Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Missionary letter 5/12/09

Hi Family and friends,
Well its been another great week here at Martins Cove. Although we miss our children, grandchildren and friends at home, we have been very busy taking care of our assigned responsibilities. Peggy has been busy doing gardening, planting, weeding, and everything else that is out of her comfort zone. She did get to assist with guiding a few school groups. There seem to be several bus loads everyday. Everyone who visits this special place is touched by the spirit of it. It is so much fun watching them pull handcarts and try to get the feel of what the pioneers went through. I have been kept extremely busy supervising the installation of a sprinkler system for about 3 acres of lawn, all which had to be watered by hand previously. It is a little more complicated than a normal system, due to the fact that the water source is an irrigation ditch which is fed by a stream running out of the mountains. I have to design an intake structure for the ditch so as to take the water to a pump, filter it, then feed it to the thousands of feet of lines feeding the 100+ rainbirds with a 46' radius. This area along the Sweet Water River is a nature wonderland. Every day we see all kinds of wildlife. Since we've been here I've seen lots of deer, Canadian geese, snow geese, a huge sandcrane, cottontail rabbits so tame they don't even pay attention when you walk by, hawks and eagles circling in the sky, buzzards(circling me), and antelope by the hundreds. But by far the best experience has been the people. We have made so many wonderful friends. Its hard to imagine so many friendly, honorable, dedicated, hard working people assembled in one location at the same time. Everyone goes out of their way to try to help you in any way they can. If it sounds like a Utopia, and I guess it sort of is. It's unbelievable to see so many accomplished individuals donating their time, talents, and energy to serve the Lord. There are Doctors, Accountants, Farmers, Contractors, poor folks, rich folks, even a hospital administrator, all working together to improve this special place and tell the pioneers stories. Today I was given the titles of Heavy Equipment Manager, and Trail Maintenance Supervisor. Sounds important, but basically its just more of what I have been doing for years, with the exception that I don't have to pay my help, no workmen's comp., no insurance, no unemployment, no payroll taxes, and everybody is happy to come towork.

Hi Everyone --it's now my turn. My word for this week is "work". As Charlie says, I've gotten out of my comfort zone. I"ve done lots of yard work and today I even did a little -very little- quilting. With 5 other ladies, we started, a little garden. It was an existing garden that we just kind of brought back to life. We planted some vegetables that will do well in the cool weather and when it warms up,we'll plant some more. I have to say the day working in the garden was wonderful -- we had so much fun and the weather was glorious. One thing the wind does, is make you appreciate a "normal" day when it's not blowing 90 mph (slight exaggeration !) As much as I talk about work, I have to emphasize that the benefit of all this work is that once you have contributed your labors, it makes you feel a sort of ownership of the place. I walk around and look at the grass I have edged, or get concerned that the grass might be brown, and it makes me think that I have become apart of this place. I notice and love everything about it. Another highlight of the week was hearing from the man (a former Stake President of the Riverton Stake) who was instrumental in the Church buying the ranch on which Martin's Cove sits. This man has a passion for the Mormon pioneers and played a key role in developing the idea of making this a visitors center. Believe if or not, we listened to him for 3 hours tell stories about pioneers and the role he played in making all of this happen and we could've listened to him longer. It's something I"ll never forget. Elder Leavitt has mentioned the great people with whom we get to work and play and I have to concur with all he says. In a short period of time we gotten to know almost every couple here and they are all special in their own way. One thing that amazes me is how willing every one is to pitch in and help do anything. They set a high bar for us. One example is our camp group where we are parked. People are already fixing up the little patch of ground next to their motor homes or trailers with plants, very nice signs with their names of them, placing nice-looking rocks around the edge of their little piece of grass. Our neighbor waters our grass before we can get home at night. It really is something. I've decided it's very difficult to put into words the experience we are having, but I can tell you I wouldn't trade it for anything. We are growing in the Gospel, we're making new friends, and loving life. Again, thanks for all your love and support.

Love, Elder and Sister Leavitt

No comments: