YES!!! For those who have been wondering I DID survive our Pioneer Trek! at some moments I would have said barely...
BUT as in all things I look back with very fond memories
I learned quite a few things this go around, so here it goes:
1. I had the opportunity to go on pioneer treks two times as a youth back east. In fact, they had flown "professionals" out from Utah to do them. BUT I learned this time....that I am NOT as invincible as I once was. 100 pounds, creaky joints and 4 kids later this trek was an absolutely different experience, I was broken. I was pretty humbled physically (ecspecially after hiking 16 miles the first day and another 6 the next, while sleeping on the hard ground...my hips HATED me!).Even though I went as an Aunt and did not have to pull and push the handcart (except for the women's pull-where I found myself dry-heaving). My heart is young my body is not. It inspired me to continue doing some things about it!
2. Did I mention I was humbled?
3. I realized that I needed to take more quiet and peaceful contemplation time in my life. Although I could fill my days with absolutely ALL good things. I REALLY need to make quiet time a priority-where I can read the scriptures, pray and evaluate where I am headed. I am so far from perfect-this gives me the time to realize it and set plans to fix it.
4. I learned that I LOVE serving the youth. There is nothing that makes me happier then seeing them "get it". Although this trek came at a very inconvenient time and required many accommodations and sacrifice on many parts, including my children. After being there I realized it was worth it.
5.Arizona is beautiful!! Having been raised back East the desert has really had to grow on me--it has started too!
BUT being in the perfect weather we got, looking at wildflowers, walking all day in Heavenly Fathers creations outdoors, falling asleep to the stars, smelling fresh air and pines, and only being a short 45 minutes from my home, I realized Arizona has it all and I get to enjoy it, NOT just look at the pictures of it!
6. I am in awe at the pioneers. I am in awe at my ancestors, including my husbands. We had to bring pioneer stories to share and Dan's mom had collected his family's stories in a notebook. I shared some with my "family" there--and I am in awe. Our children are so blessed to come from 2 very strong lines of pioneer ancestors. We are blessed!
7. Did I mention it was the hardest thing I have done since labor-naturally? The stake YM president has done these FOREVER-in fact, met his wife on one- and said it was the hardest terrain he has ever done for a trek. We were literally scaling rocky mountains but WE DIDI IT!
8. There is nothing like the spirit of a trek. I was sad that Dan did not come (he opted out at the first mention of it, but it worked out because of the funeral he ended up attending)--it is hard to convey what happens there unless you experience it. Much like a mission and the temple. But, I am glad that I was able to experience it and feel close to the spirit once more.
9. Heavenly Fathers vision far exceeds our own. I don't think it was by chance Cara moved here this year and that I am not expecting a baby as I once was this summer. Without Cara and with a pregnancy it would have prevented or inhibited my participation in these youth experiences I am doing this summer. I think for a short period of time I have the capability of participating in things I will probably never be able to do for quite sometime. My calling in the stake happened to land during these time as well, and I don't think that was by happen stance either. I am grateful I am able to participate. I love my family (husband) who supports these and a sister that loves my children as her own (or close too-we'll wait and see when hers arrive)