Can we go the distance? Can we go the speed?

This morning I woke up with these words running through my head..

"Reluctantly crouched at the starting line,
Engines pumping and thumping in time.
The green light flashes, the flags goes up,
Churning and burning, they yearn for the cup.

 If any of you reading this thought "Cake!" we have similar music tastes.
No, not the kind you eat. The band. These are the opening words to "The Distance" by Cake. 
You don't eat this cake..
  Before the mission I listened to these guys all the time and this song inspired a couple thoughts I would like to share with you.  
 What is our cup? Our ultimate goal? Well, unfortunately alot of the time our goals are very different from the Lords, but we learn what his ultimate goal for us is in the scriptures: 

"For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
 With such an amazing goal that God is trying to help us achieve we need to do our very best to absolutely achieve it. That means knowing his true restored Gospel and living it to the best of our ability. Are we "Going the Distance" or "Going the speed"?

 Satan motives are very selfish. He wants you to think you can't read the scriptures because you're too tired, you can't be baptized, you can't be happy. He is a liar and wants you as miserable as himself.
But you can do hard things.
In this world we must deftly maneuver and muscle for rank, even when our fuel is burning fast on an empty tank.


The Lord is here to help you. Take from Alma the Youngers testimony on receiving divine help in trials:

"And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me."

 So let us put our trust in Him like Alma did. Nothing will stop us from going the distance. We will make our goal if our goal is the Lords goal. We can all reach the finish line.

Not quiet like this...But you know what I mean.


Want to read a good chapter in the Book of Mormon? How about Almas' fatherly advice to his son Helaman. Its a good one! Check it out!

7 Things I Learned From Serving On The Rez

  So far, for most of my service as an LDS missionary I was able to serve in Poplar, Montana. My Native home. Poplar is located in North Eastern Montana and rests on the Fort Peck Reservation. It was a blessing and an honor to live among the Sioux and Assiniboine people. I loved it and will be sure to return.  But I decided to make a list of different things that I had learned from serving here. The first are somewhat funny things I picked up on while I was there, but the last are my more serious observations. So here it is....

#1: You might be afraid of the dogs, but the dogs are afraid of rocks.

He wasnt one of the mean ones. We named him "Franklin".

 It is no secret that dogs run free on the Fort Peck Rez. AND there are alot of them. I would be lying if I said I have never been attacked by said dogs. But there is a trick I picked up after only walking the streets for a couple days. This is what you do: Act like you are picking up a rock...Thats it. Simple. Safe. Effective. The dog thinks you have a rock then takes off in the other direction and you are good to go and knock on some more doors.

He is the rock-Deut 32:4

#2: Spike or be spiked on.  

 The volleyball crew.

  Every missionary in the Montana, Billings Mission knows that if you're going to Poplar you better be prepared for some serious volleyball. I will always remember for the rest of my life the spikes thrown down on me by Izzie and Bubba while I was in Poplar. 
And we did follow the direction of the ball...-1 Ne 16:16

#3: Never say "No" to food...Or seconds.

Indian Tacos will be had in Heaven.So Good!

  One thing I love about the Native culture was the love they have for food. This was something I had in common with them. It was very important to never say "No" to food being offered to you. This was something that the Natives wanted to share with you and expected you to receive it. Also, the same principle is applied if you are offered seconds. I will always remember the time we were eating Indian tacos around the campfire at a Pow-wow with the Red Eagles. Rose offered seconds, which I was more then happy to have. But the missionary I was with did not want any. Bubba then said "You can tell who has been here longer."

And it came to pass that when they prepared all manner of food...-Ether 6:4

#4: If someone says "Ehhh" after something they say, Its a joke.
So if you ever hear me say that, you better laugh.

I didn't have a picture that went with this topic..So here is a picture of a little Fancy Dancer.
    Everywhere Ive been on my mission Ive heard people talk differently. For example, it was in Great Falls where I first heard "behg" in normal conversation replaced for "bag". And when I got to Poplar I would hear "Ehhh" after people would tell jokes. It would make me laugh so much. After 7 1/2 months of being surrounded by it, I started saying it. So you better laugh if you hear "Ehhh"! that all that hear will laugh with me..-Gen 21:6

Now for the more serious ones.

#5: When youre a missionary, "Devils' Alley" really isnt all that bad.

Posting it up at Devils Alley
  When I first got to Poplar I opened the Area Book and something caught my eye. In the Area Book there was a section that stated places to avoid. Under this section was "Devils' Alley". Poplar has quite the reputation for being a rough place. But I soon learned that the missionaries were respected and these potentially "scary" places weren't scary at all. The people knew who we were, and who we represented. We were safe, even in Devils' Alley. 
...and others said he was sent by the Great Spirit;-Alma 19:25
  I truly felt safe. I believe this is because many of the great people on the Fort Peck reservation understand and respect the missionaries calling. They understand we are doing the Lords work and as a result, we are safe.

Yea,, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.-Psalms 23:4

#6:The Book of Mormon is truly a history of the people on this continent.

Burying deep their weapons of war.
   After spending time with the people here in Poplar Ive realized how much they do resemble those in the Book of Mormon. It truly is amazing. I will give some examples in the scriptures of how.  

*Why did ye not come to the feast on that great day when I made a feast unto my sons, and unto my people?-Alma 20:9
  In this scripture King Lamonis Father asked why he hadnt made it to a feast that he had organized. This brought me back to Poplar way quick. I loved the many "feasts" that we were invited to. The feasts were most of the time opened to everyone. So reading this scripture made me think of "feeds" as they are called.

*Now this was the tradition of Lamoni, which he had receieved from his father...-Alma 18:5
  I love the story of Ammon teaching the Lamanites in the Book of Mormon. It is one of my favorites. In alot of the things that you can read about them, you see a resemblance in the Native people now and the Native people that he taught. This is one of them. Traditions are a big part of the culture. With religion and with just everyday things. Traditions would pass down from generation to generation, just as King Lamoni who Ammon was teaching. To read Ammons full account as a missionary teaching Natives in 90 BC, check out Alma 17-24.

*And Ammon said unto her: Blessed art thou because of thy exceeding faith; I say unto thee, woman, there has not been such great faith among all the people of the Nephites.- Alma 19:10
   This holds true with many Natives that I met at church. It was amazing to see the great faith that the Natives can have. They truly are a spiritual people. I felt blessed to be surrounded by this.
 One of my favorites stories of this great faith in the Book of Mormon was when Ammon converted many of the Lamanites. In Alma 26 we read about the great devotion that the Lamanites had after coming to the truth of the gospel. As a sign of the devotion that they had toward God they buried all of their weapons of war and made a covenant with the Lord that they would never make war again. They refused to even fight their brethren who were attacking them for learning of the truth.

#7: Endurance is Key

Not this kind of endurance. But its a cool picture.

Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

  Endure to the end. There is a reason that it is a principle of the gospel. An abundance of hard times and trials was definitly prevalant in Poplar. It seemed as if there was a wake (Service for someone passing) every other week. But our Father is aware of this. He loves us and wants to help us. He will help us to endure the tough situations, the trials. We must but search for this.

My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.


If you would like to read Ammons missionary account among the Lamanites they are found in Alma 17-24 in the Book of Mormon. I took many scriptures out of these chapters and they are my favorite.

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