It has been a hot one, literally. We had lightening that started a brush fire on the Sun ranch, our neighbor. While I was on a trek at the top of Martin’s Cove I saw the lightening hit in the distance. When we got down back to the Homestead from our trek you could see the smoke. Elder Roundy and I had to take out the water truck again to go help put it out. It was in a pretty remote area and I wasn’t sure I could get this water truck in there. We did finally find a path that we could travel on. We were able to help put it out and get it under control. Then of course when we get it under control the big boys show up and finish putting out the hot spots. It burned about 5 acres. Luckily the Sweetwater river was on one side of it.
We’ve been doing some trekking. One group that we trekked with we met them the night before and one of the older men and I had a great conversation together. Then he presented to me a small leather pouch with a bottle of consecrated oil in it. They wanted all their Priesthood holders that were Elders to “Be ready now” like Ephraim Hanks was. I have been able to see the Priesthood in action through blessings and service of all kinds.
I have been busy on the Homestead mowing lawns, pumping septic tanks, working on plugged up toilets, and fixing everything else that breaks. Our projector in the Visitors’ Center in our video room quit working. But we were able to call Salt Lake and have them send us 2 new bulbs (one for a spare). I had a box that was labeled spare bulb for the projector but when I opened it up it was a piece 3” pipe threaded on both ends. Needless to say I was a little surprised, disappointed, dumbfounded, etc. Anyway Salt Lake overnighted it and we were back in business the next day.
The 6 couples that will spend the winter have been identified with one of these couples being the new FM. It is sad to think of going home and being replaced at the end of the season. But they are a great couple and we will start mentoring and training them after trekking season winds down. It has been fun learning new stuff every day and having the experiences we have had and are having. I love you all and miss you.
As Elder Sigmon said we have been so busy! It is a constant coming and going of so many different things. We love to wake up and stand at our bathroom window and look out at all the comings and goings or even the quiet stillness before the buziness begins. I like to tease Elder Sigmon and sometimes as I walk up and ask him “Looking over your kingdom again?” The sad thing is when it comes to an end it doesn’t ease off, it just drops off, which is different than how it slowly builds at the beginning of the trekking season. The end will be here sooner than we know. After the first week in August with everyone busy getting ready to start school and back to their lives all the treks just end—that’s it everyone is gone. Having been through it once before I don’t want to miss a minute or experience. Even on the days it is hot and I’m tired and it would be nice to do nothing (like that ever happens lol), I am thoroughly enjoying it! I know I have said it before but I’m sorry I am going to say it again. I am so glad we came back to serve one more summer at the Wyoming Mormon Trail Mission! It is going to be a sad day when we are all packed up and drive home. We have so many cherished memories and friends. There are days we drag in, eat dinner and then we need to go back out and check on how projects went, what needs to be done and just see how things are in general. As we climb into the rover and are sitting side by side and heading down the road seeing the beautiful Sweetwater River, antelope and Martin’s Cove. I can’t help but slide a little closer so grateful to have my husband by my side sharing this wonderful experience. Then I say to him “It doesn’t get any better than this. What mission can you do this on? Where else can you have these experiences? This is the best mission ever!”
As you know we have had so much wildlife around us. We enjoy seeing the antelope and especially when they start having their babies. They actually have quite a few twins. I remember when we lived out at Missionary Village they were right there on our lawns and weren’t really afraid of us. They kept their distance but they are used to having us people around. Moms and babies would be right there. One day I even caught a mom and her babies playing what I would say was a game of tag. It was so cute. Well once again the babies appeared. But there is that circle of life that goes on and Elder Sigmon was called and told that a mother antelope was dead near one of the trailers and probably would need to be removed. The sad thing is she had two twin babies. They spent the remainder of the day laying right where their mother had laid. But it has been about 3 weeks now and they have still managed to survive and are staying in Missionary Village. There is water out for them and they had been eating grass prior to their mom’s death so that was a blessing. We are hoping they make it to adulthood and I’m glad they at least have each other. It would have been sadder if it was just one.
