LSD to LDS 10


The next morning , Monday, I was hired, first stop, by an engineering firm that had a contract to survey potential logging sites on federal property.  They  had a temporary camp site set up many hours drive from civilization and recommended that I prepare for sharing a camp with a dozen others.  There was an outdoor store in town that had camping gear and I remember two of the best purchases ever.  A pair of steel work boots to replace a pair that had seen better days and would have not survived the week tromping in the woods and a vial of oil of citronella to keep away bugs.  I placed that on my forehead and behind my ears every night and slept very well to the envy of my fellow campers.  For the remaining part of the week I would work with a surveyor who was surveying home sale properties and started work with the crew the next week.

So that night I stopped over to Jack Beaver’s home on Rattlesnake Drive to stay for the first week on my job.  Jack Beaver was not a Latter Day Saint but his girlfriend was and she arranged with Jack to have the church’s single group to have what they call family home evening at his large spacious home.   Family Home Evening is a weekly family event where a family of members of the Church of Jesus Christ, or in this case church members who were not living as a family, met to share a spiritual message, play games, socialize and have fun times together.  So here I am new guy in town and quickly have a group of people my age to hang with that are Latter Day Saints. I met up with them and Jack Beaver a few times that week before the logging camp project.  The logging survey job did not go very well.  My job was to cut down trees and brush to create a clear site for the instrument crew to sight the boundaries of the lumber sale.  It rained a lot and I was not all that comfortable using a chain saw.  There are many things that are dangerous while running a chainsaw and I have never felled a mature tree in a dense forest before.  So by the end of that week I was fired.  Meeting up with my new found friends that weekend I discovered that a girl in this group had a similar experience and was seeking a ride to Rexburg where she had been going to college and had work available for her there for the rest of the summer.  Yellowstone Park and the Tetons are close by so there was a good chance to find work for me there for the rest of the summer.  

That weekend I also got to attend my first Latter Day Saint church meeting. This meeting was very different than any other church meeting I have witnesses.  First of all this was a church meeting entirely of college students.  Along with the usual songs and prayers, and after what other churches call communion, the blessing and sharing of bread and water, instead of wine or grape juice, they called sacrament;  they opened up the meeting for those in attendance to bear their testimony.  A testimony is a sort of explanation of how Jesus Christ and this whole Latter Day Saint/Mormon thing is real.  That Jesus and his gospel play an active part in their lives. Bearing their testimony added their resolve that they were living righteously and encouraged others to do likewise. Most of the speakers that day tended to be the young girls attending college summer semester and most of their stories where crying about loving their roommates.  My memory of college girls when I was going to college, usually, when talking about their roommates was dramatically unkind.  These girls I am sure had the same issues.   The guys professed to miss whatever was home and talked about going on a mission, a project they are strongly encouraged in this society to do.  There was something going on in Rexburg that was radically different than what I have been exposed to before.  

 Monday, the next day I traveled the 4 hour trip to Jackson Hole and applying at a state sponsored employment office.  There I was given reference to employment on a cattle ranch stacking loose hay into haystacks for $18 per day plus room and board that lasted the rest of the summer south of Jackson Hole.  This ranch was one of the last ranches to use horses to do the farm word.   The hay fields were native grasses and there one only one crop of hay for the year. With me was a book that Angelle Celeste, the girl I had traveled with from Montana, and Mike King, a neighbor of Angelles that I stayed with while in Rexburg, had given me.  I had all summer to read that book, the Book of Morman.  What a change I was going to have after reading that book!


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