I don't quite know why the rain seemed to follow us, but it did. All Friday night it poured. Thankfully our tents were awesome and kept the water out. When us Mas and Pas awoke, we had a little meeting where we were told there were changes to the schedule. We were to let the kids sleep and make sure everyone stayed relatively dry.
Our boys all in a line.
Due to the rain, there was no way were were going to get 10 different fires going for breakfast. So the men decided to work on 1 big fire and the ladies had a meeting deciding what we'd do to feed everyone. We all cut potatoes and onions and gathered our oil to be cooked in the huge kettle that the stake had used the first night for our soup. We then cooked the bacon and eggs in 5 different dutch ovens around the fire. It was definitely a joint effort of all the Mas and Pas. It was kind of nice to work together to take care of the whole company.
After everyone ate we were given time to spend under our tents (because it was STILL raining) for "alone time". This was when we gave our children the letters that their biological parents wrote for them. And they could reflect or write in their journals or whatever. This seemed to have a lot of impact on many youth.
Upon finishing "alone time" we packed up our handcarts to head out. We didn't have too far to go this time. We spent majority of our time in a field with many cows that didn't seem too pleased that we were trespassing as they bellowed all around us.
This is the sight that our stake leaders beheld as we readied ourselves to climb our last little hill to the finish.
Here we are running the cart up the hill. We were so glad to be finished!
When we came in and parked our cart, we all lined up to cheer the other families on. It was a pretty profound sight to see everyone come in and yell for one another.
After cleaning and disassembling the handcarts, we set off for lunch. It was a nice picnic lunch of fried chicken, watermelon and apple pie. Of course it began to rain again while we ate, so we all gathered in the goat barn and later held our testimony meeting there.
I was pleased that the youth stuck to true testimonies. There were no travelogues or emotional declarations of love for family and that was all. Everyone shared something of their testimony of the gospel that was strengthened. It was nice.
Upon closing testimony meeting, we gathered as pioneer families to go greet our real families that were waiting for us.
It was sad to see our kids go, but I know they were each changed in ways that they needed at this time in their lives. Some of them will hang onto the memories and feelings of this weekend to carry them through the hard times they are sure to face in their lives. Others may use it to remind them of the simple truths of the gospel. But none will be the same ever again.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to experience this trek. Although it was extremely difficult and conditions weren't ideal, I wouldn't change a thing about it. I learned more about myself through this than I ever thought possible. I am thankful that I could experience it with Jake and that we could work together, with our family, to reach the end goal. I plan to experience that same feeling again one day when our biological family completes the trial of life and reaches our ultimate goal TOGETHER.