an unforgettable journey.

i knew trek would be an amazing experience.
but, even my highest expectations were far exceeded.

the spirit of Elijah was undeniably present in our home as we studied
and researched our pioneer ancestors.

i felt their presence as we learned of them
and felt it even stronger as we walked in their footsteps.

it was a journey that i will never forget.

we were asked to speak last night at our final stake trek fireside.
i wrote down a few thoughts and would like to share them with you.

I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity my husband and I had to join many of you on the trek. 
And I am equally grateful to be with you tonight to share what this marvelous experience has taught me. 

In preparation for trek, I felt a strong desire to learn more about my own pioneer ancestors. Discovering the many hardships and obstacles they endured and overcame, provided me with the connection I had been seeking.
I formed a very unexpected bond and developed a deep love and appreciation for them. 

Against his parents’ wishes, my great-great grandfather, Samuel Roskelley, joined the church at the age of fourteen in Devonport, England. He was looked upon as the black sheep of the family and continually told how he had brought disgrace upon them. But, he writes, “I had resolved to serve the Lord at all costs.” He left home and all that was familiar to him at the tender age of sixteen to come to Zion. Had it not been for his unwavering faith and perseverance, I would not be standing before you today, enjoying the blessings of the gospel in my life. I was humbled by the many sacrifices the pioneers made and prayed that I would feel their presence as we walked in their footsteps.

Brothers and sisters, I testify to you that my prayers were answered. The pioneer spirit is alive and well and can be felt in abundance in Martin’s Cove, Wyoming. I bear witness to you that our seemingly distant ancestors are much closer than we think. What an honor it was to walk where they walked, to experience a small sampling of pioneer life. It was an experience I will never forget. It exceeded all of my expectations and left a much deeper impression upon me than I ever could have imagined. 

What a privilege it was to get to know the youth in our stake. They are extraordinary young men and women and I applaud you parents for raising such remarkable young adults. That is no easy task these days, so whatever you’re doing, keep doing it, because it is working!

In closing, I would also like to share my appreciation for all our stake leaders who were so dedicated to making trek a memorable experience. From our inspired stake presidency, to the support teams who assisted with food and equipment, I want to acknowledge the painstaking attention to detail that went into planning and organizing this successful trek. 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for allowing me to be a part of this. It is a memory that I will forever cherish. I want to leave you with my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. I know that God lives and that He knows and loves each and every one of us. I am grateful for my Savior, for His sacrifice and love for me. 
This is His church and I bear witness of it, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Anonymous said...

So fun! What an amazing experience.