It is always sweet to get pictures from the grand kids and so when this picture came it just melted my heart. I can’t believe how grown up they are getting and they now have some additions to the chickens. They have three new baby ducks and a few turkeys. The baby ducks I believe were only a day old when they got them. Aren’t they the cutest!
Since we are talking about critters. We have one that has been getting into Bertha (the place where we put our trash to burn). It will dig out the trash and spread it all over choosing what it wants to eat. Elder Roundy put the old well pump in front to block it and a bunch of gravel. Upon inspection the next morning the critter managed to pull it back along with the gravel. It is almost like it has swept everything back. That pump is not light and easy to move either.
Upon further inspection we noticed some sooty footprints along the water truck fire hose. Yes, we believe it is raccoon prints. We ended up welding another flat piece of metal along the bottom so it can no longer reach in and make a daily mess. We don’t have time to clean up after it lol.
Everyone who knows Lana knows she is so creative and fun! Sister Pace’s birthday was Wednesday and I had the brilliant idea it would be fun to decorate her door (only because Lana was here). So I asked her if she would help me do it. Of course she was more than happy to do it. Her first question was “Do you know what her favorite color is?” I had no clue but I did say she likes to scuba dive. So then Lana says “Oh we can do some seaweed, and bubbles with the letters in it…do you have some colored cardstock?” I had the cardstock and she left me to make the bubbles and the lettering. She then proceeded to freehand everything else. I was amazed. She just looked at a cartoon crab and then cut it out and drew a few things on it to finish it off. Last but not least we put it all up using masking tape. There again she amazed me. I was cutting one piece at a time to make the round loop to put behind the cardstock and trying not to get all tangled up at the same time. Lana had me tear off a very long piece of masking tape and then she would proceed to do about 4-6 of those loops and have them done and stuck on different parts of her fingers and wasn’t even tangled up a little bit. Crazy!
Here is our finished project!! It shows the creator and the receiver. It was really fun to do and I love working with Lana. She even taught me how to make a lei out of yarn. She made one and I made another. She said I did really well for my first time. I didn’t even have to start over. I had a little trouble with tying it off but it was easily taken care of.
The next day we trekked with them and I actually did my very first river crossing. This is because I wear a knee brace while trekking and I didn’t actually go through the water on any of the river crossings last year. I rode in handcarts or walked around to the bridge. When the year was done I was kind of sad I hadn’t. So this time I decided I would take off my brace and do at least one river crossing this year. So it was today. Sister and President Pace had come to join our group for the river crossing and she was kind enough to take a few pictures for me.
I am so glad I did it!
They also did a women’s pull on the way back to their campground. They usually have a talk before the girls pull the handcarts up the hill without the help of the men. There are similarities but there are also differences in some of the points or things which are discussed for each one. One of the things which was said that I hadn’t heard before was the difference between the words “can” and “will”. If someone asked you “Can you pull your son 700 miles in a handcart or pull your husband you would probably say “No I can’t.” But if someone asked you “Will you pull your son or husband 700 miles in a handcart.” It is different. Sometimes we don’t think we can do things but if we are willing to try we may be surprised at what we can manage to do especially with the Lord’s help. Before we left to pull the handcarts up the hill they gave all the girls a bracelet. It has a heart with footsteps on it and on either side there is a knot. We were told this bracelet represents “Faith in every footstep—Doubt Not—Fear Not!” I love mine and I have worn it every day since I was lucky enough to also receive one. Sister Pace has one too! We need to do exactly that have Faith in our Savior—Doubt Not and Fear Not. What a great everyday reminder to have. Sorry it looks a little worn. I had to take it off to get a picture.
We had some unexpected people. I was home when there was a knock on my door asking if I was Sister Sigmon. This girl was here on a trek for a family reunion of one of the missionaries serving here with us, the Hansens. Well she ran into my niece while shopping for pants to come on trek and mentioned her aunt and uncle serve at Martin’s Cove. My niece said “so do mine! You need to take a picture with them!” She lives 2 doors down from Laura. Nice to meet you Reghan Rohner!
