July 24 is celebrated as Pioneer Day! On that day in 1847 Brigham Young stated “THIS IS THE PLACE!” and the Saints had reached Zion! Their journey wasn’t easy as they battled weather, Indians, illness, animals and death. Their testimonies were strengthened along the way as they saw the Lord’s hand in everything! How blessed we are to have those mighty saints sacrifice their lives and so much more so that we can have this great gospel today!
Our Pioneer Day celebration reflected on the saints. We heard their stories, played their games, worked and hunted like they did, and even gathered around the campfire at the end of the night. A GREAT THANKS to all those who participated and helped out! You all made this night a HUGE success!
Dinner is served! Everyone brought a blanket for their family to sit on. It was great to have both Bullard and Whitehouse ward combined to mix and mingle!
A BIG THANKS to Matt Denson who brought his cooker and cooked all the hotdogs!!! (mmm! Straight off the grill!)
We had an EXCELLENT turn out of competitors for the best chili, cornbread, and best pie competition! Thanks to Taylor and Hannah and all our judges who headed up the count!
The Jamesons, Karen, and Alana Kindle took BEST PIE!!
Here are our taste testing judges!
We had a surprise visit from Brigham Young (aka Joe Odom) who told us a little about the pioneer trek. We were then called to load up our family and wagons and head on West! (to the “West” side of the building in the grassy area)
This is where kids both young and old could participate in fun activities and hear stories from some “pioneers”!
Bro Evans and Cole told family history stories of their pioneer heritage.
Emeline told the story of Mary Fielding Smith and when her ox got sick and needed a blessing. Mary Fielding Smith used her faith and made it to Zion a day before everyone else!
Emeline reminded me of a Pioneer version Disney Princess!
Lindsay told the story of a little girl who LOVED her doll! She loved her so much that when it was nap time for her she would make a bed of pine needles for her doll to take a nap as well. The company was loading up and moving out, and they didn’t want to wake the little girl so they picked her up asleep and loaded her up. When the little girl awoke she discovered her doll had been left behind. Another man in the company heard the little girls cries over her prized possession and rode back to the campsite. He was gone over a day, but when he caught back up he pulled out the little girls loved doll!
Madison told the story of Agnus whose father had passed away and mother traveling with 7 children all the way from Scotland. Many children died because of the cold. Eliza and the other children had hoped someone would offer a ride in the wagon. The bitter cold was making so many sick and cold. Finally, after she was ready to sit and take a rest because she was so cold and miserable, one man offered her a ride. She eagerly took his hand thinking he was going to pull her up. To her surprise he sped up his horse causing her to run or be dragged for a few miles. She thought what a MEAN and awful man! But later on realized as she made it to Zion and so many others didn’t…. that man wasn’t being mean, he just saved her life by getting blood running back through her body and warming her up.
Ethan and Austin told the Martin Handcart rescue story. This is when the saints came across an icy river. It was low enough to cross, but chances were you would probably freeze to death as your clothes and all your belongings would be soaked and frozen. The Martin Handcart company started to carry the saints across the icy river. It took all day. These boys worked like men getting these saints safely across. They saved hundreds of lives, but sadly it took all the lives of those who carried the saints across. Ethan and Austin wanted everyone to experience what the Martin Handcart company went through. Even though it was a hot July evening and you thought standing in a pool of ice would be refreshing (it was refreshing for the first 30 seconds of the story) many had to hop out before the story was finished because it was too cold. How grateful we are for the saints.
Cami and Aylssa shared a story of two little pioneer friends who went on a walk and before they knew it they found themselves surrounded by hundreds of poisonous snakes! Scared and afraid to move they whispered to each other they should say a prayer. Quietly a prayer was spoken. The girls received the inspiration to leap together across the snakes. Heavenly Father protected the girls and calmed the snakes allowing the girls to escape.
There were LOTS of pioneer activities going on as well!
Elise was in charge of the HOOP roll game….much more fun to hula hoop!!!
Dallin was in charge of Joseph Smith’s favorite game the Stick Pull game. This is where you sit with feet together and try to pull the other player over.
These girls were in charge of some good “CLEAN” fun- SOAP CARVING!
Watermelon seed spitting contest run by Alana and Chris Otero
Zoe, Elaina, and her friend had lots of giggles at the PIE EATING contest!
Caleb was on the HUNT and helped others hunt for food like the pioneers! (you would win some beef jerky if you hit the target!)
LOTS of fun was had, and now it was time to circle the wagon and call it a night!
We gathered around the camp fire and sang a few camp songs (we rocked out to the super talented Matt Kindle!! Thanks to Matt and Jill for leading the music!!)
It was also a very special day for a BIRTHDAY GIRL!!! (of course we sang to her!!! Happy birthday sweet girl!)
A BIG THANK YOU to Cristi and Hilde for decorating the gym, it really looked like the wild frontier!
And another THANKS to Chalease and Tiffany for planning this special night!
We hope everyone left with a greater love and appreciation for our great pioneers! Bro Odom closed the night challenging us to continue to be like the courageous pioneers and to take some time to write down something about how we feel about the gospel so that future generations can know of our testimonies of this great gospel! Thank you again for sharing this night with us- “ALL IS WELL”!!!
Thanks to all those who sent in pictures!!!