St. George is a town of miracles: A thank you to the angels

CHRISTMAS FEATURE – Last Christmas my family of 18 people moved to St. George from Hawaii. Of course it was to be a hard Christmas because of moving expenses and things, but we had three miracles happen in a week.

My seven kids, my friend, and I stopped at a well-known farm to inquire about prices on Christmas trees, and a kind man touched me on my arm and said: “Let me give your family a gift.” We followed him to his home and he gave us a 9-foot-tree that his grandsons had just chopped down.

The tears could not stop flowing.

A few days later, I was in Smiths with my friend and we saw a set of Pyrex bowls on sale. “Man, I hope those are still on sale in a few weeks!” I said. Then I walked over to the vegetable section and a woman came over to me and asked if I wanted to purchase those bowls. I didn’t really know what to say – I  was thrown off guard – so I said, stammering: “Well, yes . . . ?” She handed me a $20 bill and said: “Go buy those bowls.” And she walked away. I stood there for a few minutes stunned trying to absorb what just happened.

I finally got my feet moving to find her, hug her and give her a crying, “Thank you!”

The next day on Christmas Eve, my seven kids, the same friend, and I were waiting at Smiths gas station. A man at the pump yelled out to me: “Hey you, red suburban!” and ushered us over to the pump. I thought he was being kind of rude as I was waiting for another car to go first, as I thought he had been waiting first. So I pulled up to the pump, got out, and the man said: “What do you want, regular, super or plus?” “Oh, just regular, thank you,” I said, finding it strange as I thought it was self-serve. “Get in your car, it’s cold,” he said. So I got in thinking, “sheesh, not even my husband orders me around like that.”

A few minutes later I realized I hadn’t told the man how much I wanted. So I jumped out in a hurry as he was closing my gas cap. “Merry Christmas!”  he said.

I told him thank you and looked up at the pump and thought, “$113 oh my! Oh well, I can’t do anything now.”

So I went up to the window to pay, using the last of my money, only for the cashier to tell me: “That man paid your bill.” I stood looking at her completely speechless.

I got back into the car still in shock as I tried to put into words to my kids what had just happened, and I just broke down in tears.

That man, a complete stranger had no idea how much he helped me. He was an angel. Never in my entire life have I experienced this kind of kindness.

The best part was that my kids got to witness and feel the amazing kindness a human being can bring to another. We were, and still are, so blessed.

St. George is a town of miracles. We have been through tough times this year, a lot of ups and downs, but the people we have met and the miracles that have happened, have made our life so humbly joyful.

I truly hope these “angels” read this and know from the bottom of my heart, I thank you and will always remember and share your amazing gifts of kindness. Much much mahalo and Mele Kalikimaka! From the Waltjens Plus.

Submitted by: Tamera Ethier-Waltjen

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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11 Comments

  • micki December 25, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    This is just the best article. We just moved here at the end of July and have found the people extraordinarily giving and old fashioned neighborly. We had a couple ask if they could help us unload our moving truck in the heat of the day and another neighbor come to our door with a fresh baked banana bread to welcome us. I have been so grateful to live in this community.

    • Huh? December 26, 2013 at 9:03 am

      When I moved to St George in August, I was alone. The U-Haul truck stayed parked in the driveway over the weekend while in the brutal heat, I unpacked and carted boxes and furniture into the house. Not one person offered any help, not did anyone bring me a casserole. Of course, I could see neighbors coming and going about their business. That hot August Monday afternoon, I returned the U-Haul. Nobody offered me a ride home or assistance of any sort. Shortly after I got moved in, though, they came knocking at my door offering me literature and invitations to their church (still no casseroles) which I graciously refused. I think most of these stories about all the people of St George helping newcomers and bringing them casseroles is fabricated.

      • bUB December 26, 2013 at 8:01 pm

        it really depends on the neighbors you get. It’s win and lose as with all things 🙂

  • Melissa December 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Amazingly cool…. Hugs, prayers and love to all….

  • Tyler December 25, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Wow, I wanna see this ‘miracle’ side of St George!

  • Grateful December 26, 2013 at 8:51 am

    This is a nice story. I’ve seen similar acts in other cities and towns as well. When I lived in Colorado, I knew of families and friends who weren’t the best off and struggled through the colder seasons when higher heating bills stretched their finances. Sometimes just before Thanksgiving or just before Christmas, I would anonymously place groceries that their door to help them with their holiday meal. I also enjoyed repairing bicycles that others had thrown away, and I would give these bikes to children of friends or to parents to give to their children for a birthday or holiday. This was my personal tradition which I’ve done in many places, towns where I’ve seen other people doing similar acts for others. I tried doing the bicycle thing in St George, but of the more than a dozen bikes I repaired and gave out to children, only twice did the child or the parent show any gratitude and appreciation. One child even helped with repairing other bikes to learn how to take care of the one I gave him. Sad to say, but most of the children who got these repaired bikes were like “What? An old bike? Whatever!” Unfortunately, I sense that too many children in St George have an extremely high expectancies and demands as well as an extremely low sense of gratitude, behaviors their parents instilled in them. With St George I’ve found that for every kind and generous person, there are several people willing to take advantage of them, and you got to watch out for them.

    • Joe December 26, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      People took advantage of me when I moved to St George. Now I won’t volunteer for anything.

      • bUB December 26, 2013 at 8:38 pm

        There is this kind of culture of dishonesty I’ve noticed here. I think it comes from the huge income disparity in the area. You have the rich retirees and business owners, but then you have a large amount of people that aren’t doing so well. I look in the Spectrum and I see 11 jobs listings… 11 jobs!!! it’s pretty bad…

  • Melissa December 26, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    You get out of it what you put into it. I routinely engage in random acts of kindness from mowing lawns of single moms, putting up the neighbors trash cans, purchasing toys for kids, leaving gifts of homemade bread, buying perfume for a mom who cannot afford it and many other acts of anonymous kindness, year round. I did so NOT being mormon. I moved on my own as well, but, I chose instead to be kind and not let others behavior affect me in a bitter manner. I offer you my humble observation

  • Tamera December 27, 2013 at 12:24 am

    I am sorry to the ones that have had people take advantage of them , or have struggled so and not felt the kindness. But it comes when u least expect it. Mind u I lived in the ” aloha ” state and never ever got this kind kindness in my life !!! Though I have met many rude people I still greet with smiles and do little kind deeds , not expecting something in return but just because it feels so good and comes naturally. My family and I had not been to church in over 15 yrs when this happened yet we could feel that sweet blessing. It’s not the religion or what u think u should get , it’s the gift of kindness never to be forgotten and the pay it forward that keeps the spirit of human kindness alive.

  • Malia December 26, 2015 at 11:07 am

    I have to say, I’ve seen both sides since we’ve moved here. But I agree that if you look for the good, you’ll find it. The reverse is true also. When we moved here 14 years ago, we arrived in the middle of the night. We woke up to about a half a dozen men on our front porch ready to help unload the Uhaul truck. It was a hot July morning and I couldn’t believe people could function in that heat. Later in the week I heard someone in my front yard, it was the neighbor mowing my lawn. When he was done here he moved on to the next house and I watched as he mowed every lawn on my side of the street. My family has been blessed by the kindnesses of others time and time again in this community. It has been a great lesson to me and my children and has motivated us to show kindness to others.

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