Monday, August 22, 2011

Labor of Love

Long time no blog, I know.  I didn't die.  I've been a little busy.  And out of town.
So now I shall attempt to catch up.  Although it might take me til Christmas.  Wish me luck.

Going through the approximately 1500 pictures I took on our Stake Pioneer Trek as our ward's photographer has kept me just a tad busy this summer.
Then I made a slideshow movie out of them, which I had never done myself before, which I had only a week to do.  I had to learn how to pan & zoom on the pictures & how to splice music.  I should have taken a picture of my computer room afterwards, which I pretty much lived in.  Empty Diet Coke cans everywhere, used paper plates.  It was bad.  But I loved every minute of it.  I loved learning how to do something new.  I loved having the music stuck in my head.  And I loved being completely absorbed for a week in the re-living of the Trek with all of these kids & adults that I love & admire so much.
Good times.  Special times.

I posted the slideshow on YouTube, with the help of my genius brother, Benj.
It had to be split in two parts.

Part One:

Part Two:

And some of my favorite random shots.......

OK, this one is not one of my favorites.  I just thought I'd better include the only picture with me in it.

Having been born and raised in the Mormon church, this pioneer thing is something I'm used to.  I grew up learning about our pioneer ancestors who traveled across the plains & mountains in the mid-1800's, in covered wagons or handcarts, to settle the west, including Salt Lake City, UT, and including where I live now, Mesa, AZ.  They did this to escape religious persecution in the east at the time.  They gathered their few precious belongings & set off in groups for a new land where they could live & worship in peace, which allowed our religion to grow & flourish.  We know of their tremendous hardships from journals that were kept on these journeys.  Getting caught in early snowstorms, burying babies who had died in shallow graves, then continuing on the next morning.  Can you imagine?!!  And I don't think they had any comfy walking shoes either. Or sunscreen. Or Advil. Or foam sleeping pads.  So every 24th of July we Mormons celebrate our faithful pioneer ancestors & all they did for us.  And we hold these Pioneer Treks for our youth to remember & celebrate them also. It gets us out of our comfort-zone, and having to go through just a smidgin' of what they went through helps us appreciate them so much more.  It's a great bonding experience & spiritually-strengthening experience for our youth groups.  
The preparation that goes into these things is mind-boggling.  Our Stake does this every four years, and they go all out.  And I stood there that first day of the Trek, pondering the fact that here were all of these adults....busy, successful, perfectly normal adults....that had taken all this time out of their busy lives to dress up in pioneer-wear & pull handcarts with teenagers for three days.  Why else would they do this unless they knew of the absolute truth of this cause?  Why else?

Our awesome Stake President & his awesome wife.

Our fabulous bishop & his fabulous wife.

This is just our ward.  And only the 14 to 18-year-olds.  Our ward totally rocks!
I hope I can do this again in 4 years.  Jake will be a senior then!  And the thing is, it'll probably be here before I know it!


Jaime Leigh said...

WOW what a very cool event to experience. Looks like hard work, but yet fun!

Leigh said...

You are brilliant, my friend. Trek was most definitely the Besst. Experience. Ever.

Kelly said...

I love love love the pictures. Can you explain more about why you do this and what it's all about?

hizles said...

You are truly an artist.

Anonymous said...

The pictures are great! I'd love to hear more about this as well.

sarahandmatt said...

your ward is lucky to have such an amazing photographer! looks like a great trek!

Tracey said...

Awesome pictures! You are so talented.

Nelson Family said...

Looks like such an amazing experience!

Holly said...

[tears}...lots of em, dang it. Miss all of you guys LIKE CRAZY!

ellen said...

Your pictures are fantastic. Our stake (in Boston) did a trek this summer and I went to welcome them "into the valley". It was really cool -- a really great experience for the youth.

amy said...

As usual, great photographs. Well done! and a great missionary tool to boot!

shauna said...

HI there, totally blog stalking here but a friend told me about your trek pics and I LOVE them. You are an amazing photographer and did a beautiful job. Your stake is so lucky!

I have been called as our trek photographer as well and had a few questions for you. I am also in charge of publicity and am making posters and was wondering if I could use one of your images as a header on our poster. My email is {} For reals!

Nichole said...

Love your pictures and I loved our trek too! One of the coolest experiences I have had!

Karmaşa said...

Your pictures are really awesome. I like your style

Suzi said...

As I have been spending the better part of the day going through your blog, I stumbled upon this amazing trek and the incredible photos. You had me in tears and sobbing when I saw the figures in White joining to help. I should have known you are a talented sister and your family shows the true CTR attitude. I have three of my 5 children who have also participated in these treks in Idaho, and Nebraska and Utah while living there. Each have mighty experiences that now shape their marriages and future.
Thank you for your amazing Christmas Games section. When I move back to the states after our mission I will put them to good use.
God Bless you and your darling family. said...


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