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by Kerry Bradshaw of the Middleton, Idaho 4th Ward / ga04242008

Our ward did trek last year and it was the neatest experience for these youth. Our ward did a monthly countdown to trek. Each month they were "assigned" to do something different to prepare.  
For instance, in January they were to do a 5 generation genealogy tree. Then they were to run the names through the handcart website to see if any of their relatives were in a handcart company. They were to pick one and learn about them and take on their name on the trek. 
In February they were to learn the words to all of the verses of The Spirit of God. 
In March they were to start a fitness program and start taking long walks. 
In April they were to read a book (I can't remember the name) of the accounts of the pioneers that walked to Zion pulling handcarts. In may, all of the Young Men and Young Women leaders really talked a lot about sacrifice. 
At the end of  May they were to think of something that they could sacrifice for the rest of the time until trek. I was so impressed with the level of sacrifice that these youth chose for themselves.  It was very humbling. The bishop also asked to the ward to do the same. June was trek. 
The Sunday before everyone planned to go, came to church in their trek close, the men were even unshaven, and it was a very moving sacrament meeting. It felt as if the pioneers were among us. Also, our ward had one person go as a historian and she took thousands of pictures during trek. She then came home and put together the neat CD. It chronicled the women's pull, Martins Cove, the grave, the crossing of the Sweetwater (our priests carried everyone across the river). It was all set to beautiful music. They showed the video the week after the week they came back in a combined Sunday School. Even the Primary children stayed for it. It was amazing. Everyone got a copy of the disc as well as a copy of ALL of the pictures that were taken.

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