Thursday, July 3, 2014

The work is rolling on!

June 16

Woah SHOCKER! My companion got transferred into a different area! WOW
that was quick! I now have Elder Chan, the chinese program veteran. He
is the last surviving Chinese senior of the chinese branch. He will be
leaving the mission in 3 transfers.

I am excited to have this opportunity to serve with him because I know
I will be able to learn a ton from the last surviving "Ancient."

Okay so I gotta say, if there is one word I can use to describe my
current companion (well, two words) I would have to say "Severus


Severus Snape is a person you grow to loathe and hate until the very
last part of Harry Potter, when you discover that he is actually a
super awesome heroic stud muffin x 1000.

All i have heard about Elder Chan thus far are the most horrendous
things.... won't get up in the morning, isn't too obedient, doesn't
care about missionary work... so on and so forth.

I was expecting some hardcore trials.

What ends up happening? He is a pleasure to work with and is a
terrific missionary. I respect this elder so much. So much.

This week was not too eventful.... Other than the fact that our
investigator Fan passed his interview a couple days ago :) I am so
stoked... He is accepting baptism this saturday, the 21st. He has
asked me to baptize him. I love this guy so much-- we hit it off so
well when I first met him. He has grown tremendously. Baptizing him
two days before my personal baptism date will be the best present in
the world.... I am so happy for him. So, so happy. I know his life
will be forever changed and filled with so much light and happiness...

That is simply what the gospel does for people... Over and over and
over and over again.

Have a great week everyone! I love you. Really, really.

Elder Valentine

Workedy Work Work

May 12

Hey there party people!

This week.... WE FOUND MINI CHINA. OH my goodness it was amazing.
Apparently every sunday, the local high school gets rented out by the
chinese community for a huge portion... the kids all attend chinese
classes while the parents either kick back in the cafeteria or do
mother dance classes. It is pretty funny/awesome.

I was walking around and there were only about 2 white people in a
whole cafeteria of several hundred chinese people. I HEARD NO ENGLISH
It was a sweet, beautiful moment for me.
We are allowed to go there to do finding. My question is, will it be
weird for us to go there and bounce from table to table in a huge
cafeteria.... we are the only ones wearing white dress shirts and
ties, after all, so I am pretty sure everyone would figure out who we
are sooner or later.

Mother's Day was yesterday :) That was wonderful! I got to call and
skype the family! (Definitely the highlight of the week!)

Investigators... Paul is doing well. We had to kick back his baptism
though because we felt he wasn't truly prepared. Cathy is still a
tough nut to crack... she does commit though and she does do her
homework! So we are proud of her :) Fan Zhong is getting married soon!
(This is my techy friend who loves anime). The wedding should happen
this month! Yay! Mr. Yin is great! He reads and studies and sincerely
does his best. He is one of those golden ones, in my opinion. Totally
prepared. Those are the four progressing investigators. We hope to
have three, possibly four (depending on Cathy and Yin-- Yin doesn't
have a date yet, and Cathy might not be ready by her date) baptisms in
June. (June is a good month-- that is when I was baptized!)

Let's say you and your friend are talking... religion gets brought
up.... and they ask you a question about religion.
Person A: So you believe in ____?
You: Yes! And you know, it is so interesting that we are talking about
this because the missionaries are actually going to be coming over to
our house in about a week and a half to discuss this very topic! (now
this right here is the kicker) It would mean so, so much to me if you
would come over and learn with our family then.

Try it, try it, try it :) Please please please!
I know as you all invite others to come unto Christ, you will actually
find YOURSELF drawing closer to Christ as well :) Please try it out,
and shoot me an email about how it works! :) Love you all!

Have a great week everyone!

Love, Elder Valentine


Apr. 28

Elder Beck got sick this week with a crazy bad sore throat-- he got it
from an exchange with the district leader.... He was hoping that I
would get it too, so I could experience his pain.

Ha, like I was going to let him have that small victory! What did I
do? Well, I did what any sane member of the Valentine clan would do--
I busted out the garlic pills.

You may think I am crazy-- I won't blame you-- but yes, we use garlic
pills to combat illness.

Guess what.

