Monday, March 2, 2015

All About That Laura Ingalls Wilder Life

Well, howdy!! I feel like a true South Dakotian this week as I write because we have done some pretty South-Dakotian things in the last 6 days!!

First of all, we tagged sheep. Yep, that's right!! What is that, you ask? Tagging sheep is where you put the little ear tags on them with the numbers on them so they have a form of identity. To prepare ourselves for this fun task, we went and bought thrift store shoes and clothes so we didn't kill our other ones and we could trash them, if needed. When the day came, we first had to gather up all the little lambs and then herd the sheep them Sister McConkie or I would wrangle the sheep and hold their heads as still as we could so Tracy, the less active we were helping, could effectively pierce their ear with the tag. It was quite the workout!! It was pretty crazy, actually. But really super fun!! At one point, the sheep were all crowded together and we needed something from the other side of the pen, so I got volunteered to go get walking across the sheep! Who can say they have walked across sheep?! I even have a picture included so I have proof!! You think horses can buck, sheep's heads go CRAZY when the tagger machine touches them. It was seriously one of the hardest things ever. And then sheep step on you and all bueno! These are like 200 pound pregnant sheep! It doesn't feel great when they step on you. Next we did the lambs. What they do with the lambs is they tag their little ears, too and then some of them have to get their tails banded off (using a really small rubber band and putting it on the right spot of the tail makes it fall off naturally in a couple week!! Yikes!)  to avoid infection and stuff...I felt bad for them. But it's all a part of life, I guess. It also worked out great because Steve, Tracy's husband has a super nice camera so he was the photographer, so we got super legit pictures of it all! We're going to remember it forever. I won't how to use a smart phone or facebook when I get home, but ask me about banding and herding sheep and I've got your covered. #SDRCMlife

Corbin and Sylver are doing so awesome!!! This week, we had a super awesome experience with teaching the Word of Wisdom. Corbin's friend was also there and he joined us for the lesson, and the Word of Wisdom totally made sense to him and he was willing to try living it! How cool is that!! If that doesn't testify of the converting power of the Spirit, nothing will! We went over the next morning, Saturday, to teach Corbin and his friend the stop smoking program!! His friend ended up not joining us, which was a bummer, but Corbin did it and he is doing awesome!! He has smoked for 12 years and in the last 2 days has smoked 4 cigarettes total. That is a HUGE difference!! He is coming along great and totally open and willing to change so he can be sealed with his family. Every time we come over, he tells us, "Never think that your mission has been for nothing. If anything, you've helped me." That is so uplifting and so good to know! There are those really sad, disheartening days, so it really helps to know that I'm needed here in Belle and am helping someone. It's an awesome feeling to know that not only are SIster McConkie (and the SPirit) and I helping this one family now, but it's helping them for eternity, and that's the power of the gospel!! We love going over and teaching them, they're the members we're definitely closest to here. 

Bobbie is doing awesome!! We're so helping that she'll be with us at church next Sunday, and we know she can get there! She loves us and is open with us and is coming to find for herself that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints truly does have all the pieces of Christ's gospel He taught while on earth...I love helping people make that connection!! 

We had a great experience doing family history with Sister Crippen, another less active in our ward!! We were able to use FamilySearch and to get one of her lines all the way back to the 1000s! It was a really powerful experience and I even got into it!! She and I kept getting so excited every time we found a name and I learned a lot about family history! Not all, but most of my tree is done, so I've never been able to search for my great-grandparents and all that. SO it was really cool. It got Sister Crippen so excited, and I think it helped our relationship with her to develop more! Yay! We hope to do some more family history with her again this week! :)

The scripture for this week has helped me immensely on my mission. It is Mosiah 24:13-15. At this point in the scriptures, the people are in bondage to the Lamanites and are enduring all sorts of trials and hardship. They keep praying to God for help, and this is how their answer comes:  13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage. 14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions. 15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord. I love how this scripture tells us the people were strengthened. I have felt that in the hardest times of my mission, that strengthening power!! That is powerful! It is real! It is there for any and all who need it. In our trials, we often cry out, "Why me?", but I have come to learn that because God loves us, He wants us to be as He is and feel the joy He has. The only way for us to become more like Him is going to be a difficult but worth it road, an uncomfortable but blessings-filled path that will lead us to perfect joy and happiness. The way that God helps to strengthen us is through His Son's infinite Atonement. Take some time this week to read the talk, "Bear Up Their Burdens With Ease" by Elder Bednar--It will make this scripture even more personally meaningful.

I love you all so much!! I am grateful to be serving as a missionary full time, with everything I have, for the short time I have left. I'm learning things I couldn't in any other way. 
sister leslie.

p.s. reminder about that Nebraska quarter!! I really need to find one!! :) 

Bringing in the lambs we caught

Yep, that's right--walking on the sheep!! 

Poor little lamb getting his tail banded off

Us with Tracy, the less active we did this for. 

Eeeewwww! Us with the cigarettes we confiscated from Corbin 
while doing the stop smoking lesson! 

Us with Willow and Sakora, Corbin and Syler's daughters--
they wanted to be missionaries, too!

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