Friday, April 1, 2016

Katy Stake Youth Trek

I just did a post for our stake about our youth trek experience but wanted to have it in our personal blog too for memory's sake, so I'm just copying and pasting it below. I will add a couple things though...
First I was SO thankful to have my dear friend Emily along with me. She is much more of a camping expert than I am so she had a tent (and knew how to set it up!), knew what to bring and was basically my moral support the 3 days. She made my time there much more fun and I couldn't have done it without her! 
Second, we really lucked out with weather! It got a little hot in the afternoons but cooled off at night without being too cold and the rain stayed away. 
Third, there were NO mosquitoes...a true miracle. 
And Lastly, I really did have a good time overall. Since I never got to do this as a youth it was neat to see what it is all about and made me more excited for when Ella gets to go when they do it again in 4 years. 
(also,  another dear friend Susan made my pioneer dress for me out of the kindness of her heart and gave me extra pockets which definitely came in handy!)
A few pictures of us...
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Mike held down the fort at home and took the kids to San Antonio to see his family one of the nights. They ate In N Out without me ;-), caught Lizards, read and just enjoyed relaxing at home. It was definitely nice to all be together again after 3 days that seemed more like an entire week!
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And here is the official write-up :-)...

Just two weeks ago, 200 high school youth from our stake gave up part of their spring break to participate in a 3 day Pioneer Trek and experience firsthand the faith and determination it took to make the journey across the plains. They participated in a variety of faith-building experiences similar to those of the pioneers who made the journey to the Salt Lake Valley in the mid-1800s.
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Over the course of the trek more than 11 miles were walked while pulling handcarts through some rough terrain that included many steep hills and a lot of mud. The youth were divided into families and led by a "ma and pa", each family working together to overcome the obstacles. Jonah Turner of the Katy 2nd Ward said, "Going into Trek I didn't really know anyone in my Family but by the end I felt extremely close to everyone and was very sad to return to my 'normal' life."
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Hundreds of hours of planning took place in the months leading up to trek to pull off such a wonderful experience for these youth! 15 handcarts were made (many as part of an Eagle Scout project), meals planned and then enough food brought up to the remote location to feed the 200 youth and 50 adult volunteers, music prepared, pioneer games and activities were carefully planned (such as candle dipping and taffy pulling), babies were made by a quilting group for each family to care for along the trek, tents donated, fresh water brought in, etc. It was definitely all worth it to see the amazing experiences the youth came away with! "Trek was a wonderful experience for me. It was cool to get to see what my ancestors had to experience. It was very humbling and amazing to see how dedicated these people were to the church," said Daemon Morse of the Katy Mills Ward.
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An especially moving moment for many was the women's pull. The journey already long and difficult when pulling heavy handcarts, only intensified when the men were pulled away as a way to reinact being enlisted by the Mormon Battalion, leaving the women to pull their heavy handcarts alone.
Firesides were held each evening and on the last night we were lucky enough to have Brother and Sister Jim and Ola Mae Williams from Mesa Arizona host a square dance and then speak at the concluding fireside. They served a mission in Martin's Cove and welcomed thousands off the trail, telling stories of the pioneers and calling the square dances there. It was a perfect way to end the long, hard days walking and pulling.
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Myah Perez of the Grand Lakes Ward summarized the experience perfectly, "Trek was an awesome experience for me! One of my favorite things about it was meeting new people and bonding with them through the hard things we faced. I think the biggest lesson I learned is that we can accomplish great things with the help of good people and the help of the Lord. I’ve come to realize that although there will sometimes be trials placed into our paths that are too difficult to bear alone, as brothers and sisters, we can help bear each other's burdens through our service and love. We should always remember that the Savior loves us perfectly and will never abandon us in our times of need. I’m grateful that I got to go on trek this year, and that I was able to draw closer to my Savior while doing so!" 15
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For information on the actual pioneer trek made by so many early saints, click HERE.
And you can see more pictures and videos from our stake's trek experience HERE.

1 comment:

Kim said...

That last picture is just stunning Marci! Our youth did that last year and I got released from the my stake YW calling a week before it happened... which was a blessing since I was 6 months pregnant with the twins by then! This lady was not about to give birth on the trail!