Saturday, July 15, 2017

It is hot here too!

Short Version:
Once again another busy couple of weeks. I think I was called on this mission to fix lawn mowers lol. The Church historical department has said they would like to reduce our 5 acres of grass mowing and put in more natural landscaping. I would vote for that.

The office keeps telling us this is our busy week and then the next week is even busier. I have learned it is a lot of busy weeks in a row for about for 2-3 more weeks.

Last Saturday we were able to go to the Temple in Fort Collins, Colorado. It is out of our mission but we have permission to go once every 4 months. We went with 3 other couples and it was a very full day but it was great. It was great to be able to attend the temple. We were waiting in the chapel and it was very crowded and full and I look back and the last sister to walk in was Sister Anderson from Manassa, Colorado. It was so neat to visit with her and again run into somebody I know on my mission.
Left to Right: Elder & Sister Honey, Elder & Sister Hough, Elder & Sister Sigmon, and Elder & Sister Waldmann.

We did have to talk in church last Sunday. I think it went fairly well. Sister Sigmon does such a great job but I’m glad it’s over. It continues to be warm weather but bearable. 

I love you all,
Elder Sigmon

Longer Version:
I know I do a lot of talking about treks but let’s face it right now it is the main focus. We got one this time of 13 people which were 2 families. We have not had one this small and we weren’t sure what to expect and didn’t have a lot of background other than one family was from South Africa. We came to find out that the 2 dads had gone to grad school together and the one from the states had introduced the other to the church and baptized him 21 years ago. They both got married and had children close in ages. They planned a church history trip together and had started in Palmyra and were working their way through staying in 2 RV’s. They were a very enjoyable group and the families got along very well. 

One of the highlights of this trek was we finally were able to start some river crossings but without handcarts. President and Sister Pace caught up with us just in time to get in the river with them. Elder Sigmon and I did not get in. It was cute. One of the younger kids started to go with an older sibling but as soon as he hit the water he started crying and decided he didn’t want to go in. Then his mom came and asked if he wanted to go with her. He decided to go. He went but did some crying as he did and about ½ way President told him “you are almost there.” He made it all the way across but it wasn’t his favorite thing to do. I asked him later if he was glad he did it. He looks at me and says “I don’t know.” It was cute. I did tell him at least he can look back on it and know he can do hard things.
 The little boy in the picture in the purple shirt is the one I talked about with his brother. This is as far as he got the first time. In the picture below you see him with his mom and he is at the point President Pace told him he was 1/2 way there and it wasn’t that much farther. He was doing a great job. It helped get him over the hurdle and to keep going. Isn’t that much like life and some of our trials? We just need to keep going.
The next trek we went on was a ward and they were about 58 people. It was a great ward with great people! Elder Turpin, the Trek Coordinator, wanted us to take our handcarts through because he wanted to see how the bearings did. The river is still a little high and goes over the hub but he wanted to see how it really affected the bearings on the carts. So since we were a small group and only had 6 carts he came out to be at the river crossing. I have a knee brace I have been wearing and didn’t want to get it wet so I asked the people in the back cart if they would mind pulling me across. They said no problem. They had already adopted me into their family even though their cart didn’t have a family flag. It was supposed to have been the coolest flag but the Ma had somehow left it at home. They were the Conquerors since the Ma and Pa’s last name was Conk. And it had scripture references pertaining to it and one girl who was quite artistic helped with it. I had to take her word for it but I was all in. When I talked with the Trek Leader about crossing and that if he would lead them across because Elder Sigmon would be walking over the bridge and not through the water and meeting us and I would be in the rear. He decided it would be better if I went in the lead cart with him and some others. My family was disappointed but I told them I would be back since I am in the rear of the trek most of the time. So it was all good. Well I put my walking stick in the cart and climbed in. There was a deeper hole in the river at the start where we went in. So we stopped and rearranged the bucket I was sitting on to move it back a little more so I could put my feet in front of me instead of sitting sideways. (I broke 2 nails in the process)  But with the deepness of the hole one of the guys said “Sister, hold onto my shoulder.” We were all a little concerned I might topple out of the cart. The water came up over the bottom of the cart and so the bottom part of my shoe and feet got wet but we made it without any incident. As I saw where we had to walk to get back on the trail I was going to tell Elder Sigmon to make sure he used his walking stick for snakes and I went to grab mine and it was gone. It apparently rose with the water in the bottom of the cart and was at just the right height to float on out the back of the cart. So Elder Sigmon gave me his and he didn’t have one. Luckily we didn’t run across any snakes as we headed back to the trail. I was sad it just floated away. If I had known I could have held on to the strap. The story of life--Live and learn.

