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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pioneer Trek Memories 2007

Our local area church (Stake) is preparing the youth ages 12 - 18 to go on a Pioneer Trek this summer. It is scheduled for July 13-16, 2011. A meeting (fireside) was held on Sunday 1/23/11 evening to kick off the planning for this wonderful event for our youth. 

It was an amazing evening and the theme was presented in a very touching way. The LDS pioneer exodus was a sad time in our church history. Mobs of non-believers persecuted the people of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint faith or "the Mormons". They killed our Prophet Joseph Smith and there was an extermination order given to kill all the LDS people. The saints had to flee for their life to a desert area in the mid-west (now known as Salt Lake City, Utah). It was a land that no one wanted so they could live and be safe from those who would want to harm them. 

They left their homes and their possessions to flee for their lives with wagons and hand carts. Many saints lost their lives along the trail. However, they kept moving onto Zion. There were a couple of hand cart companies that got stuck in terrible snow storms and were on the verge of losing their lives. President Brigham Young sent help to rescue these stranded dying people. 

This year, the theme of the trek is "Go Bring them In". 
Brady went on a pioneer trek 4 years ago when he was 12 years old. It was a WONDERFUL experience for him. They had a great time! While sitting in the fireside, I reflected on preparing Brady 4 years ago to go. I can't believe it has been 4 years, but when I pulled out the pictures he looked so young. He has grown up a lot in these past years. 

Here is a look back at them arriving home from the trek. 

 They left and arrived home on a bus. The trek is held in Wyoming.
Here is a picture of Lance and Jenny (Jenny was my secretary to my Primary Presidency). They were a "Ma and Pa" of a trek family. 

A trek is set up in "families" with a "Ma and Pa" and brothers and sisters. Each team has a trail boss to guide them on the way. The kids as split up from friends as a growing experience to meet new people and have it become a meaningful experience as a close knit family who help out each other on the trail. 
This is Brady and his Ma and Pa. He felt like part of their family. They still care for him 4 years later. They made a HUGE impact on his life. It was a GREAT time for growth in his life. We love them. They are Brother and Sister Griffith. We didn't know them before the trek but came to love them and value their friendship after the trek. 
They were tired and dirty after arriving from the trek. 
Here is part of a speech from President Brigham Young to rescue those stranded Pioneers:

"Many of our brethren and sisters are on the plains with handcarts and probably many are now seven hundred miles from this place, and they must be brought here, we must send assistance to them.... That is my religion; that is the dictation of the Holy Ghost that I possess. It is to save the people .. I will tell you that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one soul of you in the Celestial Kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you. Go and bring in those people now on the plains." Brigham Young Oct 15, 1856
They had watermelon set up for the children. I made the signs taped on the church walls :-D welcoming them back. 
The scripture for this year:
Exodus 15:17 Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountains of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established. 
Brady was a "LITLE BROTHER" in the family. They called him "HALF A MAN". They were good to him.

Here are some pictures of other youth in our ward (local church area). 
Joseline (spelling?) and Kaitlyn
 'Jesus and Taylor
CarolLynn (a Ma who went pregnant - wow!!) and I can't remember the girls name. 
Brady and ??
All around us are many who are in need of help and who are deserving of rescue. Our mission in life, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, must be a mission of saving." Gordon B. Hinckley Nov 1991.

All the supplies each child took had to fit into a bucket (minus the sleeping bag). We purchased a padded seat for his bucket. This let him use it as a seat when they camped out on the trail. (It's great to still have this bucket and all the supplies - it will be much easier to prepare this time)
 This is what they pioneer children must wear on the trek:
Here is the equipment checklist. 
A tip we did for the trek 4 years ago. We purchased Gel shoe inserts for Brady's shoes. He didn't get any blisters during the 30 mile walk. It is a great thing to help those poor feet as well as good fitting laced up shoes that were broken in. They have encouraged each of the youth to start walking every day to prepare for the trek IN the shoes they will wear. It is NOT a good idea to wear new shoes.  
This year, Brady will be a BIG BROTHER with more responsibility. I'm excited that he will have the opportunity to join in the trek 2 times in his youth. It's wonderful training for his mission :-D. 
PLUS, a huge testimony building experience. 

Another benefit for Brady from a divorced home is to enjoy a "Ma and Pa" and their fine example of love they have for each other and their leadership for their Pioneer family


Garden of Egan said...

My husband and I were in charge of our Ward trek 6 years ago. It was such an amazing experience. Our Ward was tiny but I think each of the kids had a great time.
Such a wonderful thing to learn about our heritage.

Brady will be such a great help this year.
It's amazing at how fast time has gone.

In another four years?????

Valerie said...

I've never been on a trek, but have only ever heard good things about it from everyone who has gone, even the people who didn't want to go to begin with. I'm sure Brady will come back with lots more great stories and friends. It's nice to start preparing them so early.

Rhonda said...

We just had a fireside where the kids got their trek video and pictures back from their trek last summer. It was pretty emotional watching the video.Your kids looked a lot cleaner then ours getting off the bus. LOL

Brenda said...

My kids went on Trek last year, aged 16, 14, and 12. They hated the food, the heat, the flies/bugs, but they loved Trek and had a great time. We are so lucky the church puts together events such as this to strengthen the testimonies of our youth.


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