How I Found My Long-Lost Investigator

men-talkingWhile serving my mission in Salt Lake, I taught a man that I became close friends with. I taught him for seven and a half months. During the time I knew him, he became like a brother to me. We went over to see him almost on a daily basis since he lived right down the street from us. He wanted so badly for him to be baptized and get his life in order. Then one day due to old issues, he had to go to jail for six months.

During that time, I lost contact with him. After he got out, I heard that he was living in Provo but I wasn’t able to get in touch with him while on my mission. When I went home, I tried to call his cell phone but the number I had for him was out of service. I contacted a number of people who might know how to get in touch with him, but I couldn’t find anything to help. I searched for months but had no luck.

A short time after I finished my mission, I ended up moving to Provo for school. A few times since I had been in the area, I had a subtle prompting that I shrugged off as nothing more than a random thought: I needed to call his father. I had the thought to call him before, but because I knew they weren’t on the best terms I hadn’t seriously considered actually doing it. Eventually the prompting got stronger and more frequent, so I decided to follow it. It took some time to get in contact with people that had his number, but I finally texted him and asked for his son’s number.

I texted the number hoping that it was the right one. A few hours later I got a reply from my friend saying that he was living in the Provo area. I gave him a call and it turned out that he lived just a few blocks down the road from me. I was overjoyed. Later that night I went by to see him. He had told me that he was struggling financially, and he hadn’t eaten in two days. I brought some food for him to eat and talked to him for close to an hour. We caught up and I asked him how things had been going.

We visited for a while, and then he asked what made me call him. I asked what he meant, and then he said that his new phone had only been turned on three days earlier. He had been trying to get in touch with me since he got out of jail seven months ago. He said he called everywhere looking for me, including my old mission phone, the mission office, and even the bishop of the old ward I covered in Salt Lake. But they all said they didn’t know how to get in touch with me. He was amazed that “out of random” I decided to call his father and get in touch with him just days after he got a phone. Finally, we had found each other after months of searching. Although I am definitely no prophet, at that moment I felt as Joseph Smith did when he wrote to W. W. Phelps, “Come on, dear brother, since the war is past, for friends at first, are friends again at last.” Though we had both had many “wars” of trials and hardships since we lost contact, we were finally reunited as brothers in Christ.

This was truly a miracle for the both of us. Our faith was increased, and our desire to live the gospel and love the Lord was stronger as a result of it. And though I am no longer a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I will always be the Lord’s full-time servant. I love the Lord. I love the tender mercies He brings into our lives as a result of our faith. I love the real relationship I have with Him as His returned missionary and also as my Mediator and Advocate with the Father. And although I have never seen Him in the flesh, I can testify beyond a shadow of a doubt that I know He lives.