Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Trek


Well we made it. It rained. It hailed! It was muddy. There were cow pies. It was cold. There were ticks. There were mosquitoes. We were filthy. We smelled like smoke. The kids were noisy. We didn't sleep (until an angel gave me some ear plugs). We got sunburned. Kids got sick.

And we would do it all again in a heartbeat!!!

This was a great experience for us and for the kids. We had an awesome family that rarely complained, worked hard and came together to support each other. Wes and I were not supposed to pull the handcart (although Wes ended up pulling it by himself at one point just to give the kids a break and I pulled during the women's pull). But it didn't matter because these kids didn't need us. They worked out a system and all pitched in to do the work. We laughed together and cried together. We danced and sang together. We shared in amazing spiritual experiences together. We learned that in serving and sacrificing for one another - we developed a genuine love for each member of our pioneer trek family. And an appreciation for what the real pioneers had to endure.

Day 1 included about 10 miles of walking with the excitement of a major hailstorm and 4 inch deep mud. Here are our kids with smiles on their faces getting ready to hit the trail on day 2.


Loved my girls!
Loved my boys!

We were exhausted but felt very empowered after the "women's pull." I wish I would have taken a picture of the hill we had to climb with the handcart. It was pretty intense!
Ma and Pa Spencer
Wes became a Stake celebrity overnight after his performance as the superhero:

"For the Strength of Youth Man!"
The "FSY-Man" (as he signed in autographs) in action...
Our family on the last day. The sun is finally shining (on the only day I forgot to wear sunscreen).
Our buckets
A Bucket Pyramid on the last day
Our ward group

Before we left I asked Addie to help me remember a quote from Joseph Smith that I heard in Stake Conference. As I was packing I noticed the she had pinned this slip of paper to my shirt sleeve. I kept it in my apron pocket through the entire trek and quoted it to my kids often. It states, "A long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together." Isn't that what it's all about anyway?

12 comments:

Owner of the Band said...

I am so glad you posted about this. I have been dying to hear how it went. I cried like my newborn as I looked at the pictures and read every word. How amazing. I can't wait to here more. If you are in the mood to write, I am in the mood to read ALL about it.

Angie said...

Wow...what a great experience! I LOVE the quote too... :)

Kip said...

Sounds like a fantastic experience, Emily! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the trek and the photos. What stands out most to me is your positive attitude. I'm sure that rubbed off on others as well.

oodlesofoversons said...

That is so cool! Looks like an awesome experience despite the weather! Welcome home :0)

Anna said...

I have always thought that those treks seeemed like a miserable experience. But now I want to go. My sister Emily was there last Mon-Weds and had an amazing experience too. We had ancestors in the Martin Willie company....I'll have to read up on it.

Ann Mitchell said...

What a great experience!

Elisabeth said...

You're such a good writer, portraying your experiences beautifully! I laughed out loud at Wes' FSY man act - and got tears in my eyes when I read Addie's note. The photos you shared did the trip justice, as well. Thanks, Emily.

Shawn said...

This was so fun to read! I loved reading the blog entry along with all the others. I would "pioneer" with you and Wes any day.

sheryl said...

I just got on the blog. I have not checked the blogs for awhile. I love the pictures. What a wonderful experience for all of you.

Diana Beck McCarty said...

Amazing!

Jennette said...

How did I miss commenting on this when I originally read the post....

Like Anna said, I've never been so keen to try one of these, but after reading about this experience, it definintely looks like something everyone should experience. Amazing! However, I'm pretty sure that if I go that I would want you and Wes for my Ma and Pa too. I have to doubts that you were part of what made the trip memorable for those kids. Thank you for sharing!

Julie said...

That was awesome to read about!! Ma and Pa Spencer - an amazing pair of people.