Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Weekend Pioneer Trek and Gardening

"Pioneer children sang as they walked, and walked, and walked, and walked." I grew up singing that song in Primary, especially in July since Pioneer Day falls on July 24th every year. This past weekend I gained a greater appreciation for the words of that song. Last weekend we had a Stake Young Women/Young Men Pioneer Trek. It was in the middle of no where. It was gorgeous though! We arrived with just enough time to set up our tents and get dinner before it got dark. Later that night we had a fireside with the Stake Presidency actually around a fire. It was really neat! The next morning we woke up early to get breakfast, pack up our "wagons", and start our trek. Apparently our wagons did not survive last year's trek so we ended up with plastic garden carts this year. Of course we didn't have to pack up everything that we brought. We were given a list of things we needed to pack. At the beginning of the trek we were divided into 8 companies. We were the Evans company. The Stake did a great job making a sort of Oregon Trail game of it. We started off with $170. We purchased what we wanted and saved the money we did not spend. We stopped at 16 sites (the Mississippi River, Winter Quarters, etc.). At each stop we opened an envelope. Each envelope contained a situation, such as a wheel breaking, finding money, etc. It was a lot of fun! We started the trek with high hopes and great attitudes. As the journey continued, these high hopes and attitudes began to decline. We ended up on the trek for 3 and a half hours. We were so excited when we saw our camp!! I cannot believe that the pioneers would walk 13 hours a day! We arrived just in time for a prepared lunch. That never happened to them. Our terrain was good ol' flat Florida. The pioneers encountered a lot of inclined land. At the fireside, the Stake President said he hoped each one of us got a blister and a few bug bites. When I got home, I had both. I cannot believe the conditions they endured for what they truly believed in. Part of the journey required us to cross water. Many of the kids jumped over the smallest part of the creek. However, we had to get our carts across too. That meant someone had to cross through the creek. I decided to do it. As you can see, the water was cloudy so I couldn't tell how deep it was. I didn't know how cold it was until I got in it. I know that it doesn't compare to the freezing water the pioneers dealt with. I thought of the story of the boys who carried everyone across the water and later died from doing so. It was so awesome to feel that close to the pioneers.
Today I finally planted my flower garden that I have been begging for. It was a lot of work. I'm impressed with myself because I did it all by myself, since Jordan was at work. I ended up with 2 large blisters, one on each hand. It gave me such a sense of accomplishment to step back and be able to say, "I did that." The Pioneer Trek was still on my mind while I was doing this. How hard would it be to plant my vegetable garden for my family, only to have to pick up and move (leaving it behind)?? Anyway, I am just grateful for all that the pioneers did so that I could have the church in my life.