We are so lucky to have such dear friends who keep us informed and up to date and especially for your uplifting support as we try to serve the Lord on these high plains of Wyoming.
Thanks again to cousin Laura Hauck for that impressive article in the Meridian Magazine. Isn't it great to have relatives in "high places." Although this was a flattering article we know our service does not come close to comparing other missionary service in the family. For example; Laura and her husband's service. I recall the time when they were serving a mission in Africa and were held at gunpoint by rebels. And again, we can't hold a candle to cousins Marv and Sue Leavitt who are serving their second mission to Africa. Some of their experiences have been right out of a comedy/horror novel. I don't think Sister Leavitt would survive the primitive nature of these missions. But, we bloom where we are planted, even if it requires living a millennial existence and regularly eating ourselves silly.
This has been a week of ditch digging for me. When I was a young man my dad used to warn me, that if I didn't take a more serious interest in school, that I would end up digging ditches for a living. Well, daddy knew best because that is exactly what I ended up doing for a living. Now that I am retired and serving a mission I'm still digging. This week I have been cleaning the irrigation ditch which brings water from the creek to a 12" pipe which feeds our sprinkler system and also waters the meadow located down by Devil's Gate. Since last summer I have wanted to make improvements along this ditch, but it was not possible due to the fact that during the warm weather the meadow through which it runs is like a swamp and the equipment would get stuck. During the winter the ground is frozen so there is not the problem of getting stuck, but there is a problem digging in the frozen ground. Oh well! At least when I'm finished the water will flow freely down the ditch for a number of years and during this process I'll be building up a roadway along the ditch which will allow easy access out to the diversion dam year round.
The next project on my schedule is to remove two large trees next to the pavilion out at Missionary Village. This is being done in preparation for an expansion of the pavilion. It is planned to enlarge the pavilion by about a third and add some restrooms. Those of you who were here last year know that we were pretty cramped in the pavilion at times. We are also scheduled to expand the Humanitarian Center by about 30' and add some more restrooms at that location. These restrooms will not only accommodate the Humanitarian Center but will also serve the Chapel. A much needed improvement!
Today both Sister Leavitt and I had the opportunity to teach lessons. She taught in Relief Society, and I taught Priesthood. We both used the same subject of God's Love and Law. The main point of the lessons is that our Father in Heaven loves us without equal, but His love does not supersede His laws and commandments. One of His eternal laws is that we all have our agency in this life to do as we please. But, if we willingly and knowingly break His laws we must sooner or later suffer the consequences of our actions. God's choicest blessings are clearly contingent upon obedience to God's laws and commandments and are clearly laid out in (D&C 130:20-21) which states "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated. And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." God does bless all mankind with universal blessings such as mortal life and all the opportunities and necessities to live it. (Anyone denied this opportunity because of someone else's actions will be compensated by the Lord.) Through the resurrection of our Savior we are all given the opportunity to live in the hereafter, but those choicest blessings of Exaltation (continued increase, progression and family relationships ) are reserved for those who choose to keep His Commandments.
We love you all and pray for your welfare, Elder Leavitt
Hi Everyone -- seems like last week we were excited about the snow and this week the sun has come out. It was probably in the 40's today - it really felt warm. The snow is melting and it was a gorgeous day.
For Family Home Evening this week. we all shared how we have grown and have been changed by this Missionary experience. As well as we all know each other, we learned something new about one another. I think what impressed me the most was that we universally felt insecure and inadequate in some way when we initially arrived -- overwhelmed at what we had to learn and by the assignments that we were given. However, we all got out of our comfort zones and learned new skills, worked hard, and in turn, have been blessed immensely.
We continue to work hard in the office to be prepared for the new missionaries who will be here soon. We are using reams of paper as we make copies for new script books, manuals, and trek information. I've learned a couple of new skills in the office -- how to make spiral notebooks and how to make a chart or graph on the computer. I know for most of you, this is elementary, but for me, it was a big step -- yea for me !! :) I also had the joy of talking to a couple of friends from home who have been assigned to work on the Henderson Stake trek in 2011 -- I visited with Donlee Simkins and Brenda Larson who are already busy making arrangements for a trek that will be over a year from now. We also learned that our former Bishop, Earl Leavitt will be a Trek Leader for the same trek. We were thrilled to learn that and know he will do an outstanding job.
