I’ve always been grateful for pioneers, I have been on 5 Treks, toured the major historical sights 3 times, as well as driven a majority of the route in our car when we moved to Boston.
I have heard the stories (read the Abraham Hunsaker book), I have pulled handcarts, visited the ‘This is the place monument’, and I’ve gained a sense of respect and reverence for the pioneer ancestry, that I believe has given me so much.
So when the primary in our ward had an activity (an awesome activity, might I add, with fake cow pies,
and pioneer food, music, crafts, and games), and asked if I would help, I was willing and grateful for the opportunity. The activity took place in Early July, and we were asked to dress up. I gladly pulled out my pioneer garb, and drummed up some clothes for the boys too (including an outfit for Elliot)…
As I pulled out my clothes and began to put my pioneer clothes on, I was reminded of my trek experiences, I went as a youth twice, as a youth leader twice, and with my family. Wearing these clothes reminded me of the special experiences I have had, and I believe that is why I keep them buried in the back of my closet, and can’t bear to part with them. While wearing these clothes my testimony has changed. The first time these clothes were worn, I was a youth, with a fragile testimony, now I am a woman, with a family: a husband and three children. So much has changed, but yet the majorly important things are still the same. I know my Savior lives, I have a testimony of this gospel, I know where I can find peace during the trials of my life, and I know where I can look for my inspiration. These things are the same, but yet, the dimensions of which I know these things are different, they are deeper and stronger. It is wonderful time to reflect.
It also reminded me of a pioneer story, I reheard around Christmas time at Christopher’s work party. It resonated with me, and I haven’t forgotten it since. When a group of pioneers, I believe it was the Donner Reed Party, was traveling across the plains, at the beginning, as things began to get tough, the members of the party began to discard things they thought they wouldn’t need. In the heat of the summer, they discarded their warm winter blankets, but kept their precious pianos or organs, thinking they would reach their destination before the blankets/warm clothes were needed. Unfortunately we know that later they did encounter winter weather, and their precious pianos were not able to keep them warm. For me, this story was powerful, we were standing in a spot, near the place where the pioneers crossed the salt flats. I stared at the desolateness of our surroundings, and vowed that I didn’t want to get down the road with my life, with my families life and have it be full of Organs. I wanted the blankets, the important things.
Then as I was carrying Elliot around the activity, changing his diaper, following the children in my charge(I was with the sunbeams), I was brought yet again to the powerful realization of the different life that was lived. I was grateful for those women, the mothers, who were so dedicated.
So I guess for me, I was grateful for this powerful reminder of my heritage, my ancestry, and their dedication. I am remembering and appreciating the things that were done, the legacy that was left for me and my family.
And on a side note, doesn’t Elliot look like he could belong to the pioneer era, and quite angelic?