Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Cowboy Code

 My stomach lurched nervously as the landing gear met terra firma once more with a jolt.  I was subdued; unusually so to anyone who knew me.  As it was, the only people who really even knew my name on this plane had only known it for the last three weeks.  I was away from my family.  I was away from my friends.  I was away from the beautiful ridge-lined mountains of Utah. I was away from everything familiar and safe.
 As the plane coasted into the Oakland Airport, I knew it was official.  I was in California.  I was on my own.
 I was now, officially, a missionary.

This is us! Note: I'm the only one crouching.
  Although this was several, several months ago, I can still remember quite vividly my first day in the field.  The next week would be a blur, with moments including being whisked away on my first night twenty miles over the speed limit by pizza-craved missionaries, sleeping on said missionaries' couch under my (still damp) towel, being assigned to Napa, buying my (trusty) bike MJ, and getting locked inside of a gated community at nine o' clock at night with my trainer.

 Still, the weeks passed.  Then, coming up on the calendar, we had a wonderful occurance known as "Zone Conference"!  I had never attended one before, but I admit I had never been that excited to attend a meeting before in my life.  The morning finally came, and, after a 40 minute drive, we arrived in Vacaville for the long-awaited meeting.

 We learned much that day, but one thing in particular stuck out to me.  President and Sister Bunker told us of their experience as ranchers in Star Valley.  We learned of a code of the old west, mostly unspoken among cowboys.  They lived tough, dusty, unforgiving lives in the wilds of the old west, but cowboys always knew to treat a woman with the utmost courtesy.  They knew that talk was cheap, and your honor was upheld by your actions.  They were loyal to their brand, and were respectful and honest with cattle bearing another's seal. Though sometimes stealing was necessary for survival, they would never dream of stealing another man's horse, for his life was dependent upon it.

 What was remarkable was that the Cowboy Code paralleled and applied with missionary work. 

 The Cowboy Code:

1: Live Each Day with Courage

2: Take Pride in your Work

3: Always Finish what you Start

4: Do what Has to be Done

5: Be Tough, but Fair

6: When you make a Promise, Keep It

7: Ride for the Brand

8: Talk Less, and Say More

9: Remember that some things Aren't for Sale

10: Know where to draw the Line

 As missionaries, we strive to live lives of diligence, obedience, and service.  Although these men (and women) of the wild west were far from perfect, they stood up for their values and their beliefs.  They were unflinching in their duties, and loyal to those they served.  They didn't have the luxuries and society that we know today, but they knew what was important. We all need to remember our many blessings, what it is that we stand for, and be loyal to the Master for whom we ride.
 In the wise words of President Bunker, may we all "Cowboy Up!"


  1. It was a treat and a half to finally hear what the cowboy code actually was! And I definitely like your picture of it. Classic!

  2. Twas mighty fine to haer that. Thanks for the awesomeness yet again!