Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29th, 2014

Hello again with another week!
Transfer calls came last night and I am staying in Poplar! Elder Archie is getting transfered to my first area, Dillon. 
And I will be companions with Elder Hausia from Tonga. He has also served in Dillon. Elder Hausia is a very good elder and I know that we will do good together.
On Saturday we had a baptism for JJ Cantrell who the other elders have been teaching. He has been coming to church for the past month and he is a great guy! He has been in my sunday school class for the time he's been at church. He is very excited about the gospel. 
I was very surprised when he called and asked me to baptize him! This is the first person I have ever baptized in my life and it was very exciting! 
I don't have the pictures now, but I will send them later. (I was wearing grandpa's tie when I did the baptism.)
It is getting colder right now, but it has been off and on for the past month. It's what they call, "indian summer". Today I broke out the trench coat and gloves. If it rains I've got my new baclava to keep my head dry.
Next month we have a baptism scheduled for basically every weekend. We just have to get on top of things and we will have four baptisms next month!

I have been having feelings recently that I don't need to leave Poplar yet, so I knew that I would be staying. There are still things I need to do, and people I need to teach on this reservation. I am super excited to be here with Elder Hausia. I went on an exchange with him a few weeks ago and felt like I should maybe tell the mission president that we should be companions in Poplar, but I didn't want to dictate to him what he should do with us. I was very surprised and very happy when I found out we were going to be companions here! I know for sure that my mission president is inspired!

I hope everything is going well back home, I'm having a blast here!

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22nd, 2014

Here are just a few pictures of some things that happened this week. The first one is Mikey. He is a super cool blood hound that follows us around and other dogs leave us alone when he's around. He usually has his friend, scared one, who is a retired K9 police dog, following us too. But we haven't seen him this week. Mikey is really nice and likes to rub his face against your leg. We never see them coming either. It's usually when we are knocking on a door and not looking that he will show up and put his face on your hand.

The second picture is me activating the yeast for the dough I made for our bread sticks. I had a lot of fun making these and next time I am going to make them skinnier and longer, but the up side to it is that we have massive bread sticks to munch on! They were super good and reminded me of when I was at my uncle's house in Eagle Mountain Utah and they would make these all the time. Elder Archie even liked them!

Thanks for the recipe uncle Steve! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15th, 2014

Hello all it's been another week in Popping Poplar. No cursed items this week, but it's still been a good one. Once again I was not with my companion the whole week, but we did great. Our numbers are really starting to go somewhere. I'm positive in the next two weeks the work will sky rocket. The other Poplar Elders are swamped in their teaching pool so they help by giving us some of their new contacts to teach if they don't have time. I think we will be able to teach about 30 lessons a week in just a little bit at the rate things are going.
We went to district meeting in Wolf Point on Wednesday and I started an exchange with my district leader Elder Brisco. A series of events occurred and we were stuck in Wolf Point by ourselves! We did the only thing we knew how to do, we walked around and found people to talk to. We got the Elders a new investigator to teach while we were at it. We finally got to go back to work in Poplar on Thursday where we continued the work that we started in Wolf Point. In spite of being out of Poplar for a whole day, we were able to teach 18 lessons last week which is just 2 short of our missions standards of excellence! I haven't taught close to that many lessons since I was in Lovell Wyoming so I am excited to be back where I was before. Every week I am seeing little improvements and I am very excited for what will be happening next transfer.
At the beginning of the week we met a couple that was at our investigators house who wants us to teach them about the gospel. We were teaching Duston Scott's cousin when he randomly showed up at the house with his girlfriend Tisha.They both said they wanted to be baptized and we are very excited for them. They want to clean themselves up and get closer to God. We only gave Duston a Book of Mormon, and the next meeting we asked his girlfriend, Tisha, if she was reading it to. She said that he wouldn't ever let her touch it because he was reading it, so we gave her one as well. They seem extremely prepared. Duston told us that he feels the spirit every time he reads to Book of Mormon and he believes it's true. Tisha doesn't quite know why she wants to be baptized yet, so we will be working on her to understand what it's all about. We have to make a conscious effort here for people to understand what we are inviting them to do because sometimes people aren't always sober when you teach them the lessons, but most of the people here are very good people.
(Just a side note, We met two other guys who are interested in what we teach, and we walked with them for half an hour talking about the gospel. I asked them what "oka-hey" meant, and they said it doesn't mean "it's a good day" like the drunk people told me. It's actually more of a war cry when you're about to fight or go into battle.)
We found more people walking around here than we did trying people on our list that we were given when we got here. Sometimes I feel prompted that we should see a certain person, and they weren't home, but we did find someone else who just happened to be where we were at the time walking around. I have found planning to be a very essential element of following the spirit. If you listen to the promptings of the holy ghost in your planning at night, the next day, the Lord can place those in your path to receive the gospel.
We were all freezing our tails off because we couldn't figure out why the furnace wasn't working in the basement. We tried resetting it and everything but it just wouldn't work. Finally we called Elder Allsop, one of the senior missionaries who just moved out of Poplar, and he told us that we have to manually light the Pilot. And this whole time we thought it would automatically light! We finally went down and lit the darn thing and we have been nice and toasty ever since :)
I hope everyone is having a wonderful day today! Stay warm!
sincerely, Elder Garceau
(I love you mom!)

