This week has been good. We did some training with our District Leaders Elder and Sister Scussel. They barbequed some hamburgers for us and Elder Scussel cooked the food. This was the rarest hamburger I have ever eaten in my life. It was just brown on the outside and completely red in the middle. He said yeah they looked red but he used a meat thermometer and they were good to go. Needles to say I had stomach trouble for the next 2 days. I love them a lot, just not his cooking.
We worked in the visitor’s center on Tuesday and Monica was able to share a BOM with a nonmember couple. They were very nice and we had a great visit with them. I also gave the training thought in our morning correlation meeting. The rest of the week I was on work crew. I fixed a shallow well pump, put in a new pressure tanks at another well, did some sheetrock repair, some minor carpenter fixes and set up the pressure washer so we can wash all the mission vehicles. I also fixed a water heater in one of the other trailers. It is located in the bedroom in a closet. When I was buttoning it all up the other Elder I was with (Elder Roundy) said he had the impression we should short sheet their bed. I said I had the same impression so we short sheeted Elder and Sister Hough’s bed. The next morning I asked elder Hough how his water heater was and he said it worked good. I then asked him how he slept and he said good. I later found out Elder Hough is very particular about his sheets and he blamed his wife for not having the sheets right. He went to bed before she did. So she had no idea what happened. It was kind of let down.
The rest of the story: A couple days later on our preparation day we were to lunch with the Houghs and we got a little more of the story. I guess Elder Hough doesn’t like it when the mattress pad comes up at the bottom. So Sister Hough had bought these clips to hold it down and couldn’t find them so she had safety pinned it down. So when Elder Hough went to bed and was complaining she couldn’t figure out what he was doing to mess up the bed. So she goes in to help him. She said I didn’t know what short sheet is. I was thinking someone took a sheet but we still had two of them. I had a foot and half of the bottom sheet tucked under the mattress. I couldn’t figure out how Elder Hough managed to get that sheet all folded up short like that.” So he is blaming her and she is blaming him. It was funny!
At night we continue to study and learn all we can. I am so thankful for my loving wife and all she does for me. I hope all is well with everyone. I love you all!!!
Read on for longer version:
I am going to try and give you a little lay of the land and where we live and where we go to work every day. We live at “The 66 Ranch, Missionary Village.” It is located about 10 miles west of the Homestead. The Homestead is where the Visitor’s Center and Martin’s Cove is. The Homestead belonged to the Sun family and they originally owned over a million acres. The ranch was established in 1872 and when Tom Sun figured out the stories of the people who traveled this trail and the lives lost he decided to never have a plow touch the soil because of the sacredness of it. He tried to preserve the specialness of this place. So the Sun family raised cattle. At the Homestead 4 trails all converge here--the Oregon Trail, California Trail, Mormon Trail and the Pony Express Tail.
The church was able to buy 12,500 acres from the Sun Family in 1996. The church still runs about 3,000 head of cattle on the Homestead. They have a cowboy and an assistant who take care of the cattle end of things. The church has a god relationship with the Sun Family. Tom Sun was actually quite the frontiersman, trapper and often hired out as a hunting guide. He was good friends with Buffalo Bill Cody. How cool is that! Tom Sun actually taught Buffalo Bill the ropes.
Below is the entrance to the Homestead—Martin’s Cove
The path to the Visitor’s Center. (This was taken when we came to check it out last September)
There are some cool land marks I love to see when I come in each day. This is Devil’s Gate.
The to the left the mountain with the “v” is Split Rock. The rock you see on the right if you go on around behind it that is where you will find Martin’s Cove. It is 20 miles from Martin’s Cove to Split Rock. But you can see why Devil’s Gate and Split Rock are definite land marks to know where you are going.
Now on to the daily things we did this week.
Tuesday Elder Sigmon and I worked in the Visitor’s Center from 8-2. We worked with another couple Elder and Sister Turpin.
Sister Turpin and I talked to one couple traveling to Seattle. They were so pleasant and I really enjoyed their visit. They were not members but they love history.
We were supposed to have square dancing training at 1 and they wanted everyone to learn and practice because we are going to have to do a demonstration next week. Sister Turpin was here last summer and so she said Karl and I should go ahead and go and they would hold down the fort in the Visitor’s Center.
