Monday, May 18, 2009

May 17th, 2009 Martins Cove

Hi everyone,

Well its been another great week here in Martins Cove. The weather is warming up and for the most part the wind is calming down and the whole countryside is turning green.

Big things have been happening at the Cove. The biggest in our lives is that Sister Leavitt has been called as Relief Society President. For those of you who are not
familiar with this calling in our Church, it is the highest position a woman can hold in a Ward or in our case a Branch. She was very emotional and honored to receive the calling. This will give her stewardship over all the women (about 60) at Martins Cove and the Willie Center (another historical site about 65 miles away). She will do a great job considering her administrative background and her
love of people.

Today is Sunday and it's our Branch Conference so our Stake Presidency came down from Casper to speak to us. It was a great meeting. After our service we had a pot luck lunch and can these ladies cook!! Then we had another meeting with some
experts on the pioneer trail. This same trail on which we're located includes the Mormon Trail, The Oregon and California Trail, and the Pony Express trail. They gave
us some interesting insights into the high points of this famous trail. Its interesting to know that between 1846, and 1869 between 350,000 and 500,000 pioneers passed by this point on their way to settling the west and with some trying out their luck in the gold fields of Nevada and California. Of that number 70,000 were Mormons heading to Utah. After that the Transcontinental Railroad took its place.

Its a special feeling to know that my great-great grandmother, who lost her husband to cholera in Iowa had passed this spot with her children, and maybe even camped
nearby on their way to Utah. Her family went on to help settle Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho and even parts of Canada and eventually from that one little woman's family (the Leavitt's) has grown to be the largest single family in the LDS

Tomorrow we are going to take a bus tour with the Trail Experts, and follow parts of the actual pioneer trail. In many places the wagon ruts can still be seen. We're
excited to have this close up experience. After that we have to get back to our regular jobs. I have to get the sprinkler system up and running before the onslaught of trekkers arrives. As it is we have been getting several bus loads of
school children nearly every day.

Hi Everyone -- As usual, I don't have alot to add because Charlie does such a good job of covering all the highlights of our week. One thing he didn't talk about was
another great speaker who was here last week -- his name is Andrew Olsen and he wrote "The Price We Paid". It's an exhaustive account of the Willie and Martin Handcart companies who got stranded in October of 1856 in an early blizzard in the Wyoming Plains. Our work at Martin's Cove is to honor those pionners. But one thing
we are learning about is that there were many handcart companies who made that long journey of 1300 miles on foot w/ few causulties. In fact, one handcart company
didn't have a single death -- which was better than any wagon train.

I also have to comment on the weather -- today was 77 -- the highest temp since we've been here and no wind. Gorgeous day! One of the downsides of this is that the
rattle snakes have come out of hibernation. There have been many sightings in the last week. It is one of the dangers of living in this area, but we understand if we
leave them alone, they will leave us alone. Pretty much if you stay on the trails (and believe me, I'llbe on the trails!) you don't have any problems.

In addition to being called to be the Relief Society President, I was also asked to work in the Mission Office 2 days a week. I did some training this past week and really had alot of fun. Although I'm not great on the computer, there were lots of things I could do and I certainly and more suited to that than making a quilt :). However, one sweet woman has taken me under her wing and she is going to try and teach me how to sew. We have a date Tuesday night to start making an apron to go with my pioneer dress.

Well, we have another busy week ahead -- as Elder Leaviitt said we will have a fabulous opportuinty to travel as near as we can on the Oregon Trail w/ experts -- I know it will be a wonderful experience.

We love hearing from all of you -- thank you for your responses and encouragement. In some cases we haven't responded because when we might have the time our computer is not working. It is very tempermental and seems like we can get on it only a few minutes each day.

We send our love and prayers to you,

The Leavitts

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