We were asked to be the Ma and Pa and loved getting to know the youth a little better, and for them to have a stronger relationship with one another.
We had 19 of us (youth and leaders) go to the boarder of Utah and Wyoming (a nice 2 hour drive).
We walked with our handcarts anywhere from 13-17 miles the first day. It was so beautiful and fun to see how the kids worked together. It was hard, but fun to have all that time to be outside-away from technology, cell phones, etc.
We had many laughs and jokes played on one another. We would have our occasional potty stops and site seeing stops along the way, as well as "MA and PA moments" where Andrey and I would talk about people that we learned about in the "Journal of The Trail" book. There were so many sad, encouraging, faithful stories that we learned about. We had each youth walk for someone we read about and it was neat to see them take on that role as they walked this week. They would take turns sharing their story of who they were and what they did that stood out to them.
We had a womens pull the second day. It was a silent walk and then the young men were tapped off one at a time and waited at the top of the steep hill while us women pulled that handcarts by ourselves. We had such a hard time.
Our first handcart made it and then while I was waiting for them to come help me get mine up, I thought about those mothers and women who lost their husbands and sons because they gave up their food to their children and wives so they could live longer, and because of that, they died; leaving the mothers to take charge. What amazing, faithful women they were.
When my young women finished with their handcart-getting it to the top, they didn't just walk to help me, but they ran, and together we made it to the top where the men were crying and trying so hard not to help us. We split off into wards and the men shared their feelings from the experience. It was touching to hear how much love they have for us and for women in general.
We had many storms, but were blessed with a beautiful rainbow and sunset.
The cold and weather also helped us better understand what the pioneers felt a little as they pressed onward throught the snow, without shoes, coats, blankets, etc. We felt more gratitude and complained less when we were given cold cereal and pb and j sandwiches. We have so much right now and our Savior and Heavenly Father loves us so much.
I loved this experience and the other ones we also had while we were there.
I love my ward and the youth in it hold a special place in my heart.
I hope to be able to go again in 4 years on our next trek.