A local cowboy is headed to Montana, but he’s leaving his horses and cowboy boots behind. Eighteen year-old Jayde Lamar Slade of Rose Bud left Tuesday to serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is assigned to the Montana Billings Mission where he will report after three weeks of training at the Provo Utah Missionary Training Center. The mission boundaries include the entire state of Montana and part of Wyoming. The assignment location is always a surprise to prospective Mormon missionaries and is communicated through an official letter.  On his assignment, Slade replied with a smile, “I guess the Lord knows where to put who he calls.”
Slade graduated as an honor student a year early from Rose Bud High School in May 2016 and spent the past year working to add to his mission fund. Mormon missionaries fund their own living expenses during the term of their mission.  Over the past several years he raised and sold horses and trained horses for others to ride and rope. He also worked for a local ranch and at the sale barn. Reflecting on his decision to serve a mission, Slade said, “I made my decision to go on a mission when I was eight, and I’ve never had any different thoughts. It’s always been a plan. I want to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
When asked about key influences on his preparation, Slade said, “What helped me the most was my Dad shooting me in that direction and teaching me how to work and to have a strong work ethic. I paid for my own horses, boots, feed, and supplies to raise horses.” Slade anticipates his work ethic to help him with six-day work weeks and long days teaching the gospel and serving the people of Montana and Wyoming. Only Mondays will be available for personal time and preparation.
Slade’s ecclesiastical leader, Bishop Joel Dunlap, lived in Montana prior to moving to Arkansas. Dunlap said, “Jayde has always been a hard worker. He gets up early and does all the chores. He never ropes on Sunday, a sacrifice since many competitions are held on Sunday. He’s been quite the example for his peers around the area. He’s a great kid and has lots of skills. Montanans are very practical people and I think his upbringing and ethics will fit well.”
Jayde Slade is the eldest child of the family and hopes that his example of helping at home, working, and serving a mission will influence his younger siblings: Savannah, Colten, Shyannah, and Tayah.  He anticipates they will adjust to doing his share of the work in his absence.
Slade is the son of Jacob and Kamie Slade of Rose Bud. His grandparents are Ken and Denna Slade of Rose Bud and Rick and Mary Sue Kerby of Gilbert, Arizona. His great-grandparents include John and Barbara Sherwood of Mt. Vernon and Lamar Cluff of Safford, Arizona.
The Quitman Ward has four other missionaries currently serving including siblings Kaylyn Graham in Brazil and Kyle Graham in Singapore. Patrick Richardson and Parker Sherwood are both serving in Salt Lake City missions. Caleb Ferren recently completed his mission in Salt Lake City.

For more information about the church or its missionary program, call local missionaries at 501-908-2710.