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.|
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.
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!"