose access to the schoolhouse, but also word spread that every housewife was to promise not to give the elders food or lodging.
That night a severe thunderstorm struck the area. While standing on the outskirts of town in the storm, the elders realized their predicament, and prayed for direction. Afterward, they felt impressed to follow a road, which led to a small house. Upon knocking, the missionaries were greeted by a man, who said, "You needn't spend your time telling me; I know who you are."
The elders stood on the step for about 10 minutes while the man spoke with his wife. He then returned and invited in the missionaries, but he had a hard time believing that no one sent them his way. The elders inquired as to the cause of his disbelief, and he replied that a much-respected community member had tried to obtain his promise to not help the missionaries, but he refused - possibly the only man in town to do so. He told the community member that he had been to Ogden, Utah, and that the Mormons were as fine a people as he had ever met. He told the elders: "I had quite a hard time convincing [my wifeT that it would be all right to take you in. She is now in the kitchen preparing something for you to eat."
Later that night, Elder Hickenlooper praised his Father in Heaven for His guiding care and protection over the elders. - Julie A. Dockstader
(Another in a series of "Missionary Moments." Illustration by Deseret News artist Reed McGregor.)