We got into our car, hoping for respite from the Arizona heat, but none was forthcoming. The air conditioning vents were blowing hot air. While I sat there feeling like I was going to faint, Hillel got on the phone and started calling the people we hadn't been able to reach the night before, seeing if someone would be available for a meeting.

It wasn't long before he got though to an older man living in Lake Havasu City who said that he could meet with us right away. We plugged his address into the GPS and were off.

We arrived at an oldish-looking trailer home, wondering if we had possibly made a mistake. Seeing no other house in sight, we forged onward and knocked on the door. We were welcomed warmly and soon sat down to talk.

We found out that our host had once been a very wealthy man and had lost it all to a divorce. He was remarkably upbeat. He told us he's moving to Mexico in a few months because of a job waiting for him there. He told us that G‑d had sent us to him.

We offered him the opportunity to don tefillin. He went to his room and pulled out his own pair. We spoke about the importance of putting them on every day and he said he'd consider it.

He gave us good advice about making goals and posting them in visible places. "Do you smoke?" he then asked us. We told him that we don't. "If there's anything I can leave you with, it's that you should never smoke." I said I would take upon myself never to smoke for the rest of my life as long as he would wear tefillin. A deal was struck, and he committed to putting them on every day. Unlike most deals, where each party does something for the other's sake, here we would each be doing something for our own good. I will keep my body healthy, and he will keep his soul in fine condition. Following his own advice, he posted a note on his desktop screen with a reminder to put on tefillin. We gave him a mezuzah to grace his door for the remainder of his time in Arizona, and he said he'll put it up in his new house in Mexico.

It took forever to say goodbye because the small encounter had left us feeling so attached.