Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Hello Everyone, Well we've had a long week this last week! We served as campground hosts at Jackson Campground located about about seven miles from Martin's Cove out on the prairie. Camp hosts stay at the site from about 7 am until about 9:30 pm every day while the trekkers are there. Our responsibility is to see to any needs they might have and see that they obey the rules of the camp, like where to set up and which restrooms they can use, what their schedules are, where they can park their support vehicles, etc. It was a great experience. While there, we had two separate groups from Utah. One from Lehi,and one from Cedar City. The one from Lehi had only about 55 people,but the one from Cedar City had over 300. They were extremely organized as you can imagine they must be with that many kids. Its an amazing sight to see that many young people dressed in pioneer attire strung out on the original pioneer trail for about a half mile pulling handcarts and singing pioneer songs. By the time they finish their trek they march over 30 miles. Within 30 minutes of arriving in camp they had all their tents up and began fixing their meals. It took a 48 ft semi-tractor trailer to handle the food and tents for the large group. What a beautiful, spiritual and well behaved bunch of young people. The smaller group had a special needs girl who wanted so badly to see Oscar the trek dog, but had not seen him on their trek out to the campground. Their trek leader ask about him and told us of her desire. We had to tell him that Oscar chooses the group he treks with, not the other way around and that he was probably at the other campground. We did tell him that Oscar usually gravitates toward the younger or special needs individuals. Later that evening out of nowhere came Oscar running into their camp and went right up to that special little girl. Her wishes were granted! Its uncanny how he knows where he is wanted. He had to have traveled several miles from the campground just to visit this group. Sister Leavitt will probably tell you about his photo op. While we were out there our Mission Leader Elder Freeman brought out the grader. He decided to take advantage of the fact that I was assigned there all week as he wanted about 5 acres of additional area graded to enlarge the Campground. His only directions were to make it level, remove the brush and leave the grass. Not a simple request, but my motto is GIT-R-DONE. CONGRATULATIONS TO MARV AND SUE LEAVITT ON YOUR SECOND MISSION TO AFRICA, YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING. THE WHOLE FAMILY LOVES, RESPECTS AND APPRECIATES YOU. OUR PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU! The only other thing I would like to say is that young people like wemet this week gives me hope for the future of our country.
We love and miss you all, ElderLeavitt

Well, being campground hosts was the best. The long hours had us sleep deprived but we loved it. It gave us an amazing experience getting to interact w/ the kids and their leaders. We got to eat meals with them and talk with them about their thoughts and feelings with respect to their trekking experience. What a spiritual experience. I even went out on the trail to be with the kids when theyre enacted the Woman's Pull -- if you remember, that's when the women( in this case, young women) pull their handcarts up and over a steep hill without the help of the men. This is to honor all the women who lost their husbands along the trail-- some of them even started out as single women or single mothers. Iwas so moved by the experience --and I know the girls can translate this experience into their lives. They are going to face difficult challenges, and each group of girls, and there were many, made it over the hill without help. (Help was available by their leaders ifthey requested it, but none of them did) I also have to tell an Oscar story. After he left the group that Charlie mentioned, he hooked up w/the Cedar City group and they too were thrilled to be singled out by Oscar. After we had closed downour camp and were finally heading home, we noticed that the Cedar City group was back at the Homestead, and were eating lunch before they headed home. I told Charlie I wanted to stop and get a picture. They invited us to have lunch after which the group had decided to take a group picture by the fort before they left so it was a perfect opportunity for me. It was quite a deal to get the kids and leaders all positioned for their picture, but we finally did. As I, and others, were just getting out cameras ready to take the picture, believe it or not, Oscar came out of the staging area and walked in front of the group and posed for the picture !! No one could've made that happen in a million years. Anyway, it was so fun having him there and the kids were beside themselves having him in their picture, which we willattach. I am also attaching a picture of Charlie riding in our campground cart which I nicknamed the Limo. Well, enough for this week -- the trekking season will soon be overas school will be starting so things will really slow down here,as least that's what we're told. As always, we love you all and think about and pray for you daily.
Love, Sister Leavitt

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