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 8th, 2014

Hello everyone! We have had a very interesting week, but that's how it goes on the res. I have learned some Sioux while I've been here as well which is really cool.
"Oka-hey" means "it's a great day!"
We are really starting to get into the culture here. The other day we had an interesting experience walking down the street. A native man and woman were sitting on the front porch of their house and the man called us over to talk to him. When we went over they asked if we could say a prayer for them. They were drunk of course, but we went and said a prayer with them anyway. When I approached the man he gave me a dream catcher that he had made. I told him that he didn't have to give it to me but they insisted and I took it anyway. I asked him what it was for and they said, "oh, you'll see." I had no clue what that meant but I thanked them very much and put it in my pocket. My companion (Elder Archie) argued with one of the guys inside the house (who was very drunk) about whether or not we could change things in Poplar Montana. We finally gave up hope with him and the other people there and left to walk home. When I got home I took it out and hung it on my bed. The other Elders serving with us came in the door and I went to show Elder Lynch and Elder Hausia what I had been given. Elder Lynch had heard from some native members that if any natives offered you an item like that, they might have cursed them and put evil spirits inside them. They do that to Elders for some reason. So when I told him what the guy said to me, "you'll see" we pretty much new what it was. It was a HORCRUX! And it's a good thing I had received previous training on this sort of thing in Christy Hall's mythology class during our Harry Potter section at Tuacahn High School. I knew exactly what I had to do! So I (Harry Potter) and my companion (Ron Weasley) went out back and burned that thing with Fiendfyre! (concocted by using a lighter and hand sanitizer) Afterwards we said a prayer (like all good missionaries would) and we returned back to our muggle selves in the real world.
This week we taught the first lesson to a man named "John". (I'm not giving his real name to honor the Elder who wanted to keep the story sacred) He likes to rap a lot and he is really good at it. He is a native and is very proud of his heritage. He also did some MMA cage fighting. He has been in jail before and that is when he started to turn to God for help. He was always looking for God. Eventually he stopped looking and waited for God to find him. That happened about a couple of months ago when he was hyped up on Meth. We have the story in one of our weekly emails that our mission president sends to us.
Elder Colton Black (Names have been changed) 6.12.14 – Power of the PriesthoodMy companion and I had the opportunity to go and do a companion exchange. I myself went with Elder "Johnson" for the day. We had a great day that was full of fun and adventures around nearly every corner and had many opportunities to talk to and teach inactive church members. We were busy practically all day and were out and about in the community either teaching or talking to people. At the end of the day we were able to find one last person to teach before we headed home to plan for the next day. During the appointment we received a phone call. Normally I turn off the phone while in appointments, but this time I didn't for some odd reason. My first thought was to silence the phone, but something told me to answer it. It was another set of Elders in our district whose area was adjacent to ours. I talked to Elder "Smith" and he said that it was an emergency and that we needed to go down to the church and to bring olive oil. Recognizing the urgency in his voice, I told him we would be there as soon as we could. I told Elder "Johnson" what was going on and we jumped in the car and headed off to meet Elder "Smith" and his companion Elder "Ericson". We arrived at the church and they told us that an investigator of theirs that they had met just the day before, needed a blessing. We walked into the house that was next door to the church and inside we met a man named "John". His wife informed us that he was high on meth and was really struggling with his addiction and wanted to be rid of it and to change his life. We sat him down in a chair and told him what we were about to do. He said to do it and that he really needed our prayers. We told him that this was going to change his life. First, Elder "Johnson" anointed him with the oil and placed his hands on his head and stated his name. "John" shook violently in his chair and told us to stop doing that. He put his face in his hands and sobbed and sobbed. He told us that there was no way to help him and that there were voices in his head telling him we were powerless and all sorts of awful things. We comforted him and told him not to listen to the voices and that our Father in heaven had the power to help him. He continued to sob and tell us we couldn't help him and that he was hopelessly lost. This went on for 15 minutes before Elder "Johnson" was able to anoint him. After he was anointed it took us another 15 minutes to get him to sit up so we could administer the blessing to him. He continued to tell us that he was hopeless. We comforted him a while longer and we were finally able to get him to sit up and we each slowly laid our hands upon his head. Once our hands were placed upon him, everything in the house went still, and became calm and reverent. You could feel a tangible power in the room. Elder "Smith" gave him the blessing. In the blessing, he said " the name of Jesus Christ, we command you to be healed and that these addictions and habits that plague your body come out of you..." He continued the blessing, but when those words were spoken, something touched my spirit in such a powerful way that I felt it arouse the very faculties of my soul deep inside of me. I felt the power behind those words. We all had the faith that the priesthood would heal this man. Once those words were spoken, "John's" head began to droop and he fell into a deep sleep. Once the blessing was over we watched him sleep for what seemed like hours. He awoke suddenly and you could see the countenance in his face had changed and that the evil substances had left his body. The Spirit filled the room and testified to all of us that this man had been healed by the power of the priesthood. "John's" life was changed forever and we walked away with greater faith in the gospel and in the priesthood than we had when we arrived. It was definitely a faith and testimony builder for all of us. I testify that the power of God is real, and that it is here for our own benefit and to bless the lives of God's children here on earth, and I leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen
We just met "John" a few weeks ago while walking in the streets. We were looking for another house and I asked him if he knew where they lived. He told us the house and we started talking to him about the Book of Mormon. He seemed pretty interested in it and always talked to us when we saw him around town and we were lucky enough to catch him home last night. We taught him about the restoration of the gospel and the priesthood authority given to man on Earth. We then told him the story about himself before telling him who it was about. I felt the spirit so strongly when my companion told the story, I felt giant butterflies in my stomach. Elder Archie asked him if he knew who we were talking about, and he told us that while we told the story he was having flashbacks in his head about the last time he was using meth. Ever since the blessing given to him by the Elders he has not had the desire to use it at all. We told him that God did find him, because he sent us. I can testify for myself that I know the true authority to act in God's name, the priesthood of God, has been restored to the Earth and is held by the men of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have felt it for myself and know it is true.
I hope everyone has a blessed day!
Elder Garceau
(I love you mom!)
(I'll send pictures of the "horcrux later)