Before 1 p.m.Karl and I had another couple we took through together. They said they have passed by many times before on their way to California and have always said they would stop one of these times. Today was that day! They were very nice. Part way through the visit Sister Turpin wanted to know if she should take over so we could go to our square dancing practice. Both Elder Sigmon and I looked at each other and decided that we didn’t want to leave this couple and were going to stay. It is amazing how quickly you can build up a rapport with some people. After Sister Turpin left Karl joked with the husband and told him “Thanks you got me out of square dancing practice.” They both had a good laugh. We continued showing them around and toward the end we asked if they wanted to watch a movie. They were so cute they said “yes we want the whole experience.” There is a list of names of those who were in the Martin and Willie Handcart Company and the Hunt and Hodgetts Wagon Freight Companies in white and those who died in gold. On top of them is a few wood handcarts. The husband saw those and wanted to know where the gift shop was to go to after the movie. He wanted a handcart. We explained to him there wasn’t a gift shop. We weren’t in the business of making money. He was so sad. He says “I really wanted one of those to remember this place.” We have a card with a couple pictures and a quote of one of the survivors on it so I handed him that which he appreciated. Then he went in with another couple to watch the movie. While they were in there Karl and I talked to each other. There is a gentleman who makes different sizes handcarts and we as missionaries could order them from him. I knew there were some small ones in the office. Plus we had a few ourselves and so we decided that we would either pay for one of the ones in the office if they were extras or give one of ours back if there weren’t extras. So I ran to the office while they were in the movie and grabbed a little one. When they came out of the movie I handed them the handcart and a Book of Mormon and said “We have a few gifts for you.” When he saw them he actually got a little teary eyed and was very touched we had gotten them for him.” It was a nice experience.
On another note I have been put in charge of the wood medallion they give to the kids who come through the Visitor’s Center on a field trip or with a family. The funny thing is I don’t know a lot about them except you crochet a chain the length of your arm and they attach a wood medallion to it. But I have learned it has to be sanded, stamped and attached to the crocheted lanyard. We have figured out we will need about 5,000 of them for this year. My goal is to have our 5,000 done shortly so we are not having it hang over our heads for a long period of time. We’ll see how long it really takes.
Now Karl has been having his own little adventures while on work crew. He and Elder Roundy (nick named the Mechanic Twins) worked on a Pressure Tank for the well in the Wash House (laundry room for the RV people). There are two in there and they needed to take out an old one because the bladder inside had broken. Then move the 2nd one in there over to 1st place position and put the new one in the 2nd place position. The logic being the oldest one is the next one to go out and will be easier to get to when it does. They got it all done and had glued all the new fittings so they had to let the glue dry. This was when they short sheeted the Hough’s bed. After that escapade they returned to the wash house and Elder Roundy told Karl to turn the well on and let the pressure build. So he did and they are waiting. The next thing they know one of the fittings comes loose (glue wasn’t dry). I would blame it on the cold! Lol It is 1 ¼” pipe. They literally took a bath with all the water shooting out. I guess Karl was turning off the pump and luckily Elder Roundy was turning off the 220 electricity. When they opened the wash house door the water poured out. When I saw Elder Sigmon at lunch he was wet from his chest down to his ankles. I asked him why he didn’t change since they were working at the Ranch and he could have. He told me he didn’t want to make Elder Roundy feel bad because he couldn’t change because his house was at the homestead. After lunch at the Homestead Elder Sigmon found another use for a heat gun in the mechanics shop—it can dry clothes.
On our last preparation day we stopped at Papa Murphy’s again to get a pizza to take home for dinner. But as I was looking into their refrigerator I could see a pizza with what looked like marshmallows but I kept looking at the menu board and I couldn’t figure out what it was. The girl behind the counter must have noticed my confusion and she said those are our dessert pizzas. They aren’t on the menu. So she tells me there are S’mores, Cinnamon Wheel and something like Chocolate chip cookie crumble. They are $5. Then she asks me if I would like to try a sample that way I would know for the next time what they tasted like. Well who am I to turn down a sample. So I said “sure which one the S’mores or Cinnamon Wheel?” That’s when she says “either one.” So I decided on the Cinnamon Wheel. The next thing I know she gets a whole dessert pizza out of the fridge. I was expecting a small sample from one already cooked not a whole pizza so I’m still looking around for the small sample which I still don’t see. So I asked “this whole pizza?” The lady was like “yes.” Then Karl walks over having no idea what just happened and asks me if he needs to take me out of the store (meaning I keep buying things). lol It was crazy but I was so excited. I had hit the jackpot but then I’m thinking I don’t need this whole thing who can we invite to help eat it. That worked out great because the next day we find out we are having a district meeting for some training and they are going to prepare the hamburgers and if us and the Wards could bring dessert and a salad. So I told the Wards I would do the dessert. It was a hit!
The other cool thing that happened is at 6th Crossing they lease out the land there to a Rancher by the name of Tom Abernathy to run his cattle on that land over there. I guess every year at his expense he butchers a cow and has it processed. Then he gives it to the missionaries at 6th Crossing and Martin’s Cove. All of us couples ended up with about 12 pounds of hamburger and either a roast or a round steak. This is our bag of goodies! He isn’t a member of the church but I thought it was so kind of him to do that every year. It was a very nice surprise! We had hamburgers for dinner tonight and it definitely was home grown meat! YUM!
This is the turn off to our home and here is a picture of our little humble abode. They made everyone a sign to put in front of their permanent trailer or RV. It was nice because then you could figure out where everyone lived if you needed to go talk to them.
Hope everyone is doing well and we love ya!
Karl & Monica