I'll start with the adventures in Gordon. First off, a shout out to the wonderful Sister Browne here in Gordon. She feeds us lunch every day that we are in town, and will ask us if we have a dinner appointment periodically and if we don't she takes us out somewhere. She is a wonderful lady! She is the head of Dietary at the hospital in town so she gets to order the food, and right before I got there they did a "No guts, no glory" challenge. I don't remember what all they had, but it included ostrich eggs and Kangaroo meet. They had left overs of the Kangaroo meet, so I can now say that I have eaten Kangaroo! Who knew I would be having that on my mission!
Now, this last week when she took us out to eat, she asked if we had ever had Rocky Mountain Oysters, which we hadn't, so we got some, as well as some fried pickles. So, I can mark those off my bucket list, and call it good! Next, when we got back from Pine Ridge, the Runninghawks were feeding us dinner, and about 8 it started to just poor rain, and by the time we left, about, there was 8 inches of water on main street. Crazy!
Now, for the first experience on the rez. I want you to picture a small town that is mostly trailer houses that aren't very well taken care of, surrounded by fields as far as the eye can see with a few rural homes spread out with no method to their placement, and only a couple paved roads that will eventually turn into dirt roads that aren't taken care of and are littered with pot holes and hug dips and runoffs from the rain. More often than not, there are no addresses. Sometimes there are street names, usually there aren't any house numbers. When you want to find someone, you ask someone that you know, otherwise, good luck! Our apartment in Pine Ridge is what used to be the Senior couples home right behind the church, which is pretty nice. This last Sunday there were 14 people at church, 4 of which were visiting from Rapid City, and 2 were under the age of 6.was the day that the Branch became a group since their aren't enough active Melchizedek Priesthood holders to actually function, so now we are a part of the Chadron, Nebraska Ward, although we will continue to meet in Pine Ridge.
While in Pineridge, we visited a family (which is more like a clan) called the Whitehawks (they are native american in case you are wondering.). The family consists of the grandparents, about 3 or 4 of their children, and about 11 or 12 of their grandchildren. I think. I lost count pretty fast once I got there. The grandpa is the chief of police on the rez, so he is super busy, but man, can that guy talk! And it's not boring either! He has some pretty awesome stories! They are a great family. They have a daughter who's probably 12 or 13 that is deaf! I got to do a little signing with her, but it has been so long, and she went outside to play with her cousins so it was a pretty short conversation. But man, it was good to sign again! Now I have to practice up for the next time we go there.
Right before we left Pine Ridge, we stopped at the jail to visit a less-active member named K there. He asked for us to come and visit him, and it was great. President Wahlen (the former branch president, now group leader) came with us, and we had a great conversation with him and got to read parts of Mosiah with him. He's similar to the other young man that we visit in the jail in Rushville who both of them have been put in jail for things that could have been avoided had they put more thought into it, but they didn't, so it happened. They both know that it is because of the influences in their life, and they want to change them. They both get out pretty soon, I think, and they are ready to change their lives for the better, and it's really cool to see their desire to change. Too few people even want to change, not to mention actually do change, and it gives me more hope.
And that is all from me for this week! Here's a few quotes
"Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, suffered, died, and rose from death in order that He could, like lightening in a summer storm, grasp us as we fall, hold us with His might, and through our obedience to His commandments, lift us to Eternal Life." - Elder Holland "Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet."
"The repenting sinner must suffer for his sins, but his suffering has a different purpose than punishment or payment. It's purpose is change." - Elder Oaks "The Lords Way"
To believe that someone or something can make us feel offended angry, hurt, or bitter, diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be 'acted upon'." - Elder Bednar
Love you all! Hope all is well!
Elder Carter V
P.S. Here are some photos! Yay, I finally sent some!
This is a "Buffalo Chip" he... hehe...
This is my last Zone Conference with President and Sister Anderson! Love those people so much, and always will!
This is the Kauffmans. Gonna miss that family. Their too fun.
And this is Jeremy!
This is the Famous Brother Nelson!!!! Gonna miss this guy! He's a stud!