It works and worked. I have not had the slightest illness despite
being with Elder Beck for a whole week, enduring his coughing,
grumbling, and whatever other strange noise was emitted from the
depths of his deranged esophagus.

(So yeah, garlic was first used as a remedy back in the "Vampire" days
because it was known to combat illnesses back then-- it may just be a
placebo effect quack, but hey, whatever works works. Oh yeah, I made
the title Vampires because I wanted to make it somewhat interesting.
Hehe. he. he)

This week was pretty awesome in terms of people!
Fan Zhong, my awesome Chinese compadre whom I love so much-- came to
our branch yesterday and loved it! (I totally forgot to mention we
took him to the English ward last week because it would be easer for
him to access... It was so boring... I felt so bad for him. He thought
the Chinese branch was waaaay better. We are happy)
We met Mr. Yin through a missionary referral! That was pretty cool! he
is so great. Missionary referrals are awesome. That is where we get
the most amount of good investigators from!

We have a baptism on the 16th-- Paul's! We just got to get him to
church more. He always says he will come, but then he forgets, or he
forgets to tell his mom. Yesterday we drove to his house to wake him
up, and it turns out his mother knew nothing about it and arranged
things to do that morning.

I kinda sorta cracked down on him yesterday night. Not hard. Just a little bit.

I swear, Elder Beck is like the protective mother of the investigators
and I am the blunt father. That is really what it is like with all of
our investigators. It works well as a companionship though.

Alright all, sorry for the lack of funny stories this week.... I hope
you are all doing well!
The work is working!

Elder Valentine

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kung. Fu. DUNK.

The forecast?


Thank goodness :)

Alright so I have a cute little story to tell all of you... it is
definitely a miracle.
Saturday night was Lu Jiang's baptism. All was going well until he
told us his Dad was not able to make it.
BLAHOEIOFESJFOJS. We wanted his Dad to come sooo badly!

So, we did what needed to be done and released the tiger on him, AKA
our branch president.

The President gives him a call... Here is the conversation:
(translated for your convenience)

Pres: Hello! So your son is about to be baptized in a few minutes--
all we are waiting for is you!

Dad: Ehh I don't think so. He can go ahead and get baptized. I am
tired, just got off of work,
aaaand yeaaaah.

Pres: This is your son's baptism! You HAVE to--

Dad: Eh hold on, someone knocked on the door.

Who does he open the door to find?


What does he do? He sees the nametags and hands them the phone saying
their President is on the phone.

They give each other weird looks then take the phone.

SIsters: H-h-hello?

Pres: Hello? who is this?

Sisters: The sister missionaries!

Pres: Oh! Wonderful! We are having a baptism tonight. It is actually
the son of the guy you are talking to right now. Would you like to

Sisters: Sure!

Pres: Aand talk Lu Jiang's father into coming as well. Just have him
follow you in his car. Thanks!

So the sisters talk Lu Jiang's father aaand.... he ends up coming.

The sisters were just randomly tracting the area, looking for a
referral. They do not speak Chinese whatsoever and had no prior
knowledge about Lu Jiang, the baptism, or the situation.

Quite the miracle, indeed.

The baptism went very well! It was my first actual baptism in which I
performed the ordinance! That was way cool.

The father and his friend (accompanied him) were tearing up at the
baptism. I thought that was way cool.

I do not have much else to report-- the days seem to mesh together
more and more .... I love it haha. That means we are doing some good
work! We have had a baptism every month for the last little while...
we have two more lined up for the next two months... We are going to
up the game and shoot for two a month. That would be doubling the
expectation level per unit (unit meaning branch/ward). If we get the
other chinese companion in on the double baptism action, that would be
quadrupling the standard. Well, we shall see what happens!

Hey, thank you so much to those of you who shared that Christ video on
easter. Really. The church wanted that to be such a big deal and I am
so thankful for those who amped the #becauseofhim trend the church set
I was a little disappointed to see that only a few of the members I
shot out info to actually did it, but hey, now I have an enormous
appreciation and respect for those who did. The names that come to my
head are Becca Jensen, Riley Haycock, Carly KOZAK (BOOM, BOOM
Nguyen, Maddi Wirthlin... I am sure there are more that I cannot
remember but thank you so much to all who did!

