Animals run amok !

The first thing you learn living in South Dakota is that you WILL hit an animal or two every time you drive… The second thing you learn is that, barring an emergency, you should NOT drive at night (see above!).

Our first ‘contact’ with South Dakota was hitting a cat? just before reaching Martin on our move here. It damaged the plastic undercarriage of the car (I used duct-tape to repair…). We soon ran over another small animal, which damaged our grill (duct-tape again), and just missed a few deer…

It is deer hunting season here, and one doesn’t have to go far to find them– just drive your car at night, and they will find you! We have never seen so many dead deer along the side of the road! We have been fortunate so far to only have hit the smaller creatures living here. We have been told it is just a matter of time…

But, they are very resourceful in South Dakota:

Waste not, want not!

I’m not sure what will eventually be done with the hide, but they will be able to eat all winter on the meat!

We traveled to Pierre, South Dakota for District Conference (that’s “peer” to the locals, don’t you know…). Pierre is the capital of the state, and this is a picture of the capitol building in the capital…? Is that right? Anyway, the District is quite small, considering that it takes up the entire western half of the State.

We attended leadership conference on Saturday (Terri is the new Relief Society President…), which was surprisingly good. It was a broadcast from Salt Lake about the new leadership manuals. Unlike most organizations that become more and more “bureaucratized” as they grow larger, the Church has done a great job keeping the growth of its own bureaucracy to a minimum– giving more and more power to the lowest level of leadership, rather than trying to centralize all the power at the top (just the opposite from the way the ‘world’ tries to govern).

We stayed overnight in a hotel, attended the Saturday night session (with dinner provided by the local Relief Society (you can tell how small we are here… can you imagine providing food for an entire Stake?)); and then attended the normal Sunday session, which had a general authority presiding (Elder Payne)– with, dinner provided by the Relief Society after!

Winter finally arrived in Martin, as the snow began to fall.

Not to worry! I am well prepared for the cold weather… I brought my Mongolian hat with me (a gift from the Hopkins)! It will be used quite often here I am sure.

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