Monday, November 30, 2009

Martin's Cove 11-29-2009

Hello again everyone,

Another week of playing with the big-boy toys. This week began with rehabbing some of the trekker trails. Some of the trails ran through areas that after a rain or during the spring run off became very swampy. Although some of the leaders thought that hiking through these swampy areas might give the trekkers a more realistic experience, I disagreed. My argument against this idea was three fold. 1. The trekkers are very creative young people -- if the trail was full of mud and water, they would just walk around those areas and create new trails, which was evident. 2. It really was not a true pioneer experience because the pioneers would have avoided the swampy areas also, if at all possible. 3. And lastly, because we are in an area prone to rattlesnakes, and snakes are easy to see on the trails it is much better to keep the trekkers on the trails and not in the weeds and bushes where the snakes cannot be easily seen in advance. I was given permission to fill in the swampy areas. The bottom line is that the trekkers get plenty of realistic pioneer experiences with the normal everyday Wyoming weather.

The latter part of this week I have been kept busy removing all the pea gravel around the Visitors Center and replacing it with 3/4 inch rock. The leaders feel that this rock will stay in place better. I have no argument.

On Thanksgiving day we had a rewarding experience going the Salvation Army and helping to feed the homeless. The SA does such a great job assisting the less fortunate in our communities.

I found out today that a missionary couple serving here (Sudweeks) knew Eloise Leavitt from St. George, I told them that she was like a second mother to me, and that her sons were more like brothers than nephews. She was a remarkable woman and a great mother, and we all miss her.

Brothers and sisters, family and friends I know that the Lord lives and we are privileged to feel His presence in our lives everyday. May He bless you in whatever your righteous desires may be and may He bless all of those whom you care about, especially the sick and afflicted is our daily prayer.

Elder Leavitt

Hi everyone -- our computer has not been working for several days, so it's nice to be back online.

What a great week -- met a woman in Sam's Town who came over to talk to me because she saw my badge. It turns out that she is a convert to the Church and lives at a neighboring ranch. However, she had been in this area for only about a year but hadn't been to Church -- so I invited her to come to Church w/ us at Martin's Cove. She and her husband showed up on Sunday and we had a great time. They actually raise sheep instead of cattle, but that's OK by me. It was very interesting talking to her husband as he is a native of Casper and knew the history of this area. He was also a classmate of Dick Cheney -- I hope no one holds that against him! He is not a member of the Church but said that he is interested in investigating it. So, they plan on coming to Church with us eventho they have to drive almost 100 miles to get here!

We have had a lot of visitors this week as people were traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. I worked in the Visitor's Center for 3 days and met so many wonderful people from all over the country. I didn't work in the Visitor's Center much last summer, as I was usually in the office, so I have really appreciated the opportunity to meet our visitors and tell them the story of the handcart pioneers. Had a funny experience w/ a couple today who had identical twin 2 year olds, also dressed identically :) It took me a minute to figure that out as they were running in and out -- I thought for a minute I was in the "Twilight Zone" :)

Thanksgiving was a very special day. Besides the Missionaries, there were many other volunteers not only from the Salvation Army, but other service organizations as well. We all worked well together and enjoyed meeting some new friends. We later all went to the movie "Blind Side" which was great -- I can recommend it to you. (I need to mention that we Missionaries fixed our own Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday -- it was almost as good as what we had at the Salvation Army !)

The weather has been so nice that I have begun to wonder if I'll ever see snow. However, the weather report says that the cold weather is on the way. Apparently the high's this week will only be in the teen's. Snow is also predicted, so maybe we'll have a white Christmas after all.

Tonight was such a beautiful sight -- we had a gorgeous sunset -- a full moon coming up over Devil's Gate, and the Visitor's Center was all lit up with Christmas lights. The Missionaries have been working so hard and the Homestead area is spectacular -- lights everywhere.

Well, so long from "the high plains of Wyoming".

Our love to you all,


Sunday, November 29, 2009


(As usual click to enlarge each page of the letter)

Monday, November 23, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving everyone,

Another great week of serving at the Cove. For me it has been a week of hauling gravel and grading trails and roads. Its so great to be able to work with trucks and tractors! The ground is still not frozen so I am able to get a lot done. A cold wind has been blowing so we still have to dress warm, but it is certainly not unbearable. In fact, so far my asthma is actually doing better up here. Maybe we will have to consider spending all our winters in Wyoming, NOT! But we do love serving here at this sacred historical site.

