This Leap day the one day acceptable for a girl to ask out a boy nine girls from my nursing class set out on the adventure of their lives. One that would test their strength, stamina, friendship, and their faith!
We set out Wednesday morning to Vernal, UT to snowshoe to a Yurt (a mongolian home, pics bellow) and the desert scenery which surrounded us had us doubting if there would be any snow...ha little did we know!
Jocilyn our fearless and knowledgeable leader. Future wife to Bear Gryllis
The fun car sporting our new hard core bandanas.
Vernal , UT
Lots of desert
The Temple in Vernal
What our trail ended up looking like! Soooooo much snow!
When we got there we set out with our packs and snowshoes to tackle the fresh powder. Yes it had just snowed there and the snow was up to my waist at some points! It was really hard to pave the path and we had to trade often. I usually think of myself as being physically fit and active but there were times when I had to stop because my heart was beating so fast I thought it was going to burst. I felt like a human trying to be a horse and it just wasn't working for me. Definitely the longest five hour cardiac work out I have ever had! At one point our group got split up in to three groups. I was at the front with Britt and Kim leading the way. It started to get dark and for a while our only headlamp was not working and we could no longer see the blue diamonds very well. The coming of the evening darkness was when I really started to feel discouraged, but the faint glow of the moon above gave me a lot of hope! Eventually the lamp started working and we were able to find the yurt and it was such a joyous feeling because even though I saw the signs to the Yurt (with no mile markers to tell you how far you are!) I began to doubt if it even existed! I really though I was going to have to sleep out in the cold and would die there on that mountain! Thankfully that was not the case! Unfortunately when we got there we could not get the lock undone, another obstacle. When we did get I have never felt so grateful for that mongolian type tepee!
Inside the Yurt
The warm inviting fire
Survived the night in the yurt
Jocilyn and Ashley shoveling some snow so we could get find our snowshoes, which had been buried from the snowstorm that night.
Our snow covered path
The little outhouse
Kim and Bethanie
Beth and I infront of the Yurt
The donner party and that dang sled., which was rescued by Krystal and I just in time ;)
The donner party and that dang sled., which was rescued by Krystal and I just in time ;) I didn't want to go back at first, but after we all said a prayer for them I knew I needed to go help them. I knew how discouraged they must be feeling because I had just been there and I didn't want them to have to feel that way any longer. It was so easy carrying their pack and it didn't seem hard at all because we were able to help in some small way and give them hope that they were almost there.
Now for the analogies, which there were so many to me. This trip really helped solidify and strengthen my faith. As we were walking we had to follow the path a head of us and also pave the path to make it easier for those pulling the sled behind us. This reminded me of following good examples that will lead us to our destination and not make the path any harder for us than it already is! I also thought of service and how it is hard to help other people at times but it is a joy to know that you have made their burden lighter. Christ does both of these things for us. He has shown us the way we need to go and he continually strives to make our burdens lighter if we let Him. There were a couple times when people would fall down in the deep snow and would need others to help them get back up on their feet. We can't do it alone, we need each other and its ok to ask for help when we do. As we were walking and my faith about the yurt even exiting was diminishing with each painful step I thought about how we need to rely upon those bits of hope from God and not doubt them. Even though I saw the yurt signs I still doubted. Often times in my life even though I have the scriptures, prayer, the testimonies of others and my own, my patriachal blessing, all leading and guiding me I doubt them. I often forget the goal in mind and just want to give up because, yes it is really hard at times and you want to quit! We may not know how long or far our journeys will take us, but the yurt does exist and it provides safety, and warmth. God and Jesus Christ do exist, love us, know us, and are there for us every difficult step of the way! We just have to really trust in Him
"Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not" D&C 6:32
When we finally had all of us together, the fire going, and had eaten, seriously the best, hot spaghetti I have ever had, we all shared our feelings about the challenges we had just overcome. My friend Kim shared this scripture, which touched and calmed all of our hearts:
Six of us left the next day to make it back to provo for interviews and it only took us two hours to get down! It was definitely a bonding experience and I am excited to see what adventure we will have next together. But I think I am good with not snowshoeing for a long time, definitely got my fill!