We have now served here at the Cove for about 14 months and have had good experiences and great experiences. Many of you, especially our non-member friends, may wonder why we would be willing to give up this much time out of our lives to serve in such a out of the way place with it's extremely unpredictable weather. Besides doing our best to serve the Lord, I think this email Sister Leavitt received last week sums up the reason we are here, and in some small way makes us feel like we are able to help influence the lives these young people who come on trek. We love and miss you all.
Elder and Sister Leavitt
P.S. This weekend was our last weekend with the Bretzings -- what a great blessing it has been in our life to know and associate with them. We wish the God speed as they end their stewardship over the Farmland Reserve Missions and begin another exciting journey in their lives.
----- Original Message -----
To: Peggy Leavitt
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 8:18 AM
Subject: Things I learned on Trek...
Here is the email I sent you about "the things I learned on Trek".
I read this at our post trek fireside on sunday June 14. Everyone laughed at the 8 humorous things because they could all relate to them!
It's good to share the funny and the spiritual side of things. It's fun to laugh and pray together because it forms such tight bonds.
I'm glad you are having such good weather there. It has been beautiful here as well. The other day we had some big billowy clouds in the sky before a rainstorm. I just sat on my back porch and watched them. They were so beautiful and it reminded me of Martin's Cove.
Thanks also for forwarding my letter onto Elder & Sister Bretzing - that was nice of you. I hope they know how appreciative we all are of the efforts of all the missionaries there. It's a lot of work to bring so many people to one place and make it all work out so smoothly. We just love y'all so much!
Hope you have a great day. Thanks for being my Trek buddy and my friend at Martin's Cove. Makes me feel like I'm still there.
----- Forwarded Message -----
To: "Sister Leavitt"
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2010 10:08:54 AM GMT -07:00 US/Canada Mountain
Subject: Things I learned on Trek...
Thanks so much for sending me your home phone number. I have family that live in St. George and we do get to Las Vegas occasionally. I would love to stop by and see you some day.
Here is a list of some of the things (funny & serious) that I learned while on Trek:
1 - $2.00 rain poncho's from WalMart don't work...in Wyoming!
2 - $5.00 rain poncho's from WalMart don't work....in Wyoming!
3 - Duct tape is the 8th wonder of the world! We used it for blister control, tent repair, shoe mending, clothing repair, and on and on.
4 - I can eat with the same fork for 3 days without washing it and I won't die.
5 - There are approximately 8 tents from the Syracuse Bluff stake drifting some where on the plains of Wyoming!
6 - A ford truck can pull a 53 foot semi out of the mud!
7 - A 5 oz tent pole, blowing in the Wyoming wind, could actually be considered a weapon of mass desturction! We had one come loose from a tarp and found it impelled into the side of one of our food trailers! Can you imagine if it had hit someone in the head! We were protected...
8 - The pioneers might have been tough - but they never had to remove a lid from a 5 gallon bucket! I came home and my finger tips were so sore. I couldn't figure out why they hurt so bad. Was it putting up my tent? Was it loading the semi? Was it saving a young woman in the sweetwater river? No...it was that cotton pickin bucket lid! Ouch!
I also learned these lessons:
1 - The 6 most important words in the english language are "I Love You" and "All Is Well"
2 - I can cry when it rains....and it will still rain
3 - I can complain when it rains....and it will still rain
4 - I can worry when it rains....and it will still rain
5 - When the gong gets tough, we can stand in the rain and cry OR we can put on our boots and trek thru the mud.
6 - We can learn good things from bad weather
7 - Everybody has different opinions and different personalities and that's what makes life interesting.
8 - A smile is understood in all languages
9 - Kindness and forgiveness are better than hatred and anger
10 - I can make a plan, but the Lord might have a different plan and I should just smile and say "okay".
11 - As a Sister in Zion one of the most important things I can do is support my husband in his calling and honor his priesthood.
12 - I learned how to apologize when I did something wrong, and forgive if I had been wronged.
13 - It's important to say "Thank You" and "I Love You"
14 - Trust and obedience are better than judging and criticizing
15 - The best way to lead and to teach someone is to love them - not forcing or yelling or demanding...but loving them.
16 - The most important things in life are my family - my husband and my children - not "stuff" but people and relationships.
17 - A good attitude makes life more enjoyable
18 - The plains of Wyoming have a special place in my heart.
19 - I learned that you can put 100 young women in a barn on a cement floor to sleep and none of them complain.
20 - I learned that those same young women can wake up the next morning and have their own private testimony meeting that they will never forget. Had the storms not come, they would not have had this opportunity.
21 - I heard a father give his daughter a blessing to calm her fears and strengthen her body.
Each one of us that went on Trek together, formed a bond that will never be forgotten. On the Monday after Trek, each one of us went back to our regular routine in the regular world. We have tried to tell "others" about our Trek experience but in doing so have felt a little lost. If the "others" had not been on Trek then they simply did not understand our excitement and enthusiasm. They just don't comprehend. But we know in our hearts just what happened. Our hearts are connected now forever. Together we all witnessed the workings of our Heavenly Father. Together we all felt the spirit. Together we all helped one another survive and endure. We have our own language now - the language of Pioneer love. In our Stake, we have created what we call the "Trek Salute". Whenever we pass someone who has been on Trek, instead of stopping and talking about our experiences, which could take a while, we simply put our hands over our hearts and pat twice. This simple gesture says so much more than words could ever say. It says "I was there! I felt the spirit! I love my pioneers". It is our own language....the language of pioneer love.