I failed to thank some of the people who made our stay at home so enjoyable, and also, on our trip back. Alice Bridges for a great visit. Alice is always so positive and uplifting! Al Muncy and Jo Clow who share their time and friendship with golf and meals and looking after our business concerns. You guys are great! Adrienne Cox who is such a loyal and special friend. Never lose that positive attitude! Ross and Susan Johnson for taking time out of their busy missionary schedule to help us have a great time in Ohio. They are true friends! Lavar Short for providing me with a great down coat. I don't have his email, so would someone please pass my appreciation on to him! Audrey Rosenstein for being a good and generous friend and is in the running to be the World's best Mother. After raising her family has adopted six beautiful children. You're amazing! Roy and Bonnie Wilson for being our friends through thick and thin and always opening their home to us. Your friendship has no limits and we love your family too! Lorin and Dianne Leavitt who have opened their home to us and shown such amazing hospitality. Lorin is my nephew, but growing up he was more like a brother to me. And Dianne is the most positive and upbeat person I have ever met, besides giving World Class Hugs! Lanita (Pete) Brown for sharing our emails with our extended family. You're such a great asset to the Leavitt family! Maria Heaton for the great meal and the opportunity to speak to her seminary class. And thanks to my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews for holding a get together while we were at home. Its so much fun seeing all of you, even though we got there late and missed some. (that was the day of my hospital episode) Keep getting together, its so important, that goes for the Leavitt Reunion also.

While at home I had the chance to visit a couple of times with my sister Irene who is confined to the Henderson Rehabilitation Center. Although she is down to about 80 some lbs and confined to bed, she is still very alert and coherent. I love this little sister dearly and she is always in our prayers. I would like to thank her husband Bob for being such a Christ-like example in his devotion to her. I would also like to encourage the family to take the time to visit her. I know she would really enjoy seeing you. The days can be very long when your confined. (Read Matthew 25: 34-40)

In the last couple of emails I know I've probably missed thanking some of you, but that certainly doesn't diminish our love and appreciation for you. We have the greatest friends and family in the world!

To our children and grandchildren, thank you for making our life so complete. We would ask you to love one another and put your trust in the Lord. Our love for you is great, but nothing in comparison to how much your Lord and Savior loves and can do for each of you.

Love Elder Leavitt

Hi Everyone --

I can hardly believe that it's Thanksgiving this week. This will be the first time we haven't been with family at Thanksgiving probably since we were married so, it will be very different experience. We will be serving the homeless at the Salvation Army on Thanksgiving Day along with the other Missionaries so we're all looking forward to that. We will have the "traditional" Thanksgiving meal the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Not much to report this week --- our routine remains the same -- Charlie working on the trails and me working in the office. We stay busy so the time flies. One bright spot in this week was seeing Elder and Sister Johansen -- Missionaries with whom we served during the summer. They came by for a visit and left us a couple of turkeys and a ham. We plan to have the turkeys for our Thanksgiving celebration. It was wonderful seeing them -- we had a impromptu dinner and Sister Stastny fixed a delicious meatloaf and we all had a great time.

As Charlie as mentioned before, we have so many deer who "hang out" right close to our apartment and the Visitor's Center. There is one little deer - whose ear was damaged and there is a notch in it so the Missionaries have named her "Notch". She has become so tame that one of our Missionaries can feed her by hand.

I also send by best wishes to each of you and pray that you will all have a blessed Thanksgiving. Our family has certainly been blessed this year and we have so much we are thankful for, including our association and friendship with each of you.

Know we love you and will be thinking of you this week,


Sunday, November 22, 2009


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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

