Wednesday, January 13, 2016

November 30, 2015 Sunday in a jail, and an unnexpected Thanksgiving. Inbox x

Holly smokes this week was amazing.  I will try to cram as much in here as I can, so bear with me!

First, to answer your questions.  My Thanksgiving was great!  We were a little sad cause no one signed up to feed us, but while we were walking around visiting we passed the house of someone that we have been trying to meet since we got here, and they ran to the door, opened it and yelled across the street to us "Elders, have you eaten yet?  Come in and eat!  We've got plenty!"  We decided that it was not requisite that we go hungry, so we graciously accepted.  We were able to get to know them and watch part of "Meet the Mormons", but then we ran out of time, so we asked if we could share a quick Thanksgiving message.  We rounded everyone up, then gave a quick thought.  Then, when we finished, they thanked us, then the grandmother said "Elders, I want you to stay just a little longer.  Today is a very special day.  It is almost my sons birthday, and in the Dakota way, we give our sons a new name."  So, in short, she walks out of the room and comes back with a bag that a a war bonnet (classic Native feathery hat thingy) and an animal skin drum.  She sat him down and put the bonnet on his head, then gave him his new name.  It was such a precious moment, and we were so blessed to be there for it!

Alright!  Next question.  We do not have a Walmart.  The closest Walmart is in Williston, ND and Miles City, MT.  We just have to be very thrifty with our money, because Albertsons and ShopKo on the reservation are super expensive.

On to the week!  Not a whole lot happened on the first half of the week, except that we taught a guy named J.  He has met missionaries in the past but they didn't teach him a whole lot.  So, we started from the beginning.  He soaked it all in.  He loved the idea of modern prophets and of Priesthood Authority.  The next time we saw him we taught him the Plan of Salvation, which he soaked in even more.  When we told him his spirit existed before this life, at first he was hesitant, than we went on and explained that we were taught in God's presence what His plan for us was, and it all started making sense to him.  We would discuss one point, than he would ask a question, than we would tell him "That is a great question, and it just so happens that that is the next thing we wanted to talk about."  By the end of the lesson that had almost become a joke because we said that after almost every question he had!  We had a good laugh about it.  

On Friday we had a District Thanksgiving Dinner!  I would like to give a shout out to Sister Miles and Sister Greene who are serving in Sidney, MT.  They pretty much cooked everything.  When I called them and asked what they wanted to cook, they listed almost everything you have at Thanksgiving.  And man, was it good or what!  We had a good time bonding as a district and eating some darn good food!  Than I drove to Glasgow on exchanges with Elder Autrey (who is from Texas).

Saturday we did some service, than our companions rode the train into town to end the exchange and Elder Payne and I rode back.  I'm starting to really enjoy this whole train thing.  It's pretty fun.  

Now, on to the best day of the week!  Sunday was awesome.  After church was out, we went to an appointment, but he bailed on us, but we talked to someone just outside his house who invited us over!  Man, I love the reservation.  Everyone here is so good to us poor awkward white kids.  I love it.  We got back home and made some plans for the rest of the day and got to work!  We stopped in on a member who we haven't seen in a while, and found out she was in jail, so we visited someone else to invite her to the Addiction Recover Program.  We knocked on the door and this super tall guy (probably 6' 8") comes out and is totally drunk, and tells us we interrupted him at an "awkward time".  He then told us he was summoning "the Demons Alive", so we asked if K was there, he said she wasn't, so we left.  Right when I started the car, she came around the corner and we talked for a bit and we're going to go see her on Wednesday.  

After that we decided to go visit D in the jail, which we have never actually been to.  We pull in, push the intercom button, tell the guy we are the LDS missionaries, he lets us in, then someone comes and gets us, asks no questions, and walks us through a hallway into a big circular room.  We get in there, and there are 5 guys sitting there looking at us.  So, we introduce ourselves.  We thought we were in a waiting room of some sort, than one of the guys makes a comment that they had just finished church with a minister from another church.  All 3 of us look at each other, look at the inmates, than say "wait.  Are you expecting a sermon?"  They all looked around, than said yeah.  So, we had a grand old time teaching the Restoration in a jail.  They seemed to enjoy it, but I think Elder Payne enjoyed it more!  It seemed to make sense to them and that was good.  so, after about 45 minutes, we closed with a prayer, and they all left.  Than, they came over the intercom and said "are you guys ready to go?"  We said "Well, we actually were here to visit a specific inmate."  The lady seemed a bit surprised but we told her the name and found out that she wasn't in there.  So, we left.  That's when we went to see C, who is the one that invited us in for Thanksgiving.

While we were talking with him, we asked him if he would like to come out on Splits with us some time. He didn't look too thrilled, and said he wouldn't mind doing it, but "I have a son who didn't get to serve a mission. He had his papers in but they wouldn't let him serve till he lost some weight. He wasn't able to lose weight, so if you guys want to take him out with you, that would be much better." We wrote that down, expecting to give him a call throughout the week to have him come out with us. About 20 minutes later, H, his son, came in, said hi, and sat down. We were just about to leave for an appointment with our investigator, then I had a thought practically scream at me. "Hey H, would you like to come out teaching with us tonight?" He looked stunned, than looks at his dad, who shrugs, than said "Sure, I can do that." So, he hopped in the car with us and we went to our appointment. It fell through. So, we tried a few people, none of which worked out, than we tried one more person, a woman named D. When we pulled up, someone was just leaving her house, and we talked to them as they left, then D invited us in. We shared the "He is the Gift" video since she doesn't have internet and we had a DVD with it burned on it and invited her to watch the new one when she goes to the library. She got pretty excited about it, than told us that she had been having a pretty bad night, and if we hadn't shown up when we did, she probably would have gone out drinking. But, after we shared our message, she said she felt so much better. She just felt happy. We were blessed to be able to have our plans fall through, only to find that God had something way better in store for us. Because we asked Haylin to come with us, we surpassed our goals for the week for the first time my entire mission!!!
Well, that about concludes this weeks excitement.  I love you all dearly, miss you tons, but not enough to be home sick.  I'm loving it up here.  If you are worried about my well being, don't be.  I am in the Lords hands doing His great work.  He is watching over me.
Elder Carter V

1)Thanksgiving indeed.  We split our last hot pocket 3 ways.  And we're High Priesting it in our sports coats that arent approved outside of the apartment.  Oh, and those centerpieces?  Yeah, we made those at enrichment night!  Mine is the big one.

2)  This is my wonderful district!  Love these kids!  Sorry it's weird looking.

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