Monday, June 22, 2015

Ma and Pa Morse on Trek

 We did it!  We made it home from the Trek.  Another spiritual and another favorite week in June. It was hard, dusty, and hot but the experiences we had out-weighed all of that.  We felt closer to our ancestor pioneers and even closer to our Savior.  Obedience brings blessings surely. This experience is another rock to my foundation and something I will never forget.

Here we are at 6 AM, loading the bus to catch a ride to Wyoming and then the trail!
 This was our family for the next few days.  We made up nicknames for each other and even had a role call every morning: K-dog, K-dizzle, Hola, E squared, lil K, and P-diddy.  We were Mama Morse and Papa Horse, and yes, the cart was even called Steady Steve.  These kids were the best.  Jake and I never had to pull the handcart because these kids were always fighting over and establishing "turns" who was in front and back.  They had great teamwork for all 3 days. We played games while on the trail--"What are the odds?" like over and over and over again, blueberry fights, and lots of jokes.
We picked a Pioneer ancestor to walk for during the week and wrote them on leather wristbands.  I walked for Abigail Harriet Snow who was Lorenzo Snow's daughter.  Jake walked for Peter Howard McBride who was part of the Martin-Willy Handcart Company.  He was one of the men who helped carry people across the frozen river and actually passed away that night from exposure.  Jake got to share Peter's story when we came to our own river that we needed to cross.  Those kind of things hit home.  I loved having Abigail's name right on my wrist.  Each time I looked down, I would think of her and her strength and faith.
 We started at a place called Brigham's Arrow.  Brigham Young laid out these stones in a shape of an arrow to show the saints coming across which trail to follow.  So we were on the real trail that the Pioneers crossed.  We saw graves, a Pony Express stop, and signatures on rocks. Made this experience that much more real.
 At one point in the trail, we had to travel down Gravel Hill.  It was a short steep hill, covered in lots of rocks.  We needed each person in our family to get down.  I most definitely slipped a few times, but we made it slow and steady.
 ^^^ Line dancing! ^^^
It amazed me the energy the youth had after a full day of walking.
At lunch one day, they passed out the bread that the pioneers would make with their 1/3 cup of flour, a little honey, and yeast that they had.  This would be their meal for the day.  When flour sprouts, it becomes a complete protein so this in fact would give them the nutrition they would need to carry on.  I see this as a small miracle that the Lord provided.  He knew they did not have much, but what they did have was enough protein to get through the day.
 The Women's Pull was next.  Here are my lovely strong Young Women that helped pull the handcart up the hill.
 All the men left us, to reenact the men on the pioneer trail leaving to fight in the Mormon Battalion.  We had to travel on the trail alone.  It was hard to see the men go, not only because they were the strength of our group, but I also missed the presence of the Priesthood.  I got emotional because I don't want to feel that way--I always want the power of the Priesthood in my life. And I always want to be with my Jake. Before the men left, our Trail Leader offered a prayer, asking for angelic help to aide the women in our journey.  Immediately I felt spirits at my back and my sides.  I felt that Abigail was there to give me strength to do this alone.  I carried that strength all the way up the hill.  I cried the whole way the spirit was so strong.  The men stood in single file along the trail, hats off, in reverent silence.  I told my YW on the way up to look to these men who were revering women and showing us respect to find a man like that as a spouse and to marry them in the temple. Find a man with the Priesthood and who you want to be with into the eternities.  One of the most spiritual experiences of the Trek.

 Of course, it was great to have Jake on Trek on with me.  And he was Mr. Scout--ready with the coolest stuff.  He had this spider bungee cord that held everything in on the handcart.  Nothing came out of that thing.  He also (for Father's Day) had portable solar panels to charge our phones at night (you know, for emergencies).  He was seriously the perfect partner for this Trek.  Future Scout Master? I think so.
 ^^^ the solar panels.  So high tech. ^^^

 I have to mention my awesome counselors-- Mary McBride and Marilyn Whitchurch.  We've done Girls Camp and Trek in the same month all the while teaching on Sundays, Mutual on Tuesdays, and meetings.  They've helped sew clothes for Trek, get buckets ready, and just calm my crazy brain.  And so positive through it all.  I needed their support this month, on the Trek, and I continue to lean on them.
And of course, my number one supporter is Jake.  He is always behind the scenes, taking care of the kids, and taking care of the house so I can serve in my calling.  I loved loved loved having him around the Youth and of course they loved him.  He is my other half so I felt complete the past three days sharing such incredible spirit filled moments with him.  I could hold his hand while giving devotionals, sit next to him during Testimony meeting, and even hear his testimony and witness his example of service with the kids on a daily basis.  I am one lucky Ma.  I feel blessed and deeply grateful to have this Trek experience.  ''To give up something so little, means you will be blessed for so much more." So far June has been pretty hard to top.