I enjoyed another hour plus conversation with my sister, Kathy this week -- again, we talked until the battery on the phone went dead. We were planning what we'll be doing next summer. We're excited that Kathy will be coming to Martin's Cove -- we also will visit Pinedale along with my other sister, Elsie so lots of fun things in the works.
We've enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics this past week -- I know our Canadian friends are excited about the result of the hockey game.:)
You will not hear from us this next weekend -- we are going to Denver to see my sister, Helen, and brother, John and to also attend the Denver Temple. We're looking forward to the excursion and will return with stories to tell you.
My thanks, too, to Laura Hauck for the article in the Meridian Magazine. I don't think I've met Laura (maybe at a family reunion years ago), but I'm looking forward to meeting her and hearing about her Missionary experiences. We have had so many positive responses from the article so more and more people are learning about this amazing and spiritual site where we work.
A shout out to our friend, Bonnie Wilson, who will be celebrating her birthday on Wednesday. We love you and have a great one !
Our love and prayers to you all,
Sister Leavitt aka Peggy
P.S. I have attached a picture that I took along the road to Casper on our day off -- as Elder Leavitt said last week, snow can be beautiful.
Well , finally we got our blizzard, and I'm not talking about the kind you get at Dairy Queen. This week we were blessed with more than a foot or so of snow. It was mostly a fine dry snow but it kept coming most of the week. With the wind blowing all week it made for some pretty significant drifts. I was keeping most of it off the roads with the Motor Grader, that was until I ran the blade into one of the tires and ruined it. Because of a defect in the blade rotor motor control, (which turns the blade around to get different angles so you can push the snow to the side) the blade did not stop when I released the control lever and I didn't notice the blade was still turning until it was too late. Consequently the blade put a 10 inch gash in one of the tires and the only fix is to buy a new tire. I must hold the record for the most flat tires in Martin's Cove history. Maybe it's because I drive the equipment more than anyone else, or maybe it's because I'm a little over-confident as an operator! Whatever the reason I'm not proud of the record.
This week I also had to take the backhoe over to the Willie Center (65 miles) during the blizzard to repair a broken waterline -- they had been without water for about 24 hours. Luckily it was an easy fix and I was back home by lunch. Yesterday I was on the backhoe all day trying to keep the roads open, and even with this effort we still had about 6 inches on the road when we got up this morning. Not being from snow country I am amazed at how beautiful the snow is when it covers everything. When the sun comes out and shines on it, it looks like trillions of sparkling diamonds. The amount of sparkles that you see may be even more impressive in numbers than our national debt, but I doubt it. Maybe you can tell that at night I usually watch the national news, that was until it became so depressing that Sister Leavitt and I have chosen to watch re-runs of NCIS. (Naval Criminal Investigation Service) It's pretty bad when watching a crime flick can be more uplifting than observing our national state of affairs.
Fortunately the Lord is still in charge and He will have the final say in what takes place in this country and on this earth. Hopefully we will all be on the right side of history when He sends His angels to separate the wheat from the tares, and then burn the tares. (Matthew 13: 24-30) This parable is even more understandable in modern revelation (Doctrine & Covenants 86:1-7) Well what do you think, is the field is getting pretty ripe?
We want you all to know that we love you and miss you, especially our dear children and most beautiful grandchildren. (yes we are prejudice) We feel so blessed to have them in our lives. We miss, but want to congratulate our very good friends and golfing buddies, Al and Jo on their new golf course mansion in Oregon, we're looking forward to visiting you up there next fall. (Al -- I need lot's of golf strokes) We are looking forward to the return of those dear friends,who as missionaries, will be coming back to the Mormon Handcart Historical Sites this spring, and we will also miss those good friends who are not returning. We are anxious to meet the new missionaries who will serve here this next year, some of which are our dear friends from home. We also want to thank all of our brothers, sisters, relatives and their families for all your love and support. All of you make life worthwhile and help to make serving here an honor. Everyone we know has, in some way, helped to give our lives purpose!
