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 "...in 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!
(I love you mom!)