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Tribe of Testimonies
55 minutes | Aug 9, 2022
Brooks Shotgunn - Arapaho, Navajo, & Cheyenne
This interview had me smiling almost the entire time. Like from ear to ear. When Brooks Shotgunn really found The Book of Mormon, it came to life to him. And it seems like life bloomed. He went on a mission. He found his soulmate. He has a satisfying career. He's a father. And he just finds joy in all the little things. I'm not sure if he realized how easily gospel topics poured from him, even when we weren't talking "gospel." Can a light shine through voice alone? It must be able to--because this conversation was glowing.
56 minutes | Aug 2, 2022
Tyler Youngbull - Cheyenne & Arapaho, Sioux & Assinaboinne
Formerly "Bishop" Tyler Youngbull has made a lot of changes in his lifetime. While he was raised with the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a part of his life, it wasn't the center of his youth. But prayer was. And remains so today. He has grown from being told when and how to pray to learning to love prayer as a personal and powerful connection with the Lord. Prayer was the catalyst for a mission. It has helped him define his goals. It has strengthened him in callings in the Church. And it's a legacy he hopes he leaves with the wonderful people he has associated with in his ward. As a true disciple of Jesus Christ, Tyler testifies of a living Savior and of the Plan of Salvation. I'm so thankful for Brother Youngbull.
51 minutes | Jul 26, 2022
Ason Begaye - Navajo
Not long ago, my guest was simply called "Sister Begaye" most of the time. She was still Ason, but she rarely used that name. "Sister" is a lovely title when you think about how those who truly live up to its meaning treat other people. Ason talks about how she wants to continue to be part of the gathering of Israel because it's the culture of Christ. She talks about how it's a home for all of us. A safe place. She talks about making her own future family home a safe place. She's learned first-hand the differences between a family home that is in a state of turmoil and a family home that is full of love. Her plan for making it a safe haven is to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost and make it a place where Christ would feel welcome.
50 minutes | Jul 19, 2022
Tyler Nielsen - Navajo
For some people, knowing exactly what they want to do with their life is easy. For most of us, we have to work at it. We have to be willing to be led by the Spirit. We have to be willing to take twists and turns that we didn't expect. And we have to be willing to use the gifts that God has given to us individually to "get there." Tyler doesn't know exactly what he wants to do as his "end game" goal [career]. But he recognizes that God has given him very specific gifts that he intends to use in the benefit of our brothers and sister. I love that. I love that he is willing to do good to bring glory to God. I also love how he was blessed to be able to learn more about his heritage through his missionary service. The Lord truly does bless us!
45 minutes | Jul 12, 2022
Roy Talk - Eastern Band of Cherokee & Navajo
As I edited this episode, I just think about how humble Roy Talk is. Sure, he's friendly and funny--but that doesn't mean he's not humble. He loves his wife, children, parents, and all his family with his whole heart (except that tiny part that is reserved for BYU Cougars, Utah Jazz, and Green Bay Packers). It's like it's bursting out of him. He's learned to love so well that he's been able to move past heinous hurts. I think he's the type of person that has learned to listen to other people so intently that he is able to learn great things from them--which in turn makes him a wonderful person to talk to. I'm sure if you've ever bought a t-shirt from him that you've walked away thinking, "I'm sure glad I stopped to talk to Roy and got the souvenir to boot!"
48 minutes | Jul 5, 2022
John Borrows - Anishinaabe (Chippewa of the Nawash First Nation)
John Borrows is very well educated--academically and by the Spirit. I loved talking to him! I told him I've been thinking about faith for a while and I asked him to just comment on it. Talking about nests, birds, fish, rivers, and water brought faith a deeper meaning for me. He also has learned new meanings to commonly-held Latter-day Saint beliefs that has added dimension and connection to his thoughts and life. He was just so interesting that I'm excited for you to hear this conversation. I think your faith will be strengthened and possibly your relationships with the people around you.
