Intuninophkee (In Tune and Off Key)

O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Ps. 95:1

Trek: How Firm a Foundation

The next morning I left with 3 of my children to go on trek in Wyoming. Since they were part of the choir, we had to be at the church at 5:40 am. Yay. Good morning Utah.

I was feeling just a little sad to be missing the end of tour, but when I walked in the chapel and heard the kids singing How Firm a Foundation, I knew I was where I was supposed to be. Here is a video of them singing that song.

How Firm a Foundation

I was on the food committee and made some wonderful friends.


Bella and friends with a homemade soccer ball

Lizz familly

Lizz’s family

Lydia's family

Lydia’s family

Me with Carol

with Carol

Pony Express

Pony Express brought letters

Yu Chen

Yu Chen

After the mud

After the mud.

As a food committee, we are up with grills on at 5 or 5:30 am, depending on the day. 2 hours before breakfast starts. We pack up their lunches, clean up after breakfast, take everything down and move to the next spot. There we put everything back up and start on dinner. I’ve been on trek in many capacities. I would say that food committee is probably the most work with the least payback.

However, the Ma’s and Pa’s have got the most taxing job. They work directly with the youth. It’s their responsibility to keep the kids safe, keep them together (which is sometimes impossible), hug them when they’re homesick, encourage them when they’ve reached their limits, and keep a positive attitude throughout.

The Ma’s and Pa’s are the linchpins of trek. They stand with their kids through whatever must be faced. They put up with the whining, the middle of the night bathroom trips, the lazy ones, the wondering ones, and the cold ones. Through it all they try to keep the Spirit with them so they can speak the words their kids need to hear.

Thank you Ma’s and Pa’s.

So why do we go on trek?

  1. To remember what those who went before us had to go through. When we remember what they sacrificed and why, it helps us realize that it’s okay—and even necessary—for us to sacrifice too.
  2. For the kids. So they can learn more about themselves and what they are capable of.
  3. To pull the youth away from the world for a few days so they can listen to the Spirit without other things getting in the way.
  4. To learn firsthand about our world and what it takes to live in it. To appreciate God’s amazing creations.
  5. It’s fun. It really is fun—most of the time.
  6. To do some bonding on very deep levels.
  7. To feel the Spirit and draw closer to Christ. Isn’t that what everything is about? When we leave the world behind and focus on spiritual things, we can draw parallels that fit into our lives. We walk away changed.
  8. Sometimes we have the opportunity to learn firsthand that we can’t do it alone. That we need to rely on each other and on God to get us through. When we’ve reached the end of all we can do, it’s easier to turn to Christ.

On Wednesday, the final day of trek, I had the opportunity to leave the clean-up behind and join the kids on trek. I wanted to hear Lizz and Lydia do their song in the final fireside out on the trail. Here’s a recording of it.

Nearer My God to Thee

We started out just as the recording finished. It started to rain. The lightening was pretty close for a while. It hailed hard enough that it stung. The road became muddy and very slippery. It stopped raining, but then the flash floods began to pour down the road. It was a cold, wet, slippery, and long walk to the end. Many of us stayed in our wet clothes from about 12:30 (when it started raining) until we got home around 6:30.

It’s something those kids will never forget.

A few things I learned from those last few hours:

  1. Most kids can keep a positive attitude through the most trying of circumstances.
  2. That red mud is pretty much impossible to get out of some fabrics.
  3. When you have to work together to accomplish a goal, when the stakes are high, you have some pretty deep bonding.
  4. Girls get washed away more often than boys. (Is it the dresses? The shoes?)
  5. I’m grateful for the hail because when it stopped, the rain wasn’t so bad.
  6. It’s easier to get through the deep parts when you hold tight to someone or something.
  7. Feet get mighty heavy when they’re covered in mud.
  8. I really need a belt for those pants.
  9. Don’t try to do it alone.
  10. You can’t always see when the road’s washed away under the water.
  11. When it stops raining, it doesn’t mean the trouble’s over. It may just be the beginning.
  12. No matter how bad things are, they can always be worse. There’s always something to be grateful for.
  13. I’m definitely going to remember a poncho next time.
  14. Waterproof shoes don’t do much good when the water’s up to your knees or higher. Except maybe to keep the water in.
  15. Pa’s are good at catching girls getting washed away by the river.
  16. We have a wonderful stake.

I had to put my phone away because it was getting wet, so I don’t have any pictures of the “Mighty Muddy,” but someone took an awesome video that I linked on my Facebook page if anyone wants to go check it out.

Both tour and trek are connected in my memory. With only a few hours of sleep between the two, they bled into each other in a real way for me. Music brings the Spirit in profound ways, and that was present in both places. I’m so grateful that I was able to have both experiences.

I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

How Firm a Foundation, v. 4

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,

The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow.

For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,

and sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee, 

and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.


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This entry was posted on July 16, 2015 by .
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