Thursday, July 24, 2014

Remembering A Pioneer Day In Texas.

^^^ Sisters swinging on a Pioneer Day in Texas, circa, 2002 ^^^
One of the things I miss the most about living in Utah is Pioneer Day. Pioneer Day falls on the 24th of July, and is a major state holiday in Utah. It is based on our heritage in remembering the early pioneers for all their sacrifices they made in escaping persecution in order to settle in the Salt Lake Valley. I found out a few years ago that ancestors from my husbands side of the family all come from royalty, hence my girls being able to ride on of them floats of the Days of '47. It would be a neat experience to see my daughters in a parade riding on a float feeling like Miss America or something, but for now we'll do our own pioneer day kind of celebrating. The only one living in Utah right now is Sierra, and I think it would be last minute for her to have participated in a parade.

Once we moved away from Utah, and moved to San Antonio due to a job transfer I was very impressed with the members in our ward, and how much they appreciated in celebrating our heritage. I absolutely loved everyone! When my church announced that there was going to be a family activity for Pioneer Day I was pretty excited. I was like, "this stake actually does something to honor our heritage for pioneer day, yay!!" At the time the girls were seven, and three and at that age they got pretty excited about almost everything. You can imagine the look on my face when we arrived to the location where it was being held. It was held on acres and acres of land, and my jaw dropped! 

This wasn't just an activity...it was a huge celebration!!

And everyone including neighbors, the community whether you were a member or not was invited!! It honesty believe this was the beginning of my fearlessness in having major gospel sharing experiences! 
The girls came dressed as pioneers wearing bonnets, and cute Laura Ashely dresses that looked like something the pioneers wore back in the day. They've always liked playing dress up, and they were happy to have been wearing the bonnets...until that Texas heat started boiling up! 
Sure there were games, animal balloon making, and good food, but the memory of why we were celebrating never stopped. There were tents with various activities including a few members, and LDS missionaries handing out Books of Mormon, and sharing our faith. 

I will always remember this day, and how wonderful the turnout was for Pioneer Day in Texas. The fact that it was near one of our favorite country stores was a blessing. I literally would go out of my way to go shopping at this quaint little village. The best part about coming to this village were the swings that were available for customers. I also love the fact that it's out in the boonies.
There are days when I look back and long for this period again. When the girls are growing, and learning about life, and God. I am so happy to reflect back on these days especially on the moments that have meaning. Don't get me wrong, every moment with my kids have meaning, but there are those days when they were perfect not just in pictures, but in real life. 

Celebrating, and remembering our ancestors and the sacrifices the pioneers made is is very important to our family, and no matter how far we are away from the place where our heritage settled doesn't mean we don't need to remember. Sierra experiencing Trek for the first time in North Carolina was a huge blessing for her, and a great testimony builder. She was riveted by the experience, and at times we'll reminisce about that time. We have been very fortunate to have lived in other states where we did something to remember our pioneers. Haven't experienced that in Jersey yet, but time will tell. As long as we remember our heritage, sing praises in honor of them during sacrament meeting and appreciate all that they sacrificed in helping us to better appreciate what we have today is good enough for me.

***

Love this inspiring message by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. It gives me an even greater appreciation of the mormon pioneers, and helps me to strive to be a better example of faith, strength and courage in these modern days.







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