LDS convert experiences miracle while shopping for missionary clothing


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  • crunchem Cedar City, Utah
    July 29, 2013 1:05 a.m.

    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.

  • crunchem Cedar City, Utah
    July 29, 2013 12:57 a.m.

    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"

  • donn layton, UT
    July 22, 2013 2:30 p.m.

    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 103:10-12 NIV)

  • Civil Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2013 12:16 p.m.

    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.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2013 11:06 a.m.

    @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.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    July 21, 2013 6:12 p.m.

    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.

  • Nona Elk Grove, CA
    July 20, 2013 8:54 p.m.

    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 indeed..

  • donn layton, UT
    July 20, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    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 )

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 20, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    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. Please explain.

  • TimBehrend Auckland NZ, 00
    July 20, 2013 7:38 a.m.

    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.

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    July 20, 2013 3:00 a.m.

    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.

  • wwhitlock Apple Valley, CA
    July 19, 2013 8:02 p.m.

    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.

  • Nona Elk Grove, CA
    July 19, 2013 6:36 p.m.

    Its a blessing ..not neessarily a miracle .

  • 3GrandKeys Walnut Creek, CA
    July 19, 2013 5:15 p.m.

    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.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    July 19, 2013 4:30 p.m.

    Everything happens for a reason, there are no coincidences.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    July 19, 2013 3:53 p.m.

    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.

  • Tori Fruit Heights, UT
    July 19, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    How is this not a miracle?

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    July 19, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    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. Nice going!

  • CodyCougar Madison, SD
    July 19, 2013 2:15 p.m.

    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.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    July 19, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    @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.

  • AreaReader Suburbs, AZ
    July 19, 2013 12:08 p.m.

    @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 Meridian, ID
    July 19, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    @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.


    Very nice story… thanks for sharing.

  • ElJefeOcho STAFFORD, VA
    July 19, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    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 imagine.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    July 19, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    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?

  • Kennyray Ft. Worth, TX
    July 19, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    congrats and have a great mission young man!

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 19, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    @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 story…

  • Christene San Marcos, TX
    July 19, 2013 7:46 a.m.

    @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.

  • theOtter Lafayette, IN
    July 19, 2013 6:36 a.m.

    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!

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 19, 2013 12:02 a.m.

    Not really a miracle.

  • maclouie Falconer, NY
    July 18, 2013 8:45 p.m.

    @Tyler D

    the 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.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    July 18, 2013 7:11 p.m.

    @ 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".

    July 18, 2013 7:10 p.m.

    God doesn't suspend the laws of physics. He supersedes them with His knowledge of higher laws.

  • Kelliebelle66 West Jordan, UT
    July 18, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    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.

  • MealyMouth Alpine, UT
    July 18, 2013 4:26 p.m.

    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.

  • brownderby Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 18, 2013 4:17 p.m.

    Why the snarky comments on a very nice story. Leave it be.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 18, 2013 4:10 p.m.

    @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…

  • ajmyers Los Angeles, CA
    July 18, 2013 3:55 p.m.

    I'm a little suspect about sponsored "miracles" to get publicity.

    "But when thou doest alms, let not thy
    left hand know what thy right hand doeth"

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    July 18, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    Fred - Thanks for sharing. Your story has made my day!

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    July 18, 2013 2:19 p.m.

    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.

  • Try My Best South Jordan, UT
    July 18, 2013 1:43 p.m.

    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.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    July 18, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    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.

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    July 18, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    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.

  • Sonny N. Bright Taylorsville, UT
    July 18, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    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 business.

  • JonathanPDX Portland, Oregon
    July 18, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    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!)

  • DonP Sainte Genevieve, MO
    July 18, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    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.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 18, 2013 5:58 a.m.

    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.