57 minutes | Jun 28, 2022
Hugh Jones - Seneca
When I first contacted Hugh Jones, I was so happy with the interesting things he had to say. It's interesting how often I ask a question that comes into my mind that my guest has been working on, pondering on, or executing in their own life. This time the interesting conversation revolved around firming up your own testimony so that your children are able to watch you work through questions of your own. But the important thing is to build and strengthen your testimony--make sure your relationship with the Lord is your own and a real relationship. I also loved how he talked about being engaged in good works on your own--without being told what to do. That lesson is sitting in the front of my brain and making me want to be more aware of my own actions. Such a great conversation.
55 minutes | Jun 25, 2022
Clayton Long - Navajo
There's one point when I was talking to Clayton Long that I asked him what he wanted to talk about. Two things came up. First is the Gathering of Israel. He really wants to be a part of that gathering (as he is) because he knows that it will help bring the Savior back to the world. The second thing he really wanted to talk about is testimony--his own and how to start, nurture, and grow testimonies. He wants to be useful in Heavenly Father's hands in teaching people how to find and build their testimonies. These two desires are my desires as well. Also, I felt loved by this man when he called me his daughter. I love that about our Navajo way--and the true way of the Church--that we really are family. We really do belong to each other and as such we should love and care for each other.
50 minutes | Jun 14, 2022
Summer Fox Belly - Oglala Sioux
There is a great word that Summer Fox Belly teaches us today: Hunka. It has to do with relationships. She teaches us that when we are hunka, we have a familial obligation to each other, whether or not we are blood family. I loved her teaching us this. As we talked, she alluded to this in multiple ways in regards to her branch, her foster family, and friends in general. It made me feel closer to her knowing that she feels like this about people, hopefully me as well. But it really made me feel the Christlike love we call "charity." I was really grateful to have a new way to look at Him, our Savior, and in those that I associate with. Let us all try to be a little more hunka with each other.
58 minutes | Jun 7, 2022
Abraham Thomas - Oglala Sioux
I want Abraham Thomas to be another one of my best friends. I guess I keep finding the best people and the best in people. Abraham is a singer. He does it because he loves it. But more importantly because he knows that it is a gift given to him from our Father so Abraham can help bring people back to Him. It's an amazing gift. It doesn't, however, make all the hard parts in his life go away. Abraham acknowledges depression in his life--and it has gotten really dark at times--but he fights it. He knows that the fight can be won when he asks Heavenly Father for help. He also knows that his fight has made him strong enough that he can help other people in their fights. His heart is so full of love--for you and for me.
58 minutes | Jun 1, 2022
Michalyn Steele - Seneca
Michalyn Steele has a brilliant mind--and a strong testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ. I loved talking to her about how she has been able to use both her mind and her testimony to bring the world a little more light. It feels like we're family (we're both Parkers!). It was fun to hear how her passion to help her students become valuable members of society has been adding to her personal growth. As a single woman in The Church of Jesus Christ, she recognizes that all that the Lord promises will be sure and true. I'm so grateful for her time and her testimony.
56 minutes | May 24, 2022
Geri Daines - Tlingit
I believe I could rightfully say Geri Daines has a thirst for knowledge. This led her to get a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, and a doctoral degree. And this led her to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Having truth as an anchor point, family as another, and the Savior has kept her steady through all sorts of difficulties. She is so proud of her siblings and her children and grandchildren. She looks for the good in people and recognizes that if that "good" is cultivated, people can shine. She has learned to give herself grace. These things all help her to know her divinity.
50 minutes | May 17, 2022
Aimee Adams - Waccamaw Souian, Cherokee, & Seneca
I've had a hard few days...but having Aimee Adams' clear, calm, cool demeanor and positive attitude really soothed my soul. Like balm. It's strange that the "negative" ions you find in abundance at the seashore help you find peace. Aimee seems to have harnessed that peace in her life--or at least knows how to use the peace in her life to spread peace. I find that to be a wonderful Christlike attribute. Aimee's excitement about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is infectious. Her stories about being sincere and honest about that love makes me get excited too! Some day I'm going to meet Aimee and just give her the biggest hug--she's that kind of person.