I took this picture after we got across of the rest of the group crossing the river.
These were my handcart pullers!
Now for the small town excitement!  **WARNING: If you are not a snake fan read but don’t look at pictures! But remember Karl lived it!

As Karl mentioned we talked last Sunday. Karl likes to practice his talk by using something for his pulpit and saying it like he is giving it. So he went over to what we call “the pavilion.” It is a building where we gather for our socials and Family Home Evening. There is a stove, sink and counters, serving tables, etc there. Well when he got there another Elder was there using the oven to melt the cheese on his casserole because their RV oven is too small. So Karl didn’t get to practice but he visited with Elder H. Ward for 5 minutes and they both headed out. When they look over to the side of the building Karl sees a snake and says “What’s that?”  So they go to investigate a little closer thinking it is a bull snake and Elder H. Ward is carrying his casserole in his hands. As they get closer they see something sticking up and Karl realizes that it is rattles on a rattlesnake. He isn’t coiled up just his tail is folded about halfway by his body. So there they are and Karl is like “We can’t let it go we need to kill it. Do you know where a snake catcher is?” With a No for an answer the next questions is “Do you have your radio?” Again neither one has a radio. So Karl tells Elder H. Ward to run home with his casserole and get a radio. While Elder Sigmon is waiting and watching the snake it keeps moving towards him. He was debating whether not a snake would climb a bench. While Elder H. Ward got his radio he made a call if someone knew where the snake catcher was because they had a rattlesnake by the pavilion. Of course then all the people come out of the houses and begin to congregate. 

I was home laying on the couch resting after our long hot day. I don’t remember if we had a trek or not but our radios were off and it was quite pleasant and my eyes were closed. When all of a sudden WHOOSH as the door flies open and Karl is saying something like “there’s a rattlesnake by the pavilion and I need Elder Ward!” Then off he runs. So I go running out with bare feet to knock on Elder Ward’s door (We have two Elder Wards so hence H. Ward and just Ward. One couple came when we did and the other couple came later near May so we call the one that came with us 1st Ward and the other one 2nd Ward lol). Back to the story. Elder Ward was in the shower but I see there are a lot of people coming out to help and one had a snake catcher. So I ran back to get shoes and my phone for pictures! Elder Schow was able to catch it and they couldn’t find a shovel so they found a flat hoe and since he was on gravel they put it on a board to finish it off. It was about 4’ long and had about 8 rattles on it. 

Elder Taylor had bought a snake tanning kit and was at Rock Creek Hollow for the week so we all decided to save it for him and put it in the freezer. It is in a black bag so no one will be shocked when they open the freezer and see a black bag. By the way, now Elder Sigmon can no longer say he hasn’t seen a rattlesnake. But he did say it helped him to see how they caught it. I missed that part as I grabbed shoes and a phone. But he also did say the stick is still way too short! I do have to give props to Sister Schow for being brave enough to hold the bag they put it in. 
**DON'T LOOK -- Pictures!  Move on if too timid
For nice nature pictures one day when we were coming home the twins were just lounging on the road looking at us until we got a little too close. I did get a picture before they took off. Another day Karl and I were sitting by our house on the picnic table and a female antelope walks up and looks at us and then walks up and to our right as she passed through and then along behind her come 3 little ones who also look at us and keep following the other antelope. They weren’t 5 feet from us. Crazy! 
Karl did mention we talked on Sunday and it went good. Lately we have been having Young Women come every week to church and so we as a Presidency have been taking turns giving the lesson. It has been anywhere from 2-4 girls between the ages of 12-18. It will be my turn this upcoming Sunday if we have some Young Women. If not then it is my turn the next time they come. We tell the girls a story about one of the Young Ladies that came over either with the Martin or the Willie handcart company. Then we have the girls make a hankie doll they can take home with them. It is always an enjoyable time and we love visiting with these girls. They all have different personalities. Some are shy and some are ready to pipe in with a comment or what they have learned or what they can apply to their lives from the story we tell. But by the end of the time they all usually are more comfortable and share with us.

On Wednesday I was mowing lawns again on the riding lawn mower. President Pace came over and stopped me and wanted to know if I am always smiling when I am on the riding lawn mower. I had to laugh. There is something about the wind in your hair, the smell of fresh cut grass, and being alone with your thoughts and just enjoying being outside! 

That’s about all the excitement around here! Hope you are all well. 
Karl and Monica

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