Sunday, March 28, 2010
MARTINS COVE 3/28/10
Hello again family and friends,
This week I have been sent to help the Willie Center missionaries. The Willie Center, also known as Sixth Crossing, (the location the pioneers crossed the Sweetwater for the sixth time) is located about 65 miles west of Martin's Cove and also located on the Sweetwater River. This is the spot where the Willie Handcart Company was also caught in the big storm of October, 1856. And they, like the Martin Company suffered greatly due to starvation and cold. I was asked to bring the backhoe over and dig up some broken waterlines. It seems that several of the hydrants used for supplying water to the missionary RV spots were leaking water down at the bottom. The Willie winter missionaries wanted to get them fixed before the summer missionary's began to arrive. One of the messy problems I encountered was that the hydrants extended down into the ground about 7 feet, but we hit a lot of ground water about 6 feet. Consequently, after digging through the frozen ground to get to the breaks, I had to keep bailing water with the backhoe bucket to allow us to fix the breaks. Each time I bailed enough water to get it about a foot or so below the break we only had about ten minutes to try to make the repairs before I had to start bailing again. Kind of reminded me of riding in a leaky row boat, bail or drown. Some of the problems we encountered were due somewhat to inferior installation skills used during the initial installation. These are some of the problems you encounter when you have old people (like me) from all walks of life serving as your primary work force. But, in spite of our limitations we seem to get the jobs done, though sometimes twice. Although it was a cold, muddy job, we were successful in fixing the ones we found leaking. When the weather warms up, and other lines have a chance to thaw, maybe we can have some more fun! When I returned to Martin's Cove I continued working on the Humanitarian Center expansion.
Today in church we had a beautiful little family from Casper talk to us. They included the father who is on the Casper Stake High Council, his wife who is their ward's Young Women's President and a descendant of handcart pioneers, and four of their five daughters, the oldest being about 10. The only one who didn't give a talk was the baby. It was a special and spiritual meeting and the little girls were as sharp and cute as they could be. The two oldest girls gave their talks entirely on their own and kept us spell bound.
Well, this week we head home for a few days and we can't wait to see our family and while we're there give Uncle Sam his due in taxes. When we get back to the Cove the summer missionaries should start arriving and so things should start buzzing around here. It will sure be great to see all those with whom we served last year.
We love our family, our friends, and our Lord and consider it an honor and privilege to serve Him in this unique little part of the world. May the Lord bless you all! You're in our prayers!
Hi Everyone --
Today concludes a very busy week. Those of us who work in the office finished putting all the material together for the new and returning Missionaries in the "red book" and also completed all the script books (script books contain all the stories that we tell our visitors about the Martin and Willie Handcart Companies). Huge job and I'm glad it's done. We have a few housekeeping types of things left to do to be completely ready, but we're feeling like we've got the bulk of the preparation work done.
Today was the last time the Polar Bears had our Sunday services and pot-luck with just the Polar Bears. Missionaries will start returning this week and the 2nd year Missionaries will all be here by April 7th. As excited as we are to see our friends, we were feeling sentimental today that the winter is over for us. None of us can believe it passed so quickly and we all agree that it was one of the best experiences of our lives.
We celebrated Sister Freeman's birthday on Wednesday by having a surprise birthday party -- and I must say she was totally surprised !! (See attached picture) We decided on having a breakfast as that is the only time we could get us all together. We decorated the Gathering Room and it looked so festive. As usual we had a delicious meal and laughed and laughed and had a great time. We appreciated an opportunity to do something special for Sister Freeman as she had done so many thoughtful and special acts of service for all of us that is was wonderful to be able to do something for her.
While I was booking treks this week I had an interesting conversation with a man whose in-laws were Missionaries here when Martin's Cove Site was opened and dedicated. He talked of being in the presence of President Hinckley when we stated that in the future thousands of people would be coming to this site and that it would have a transformative power over the lives of our youth. We have certainly seen that statement come to fruition with the thousands of kids we have seen just since we have been here.
Well, I can't conclude without mentioning the weather -- on Tuesday we woke up to the most snow we have seen since we've been here. We were so excited we ran out of prayer meeting and started taking pictures. See attached picture of Charlie attempting to get the snow off of his truck. Of course, because it was a Spring storm, most of the snow is gone today -- and the WIND has begun. I feel like I did when we arrived last Spring when the wind was howling day in and day out. I bet the wind was blowing 40 miles an hour today. Thank heavens I have the "Charlie Leavitt Special" haircut and as the wind doesn't bother it too much. :)
I've started the process of packing up my winter clothes to take home and trying to decide what to keep. I don't want to make the mistake I did last year when I didn't have warm enough clothes for the Spring and I felt like I was freezing most of the time.
Happy Birthday to two special "girls" -- our daughter-in-law Leanna's birthday was yesterday and our granddaughter Olivia's today. Our love and best wishes for a great birthday to both of you.
Because we will be home next week, you won't hear from us for 2 weeks. Until then.....
Our love and prayers to all of you.