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.
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.
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.
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!