I seriously cannot wait to go. Because, despite all that up there, I'm going to help my testimony grow. I'm not going because my parents are forcing me to go (though it may have started out that way...) And I'm sure as heck not going to pull a handcart over 20 miles. Nope. I'm going so that I can experience even in the smallest bit a part of the sacrifice and dedication given by the pioneers. They left their homes, their friends, their... everything for this. And I'm going to walk in their footsteps.
After I finally realized this a couple of weeks ago, I tried to really prepare for trek. I read Fire of the Covenant (which, if you haven't read, read it right now. I'm serious. Right now.) I learned more about the woman I'm portraying- Elizabeth Horrocks Jackson- who is an amazing woman by the way. She's now one of my heroes. Read her story and your eyes just might fog up... And I have become amazed at all that the wonderful people of 1856 went through. Especially those in the Martin and Willie handcart companies.
So imagine that you have come to love this experience already and then you hear this:
"They gave me some stupid name... Louisa or something like that."
"I got Meat. Or Meeta or something like that." (I don't know exactly what she was trying to say there, so I'm guessing.
"Ugh. It's just such a stupid name."
I could not take it. Perhaps it was my newly found friendship with Elizabeth that pushed me to say this but I couldn't just stand by. (Now is when you roll your eyes at me, tell me what a nerd I am and how I should just get over these things. I know.)
So I said, "You know those are real people who went on the actual pioneer trek, right? It's not just some made up name they decided to give you." I figured I better stop there before I really let my mouth run off with me. So I stopped.
The two girls who earlier couldn't seem to find enough to say about their "weird" names just looked at me. One nodded her head. And they turned around and talked a bit quieter about how she didn't know if her name was Meat or not. I had hoped that I would make the difference, but obviously, I just made them lower their voices. Oh well. At least I tried.
So, for the next four days, I will be Elizabeth and perhaps I'll be luck enough to have a dream like hers... "Cheer up Tacie, Deliverance is at hand." (I mean it. Read her story.) So, farewell till we meet again!