Sunday, December 6, 2009


Happy Winter to all our family and friends,

This has been a very invigorating week, with the temps not getting much over Zero, especially with the wind chill factor, in fact today the wind chill was about -20. But the work goes on! I have been grading for a new campground at Cherry Creek to add to the two existing at this location, not counting the one we added at Jackson Campground last summer. It seems we just can't get enough space for all the trekkers. Next year we have already scheduled 10,000 more trekkers than this year and still counting. Adding additional campgrounds requires a lot of work, including restrooms and water wells, not to mention fencing and parking areas.

Because of my experience with the sprinkling system last spring here at Martin's Cove ( I've become the sprinkler guru) the Director wants me to be in charge of putting in a system next spring at the Willie Center ( about 65 miles to the west of us ). For those of you who are not familiar with the two ill-fated handcart companies caught in the early winter storm of 1856, the Martin Company was stranded here at Martin's Cove and the Willie Company was stranded at the sixth crossing of the Sweetwater River 65 miles to the west. Eight of the ten Mormon Handcart Companies that came west to Utah traveled with few out of the ordinary challenges. In fact, because they were walking and pulling handcarts they stayed healthier and generally traveled faster than the wagons.

Even though we are having a great experience, we really miss our association with our family and friends, especially our beautiful grandchildren. I even miss my golfing and lunch buddies. Golf has been somewhat difficult here, by the time the ball stops rolling it is about a foot in diameter, and you have to travel 65 miles to go out to lunch. But, other than that this has been a walk in the park, that is, if you dress like an Eskimo.

Yesterday and today we were supposed to travel to Casper for Stake Conference -- this is where all the Wards in our area, (a Ward is a church unit of about 4 or 5 hundred members) get together for a Sunday meeting to hear from our Stake leaders and receive spiritual nourishment. But due to the snow and icy roads we chose to have our Sunday meeting here at the Cove. Our speakers were the Boltons who are a couple serving as ranch missionaries and work with the cattle ranch. Sister Bolton is a retired College Professor and Brother Bolton is a retired Social Worker. Brother Bolton and Sister Leavitt are able to share a lot of war stories. The Boltons both gave great talks (especially considering they had only a few hour to prepare) Sister Bolton talked about never giving up on life's challenges, and Brother Bolton talked on the importance of forgiveness, especially forgiving others and following the Lord's commandment to not judge one another and forgive everyone.

I received a nice call from my brother Lynn this week. It seems he has finally decided to retire from parking cars at age 83. I don't know what his problem is, I think he still has few good work years in him. The truth is he was forced to retire! I really love this brother who along with the Savior carried me figuratively on his back through most of my early years. May the Lord bless him with a long healthy retirement. I know that his 5 sons are always there for him. Well, were going to try to call the grandkids, so I'll sign off.

Love you all, Elder Leavitt

Hi everyone-- the message this week is probably the weather -- I promised some of my friends that I wouldn't complain about the weather, and I'm not, but it has been an interesting phenomenon to watch this storm we have been having. Eventho is snows like crazy, the wind blows so hard, that the snow doesn't really accumulate. I was up and down last night peeking out the window as I thought the snow would be getting deeper, but it really didn't. However, the snow drifts due to the high winds, so against buildings and snow fences, which you see all over Wyoming, you do see deeper snow. I now understand the phrase that it snows horizontally in Wyoming ! :)

For those of you who know Elder and Sister Bolton, I have to say that their talks were a spiritual feast this morning -- so inspired and powerful. I wish you all could've heard their remarks. For those of you who don't know the Bolton's, Charlie didn't mention that Sister Bolton is about 90% deaf, but it certainly doesn't hinder her in communication. She is a brilliant woman. Between their biological children and their adopted children, they have 15 kids -- sounds like my friend Audrey :)

We have a busy week ahead -- the weather is supposed to continue to be stormy and we have 65 Missionaries who are planning to come here for a Zone Conference to trek to the Cove. I can't imagine they will do it as cold as it is, but our Director said the as of Saturday when he talked to the Mission President, they were still planning on coming. We'll let you know next week what happens.

With all the singing of Christmas carols and everything that goes along with this holiday season, it makes us miss all of you and the traditional events we celebrated as a family and as friends . However, we feel so blessed to be here and are having the time of our lives. It seems strange to us now that we ever dragged our feet about staying the winter -- we would have missed out on this great experience and adventure.

Love to you all,

Sister Leavitt (Peggy)

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