Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Love Service Projects!

Short Version:

Hi all,
Doing great here in Wyoming. I saw my first snake last week it was a big bull snake that was on the side of the trail, it took off and then just turned and looked at us. Other missionaries have seen rattle snakes but I have not as of yet. Been busy with still trying to control the not so sweet Sweetwater River. We have a berm around part of the low spots and we continually have to build it up.  I have been driving a cool dump truck and a big backhoe/frontend loader but it is still tiring.  I did get the backhoe stuck and could not dig myself out. I had to go get Elder Hall to help me. He is a professional hoe operator.  He is also our acting FM (facilities maintenance) guru. Elder Crist had to leave the mission for a while he is the real FM man. This coming week Elder Hall will be gone to Rock Creek Hollow so I will be the FM person. Still continuing to fix equipment, we have two out of the three riding lawn mowers broke waiting parts. (Sister Waldmann let Sister Pace know it wasn’t her lol). Had to work on a sewage pump (not fun) to get the bathrooms to drain in one of the buildings.  Plus many other jobs.  I love working with so many great people and we do have a lot of fun….every day is a new adventure.

Serving in the visitors center is always fun. I love testifying of Jesus Christ and his love for us. I am sometimes disappointed when a member comes thru and they want the shortened version since they already believe. At the end of the visit we ask people if there is someone in their lives they could help rescue, with a hug, a kind word, a smile or a Book of Mormon etc. This often brings tears to their eyes because we all have people we love that need help. I hope we can all look around us and help rescue someone this week.  I love being here with my wife she is such a blessing to me. We are happy and enjoying the work.
Love Elder Sigmon

Read on for the longer version:
Friday, May 19th the snow and the Canadians came in. The Sweetwater river was still threatening. It was all hands on deck this morning to work on the dykes and fill sandbags. There is also some beauty to all of this weather. The welcome cabin which will greet and tell trekkers where to go looked so pretty with its icicles hanging from the roof. I couldn’t believe how long they were.
When we got to correlation meeting today the men were asked to be out there working on the dykes and bringing in truckloads of sand for sandbags and then dirt for the building up the dykes using plastic, etc. 

Then they also said that the Canadian trekkers were going to do a service project to help us and they would help fill the sandbags so some of the men were assigned to oversee that they had the bags, sand, etc to fulfill the project. As a result the women ended up not having to go outside in the weather and we were assigned to go to a first aid class for training.
Of course Karl was able to be one of the dump truck drivers. They had two dump trucks running that day. But the sweetest thing was watching all those kids working filling the sand bags. They filled 1300 sandbags in 1 1/2 hours! Yes you read that right! It was an amazing sight to see. They were all so happy and not one word of complaint. The boys and the girls were shoveling, holding open bags, tying knots in them and even loading them onto rovers so they could be taken to where we were wanting them to go. They even helped unload the rovers after they got to where they needed to be. They were sad when the sandbags were all gone and even mentioned how they loved doing service projects. It was decided if we had been left to do the work ourselves without their help it probably would have taken 5 days and probably 4 trips to the hospital. It was absolutely amazing! If the future is in their hands then we have nothing to worry about!

Here is a picture of the beautiful sight of them all working in their pioneer clothing.
On Sunday, May 21st we were at the visitor’s center so I decided to go and take a picture of the baptismal font to see how much the Sweetwater has risen since the last time I saw it when I was mowing earlier last week.  It has risen about 3” since then. While I was walking back I heard a whistle like sound and thought maybe it was one of the birds so I didn’t turn around. Then I heard it again and decided what if someone is trying to get my attention. So I turned around and sure enough someone was trying to get my attention. Marc Simpson and his family had Stake Conference for church and decided to come to Martin’s Cove for a picnic. It just happened to work out that we were there and were able to see them and take them through the visitor’s center and pull a handcart. As we left the baptismal font, Linc grabbed my hand and off we went! We also got to meet Toni’s parents, sisters and brother. It worked out perfectly with us being there and them just showing up. 
I also got a picture of Parker since I wasn’t holding her this time. She was quite comfy in her car seat. 

On Monday, May 22nd after Family Home Evening we noticed a bald eagle on a tree right by the Pavilion so of course we all had to come out and check him out. He was quite regal sitting on that branch checking things out.

Tuesday, May 23rd we went on a field trip to Rock Creek Hollow. This is where the Willie Handcart company camped after they climbed Rocky Ridge. It was one of their most disastrous days. The travel day for some wouldn’t end until sunrise the next morning. Rocky Ridge was a climb of 600 feet over a distance of about 3 miles. People were already worn down by hunger and fatigue and had to pull their heavy handcarts up that grade. In places the road was covered in deep snow and the temperature was below 0. They had to make frequent stops to rest. Stopping chilled them to the bone and they needed to keep moving. They buried 13 people in a community grave at Rock Creek Hollow. The next day they buried 2 of the people who helped dig the grave. 

We will spend a week there and greet the kids as they come in from crossing Rocky Ridge. We also let them go through and visit the community grave and contemplate the sacrifice and commitment these people had in coming to Salt Lake to be together with their families for eternity. It was very important to them at whatever the cost was. Even sacrificing their life. We will take care of the campground, help clean and wrangle the handcarts so they can be sent back to Sixth Crossing. Our turn is for a week that starts Thursday July 27-August 3. Rock Creek Hollow is about 2 hours east of where we are and so we will need to pack up clothes, food, bedding, etc to stay in a trailer they have put on site for us. We will be with a couple from Sixth Crossing while we are there so we will be two couples handling the duties.  We report at 1 p.m. to replace our Martin’s Cove couple. Then the couple from Sixth Crossing who came in Monday will train us. Then they leave the following Monday and a new couple comes in from Sixth Crossing and we train them. When the new Martin’s Cove couple comes in at the end of our week we leave at 1 p.m. Then we go home do our wash and the next day is our preparation day.

