Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pioneer TREK

This year Russ and I got asked to be "Ma" and "Pa" with the youth Pioneer Trek.  We were so excited when we found out that we got to go.  We knew it would be an awesome experience, but we had NO IDEA what we were in for.  Of course we got the BEST family we called ourselves the Super Sipes.  We LOVED our kids.  All of them.  They were all unique and so special in their individual ways.  Each had something special to offer our family.  The first day was the LONGEST, HARDEST day we have ever experienced.  We walked, and walked, and walked.  It was something crazy like 12 or 15 miles.  Those kids just pushed and pulled the whole way.  No complaining.  They did keep asking when they could eat which was heartbreaking because we didn't really know the answer.  Those kids inspired both of us to just keep on going.  During the first day after about 4 miles or so we did the women's pull.  This is when all the men and boys went to war and it was up to all the women to pull the carts.  Of course it was up hill a lot.  Before we started our girls gathered together and we said a pray that we could have strength to make it.  IT WAS HARD.  I remember just looking down at my feet thinking "one more step, just one more step."  If I looked up and saw how much I had in front of me I got sick.  Many girls and Ma's got sick.  Literally.  When we made it to the top there were so many tears of joy and happiness.  I heard many say they knew there were spirits helping up push those carts.  There is no other way to explain how it was possible.

The next day was a day of Pioneer fun.  Games, fry bread, taffy pulling, hair washing.  Later that night they did dancing.  It was dusty. I'm not sure how those kids could see or breath to dance at all but they did with smiles on their faces.

The last day was FHE and testimonies.  The kids presented the FHE to Ma and Pa and it was an amazing lesson.  For the testimonies I was a little nervous thinking no one would want to.  BUT ALL OF THEM DID.  They each had such a special testimony that strengthened me.  What wonderful youth we have today.  In a world where things are dark, and scary, to hear the testimonies of these awesome youth made my light and hope brighter.  THANK YOU!! I know we live in a good, strong community where parents teach and help their kids to know the gospel and to live it.  That was very apparent listening to and being with these kids.  We will forever be grateful for this experience.