Monday, May 31, 2010
MARTINS COVE 5/30/10
Hello Family and Friends, and Happy Birthday tomorrow to my beautiful wife.
Sorry we missed a week, but we thought maybe you needed a rest from our ramblings.
Actually we have been so busy that I just couldn't muster up the energy to sit at the computer and ramble. I tried to get my sweetheart to do the email, but she said that she didn't want to change the format this late in the game. I have had a ton to do to get ready for the trekkers and try to finish up a number of projects before we became too busy to work on them. I've had to take charge of pouring a slab for the pavilion expansion. Six of us old missionaries poured nearly 19 cubic yards in one day without stopping for a break or lunch. We could have used more help, because all of us barely had the energy to get home. Only three of us had ever been involved in any concrete work and only one of us (me) to any extent. Well, we gotter done, but it was not quite up to what I considered professional standards. When I told my supervisor what I thought of the job, he just pointed out some of the other concrete on the place, and I felt a little better. We decided our work was definitely up to senior missionary standards.
Last Wednesday we hiked up to the top of Rocky Ridge again. As I have mentioned before, Rocky Ridge is the highest point on the Mormon Trail at 7300 ft. From the Sweetwater River it is a 700 ft elevation change in 2 1/2 miles. A tough pull for old folks, but a small indication of what the handcart pioneers went through as they hiked and pulled handcarts for 15 miles (27 hours) in a blizzard. Thirteen pioneers died from that ordeal.
The last few days I have been grading and grooming roads and trails in preparation for the onslaught. Yesterday we had 2 to 3 dozen young volunteers along with a number of adults from Casper who came out and helped me groom the trail from Handcart Parking up to the top of the Cove, a distance of about a mile, all up hill. They did a fantastic job and really saved me tons of work. It's so inspiring to see how the people (especially teenagers) of this area take such great pride in this Historic Site and want to do all they can to keep it functioning and well maintained.
Today we were blessed to have President Scott Lorimer of Riverton, Wyoming speak to us again. He is the person who was probably the most instrumental in the church acquiring these historical sites. He is so interesting that I could listen to him for hours and not be bored, and that's saying something for me, because I can doze off at a fireworks display.
This week our good friends the Bevans from Canada should be arriving for their 12 week service and we are very excited. We had gotten very close to them last summer as they were our next door neighbors and Elder Bevans and I worked together quite a bit.
Well, we miss our family and friends and eagerly look forward to hearing from all of you. By the way, for those of you who haven't figured it out, we don't have a clue how to use Facebook, so those of you who do, you're wasting your time trying to communicate with us on any of those fancy web-sites. We can barely use email. If they weren't endangered we would probably still be using carrier pigeons.
Your loving father, father-in-law, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend, (get the hint) Elder Leavitt
Well, other than the weather, things have been great here. We've had a couple of nice days but mostly it's been cold and windy. Thankfully, it was a beautiful day when we went over Rocky Ridge, but still colder than it was last year. I'm attaching a picture of the Boulder City contingent (the Imlay's, Emlings & Leavitt's) at the top of Rocky Ridge. One of the aspects of this trip I enjoyed the most was the drive to Rocky Ridge. This year we kind of paralleled the National Historic Trail which is the trek that the kids will take getting to Rocky Ridge. Last year we drove on a fairly well-maintained dirt road. Anyway, despite the fact that it was a little "hair-raising" in spots because of mud bogs and steep inclines, it was a thrill for me to see the actual trail and to see where the trekkers will go. I schedule that activity but have never seen the trail before. For those of you who know, I picked up about 20 blue agate rocks on Rocky Ridge so I'm hoping that some of these rock hounds around here will polish me up a rock so I can make a necklace with one of these beautiful stones.
As Elder Leavitt said, one of the highlights of our year is getting to hear President Lorimer and his wife. He is such an amazing guy but so humble about all that he has accomplished for the handcart pioneer sites. He said today that he and his wife are having all the missionaries over for dinner in the fall - they live in Riverton, Wy, so we are already anticipating that.
Well, we are anxious to see Ross and Susan Johnson who will be here in about 10 days -- can't believe it's so close as it seems we've been waiting a long time to see them. We will have a ton of trekkers while they are staying with us, so we may take them square dancing with us :) We have some other fun things planned as well -- it will be wonderful to see them.
We are really enjoying the new missionaries -- they have adapted so quickly to the routines and are falling in love w/ the pioneers, just like we all did. There are some incredible people with amazing talents.
I also forgot to mention that I was released from being the Relief Society President and called to be 1st counselor in the Primary -- I was totally shocked. Other than play the piano, I haven't done anything in Primary and usually 2nd year missionaries don't serve in Presidencies. However, I'm grateful for the experience -- today was the first day we've had Primary age kids --and it was lots of fun. We build handcarts out of crispy treats, eat home-made bread, sing songs, and play -- Primary is the place to be :) Also, I'm excited because when my grandkids come this summer, I'll get to be with them in Primary :) Yea !!
Well, that's it for this week.
With love and prayers,