Elder Taylor Dearden
South Carolina Columbia Mission
110 Oak Park Drive, Suite B
Irmo, SC 29063


Monday, November 16, 2015

American River Festival!

Hello people!

Life is fantastic! Things are going great. 
Brian and Sonya were at church again yesterday and it was so great to see them! I love their family! Great people!  Brian comes with us to the book of mormon class every week now and it has became my favorite part of the week. Nothing is better than reading the book of mormon!

So fun story....

Two days ago on Saturday there was Cherokee Native American River Festival! (That's what they called it) Elder Pace and I saw a sign so we hunted the place down so we could take a look. We found it and just started walking around looking at all the booths with native art and taking to people. We found a member of our ward there, Sister Purser was helping with some stuff. It was fun to see her there. There was a circle in the middle of the festival where some people were performing flute solos and drumming. One of the guys that was going to do a solo was also giving a little speech about native beliefs, and in the middle of his speech we hear over the loud speakers, 
"I'm glad to see that the Elders are here, I really appreciate the Elders." At first we didn't think he was talking about us, but he went on mentioning how he spent a good ammount of time in Utah and was well acquainted with Mormons and respects the Missionaries. We then realized he was talking about us....we felt kinda funny because a couple hundred people turned their attention to us, we just smiled :D.

He then went on to explain how Mormons are Christians and that the song he was going to play was dedicated to "Christian Faith". It was a cool flute solo and It was very kind of him to do that for us.
I was very happy about that because most people here in the South honestly are convinced that Mormons are not Christians, Probably one of the most frustrating delusions that the pastors teach down here. Anyways it made me really happy to have this native guy announce to everyone that we were Christians and that he appreciates us!  We found him afterwards and he introduced himself, "Hi, I'm a Lamanite"...HAHA, he is actually a member! We found out that he grew up in Utah. His name is Emerson, and his Brother, Lowery was there with him too. I got some funny pictures with them. They are so cool. 

They travel around to festivals across the united states and were recently in Knightsville, Tennessee and Florida. I found out that they live near Chaco Canyon and I exchanged some information and they said they would meet up with me this coming summer and give me a tour of Chaco and teach me some stuff. It was really fun because we had some conversations about the Medicine Wheels and other things. I think they will be great friends when this whole mission experience is over with! We also talked about the Book of Mormon and how the seed of Jacob, the descendants of Lehi will rise up in the last days. Good stuff :D
Anyways, it was a fun Saturday. 

We got new Spanish Elders in our apartment. Elder Millet and Harris. They are really cool people. Elder Harris is Training Elder Millet.

Btw, Elder Neilson (I sent a picture of him a 7 weeks ago of us at the state house) He was transferred into my district again in Orangeburg. I was really happy about that, he is a good friend and I'm excited to work with him again!

I hope ya'll have a fantastic week! - Elder Dearden

Here is a video of the kids dancing at the Pow Wow.

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