The Brown Journal

Here’s a guest post from Kimberly, an Exponent II associate editor. Kimberly and her husband have been dealing with his cancer for three years now; you can read more about their journey at her blog, Walking on Water.

A warning: this is a wonderful post, but I cry whenever I read it. So, you may want a bit of privacy while reading.

So there was one downside to the trip to China — I lost my journal. You should know that this was not just any journal, it was the cancer journal, the one I’ve been keeping for the last year and a half.

I was devastated when I unpacked my carry-on bag in the hotel room and realized I didn’t have it. I had left it on the plane when I landed in Shanghai.

Since we found out Mat’s cancer is back (round 3), I have struggled to recall the faith, hope, and energy that I seemed to have at my disposal last summer, during round 2. I was sure that all of these were in my journal.

I cried for a long time.

Then I tried everything I could think of to get it back. A Chinese-speaking coworker of Mat’s called the airport and was passed to several people in various airport and airline lost and found departments, but didn’t have any luck.

The following week, on my way back to the U.S. I spoke to several people to ask for help, with no luck. During my layover in Chicago, I even recognized a steward from my flight to Shanghai the previous week, and stopped him to ask if he had seen my journal while cleaning the plane. Mat left Shanghai a day after I did, and spent several hours at the Shanghai airport trying to track down my journal in person, also to no avail. Everyone was either unhelpful or didn’t speak English well enough to understand.

And then my mom took over. I told her the sad story, and she began calling Shanghai. She also spoke to several different people in several different departments before finding Mason, a very helpful, very polite airport agent who spoke very good English.

He had the journal.

Mason couldn’t send it to the U.S., but a colleague of his delivered the journal to Mat’s office in Hangzhou the following week. Mat’s coworker sent it to him via interoffice mail, and I had it back in my hands last Friday.
Do I believe in miracles?

Actually, I do.

EmilyCC lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her spouse and three children. She currently serves as a stake Just Serve specialists, and she recently returned to school to become a nurse. She is a former editor of Exponent II and a founding blogger at The Exponent.


  1. Kimberly, I used this very “Brown Journal” post last week when I taught Relief Society. And we all cried. I used it to show the need to record our moments of faith so that we’ll have them when our hope is running low. And I also made a comparison to Lehi making his kids go back to Jerusalem to get the scriptures from Laban. Really, the brown journal is your equivalent of the Brass Plates. Love your guts.

  2. What a great story.
    It made me think of my mom.
    She could and would do something like this, walk to the ends of the earth for me and my family.
    What a sweet story of hope.

  3. Kimberly, this was wonderful. Wonderful to read about all the people that cared enough to spend so much time tracking that journal down for you. Best of luck to you and Mat.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Click to subscribe for new post alerts.

Click to subscribe to our magazine, in circulation since 1974.

Related Posts

Languages of Worship

During Sunday School this weekend I sort of zoned out.  The teacher was talking about worship and what it meant to worship and I...

Equal in Faith: Salt Lake City

On Monday I fasted. I fasted for the first time in years. It was completely different than I remember. I remember fasting being about...

What has to be done

By Jana Cross-posted from I also read an expanded version of this essay at the Sunstone Symposium last Friday, which you can watch via...

Sacred Music Sunday: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming (reprint with new arrangement)

This post originally appeared in December 2018 and is being reprinted today with a different arrangement of the hymn. One of my favorite Christmas songs...
submit guest post
Submit a Guest Blog Post
subscribe to our magazine
Subscribe to Our Magazine
Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :