Saturday, April 15, 2017

Actually Trekked!


Short version:
It has been a little rough for me this week. I was sick and had to stay home 2 days, but I was blessed by a priesthood blessing.  I am so thankful for the priesthood and the power it has in our lives.  I was able to work the rest of the week and feeling much better today.  I was able to fix a hot water heater, a washing machine, a rover (this is the cart thing we drive around in).  We also did a 7.2 mile trek at the 6th crossing site for training.

As I have been here the last couple weeks I have wondered how the pioneers were able to do what they did.  They lived the law of consecration and the law of sacrifice all most every day of their journey.  They did not wait to make those covenants in a temple, they did it right here on this hallowed ground. And they did it because they live the first commandment….. thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. I am so thankful for their example.
Elder Sigmon

Longer version:
Well let’s see so much has happened let me figure out where to begin. Last Friday was our first trek as Martin Cove missionaries. It was a very cold, windy day. So I look pretty bundled up. All of those who know me well know I don’t like to be cold and being warm is much more important than fashion. The trek was 8.2 miles.

They wanted us to have an experience of what it would be like for those who come to Martin’s Cove and do a trek. So we drove in as if we were coming in as trekkers. We went to staging to pick up our handcarts. Yes we had handcarts and we began our trek. We stopped along the way and heard stories we were asked to do at different places. Of course Elder Sigmon and I had the longest one (8 pages-ok they were 4”x6” pages but that still was a lot to try and memorize). We decided to split up the pages between the 2 of us and trade off. We were to tell about the Martin Handcart Company. 

We even did a woman’s pull (for those of you who don’t know what that is, let me tell you). It is where the Men and/or boys are called away and go off. The Women and/or girls are left to pull the handcarts up a hill by themselves. It signifies the many times in the history of the Church when faithful sisters pressed on without their husbands. Many men died on the journey west. Others were called to leave their families in meager circumstances to respond to mission calls. When we get up to the top of the hill the men are lined up on either side of the trail with their hats in their hands on their heart in respect of us women. They cannot speak, participate, or help in any way. As they do this they think about the importance of the women in their life who do so much for them. And also remember the great sacrifice of the pioneer women who brought their children to Zion. 
To tell you of the experience. We women ended up taking 3 carts up this hill. I was with the lead cart. I had decided to be at the back pushing during the whole trekking experience. On our cart there were only 4 of us but it was the heaviest loaded cart. I believe on the 2nd cart there were 5 or 6 and the last cart had like 8 people. As we started to go to the carts I could see the numbers were against us and I tried to bring one more person to our cart but they were already committed to their cart not knowing what I was trying to do. 
So up we started. One of the ladies Sister Scussel had been here last year and she said we can stop and rest so we did part way which helped immensely because we couldn’t have done it in one stretch. 
After the 2nd time we stopped another Sister ran from the back and came up to help us. It made all the difference to get up to the top. As we got to the top and saw those men standing there with their hands over their hearts with their hats in their hands brought tears to my eyes. It was a touching experience.
As we walked along I thought about those Pioneers in their dresses, some with no shoes, trudging along with no coats, maybe a blanket, pulling family members in their carts along with their supplies. In temperatures colder than I am experiencing and in blizzardy snow and wind, starving, etc. I can’t figure out how any of them survived at all. I have heard these stories and have a great admiration for the pioneers. BUT until you have actually been out here in a fraction of the weather and landscape they were in. You cannot explain it or even begin to tell someone what it must have been like. I can’t even imagine. I know the Lord’s hand was involved more than we have any idea it was. I’m telling you I cannot see how anyone in Martin & Willie handcart company and the Hodgettes & Hunt wagon company should have survived in those conditions in the state they were in without divine help! It is very humbling and makes you very appreciative. 

The upcoming picture is us telling our 8 page story. I did have cheat sheets since I couldn’t memorize all of it in the few days’ notice. Don’t make fun of the attire. I am not going for fashion out on the trekking trail. I’m going for functionality and just so you know…in the wind this skirt was not the best choice. Not that it blew up or anything like that. More that it blew in between the legs, etc. I have to admit I did take the rover ride for about ¾ of a mile closer to the end. The Taylors said I was limping and I didn’t want to overdo it. I kept Sister Waldmann company. She over exerted herself on the women’s pull and was having a hard time breathing. She comes from 1300 elevation and hasn’t acclimated to the altitude here. I have to admit it had me coughing a little from the exertion but I could still breathe with no problem.

Just a picture of the trail and the landscape coming out of the cove. There were 3 antelope which decided to run across the trail before we invaded their space.

Sunday morning about 3:30 a.m. Karl woke up with a fever. So he stayed home from church and didn’t go to work on Monday. While I was at our morning meeting on Monday President Pace asked if he could talk to me. Sister Scussel works in the office and schedules all the treks for everyone coming in. I guess the night before she went to the Emergency Room thinking she was having a heart attack and it turns out she just was having severe carpool tunnel in both of her wrists. He wanted to know if I could work with her and help her out so she wasn’t having to do so much with her hands. Of course I said I would be happy to help and told him I was a pretty good typer. He did say well if she will let you but at least moving the files, preparing packets, etc would be helpful. (Can I also just say as a little aside I was kind of excited. Thursday the week before I was on what I called rock quarry duty. We had to go and collect rock and haul it over by the office building and lay it out against the building to help with water splashing and making the white building black from the water hitting the dirt. Not to mention some of the other hard labor. I was feeling a little worn out and not quite built up to all the heavy duty labor.) Sister Scussel did let me do all of the typing as she dictated and was quite pleased with the fact I knew how to get around in the programs on the computer and knew my way around things. When I went home that evening I was so happy because I was helpful to Sister Scussel and as a bonus I actually had energy at the end of the day.

On the Karl note, he was still feeling like a wet noodle someone had thrown against a wall and he wasn’t done yet. He did go to work on Tuesday but the bad part was he was outside in the wind for most of the day. Then on Wednesday when he went in, he drank his Pepsi but not any water all day. Which of course did NOT help. I had to go into town Wednesday to the Chiropractor so I wasn’t there to check on him at lunch or he would have drank water. Lol Thursday he drank 3 bottles of water and made great improvements. As of today, Friday, I can say he actually is doing 100% better although he isn’t totally back to 100%.
We also went to 6th Crossing today and did another trek with the people from 6th Crossing to get some training. It was good to see friends again. We ended up doing a 7.2 Trek today with them. I must say 6th Crossing is at a little higher elevation and an hour from where we are staying. Once again I didn’t go for fashion as it was another very windy day. On the good side we didn’t have to push any handcarts. But there weren’t any places along their trails to sit down to listen to a story or eat our lunch. We did sit in the willows to eat lunch. We were able to feel how the wind was blocked by those willows and how it was a refuge for them even though it might still have been snowing. 

It was windy the whole time and I never did take off any layers. Except for the hat. The trek is rougher ground and terrain. They also do not have picnic tables for lunch or benches along the trekking path. I am glad I’m at Martin’s Cove. I don’t think I physically could have handled Sixth Crossing.

Elder Sigmon and I did eat our lunch amongst the willows near where the Willie handcart took refuge from the storm. I was warm enough to take off one coat and my sunhat. It also made Elder Sigmon think of all the fun he had as a kid playing in the willow fields growing up, building forts, trying to snare rabbits, etc. (He never snared a rabbit) but I guess they are fun to play in.
Overnight with the runoff the stream got pretty high so we couldn’t just walk through unless we wanted to get our feet wet (No one said to bring our water shoes). They didn’t know, it happened overnight. So we had several options and Karl and I opted to keep our feet nice and warm and dry and rode the rover over. Some other people walked through shoes and all and others without shoes and socks.
They do have a very nice Visitor’s Center.
Sorry this one ended up being a little long because of all the pictures. I can try and do better and include less pictures to make it shorter.

We love you and hope everyone is doing well. In case you do not have our mailing address if you would like to write here it is: (Mail is always fun)

47600 West Highway 220
Alcova, WY 82620

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