Sunday, August 9, 2015

13 July 2015

To answer some questions, my new mission president is President Hess, I believe from Idaho.  The South Dakota Rapid City Mission is now the North Dakota Bismark mission.  I haven't eaten the Ostrich yet, but Sister Browne gave us the left overs.  They are Ostrich burger patties.  So, here's hoping!  The Kangaroo really wasn't that great.  It's pretty rubbery and doesn't have much taste to it, at least the way they served it this time.  The Mt. Oysers weren't that great.  Eating them is fine as long as you don't think about what you are eating, but fried pickles are super good!  This week we had very few people in Pine Ridge, but we had quite a few people in Gordon.  Probably 30?  Maybe 25.  I didn't really count.  The Whitehawks are members, but they hardly ever come to church.  Gordon is not on the Rez, but there are a fair amount of Natives there.  Not a whole lot, probably half the population.
Well, I'm gonna start with my adventure this week.  Saturday, my companion and I were invited to our Branch Presidents Ranch.  To assist in the branding of his cattle.  That, my friends, is an interesting experience!  So, first off, it took us an hour and a half to get there, and the last 10 minutes were spent driving up his driveway.  Once we got there we saw everyone (there were probably 15 people that came for it.  It's a family ordeal.)  inside a corral, 3 people on horses with their lassos spinning over head.  We get there, have a nice warm welcome, than here one of the calves start mooing as a lasso tightened around it's leg, and we got to see how it is done!  Long story short, you get to wrestle with a cow (okay, kind of... but not really).  They are strong little guys, even when they are only thigh high!
After we finished branding, we went to their house and had ribs from their pigs (which was amazing.  Nothing like the real stuff) as well as bacon in their beans, and it was just a very good day.  Hopefully I can get some pictures from them!
This Sunday, while sitting at the Sacrament table, thee was no prelude.  I kept waiting for the lady who plays the piano to start, and it never happened.  Than, the lady who conducts pushed play on her CD player.  Turns out that the Pianist can only make it every other week or something like that, so we didn't have one.  By the time I realized this, the meeting was starting, so after church, while waiting to go visit some people with Pres. McKimmey (our brancy Pres.) I decided to sit down and play while we were waiting.  Than, after a little while, Pres. walks in and says "Hey!  Why didn't you tell us you play piano?  We could have used you in Sacrament meeting!"  To which, I sheepeshly responded that by the time I realized their was no pianist it was a bit late and I didn't want to make a scene.  He just laughed and said "Well, now we know, so expect it in the future!"  He is one amazing man.  Always smiling, always kind, and very missionary minded.  
So, on a more spiritual note, I was thinking about the Native Americans and their lineage, that they are the Lamanites.  Me and my comp were listening to a talk by Spencer W. Kimball all about the Lamanites and the prophecies that they are a part of.  And then I started thinking about how they are being fulfilled.  The lamanites are to blossom in the last days.  The seeds are being planted, and some are begining to blossom.  One example is MW.  She is a member that wants to come to church but hardly ever can since she doesn't have a car.  She has a very strong testimony of this Gospel, and as we were talking with her, I thought of the prophecy that they will blossom, and she is evidence that it is happening already.  She has blossomed as she has endured her trials (which she has had many ranging from having to sleep fully dressed, ready to run because people would shoot at their house to loosing 3 of her children)  and as she has endured, relying wholly upon her Savior, staying true to her temple covenants, she has been made strong.  She is an inspiration, and just another testament that this truly is the Lords work and His church.  Something she said was that even though she has had times where she didn't follow what she was taught, times when she wondered why bad things were happening to her, she has never doubted it's truth, and even though she has always known it was true, there are still times that something happens and she thinks "Oh!  Now I REALLY know it's true."  And those things happen all the time.  As we learn and grow we will continue to grow our testimony, and we will have moments that we might ask "Is this really the truth?"  And than something will happen when we say "Yes, now there is no doubt in my mind."  And we continue on this cycle.  It's amazing to see it work like that.  Those little Tender Mercies of the Lord that help us keep going just a little farther, and give us that confirming witness that this is true.  I love this work!  
These are some quotes that I found recently.  Hope I'm not repeating myself haha! 
"A vague creed can only come from a vague God.  The Ten Commandments didn't say "thou shalt be a good person," it was specific." - Elder Neil A. Maxwell
"We love what we sacrifice for, we sacrifice for what we love." - Unknown
And, in light of the legislative decision, I think this quote is very appropriate.  Oh, and since he just passed away, I also think it appropriate to honor his memory with this as well.
"The permissiveness afforded by the weakening of the laws of the land to tolerate legalized acts of immorality does not reduce the serious spiritual consequences that is the result of the violation of God's law of chastity." - Pres. Boyd K. Packer.
Love you all!
Elder Carter V

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