Thursday, July 10, 2014

Trek 2014: A Gospel Worth Sacrificing For

Hello my dearest readers! It's been a few weeks since I last posted, but it's not because I've been neglectful, I've just been out of town like the whole time! But I'm back now! Yay! 

So a few weeks ago, I went on trek. I mentioned in a post that I was going, but I never blogged about it, so first thing's first. Let me tell you a little about trek! 

This was the youth in our ward right before we left. Trek ended up being postponed a day due to several inches of snow. I was super bummed at the time, but we still had a great experience.

But here's the thing about having a shorter trek: we were worked to the bone! We had to make up the miles, and it was incredibly taxing physically.

I was so so sore every night and I got so tired after walking for so many hours. It was brutal! Seriously though, so brutal!

But I'm so glad it was hard, and here's why:

It was hard for the pioneers. It was so much harder for the pioneers than it was for me. They walked for months at a time, and often in bad weather. They got sick. They got hungry. These were all things I didn't have to deal with.
And even despite the luxuries I had, like good hiking shoes and a good coat and as much water as I needed, it was still really hard for me. I was so spent that at times I doubted whether or not I could continue.
BUT I did. I continued. I made it the whole way. The women's pull was also really long and difficult, and at moments I wondered how we could ever do it. But guess what? We did.

Here's what I learned on trek: I can do hard things. We all can do hard things.

Even though I doubted myself sometimes, I somehow always made it from Point A to Point B.

This is such an important lesson to learn! Do you know why?
Sometimes we will be called upon to carry burdens that feel too heavy. Life is hard, and sometimes it feels like we can't carry on, like we can't endure. But we can. With the Lord's help, we always can.

If you aren't familiar with trek or with the women's pull, here's briefly what it is. All of the men and boys in all of the families get called away on missions, and the women have to stay behind and pull the handcarts alone, usually up a big hill. At the end, the men are able to walk beside us, watching for a few minutes, before stepping in to help with the handcarts.
This was such a neat experience and taught me so much. Again, about burdens. The men were called upon to leave and serve the Lord, and had to carry the burden of leaving their family behind. The women, then, were left with no choice but to continue to press forward, pulling the handcart.

In life, sometimes we are called upon to spend extensive time serving the Lord by fulfilling our callings. Sometimes other things come up in life, and we find that we have to change our plans. No one can get through life without carrying some burdens, is what I'm trying to say.

But what do we do? We press on. We move forward with the knowledge that God is over all and can make weak things become strong.

So that was the first lesson I learned on trek. I can do hard things. Whenever the Lord calls upon me to carry a burden, I can do it in His name and with His help.

Here's another lesson I learned on trek: the gospel is ALWAYS worth sacrificing for. I mean, why do you think the pioneers were able to keep moving every day? Why were they able to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when they were freezing or filled with sorrow because loved ones were dying? How did they do it?

It's because they had something worth walking for. They were going to Zion. They were following the prophet, and in doing so were following God's commandments and gracefully working through this burden. They knew it would be worth it. They knew it would be worth it for their posterity who could live in peace, away from persecution. They knew it would be worth it to leave a heritage of hope and sacrifice, one that their descendants could be proud of. One that GOD could be proud of.

Friends, the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It was worth walking for. It's always worth sacrificing for. That's the only way the pioneers could have pressed forward every day. They knew they were sacrificing for a worthy cause.

How was I able to press forward every day? I remembered them. I remembered the pioneers and I thought of how much I love the gospel and how I am willing to do anything to keep it in my life and in the lives of my children and posterity. I leaned on their strength. I followed their examples. And I continued to have faith that the Lord would help me carry my burdens.

I know the gospel is true. I love it with all my heart, and I want everyone to know it. I want to be all in, willing to sacrifice and carry burdens to help the gospel to move forward. I know that following the commandments is always, always worth it.
Hard things come our way. They always will. I know that God is over all and that if He felt it was right, He would take my burdens. But sometimes He sees, in all His wisdom, that I need to endure certain trials.
Ours is not to wonder why. Ours is simply to trust and have faith and remember that things always work out.

I'm so grateful that I was able to go on trek and learn these truths, even if it was hard while I was enduring it. I truly never could possibly appreciate the pioneers as much as I do now if I hadn't carried that burden.
If you ever get the chance to go on trek, go go go!!

"We came through that experience with the absolute knowledge that God lives, for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities! 
"The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay."-Francis Webster of the Martin Company


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