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So, me, my sister, and about 20 others from our singles ward went to Martin's Cove in Wyoming from the 10th to today. For those who have no idea why this is significant, in early November of 1856, the Martin Handcart Company, made up of recent Mormon converts from Europe, stayed there for 5 nights and 4 days while help arrived from the Salt Lake Valley.  The things they suffered were unimaginable. Many died from exposure or starvation or both. One woman, who's fiance had died, desperately did not want his body to be eaten by wolves. So she took her mother's shawl, wrapped the body in it, and suspended it from a tree.

As I walked silently through the cove, I could feel the Spirit in a way I hadn't ever before felt it. I also felt like every member of that company, survivor or otherwise, was encouraging me to be the person I know I can be.

We dressed up in pioneer garb and pulled handcarts. The women among us pulled the carts solo for a certain stretch called the Woman's Pull. Uphill. Man, was that a workout. A few even crossed the Sweetwater River, as in, walked in it. Four rescuers gave their lives carrying the majority of that company across that river.

It rained for a majority of the time that we were there. And it was cold. And I forgot to plan for that weather possiblity. I was soaked at the end of our trek. But it made me feel for those people all the more. After all, they were even wetter and colder. And they didn't have the option of changing their clothes.

I am so thankful that I went on this trip. It has given me a new respect for my spiritual forebearers and new motivation to live my life as my Savior would have me live it.

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katsuno_hitomi

May 2012

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