PS if any of you have NOT seen the video, here ya go :)

Truly a beautiful video :) Just two minutes long, too! :D

Check it out if you haven't seen it yet:)

Well, gotta blast! (Jimmy Neutron)

You are all some fine, fine specimen :) Have a great week!

Much love,

Elder Valentine

Monday, April 21, 2014

More pictures!

 Elder Valentine with companion Elder Beck

At a zone missionary breakfast on April 12

tippy's tacos

Apr 14

Houston, we have a problem.
(Hey, Houston is a good place by the way. Well, I like the people.
Okay false, just one person there. That makes Houston the best place
in the world. . . that's how it works, right? Wait... I guess I should
be saying Brazil is a good place now. Okay, they are both good places.
:) You get the picture.)

ANYWAY. Last week I sent a bunch of photos to myself to send to you
all! I will get them out eventually, buuuut they came out all
corrupted and just... weird when I opened them on my Ipad to send you.
It stinks. Hopefully I can make it work today. We shall see what

Hey! Good news! Lu Jiang is getting baptized this saturday! Wappahh!
Woot woot! Holla back!
I am going to be performing the baptism! I am pretty nervous, to say
the least. Well, not really, I just need to go work on the baptism in
Chinese. That is the tough part.
You know when you pronounce a tone wrong it make a whole different word, right?
Yeup, this will be interesting. I'll tell you all how many times it
takes before the deed becomes official.

Now I would like to tell you about Tippy's Tacos.
Elder Beck and I were in the mood for some mexican food. I am not
talking Taco Bell, or little do-it-yourself-party tostadas, I am
talking some legitimate, hole in the wall, mexican food.
We called all the missionaries (starting with the spanish elders) and
finally secured a cheap hole in the wall restaurant.
We went and it ended up being too expensive for our tastes... we then
looked through mexican food on the gps and one particular place caught
our eye....

Tippy's. Tacos.

It sounded pretty wall-holish so we thought we would give it a go. We
were so stoked on the way there.


We looked at the menu... I ordered the big wrap, and Elder Beck
ordered the "Tippy's famous California Enchilada" that came with a
side of two tostadas.

We were so excited, we couldn't handle it.

The food came.... Here was my huge wrap, there was a beautiful
enchilada with some rice and beans on the side... but where were the

We look over and there was a small bowl with two hard corn disks.

Now, I know I am not the El-Mexicano-Foodo-experto, but I was
expecting his tostadododos to be covered with lettuce and stuff... no
matter. He still had his enchilada, which looked beautiful, might I

He finished his little disk things and cut open his beautiful
enchilada. He took a bite and.... I see a mixture of confusion,
surprise, followed by a dash of "Is this real life?" appear on his
face. He cuts off a piece and tells me to try it. I take a bite

Beef. With cheap 99 cent taco seasoning. That is all I taste.

We proceed to dissect his enchilada, only to discover a tortilla with
sauce on it and beef inside. That was it.

I helped him finish it up and we walked away, cursing the day this
"Tippy's Tacos" Tippy was ever born.

On a good note, my 6 dollar wrap was the equivalent of a 3 dollar
burrito at Taco Bell.

Oh did I mention we found Bollywood? We went to a neighborhood for a
couple chinese families and holy mackerel I swear we found ourselves
smack dab in the middle of rich india town. There were Indian kids
everywhere-- on bikes, balling it up in games of basketball, playing
swords in the grass, walking dogs, chatting up other indian folks,
playing with babies, so on and so forth.

The chinese people we met told us that the 2 percent chinese
population in this area refer to it as America's "Dubai".

It was funny, to say the least.

Well, folks, that is all I have for you today. I hope you enjoyed the
stories. I hope you are all busy making your own fun stories at home,

funny, we ended up going to an Indian restaurant with her. It was
literally the day before we were being followed by some Indian kids in
that Dubai neighborhood.


Have a good one everyone :) Love you all.

Elder Valentine


seen somewhere in time, you will get this)
Guo yi xin (baptism #2)!

Lin Lin (baptism #3)!