49 minutes | May 10, 2022
Elliot Bryant - Navajo
Everyone has a story. That is what I have come to believe. Elliot Bryant has come to know the Savior by diligently heeding the commandments and following the prophet. It hasn't always been easy. He has had to come back to things he's learned and try again. But that's what we're all supposed to do. He works hard at fulfilling his church callings and has seen blessings in his life because of that. He has worked hard in his family to be a good son, sibling, and uncle. Most of us strive for those same designations. I think those are great designations in the eternal scheme as well.
50 minutes | May 3, 2022
Phaline Conklin - Shoshone Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley
You know, it's funny that one of the main topics Phaline Conklin shared in this conversation was "second chances." Just the day before I was listening to another podcast and they mentioned that. I thought, "Oh, I'm totally going to ask Phaline about second chances." So much of Phaline's story is moved by trying again. I'm so grateful that in this life, we have a Savior who makes second chances real and true. Thanks to Phaline for sharing so much light.
64 minutes | Apr 26, 2022
Donald Rodgers - Catawba
"Ray of light"! That's what we shall call Donald Rodgers. He's simply delightful to be around. When he and his wife pulled into our driveway, my 4-year-old ran out to greet them. I don't think she could help hugging both of them. They give off a reassuring feeling. Donald is full of the perfect amount of mischief, gratitude, loyalty, and humility. He was so fun to be around. I only managed to capture a few of his stories, I'm sure. But one of my favorite parts was at the end of our conversations when he almost couldn't stop talking about how much he loves our Savior Jesus Christ. His testimony is sure. I'm so glad to now include Donald as one of my friends.
63 minutes | Apr 19, 2022
Ilene Begay - Navajo
I loved this interview! Sister Ilene Begay, translated by her son, Justin, testified again and again about how the Spirit of the Lord has been her way to know our Savior Jesus Christ. Sister Begay only speaks Navajo. She never had the opportunity to learn to read or to write. But the most important communicator to her has been the Holy Ghost. Because she has been so close to the Spirit, she has been able to witness miracles and blessings! I almost wish this was required listening--it is so good. What a blessing the Gospel of Jesus Christ is!
56 minutes | Apr 12, 2022
Andi Gooch - Chehalis & Nisqually
A lot of this episode focuses on Andi Gooch's story of finding her birth identity. It is still ongoing. One piece of the puzzle at a time. And it's beautiful. Every piece is beautiful. Because Andi has come to know her individual worth, her divine nature, she is able to help others find theirs as well. She has been able to help people through the family history convention called Roots Tech. And she's been able to help individual girls in a girls' home know that they are loved and worth love. I personally found hope and joy in Andi's story and hope that you find that as well.
53 minutes | Apr 5, 2022
Veda Henderson - Navajo & San Carlos Apache
Admittedly, Veda knows very little about her San Carlos heritage. Hey--I think that's pretty common for actually a lot of us; we don't know everything about everything. Veda has come to her testimony through a multitude of tender mercies from the Lord, and from so many people teaching her by example how to live a Christlike life. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Veda.
53 minutes | Mar 29, 2022
Kelly Baker - Mandan & Hidatsa
Mark and I sat together with Keali'i (Kelly) and Hannah Baker for much longer than just the interview. They are so good for each other. Together they are building a wonderful life centered on their testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Kelly knows that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can change hearts, minds, and bodies. Before he went on his mission, he had never really read the Book of Mormon. After time lost, he finally read it--in six days! That experience ensured his testimony of that scripture. He talks about how his heritage has given him a purpose. And I really loved his explanation of what it means to be a member of the Tribe of Israel--stick around for that. Kelly is the type of person you want in your life because of his attitude, love, and strength.
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