MARTINS COVE 11-15-2009

Greetings Family and Friends,

Well, after a six week hiatus the polar bears are back in Wyoming. We had a wonderful time at home visiting with our children and grandchildren and many friends. We had a few uncomfortable moments at home, like the night I drove myself to the hospital thinking I was having a heart attack, (Sister Leavitt was out doing the town with friends). It's bad enough thinking you're having a heart attack, but then to have the doctor chew you out for not calling 911 is too much !. As it turned out after a battery of tests and a night in the hospital, it turned out to be an esophageal spasm or what doctors refer to as a imitation heart attack. The good news is that my heart is in perfect condition and all I have to do is take is a pill for an irritated stomach. Sister Leavitt also had a little concern over a questionable mammogram, but it was okay also. It did hold us up another week waiting for the test results. Knowing she is okay is worth any wait.
We expected to come back to Wyoming in snowy, sub-zero conditions but no such luck. The roads were clear and the temperature was in the 60's. But, that didn't last for long, today we woke up to 10 degrees with frost on the ground. Fortunately, with a little help from our friends we had the right clothing and so we're all warm and fuzzy. Another amazing sight is that there are deer everywhere! They are all around us in herds. I remember when I used to go deer hunting I used to hike all over the mountains looking for a decent buck, while here all you have to do is walk out the door and several nice four point bucks are standing there looking at you. For some reason they are aware that missionaries won't shoot at them. A few year ago the sight of these beauties would have made my trigger finger itch like crazy, but now I just enjoy photographing them. The young ones even like to come up and pose for a photo shoot. Its mating season so the other day I watched two big bucks duke it out. I don't know what the big deal is, there seems to be plenty of females to go around.
We have picked up right where we left off, Sister Leavitt working in the office and I'm out fixing roads and trails. I'm trying to get as many trails as possible groomed before the ground freezes solid.
Today (Sunday) we had a Stake High Counselor and his wife speak in church. He is an attorney and she is a housewife with 3 children. They both gave great talks, hers on obedience and his on honoring the priesthood. Their young son (about 8)also played a musical number on the violin. ( I am a child of God ) accompanied by his mother on the piano, it was a tear jerker. I was also assigned to teach Priesthood and Sister Leavitt was assigned to teach Relief Society. Because there are so few of us teaching and speaking opportunities come along quite regularly.
After church we continued our weight gaining program with our great pot-luck dinner. After dinner Sister Leavitt and I had the opportunity to give a great little family from Provo a tour of the visitors center. The were returning home from Casper where they attended the unexpected baptism of his 74 year old father whom they weren't aware was even investigating the Church. He just phoned out of the blue and invited them to come to his baptism. The father of this little family is a convert also and is now the head tennis coach at BYU. I have rarely seen such well mannered children. After the tour they each came up unprompted and shook our hands and thanked us. The youngest one even gave me an (unsolicited) big hug. This job is great!
But we do miss all our Martin's Cove friends and neighbors from last summer, many of whom (thankfully) will be coming back next year, it will be great to see them when they return. We also miss our family and friends we left behind, which is the hardest part of serving. Especially our beautiful little grandchildren. Well, its time to hit the recliner for a Sunday evening nap so I'll turn the rest of the email over to Sister Leavitt.

Love, Elder Leavitt

Hi everyone -- As Elder Leavitt said, it doesn't take much time to get back into the swing of things. The hardest thing for me has been all the moving. It seems like the item I need the most at a particular time is still at home or in the motor home. And, I'm sure I'll end up finding that a lot of the stuff I have brought, I could've left at home. The other day I went to use my mix master and couldn't find the blades -- I couldn't believe that I would have packed my mix master and forgot the blades. I was talking about it at lunch and one of the other ladies said, "I might have them as I found an extra pair at my apartment when I was unpacking". She and her husband had stayed in our apartment while we were at home so she mistakenly picked mine up. Then, she said, have you seen my rolling pin? And my response was that I was wondering where that came from as I never use a rolling pin! So that little conversation pretty much sums up my discombobulated life right now.

I have been very busy in the office booking treks -- no rest for me. With so few of us here, we are teaching or giving talks almost every Sunday. Another interesting thing is that everyone takes turns leading the music -- even those who know little about music.

We loved our time at home -- we had so much fun seeing everyone and I think we did get to see or visit everyone we hoped to see -- even our dear friend , Ernie, who happened to fly in from NYC just a day or so before we left. We also enjoyed a short trip to Ohio where we visited with our buddies, Ross and Susan Johnson, who are serving a Mission in Cleveland and just loving it. The fall colors were absolutely gorgeous. We also enjoyed a couple of trips to Amish Country. We were able to golf several times as well. We were delighted that our youngest son, Kelley, was able to drive up from North Carolina and spend a few days with us. I had several get-togethers with friends and my sisters that were just great -- unfortunately one of them was when Charlie was in the Emergency Room. My cell didn't work that night so I had no idea what was going on until the next day. Anyway, thanks to all you, including our kids, who fixed wonderful meals for us and showed us such a good time while we were at home.

It was hard to leave again but we always felt that we still had one foot in Wyoming so we were also looking forward to getting back. As Charlie said, the weather hasn't been bad since we've been here but while we were gone they had 5 snow storms. We feel prepared as we have all the warm clothes,etc. that we need.

That's all for now -- we love and miss you all and hope that some of you can come visit us.

Much love,


Saturday, November 14, 2009

FROM AFRICA Nov 8-14, 2009

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Cousin, Laura Leavitt Hauck writes for a column called “Missionary Journal” for Meridian Magazine.

This is her last article. She often uses stories gleaned from family missionaries in her articles.

Article from the Meridian Magazine

This is an article written by Ric Hauck, archeologist and husband to Laura Ann Leavitt (Theron), that is published in Meridian Magazine.


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Wednesday, November 4, 2009


If you turn to page 96 in the November 2009 issue of the Ensign you will find a picture of 4 elders. The one on the far right is Elder Brett Leavitt (Ronnow, Jack). He is serving a mission in the Odgen, Utah Area and is due home in January. It looks like he is doing great.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


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