Monday, April 19, 2010


Hi Family and Friends,

The 2nd year missionaries have arrived and are really working hard. We have poured about 18 yards of concrete this week, which included the slab for the Humanitarian expansion, some sidewalks, and the porch at the new missionary apartment. We have put up the new sign for Prairie Park, mowed some lawns, painted the welding shop along with general spring cleaning. The big news this week is that we had our first Trek Leaders Seminar on Friday and Saturday. We had about 112 Trek Leaders arrive on Friday morning and after registration began Their training. My assignments were to assist with the parking, a job I'm somewhat familiar with. I also had the opportunity to give the Ephraim Hanks story (in first person) to two different groups at Fort Seminoe. For those of you who don't know, Ephraim Hanks was one of the rescuers of the Martin Handcart Company and a very interesting individual who led an extremely colorful life. He was man of action and, among the many of his other escapades, had carried mail across the plains, on horse back, from Salt Lake to St. Joseph, Missouri over 50 times. This was before the Pony Express even existed! When he heard about the handcart people stranded on the plains, he rode nearly 300 miles, many of those miles through a blizzard and brought buffalo meat to the starving immigrants. He also made friends with many Indian tribes, and was honored by them at his funeral when several thousand showed up on the hills above the cemetery to pay their respects. For my performances I was able to dress in a handsome frontier costume I borrowed from Ken Simkins a good friend from Boulder City, who along with his wife Donlee also served two missions at Martin's Cove. For added effect I also borrowed an impressive 50 caliber cap and ball rifle from Elder Fenn. These props really get you in character.

It was great to meet all the Trek Leaders who came for training, which is a must for them if they are going to bring trek groups here or at the Willie Site. One of the Trek Leaders was a young lady named Rachel Muir, who we knew as a child from our first ward in Boulder City. Another was a man from Leavitt, Alberta, Canada. His name was Jamie Quinton, and as it turned out, is the cousin of Sandra Bevans, one of our last years missionaries. She and Dallas her husband live in Cardston, Alberta, Canada and were our next door neighbors, and great friends at Missionary Village last year. And we are excited that they are coming back this summer. Leavitt, Canada, which is located about 8 miles outside Cardston, was named after my great-great uncle Thomas R. Leavitt who settled that area back in the late 1800,s.

This week Sister Leavitt and I will lead the trek to Martin's Cove, and tell the stories for the next group of Trek Leaders coming in at the end of the week. We are excited for the opportunity. We are also excited that some of our children and grandchildren and family and friends may be coming to visit us this summer. When you are away from family and friends for an extended period of time it brings great joy when you get to see them. We love you all!

Elder Leavitt

Hi everyone -- it's been an exhausting but exhilarating week. We worked so hard putting on the Trek Seminar and it was very successful, thanks to everyone putting in long hours. I went on a trek and am pretty stiff and sore from the long hike. Eventho I've exercised this winter, I apparently wasn't working the right muscles. I need to do a lot of walking to be in shape this week when Elder Leavitt and I are Trek Leaders. Additionally, we have heard that it could be raining or snowing so that will add another dimension to the trek.

Another emotional element to this week is that the Freeman's (our director's) 5 year old granddaughter has a yet undiagnosed illness. She has been hospitalized since last Sunday and initially they thought she had leukemia and then e-coli. At this point they just don't know but she is doing a little better and is stabilized altho her kidney function is only at 50%. She also had to have blood transfusions earlier in the week. We Missionaries fasted and prayed for her on Wednesday and that was when she started turning the corner and doing a little better. However, please pray for an accurate diagnosis and recovery for this precious little girl named Kaylee.

We continue to experience the tender mercies of our Lord and many spiritual experiences on a daily basis. It's been wonderful having all our friends back. We are all so grateful for this amazing experience we are having here. The Trek Training was powerful and I know it will translate into the trekkers who are coming this summer will have great spiritual experiences. We have 3 more trek seminars in the next three weeks so we will be very busy. However, that's why we're here and we all love being a part of this very important work of educating members of our Church about the handcarts pioneers and what they sacrificed and using this knowledge to make it relevant to the youth of today.

Another special blessing this week was having the Bretzings here -- they are the Directors of the Farmland Reserve and are responsible for missionaries all over the United States and some Foreign Countries who work on agricultural properties for the Church. We love the Bretzings and appreciate how they enter in and help out wherever they can. We also love that Elder Bretzing will yodel with the band. Our band had our first performance this week and we were pretty rusty, but it was so much fun!! I've decided that being in the band is for the band members as we have such a good time but don't know if our audience enjoys it as much as we do :)

That's all for now -- we're looking forward to seeing Earl and Leslie Leavitt (from Boulder City ) this week who will be Trek Leaders in 2011. Dress warm, Leslie, as the weather is forecast to be cold and rainy.

I think that's all for this week -- it been a memorable week for us. We love being here and want to cherish every day we're here as our Mission will soon be over.

My love and prayers to each of you,

Sister Leavitt aka Peggy

P.S. No picture this week but I'll have some of our trek next week.

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