I am so happy that you told me that story about Valentine. That is a super huge comfort to me that I am out here doing the same work that those two Elders were doing and I am not going through nearly as much trouble as they went through. Of course there are some things now that they didn't have to worry about back then, but at least I don't really have to worry about being beaten. That really just strengthens your testimony of the power of the gospel, and how much it can really impact people’s lives. Valentine could have easily given up the two Elders in fear for himself and his own family, but he didn't. I think that is a great example of not fearing man more than God. In a very literal sense. When I put that story into my own head and think about it, I just think of all of the members here that are so willing to stand up for us, and also just in little ways help us so that we can continue in the work as productively as possible.
Back when I has in Ahwatukee I had a really good experience with someone standing up for me even though they didn't even know who I was. Elder McMichael and myself were biking down this street called Knox where our church building was, when a car drove past after being stopped at a stop light and yelled, "#@*% Mormons!" I am already pretty used to stuff like that just because it has been happening my whole mission so far. But then something really cool happened. There were 3 teenagers in a car that was behind them and they said to us out the window, "Hey, sorry that those guys said that to you." It was so nice to know that there really are people that will just be good people rather than do something that they are going to regret in the future. I love when things like that happen.
This week was another super good week for Elder Bono and I. We have been really good these past few weeks at setting goals and actually FOLLOWING THROUGH with the goals that we have set. This past week we really wanted to focus on inviting people to be baptized and also making sure that we have members out with us to every lesson that we have. It brought so many miracles to do that. We have one girl that is 12 years old that is looking into baptism and she is actually going to be baptized on the 28th of this month! I am so excited! Then, I also was able to go on exchanges with the Zone Leaders this past week which was super fun! I got to live with the Assistants for the day! Elder Jurgensmeier, Elder Kloepfer, and my trainer Elder Forson. Then the name of the Zone Leader I was with is Elder Bressler. It was such a blast because I brought my giant fluffy dog with me on exchanges and put it on Elder Forson’s bed before he came in for the night. That was a big surprise for him! ;) Then when the exchange was almost done we went back and tossed the dog in the trunk of the car (it took up like the entire trunk), and went on our way. We brought it to the institute building and took pictures with it and some of the investigators and members! It was AWESOME! Then to finish the night we went on like a little road on ASU campus and did a CHINESE FIRE DRILL! That was super fun! Then right after that we went to a place called "Joe's Italian Ice" and got free Italian Ice because we are missionaries! Super good week and Exchange! It was the best!!!
Well, I am for sure still smiling, and doing awesome out here in the mission field. I am eager to make this transfer the best one of my entire mission so far! It will be awesome! I know that this Gospel is true and that the Book of Mormon is really another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that as we read it and continue to study the words of the prophets we will grow to love Christ and know him even more!