Then one evening while we were at home we got a call that there was a family at the Visitors’ Center who were from Albuquerque, New Mexico and they really wanted to meet us. It turns out they lived in my son’s ward and knew them really well. Their son was good friends with the twins. They have recently moved to Utah. Of course we had to send a picture to Lance and say guess who we met. The Paxton family!
As for the work side of things we have been pretty busy since the 1st of July with 9 to 14 treks a week. Both sites have been busy. There are a couple of weeks that Sixth Crossing needs to take 2-4 of our couples to even cover all of their treks they have over there. Not to mention 35 of our handcarts too. It is crazy but it is exciting to see how it is all going to work out and the Lord is in charge so it will all work out. This year we are 5 couples less than last year so it has been interesting on Mondays and Saturdays which are preparation days to see how some of the necessary work crew jobs get covered along with everything else for the treks coming in and going out.
We have some porta potties behind some vault toilets at Handcart parking. They need to be pumped out every week on Saturday or Monday. How it has been working out is when Elder Sigmon and I don’t have preparation day that is the day it gets done because we are the only ones on work crew. Elder Bowden is Trek Coordinator or Base depending on what is happening and usually tries to help with it too. So there we are the three of us pumping them out. To do it involves the water truck which is the same truck Elder Sigmon went to fight the fire with Elder Roundy. It holds 1,000 gallons of water. I mainly hold doors open and spray and wipe things down after it is all said and done with sanitizer spray.
So on my very first time to help them do it Elder Sigmon had told me it didn’t take very long. So he is in the first toilet trying to suck everything out and I’m holding the door open and standing there and standing there and standing there. He keeps banging and moving the pipe and I can’t figure out how at this rate it doesn’t take very long because it seems to be taking quite a while just to get one toilet done. Then Elder Sigmon finally pulls up the pipe and there is a cell phone stuck to it. Yes someone dropped their cell phone in the toilet. After he got it knocked off the suction tube worked much better. There was also a little bottle with an eye dropper top in there too. Elder Bowden was the lucky person to put a trash bag on his arm and pull those fun items out. I had a picture of them in the bottom of the toilet but somehow it got deleted off of my phone! I am so sad. So you only get to see the picture of the phone on the ground. No one wanted the phone so it ended up in Bertha. (Big Surprise!)
We went out on another day with the water truck and had to charge (fill with more water) the vault toilets because of the heat and evaporation. Here is Elder Sigmon charging the toilet. Again I hold the door.
On the way back from charging the toilet I got to run the water control panel and let’s just say I pulled every possible lever there was to pull. Left Front, Left Middle, Left Rear, Right Front, Right Middle, and yes Right Rear! Now I totally see why last year he was so disappointed when they ran out of water. That was so fun!!! Seeing the water go out there is awesome!!!!
The funny thing was at one point Elder Sigmon pulled one of the levers and his window was down and the wind was blowing and needless to say he had one nice little shower. I couldn’t help laughing! Luckily it was a hot day!
Well when Elder Sigmon came in with his trek I saw him and went over to talk to him. President and Sister Pace were there. We had 5 treks out on the trail that day and the Paces try to hit each one at various points. So we were visiting and I asked Elder Sigmon if he had eaten his lunch and he says “no I brought it with me.” I guess something changed and they were eating their lunch on the trial now. So he reaches in his possibles bag and pulls out his sandwich. Taking one look at it I burst into laughter!!! Along with President and Sister Pace. He was trying to push it all back together and into shape.
He said “We didn’t have another cooler for me to put it into.” A picture is worth a thousand words.
Every once in a while something makes me think back on that sorry little sandwich on a hamburger bun and I begin to laugh. I haven’t said a word to Elder Sigmon and he looks at me and says “Well it tasted okay.” He knows exactly what I was laughing about. I think it will crack me up for a while. Can you see his bag of chips?
Sorry this is so long but I guess that is what happens when a whole month has almost passed by. As usual we hope you are all well.
Elder and Sister Sigmon