Today, I am feeling slightly defeated. Why, you ask? It’s Pioneer Day, and happy festivities are nonexistent in the state of Pennsylvania. This day is, perhaps, the only day that I ever desire to live in Utah. The whole state practically shuts down, there are pioneer activities galore, parades lining each street, massive barbecues, and families spending time together. In Collegeville… it’s just another day to most people. My dad worked in his office today, Mom was busy teaching piano, I’m at work, and Brigham is being Brigham.
But I haven’t forgotten the pioneers… no, I am celebrating the pioneers who sacrificed everything as they crossed the plains, AND I’m celebrating modern-day pioneers.
“Whenever I think about pioneers, I think of brave women and men”
Can you even imagine the pioneers' journey? - 70,000 Latter-Day-Saints, abandoning their homes and possessions, risking their well-being, putting their trust entirely in the Lord. I think of the young men who sacrifice their lives, carrying people over the icy rapids of the Sweetwater River. I think of the heart-broken widow who digs the graves of her children using nothing but a wooden spoon. I marvel at their sacrifice and bravery, and I am forever grateful for their legacy and for their testimonies that enabled this gospel to flourish even more. My ancestor, Andrew Ole Anderson, made the journey several times to help additional members cross the plains. You can say that he's awesome, and yes... you can even Google him.
“My goal in life is for my children to be educated, happy, and worthy to marry in the temple”
Both of my parents said something to that effect. I certainly do not need to be reminded that I have the best parents ever --they are my modern-day pioneers. My mom did not always have the support of her parents regarding the Church. She went to Primary by herself, she completed the seminary program by herself, and she even dumped some dude because he wasn't Mormon, knowing that she would never have the blessings of the Priesthood in her future household (bummer for him…my mom was quite the catch). She has been active her whole life, and she has prepared me for the responsibilities of being a wife, a mother, an educator, and a worthy-temple goer. My dad was born into the covenant, but sometimes his life was hard, as it was for my mom. Occasionally, his family members did not make righteous decisions, but he persevered through such hardships. He served a faithful and extremely challenging mission in Taiwan. He forever remains, in my eyes, one of the best bishops ever, and he is an example to me. When my parents eventually fell in love, got married, and made ridiculously awesome babies, I hardly think they could ever fathom the influence they would have on their kids. Mom and Dad make me want to be a better person.
Happy Pioneer Day, folks.
Happy Pioneer Day, folks.