first two pictures were a terrible mistake. Gluten free biscuits. Worst. Idea. EVER. never again...

the next two are the pictures of the dream catcher we burned!


Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1st, 2014

I had a good week again. And again I spent most of it outside of my area. Go figure haha. I spent the first part of the week in Wolfpoint with one of the Elders there. It was nice to see that things were still almost like I left them. We did a lot of walking and even got them some new investigators while I was there. It was really nice because we got referrals for Poplar from some of the people there.

One of the assistants, Elder Wyatt my former district leader and zone leader, came to Poplar to baptize some people here. We had four baptismson Saturday and they were all confirmed by Elder Lynch at church on Sunday. They were all natives living on the rez. I think we will see much improvement here once the natives realize that this church is here for them. Some of them think that the church is only for the white people or that the white people run the church. We just have to show them that this is God's church not any man's church, but the branch can be run by them. It will also help when they learn how to be self reliant.
Elder Wyatt gave us some good leads to go see and I'm looking forward to that this week.

My new address in Poplar by the way is:
307 C St. West
PO BOX 305
Poplar MT 59255
Just in case anyone wants to send me some mail any time soon...

We also got to go to the Pow wow on Friday night. It was a very good Pow wow and I learned how to do an Indian dance. We could hear them all night doing their chants and dancing. They all had some very cool looking costumes.
There were also a lot of very nice and very expensive things being sold there.

A former Elder from this mission is moving back up here to Poplar apparently. He came up to visit and decided that he should move up here in the past couple of days. It's really nice for us because he knows a lot of people for us to teach here and I'm sure he will help us out. He told us that he received revelation that he should come up here.

I cooked my first chicken this week and it was very good. We don't have very many people feeding us here so I am learning how to cook because I will not starve and man can not live on PB and J alone! If anyone wants to give me some good cheap cooking ideas I'm all ears. Please help.

I hope everyone is having as good of a time as I am!
Elder Garceau
(I love you mom!)

My First chicken!