I had the scariest experience of my life on Saturday. We went to take our recent convert Danny to do temple work early in the morning, like around 6am. While we were on the bus, he realized he had forgot his recommend, so we got off and started walking back. We were running out of time, so Danny offered to run to his house while we walked to the bus stop. After waiting 20 minutes at the bus stop, he didn’t show up. I called his number, and a random guy answered and started yelling threats that I couldn’t understand. I realized something had happened to Danny. We walked to his house and passed a park. As we knocked his door, Danny came out and said, Guys, I don’t think we're gonna be able to go to the temple today. The guy was covered in blood and had cuts on his head, face and hand. He had been jumped in the park that we had passed by when he was running back to his house. He had lost ridiculous amounts of blood. Elder Allen and I freaked out and the only thing that I could think of was to give him a blessing, so we did. He went to the hospital, and is bedridden for a time. Its amazing they didn’t kill him, because supposedly 15 guys beat him to a pulp.
Now comes the incredible part. We went to visit him the next day to see how he was doing. I felt really bad because we had let him run off alone. The poor guy could only use one hand, and had the look of someone who had gotten whipped. I asked him how he was doing. His response was one of the most heroic and inspiring that I have ever heard:
Its falls like this that help us grow! I’m not mad. Because of my hand, I cant search the Internet or play video games. I cant walk around, but there is one thing I can do. Read the Book of Mormon. I’m praying really hard for the people who did this to me. They are souls that need to be saved too you know? I’m just glad that nothing happened to you. When I was walking back to the house, the guys who jumped me followed me, and the only thing I could think of is that I didn’t want them to hurt you or Elder Allen.
Danny taught me the most important lesson on my mission: Selfless love and optimism in spite of whatever trials come. Be with a cold, or bedridden from knife wounds, you can always chose to be happy. I almost cry thinking about it. Danny is preparing to serve a mission, and I know he will be the greatest missionary I've ever known. We can all learn from the lesson of Danny. You chose your attitude, and your attitude determines your destiny.
Keep Danny in your prayers, and follow his example. Love everyone as Christ loves you. May God Bless you.