This past week we went on a 40-mile bike ride. It put a hole in one of my shoes, but I am getting that fixed. I also almost got in a fight with a matatu conductor over $0.25. I didn't care at all about the money, but it was the principle I was concerned about. I gave him 200/= and he owed me 40/=. He said (in Swahili) "It is okay." I told him that no, it is not. He needed to give me the money. He gave me 20/= and then tried to blow it off. As he stepped to the matatu to leave, I put my hand on his chest to stop him. All of the other people around (about 15 others) all said "Ooooohhhhhh..." The matatu conductor all of a sudden got really prideful. He was not going to give me the money. We argued for a bit and everyone was on my side because they knew he was wrong. He also knew he was wrong. People were getting angry with him, especially those people who were riding the matatu because he was holding it up. I finally called him "mwizi" (thief) which scared him, but not enough to give me the money. It scared him because whenever there is a thief, no matter how small of an amount they stole, they either get their hand chopped off (if they are Muslim) or they get burned to death. I walked away, but then stood in front of the matatu so that they could not move. The driver got out and graciously handed me 20/=. We left, and we were the talk of the town the rest of the day. Ain't no one taking advantage of this white guy!
The first thing that missionaries teach anyone is that God is our loving Heavenly Father. The first message that anyone hears from missionaries of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ is that their Heavenly Father knows them, loves them, and desires their happiness. We teach that God hears and answers prayers from each of His children. I know that God loves me. I know that God loves us. We are made in His image. He is our Father and we are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I love my Heavenly Father. I know that He knows what is best for each of us, just as a parent knows what is best for their child. He has asked us to trust Him and to do what He asks. If we do, He has promised everlasting happiness. I know that God lives, and that He loves me.