Here is a picture of one of the memorials there at Rock Creek Hollow. Not every couple will get the opportunity to serve at Rock Creek Hollow. I know it will be work because while we are there we will have a group of 800 people coming in. This is only one of the groups but I also hear it is one of the best experiences we will have while on our mission. 

I will keep you posted on how things go while we are there and yes I will try to take pictures. I am sure I will not have internet while I am there. I don’t remember if we have phone service or not. I don’t think I looked at the phone or tried it. I guess that would have been helpful to remember to do. Just one more sign of my memory slowly going. There is a grassy area with benches to sit and enjoy the moment. There is also a river nearby. 
We had car pooled with the Taylors to Rock Creek Hollow. On the way home they asked us if we saw Noah’s Ark. I’m thinking they mean the movie. But then I asked you mean here because they are talking about a road. It wasn’t the movie. It was cool their Noah’s Ark in Wyoming. And as we got close to home there was a beautiful sunset with split rock and the other mountains close by. I have added these pictures in. Can you see the elephant and the other animals as they climb up to the Ark? 
Wednesday, May 24th we had a gentleman come in who reenacted the passing of the mail as a Pony Express rider for the field trip group who were there that day. Since I was doing school groups I was able to see him come in. 
Karl and I also drove out to Rattle Snake Pass and saw some of the names carved into the rocks of some of the 500,000 people who came through on either the Oregon, Mormon, California Trail or the Pony Express. We drive on part of this road every day and it is on actual trail which is kind of cool. 
And yes since we are right there by Rattle Snake Pass there are actual rattle snakes we have to keep an eye out for. Not one of Karl’s favorite things. So far, knock on wood, we haven’t seen any ourselves personally but they have been sighted by other missionaries. We are hoping our luck will continue to hold out. We of course don’t mind seeing them at a distance. We just don’t want to have to remove or kill one of those nice little creatures. If you know what I mean.
Thursday, May 25th was a special day because we had family come from home and spend a couple days with us. Bill Carr came up and he got there just as a school group came in so I sent him with Sister Waldmann and her group of kids. This way he got the opportunity to see things you normally don’t get the opportunity to see and have explained to you.  Then we ate lunch together. After that he went off to do some things and we finished at the visitor’s center. We were done by 2 p.m. and then we were able to go up into the Cove with him. We had a great time. His timing was perfect. The calm before the storm. Next week all the treks start coming in and we will be busy with all the different tasks. 

Bill even brought me roses from my rose bush. They traveled two days in his cooler and still looked great and smelled so nice! He said he cut every one off the bush.  I told him that was just fine. Since there wasn’t any one to really enjoy them anyway. Plus it always makes the rose bush have more roses come into bloom. So it is a win, win.

Friday, May 26th Bill was still here and he went over to visit Sixth Crossing. He wanted to go for a bike ride but the weather was a little cool and sprinkling. Elder Sigmon went into Casper with Elder Hall to buy parts they needed and I stayed at the Homestead because I was on school groups. We had two coming in—one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I got home just a few minutes after Bill got back and he had been into Lander and bought some groceries to make us Chicken Alfredo for dinner. Elder Sigmon finally got home so we could eat dinner. It was quite good! We always enjoy Bill’s company and hanging out with him. We are sorry he has to leave early in the morning but I guess trying to attend a graduation is a good reason to leave. 

Saturday, May 27th was our preparation day but we actually got to do some more sightseeing. So we went to National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper, Wyoming. It was interesting and we spent quite a bit of time there. Elder Sigmon stood by a Pony Express Horse model. It was quite cool! Afterwards we went and met some of the other missionaries who also had preparation day for lunch.
Monday, May 29th we had another preparation day since we will now be switching to Mondays for the next 6 weeks. I came home to a cute little surprise in my front yard. We have these small lawns we are in charge of watering, mowing and taking care of. We even might end up with a “yard of the month” sign in our yard. I say “we” meaning someone in missionary village and most likely not us! You know how I am about trinkets and things you have to dust and take care of. Hence why I don’t have any knick knacks. But in the spirit of not being the only totally plain lawn I went to the dollar store and bought a few of those whirly things in nice patriotic colors for Memorial Day. Let me just say with the wind here one of the two lasted only one day. I picked up the missing petals in hopes of my neighbor, Elder Ward, being able to repair it. Apparently I lost a couple more of the petals than I thought so it was a lost cause and we put the sad little pinwheel back out with it’s 4-5 petals it had. The other one he took home and reinforced it with fishing line. Well from the picture you can see the one he reinforced and the little surprise for the other one which apparently lost more petals.

If you can’t read it—it says: (Mine the blue one) I’m a sad lonely survivor. (Their’s the green one from one of their original pinwheels hence why he reinforces them.) Me too. Let’s get married.  
I doubt we will ever have the sign in our yard but at least I have something there. 

Tuesday, May 30th I spent the day out at Cherry Creek Campground with Elder and Sister Schow, Sister Thunell, and Elder Smart painting the benches in one of the amphitheaters. Elder Sigmon was busy working on the dyke/berm again. Hopefully it is coming to an end as far as building up the dyke.
Hope you are all doing well. We love and miss you.

Karl and Monica

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