Our mission for our Church to Brazil was in 2004-2005. One of the first things we did in preparation was to purchase a digital camera so we could record some of the memories we created there. However, after nine months into our mission, our apartment was entered and among the things that were stolen from us was our laptop computer, our flash drive with all the backups from that computer, and the memory card containing all the pictures we had taken during those first months. The police were ineffective and so our things were lost and gone forever (a story in and of itself).
Thank goodness I had the camera with me, so we didn't lose it. We began to take pictures once again. I have to admit I was not as persistent as I had been in the first months, but the ones I took were very important to us.
At the end of my mission I became ill and struggled through the last two months to the end. I did manage to save our pictures to a disk to bring home with us. Unfortunately, when we arrived home, I realized I had not labeled the CD with the pictures. As I put all the disks into the computer one by one, the message was that each was unreadable. I had given an empty CD to one of the missionary elders, and I became convinced that I had inadvertently given the CD with my pictures on it to him. So, again, I thought I had lost all these pictures.
I recently got a brand new computer and was upgraded in the process from Windows 2000 to Vista. I started having a little thought keep nagging at me to go through those "empty" CDs again. I began to wonder about the possibility about an incompatibility between Windows 2000 and the XP version that was on the mission office's computer. That was one of the reasons I got a new computer in the first place, because I was working with a program that was no longer compatible with Windows 2000.
I said a fervent prayer and asked to find those pictures on one of the still "empty" CDs. I put the first one in, but no pictures were there. The second one came up and I shed tears of joy as I saw my pictures pop into view.
It was a small miracle of great proportions to us and we are so very grateful.