Our ward’s youth conference this year is a pioneer handcart trek at Martin’s Cove in Wyoming. I am not exactly sure how it came about, but my wife is in charge of buying, storing, and preparing food for this 4-day activity with close to 80 participants.

Trek has consumed our lives and is now taking over our home. Fortunately many ward members are loaning us coolers and other items that will come in handy while we attempt to feed hungry trekkers in the middle of nowhere, but those items are now stacked up in our living room, which is now a maze of several Igloo coolers large enough to sleep a family of four, pots and pans, canned food, large bins, etc.

I have been to Martin’s Cove a few times, and I know what a special place it is. I recognize that this can be an important event in the lives of some of these youth, and I hope that I can contribute to the activity’s success. But even though our conditions will be luxurious in comparison to the pioneers, I find myself murmuring and looking forward to the end when I can be back at home rather than looking forward to enjoying my time there.

What most impresses you about the pioneers? What to you are the characteristics that define a pioneer?

For me, the pioneers’ perseverance is amazing. Even in good conditions, it is incredible to me that they could keep going day after day. In my next post, which will most likely be after I return, I plan to discuss the source of this perseverance and hope that others will share ideas on how we can develop pioneer strengths.