Sunday, March 13, 2011

Answered Prayer: Found it!

I have heard some amazing stories of really miraculous things that have happen to people. In the Holy Bible there are stories of all kinds of incredible stories of miracles that prophets experienced and also that Jesus Christ performed. This is a story of a miracle and to me was an answer to my prayers. I will try not to embellish any details and stick to story as much as I can.

A long time ago I was preparing to move to Pennsylvania to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for two years. I was moving across the country to meet new people, share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and leave my family and previous life behind. I was only able to communicate to my family by letters and email once a week, with an occasional phone call twice a year. It sounds hard but it was a great opportunity to really focus on the life of Christ and learn about Him and grow closer to God.

A while before I left, the girl I was dating gave me a ring to sort of "remember her by" and I used to wear this ring everyday. It was a simple ring made of silver and I took care of it as much as I could. Silver can tarnish quite easily and turns a dingy color when it gets in contact with water and contaminants, so when I would wash my hands I would take the ring off and put it back on after drying.

Silver also is a very weak metal and can bend and twist easily. As much as I tried to care for the ring it got bent up and dented and after a while got pretty beat up, but I still took it off for washing. One day in Ephrata PA (which is near Lancaster),  the missionary I was paired with and I decided to ride our bikes to 10 miles to a young family's house that we were teaching. It was a long bike ride but the weather was amazing. Spring in PA is one of my favorite times with everything blooming and all the sweet smells. 

When we arrived we found Jeremy and his wife in their backyard raking leaves. One things I should note about PA is there are trees EVERYWHERE!!! You can't see down the street because there are so many trees. not something I was used to living in California and Utah. So needless to say there was a lot of leaves and it wasn't a small backyard. We offered to help.

The leaves were there since the winter it seemed because they were damp and falling apart. I of course took off my ring and put it in my shirt pocket so it wouldn't get tarnished. My pocket was always filled with a lot of things. As a missionary I wore a name badge everyday on my pocket with a little books, pens, and some card with pictures of Jesus Christ on them. I dug everything out of my pocket and put the ring at the bottom and then replaced all the items.

So we started raking and bagging these leaves. My friend Kenny Wilkes would rake them into a pile and I would pick them up and place them in a bag. We then took the bags of leaves and emptied them out up a hill behind their house. It was at least a foot or two deep of leaves already from the trees behind the garage. We raked and bagged for probably an hour in the humid sun. When we were done Jeremy's wife brought out some Sprite and we cooled off for a minute while Jeremy's loaded out bikes into his SUV to give us a ride back home.

Once home, I took a shower and when I got out and got dressed I went to put back on my ring but found that it was gone. I searched through all my clothes and I couldn't remember where I had placed it. I called up Jeremy and asked if I had left it there and they said no. As lame as it may sound I was a little heartbroken that I couldn't find this ring. At night before I go to bed I offer a silent prayer to God to thank him for his blessings throughout the day and to ask him for things that I might need help with. For the next few days I prayed that he would help me find this silver ring.

So after a few days of not finding it anywhere I knew that it must still be at that young family's house somewhere. I asked my friend if we could make the trip out there but we were so busy we wouldn't have time for a few weeks to go back out that way. I kept praying. We got a phone call one night informing us that I would be transferred to another area of Pennsylvania and I really wanted to get that ring before I left (I know how dramatic this all sounds but keep reading for the miracle).

The day before I was to leave I we drove to Adamstown and knocked on the family's door. We searched the backyard with no luck. I realized it must of fallen out of my pocket and into a pile of leaves that we raked up and put in the mini-forest behind their house. Jeremy's wife suggested I rent a metal detector to help us find the literal needle in a haystack. We went to an equipment rental store and this is where the miracles start to happen. This part of the story may sound crazy but I promise the events happened just as I describe. We inquired for a metal detector and the clerk informed us he had only one left and I was only for finding rings! I was really excited and we rushed back to hunt for silver.

Neither of us had ever used a metal detector before but we turned it on and hoped for the best. I had been bagging the leaves most of the time so I went to the spot where I had dumped the now MOUND of leaves. We waved the metal detector around it and it started to beep. I was so happy we had finally found it. I started to sift through the leaves but didn't find anything. Kenny waved the device again and it beeped again so I started digging deeper until I got to the bottom of the forest floor of leaves. CHICKEN WIRE!!! There was chicken wire everywhere I dumped the leaves! Everywhere around the mounds the detector beeped because under all the leaves was chicken wire.

I was really discouraged at this point and I decided to just forget it. My friend Kenny said wisely, "maybe we should offer a prayer?" I told him I had been praying for almost 2 weeks straight but we determined on more time couldn't hurt. We knelt down and offered a audible prayer to God that He would help us. When we ended the prayer we sat there for a moment to gather our thoughts. Kenny then remembered a few bags that he dumped a few yards up the hill more. We walked over to the different mound, turned on the detector and beep beep beep! Kenny reached down, dug around for a minute and pulled out the ring from the pile of leaves.

I know that sounds like a crazy story to some, but to me, this really showed me that God loves me and cares about what I care about. That He is a loving Father in Heaven that has mercy on us. It makes sense to me that the Creator of the universe can do simple things like help me find my ring. That ring didn't matter - I didn't end up with that girl. It ended up getting thrown away years later anyway. However, at that time God knew that it was important to me and He blessed me with the miracle to find it through faith. This is a witness to my heart that God exists, and is mindful of our everyday lives.

Matthew 10:29-31

"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. "

This gives me hope for my testimony journal that I lost, but it mostly gives me comfort to know that God is there and answers prayers if we ask in faith. If you don't believe me here is a picture of us next to the garage after finding it!

- Joe Macedone


  1. When I saw the title of the post I thought that this story would be about you finding your journal.

    Even though this story isn't about your journal, it's still miraculous. The Lord really is mindful of all of our wants and needs.

  2. I also thought it was about your journal...good story though.