Love Elder Leavitt
Hi Everyone -- Hooray for snow -- I never thought I would be saying that. However, we haven't had much snow this winter and so we've enjoyed the last few days. I told Elder Leavitt that I don't know if the amount of snow we've received would constitute a "blizzard" as the roads weren't closed that I know of, but it's his story and he's sticking to it :)
Spent most of my week in the office and we're still booking treks -- what amazes me is that we still have folks who are wanting to book treks for 2010. That's a little late in the game, if you ask me. There is so much planning to do, but hopefully by attending our Trek Seminar they'll get the necessary information to get everything organized by the summer. We also have been very busy preparing for the returning missionaries and the new missionaries.
One morning I was assigned to the Visitor's Center and I had 14 members of one family visit. They had been in Casper for dog sled races. This family raised Siberian Huskies -- in Kansas! -- and wanted to check out some of the historical sites before heading home. We had a wonderful visit and eventho they were not of our faith, they appreciated all they learned about the handcart pioneers.
I'm attaching a photo of all the Sister serving here at Martin's Cove as Polar Bears. One night when we were working in the Humanitarian Center, I realized the fabric in the quilt was of Polar Bears, so I insisted we all get together the following day to have our picture taken with the polar bear quilt -- so here it is. You also might notice that Sister Stastny and I have on the same vest -- as I've told you before, that's not an uncommon occurrence here as we all shop at the same store :)
We had a lovely Sabbath today -- we had a High Councilman from Casper bring his son and his fiancée -- both of whom are returned Missionaries. The young man served in Toronto and the young woman served in Budapest, Hungary. How inspiring were there remarks !
Also, Elder & Sister Hardy's daughter and her children were visiting and the Hardy's daughter played a beautiful piano solo -- it literally brought tears to my eyes. The Hardy's also have a granddaughter named "Izzy", who from her profile reminded us of our granddaughter, so Elder Leavitt and I got so homesick for our little Izzy and all our other grandkids. We can't wait to see them again.
That sums up another week here at Martin's Cove. The time is flying by and before you know it we'll be swamped with trekkers. In the meantime we're enjoying the beautiful snow (see attached picture of the fort) and the blessings of being here.
I have lived, loved, lost and loved again. Life is not easy, but it is what it is.
Cowboy rules for Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Idaho and the rest of the Wild West are as follows:
1. Pull your pants up.. You look like an idiot.
2. Turn your cap right, your head ain't crooked. 3. Let's get this straight: it's called a 'gravel road'. I drive a pickup truck because I want to. No matter how slow you drive, you're gonna get dust on your Lexus. Drive it or get out of the way. 4. They are cattle. That's why they smell like cattle. They smell like money to us. Get over it. Don't like it? I-10 & I-40 go east and west, I-17 & I-15 go north and south. Pick one and go. 5. So you have a $60,000 car. We're impressed. We have $250,000 Combines that are driven only 3 weeks a year. 6. Every person in the Wild West waves. It's called being friendly. Try to understand the concept. 7. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of geese/pheasants/ducks/doves are comin' in during a hunt, we WILL shoot it outta your hand. You better hope you don't have it up to your ear at the time. 8. Yeah.. We eat trout, salmon, deer and elk. You really want sushi and caviar? It's available at the corner bait shop. 9. The 'Opener' refers to the first day of deer season. It's a religious holiday held the closest Saturday to the first of November. 10. We open doors for women. That's applied to all women, regardless of age. 11. No, there's no 'vegetarian special' on the menu. Order steak, or you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off the 2 pounds of ham and turkey. 12. When we fill out a table, there are three main dishes: meats, vegetables, and breads. We use three spices: salt, pepper, and ketchup! Oh, yeah ... We don't care what you folks in Cincinnati call that stuff you eat ... IT AIN'T REAL CHILI!! 13. You bring 'Coke' into my house, it better be brown, wet and served over ice. You bring 'Mary Jane' into my house, she better be cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck, and have long hair. 14. College and High School Football is as important here as the Giants, Yankees, Mets, Lakers and Knicks, and a dang site more fun to watch. 15. Yeah, we have golf courses. But don't hit the water hazards - it spooks the fish. 16. Turn down that blasted car stereo! That thumpity-thump ain't music, anyway. We don't want to hear it anymore than we want to see your boxers! Refer back to #1!