Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pioneer Handcart Trek Day 4; SLC...

Day 4

Once again, we were up very early by 5am... but this morning was full of a different kind of excitement... clean showers were in sight!


We got our family up and going... they were so much more delightful than our teenager is at times... it was tempting to make it a permanent trade. We had our family prayer, packed up our tents and equipment and loaded it up on the trailers.

Ate breakfast burritos, Yum! and I am not usually a fan, so this says allot.

Then after breakfast our ward had a few assignments to break down one of the cooks big tents and pack it up, and clean the latrines. Ugggg.... our Bishop had given the cleaning assignment to the young women, and I knew I would have to head that up for it to get finished.

How do you assign that out? I didn't want any of them to think they were being punished.

But it had to be done... so I rolled up my sleeves, and asked the Ma's to come with me and we would get it done together.

They were so willing, not one gripe, and I think I was the only one that squealed when I had to reach down and clean and wipe behind the boys toilet. They were so brave, but even living with a house of boys, it is my least favorite job and I still make all kinds of squeamish noises when I have to do it at home too.... YUCK!!!!


But we got it done.

Later I found out from a lady that was waiting for us to finish up to use it one last time before we headed out of camp; that after we left from cleaning, that a younger girl came over and grabbed the cleaning supplies and was starting to clean them, when she had to tell the young lady that they had already been done.

The girl shared that when they were getting dressed that there was a conversation in her tent that nobody had mentioned who was cleaning the bathrooms, and if they just didn't say anything, maybe the leaders would forget about it and they could all get out of doing it.

She said that it was bothering her so bad, that she wouldn't be able to live with herself if she left the job undone, knowing it was our assignment, so she had walked down to clean them by herself, without telling anyone or boasting that she was stepping up to do it.

Wow!! I cried when I heard of this... what a great act of integrity.

If nothing ever touched my heart the whole week, this story made up for all the work, all the sleep deprived nights, all of the long weeks of preparation worthwhile... one child got it!

One child did the right thing at a time when they didn't have to.

When nobody was looking.



We continued to help take down more and more of the cooks big tents... there was some murmering when we saw other wards still getting out of bed, with tents of their own to take down and pack up... how were they going to come fulfill their assignments to help take down the cooks tents, when they were running behind.

Some of the wards had earlier bus times to leave camp so they could be in SLC for Temple appointments that same day... so since we had a Friday Temple appointment, we stayed and kept helping until the work was more manageable for the cooks to finish loading up.


Then we grabbed our buckets and walked to the buses that could only park about 1/2 mile close to camp. It didn't even bother anyone to walk at this point. We were just happy to have a ride to SLC.

I don't even remember the bus ride being very annoying.

I must have either slept or been dreaming of our shower.

I couldn't wait!!


We arrived and the hotel room keys were distributed.

We checked to make sure all of our family had what they needed when they got off the bus to get cleaned up and meet back in the lobby in about an hour and a half.


I could have spent all night in the hotel room, but too much idle time with those kids would not have been good. So we took advantage of the time to sight see around Temple Square.


When we met in the lobby we saw these two... they really didn't look as grubby on the trail as I felt! Such a cute couple. We love our Stake Presidency!

So much work went into this trip for the youth... and the rewards will last a lifetime... I hope we can find a way to thank them for all that they did!

Our Stake had lunch for us in one of the banquet rooms of the hotel, but it seemed like we just ate on the bus making up sandwiches and chips and cereal and granola bars and fruit snacks or crackers, so we skipped that and gathered our family and headed out to see some sights... amazingly the kids always seemed happy to see their friends in short times and never complained to be separated and have to go do things with their families.

They were really really good about that, and bonded well within their families, I anticipated much more mutiny than we actually experienced.

This is Jacob and his handcart family at the Conference Center where the Mormon Tabernacle sings....

Our family LOVED the church history museum, we spent allot of time there...

This is a model and cut out of the Temple in SLC, so pretty inside and out...

I was amazed at how much time they spent reading and learning...

We had a friend of some of the kids that does not belong to our church with us in our family... he played baseball with Jacob for years so we knew him well. He was fascinated by some of the church history... it was a very sweet time to be able to teach him of some things we believe in and of our faith.

I loved the section they had in the museum on President Hinckley...
I think I might have known, but forgotten until I saw this portrait of him wearing his masonic ring... that he was a Mason.

We ate dinner back at the hotel at an assigned time for our ward (KFC and all the fixins, yummo) then our ward was going to finish the evening off at the Joseph Smith Building to watch a movie about him and his life.

We all walked over and got checked in, waited right by the door, almost 2 minutes before they seated us, our bishopric called everyone out of the waiting area into the hallway for an announcement.

My heart was racing, I felt something very wrong... then our biggest nightmare became real...

One of our youth had left his family and was walking around SLC alone.

It was close to dusk, our bishopric asked us to divide up and begin searching every street until we found him. By this time, most of the adults had their cell phones back on them since they had to call into work and check in when we reached civilization... so this made it easier to call one another and communicate.


We headed out.... we knew this young boy well, Jim had spent time with him playing guitar, they have allot in common for such a large age gap. But he had been struggling lately, he wasn't sure about his testimony, and Jim had spent many many hours praying for him.

Apparently he had been corralled just one too many hours over the past week, and didn't want to go see the movie, and tried to get out of it, but the leaders told him he couldn't stay behind alone at the hotel... so he bolted.

Jim knew he was okay in his heart, so to ease the rest of the kids in our family, we stopped on the street and had a prayer for Luke. It was getting dark, he was in a strange city, we were worried about his safety. But Jim knew he was very used to being the man in his home, he had to grow up very fast and take care of his single mom and little sister for several years. So he wasn't worried about him, he just didn't want him to be alone.

Our hearts were opened to what it felt like to have a lost sheep.

You just can't leave even one behind.

When they hurt, we all hurt.


After about 45 min., we got a call to return to the hotel, Jacob had found Luke.

He was in his family, so it was healing for them to find him. I know the adult leader (Uncle) was so torn up and upset and hurt, he was crying. His young daughter in our family began to cry and told me, it was the first time she has seen her Dad cry.

Then when she cried, the other girls in our family cried.

Then I cried.

It was touching... we all cared so much, we were so happy to have Luke back in our fold.

It was a very tender time.


So at this time, too late to regather for the movie... but too early to send these kids to bed.

And too big of a group to hang out in the hotel lobby, as we were.... so we walked across the street to a little green grass area with some cement benches in front of a building that was closed to gather.


Our priesthood leaders taught us how to enjoy green grass on our still very tired bare feet!

And we rested and had a few quiet moments... the first really all week!

While we waited for a plan B...

In the meantime, Luke came out with us and we were able to hug him and tell him how much we loved him! He appologized for causing us to worry.


Then we got a very cool surprise... some leaders that had their car with them in SLC drove and got us "Creamies"! Oh they were heavenly!
So many flavors to chose from, and they were all good (so I was told, LOL).
How did I not know about these!
I was panicing thinking it was just a Utah thing... but their website says they have them in Idaho... YAY!!!!

Then we had a fireside/devotional... we sang hymns.
Some of the youth shared some things they learned and favorite times in Wyoming.

It was a very neat time together as a ward.
It was almost like all of the events that didn't go as planned, we to help us grow closer.
To help us know of God's love for each one of us.

Afterwards, it was about 9pm and we were all ready to go to our rooms for the night.
We gathered our family for our family prayer and took the time to have them share some of their favorite times, or things they have learned over the past week.
Of course, more tears... we really grew to love our family.
Sometimes it is those unplanned moments that we are able to teach and learn the most from.
I think that is why we are asked to study the scriptures daily, pray and humble our hearts so that we can be taught. God offers us the Holy Ghost to teach us and it is through him that we learn of all truths. But we have to prepare ourselves, we need to be ready and willing to learn always. If we are humble, we are most teachable.
And so many times we are taught by others that God places around us... He helps us to learn what we should know through others.
If we follow Christs example and try to live and be like Him... then we will also be prepared when God needs to use us as an instrument in His hands to teach others around us.
And so often at times and doing things that we don't even know we may have an impact.
I shared with our family on the second night... after the long day that they had hiked over Rocky Ridge... that after the stake devotional Uncle Dayley went back to the tent and had all intentions of crashing in his bed.... he was in his PJ's and when I reminded him of family prayer, he wasn't coming out for it that night. I had to tend to some clothing needs in another family for a young woman... and I just put it in my mind to gather our family without him when I returned.
But to my surprise when I got back to our tents, our family was all gathered with their Uncle, waiting for me to return. We had prayer and all went to bed. When we were quiet in our tent that night I asked him what changed his mind about having family prayer, and he told me while I was away tending to my leadership duties... the young women in our family came to our tent calling for him... he answered and they had asked him if we were having family prayer again? He said he could not tell them no, or to wait for me... his heart, on day two, was already softened by those sweet young women and their diligence to do the things they knew were right.
I know that when we establish those patterns in our lives that help us to live righteously, and follow the commandments and try to do the things that help deepen our testimonies, and increase our faith... that it increases our abiltity to overcome and avoid temptation.
I know that by keeping those patterns of scripture reading and prayer, and having sacred grove moments in our daily lives that our minds are open to learn and grow, and we can be more effective in our work. We also have an increased ability to love one another.


Kristi M. said...

Where have you been with the Creamies. My VT companion just brought me a mixed box of three flavors when I had Brecken. She works at Walmart so I am sure that is where she got them. Boy have you been missing out. :)

Beth said...

I lead a very sheltered life.
I thought for sure one of my coupon or blogging buddies would have schooled me up about Creamies!
I am so in love ♥

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