Thursday, April 18, 2013

Trek Prep Devotional - Steve & Teri Booth

This week had it’s high and low points.  The high point was getting to surprise my step-dad along with my step-sister and half-sister for his eightieth birthday in Tennessee. The low point was hearing that Steve’s mom fell and bumped her head, and having her die within twenty-four hours.

As we mobilized the family to see who could attend the funeral in Utah, who could stay home and play supporting roles, I was in awe of my children and in-laws and their willingness to work together, sacrifice and support each other and us in our time of shock and grief.  Each person gave their utmost. Alex and Kristine sacrificed time and money, buying an airplane ticket and having Alex skip two days of classes right before his students have to take the AP physics test.  Kristine, pregnant stayed home with two rambunctious toddlers.  Austin two weeks from graduation sacrificed papers, and tests.  Rhea thirty weeks pregnant with twins, crazily got in the car and took three days off work.  Maren took off three more days of work, when the money is oh so needed for graduate school and moving to Kansas at the end of summer. Jacob shortened his family time in order for Maren to leave and took care of the chickens, house, garbage, yada.  Both couples helped with food and gas expenses. Last but not least Sophie stayed home for the weekend, instead of going with Maren and Jacob to Olympia, when she was really feeling bad about being left and held down the fort for the youth garage sale and took care of the dog and chickens and got the car packed so she and Maren could meet me in Edmonds and drive to Pullman as I came home Sunday afternoon.
 Each person played a vital roll.  Steve was able to get to his mother before she died.  I and the kids drove 3000 miles in three days and still like each other.  In thinking about the events of the last six days, I have come to realize that this kind of cooperation does not really happen over night.  It is the results of all of us making day to day decisions to be part of a family, to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.  We must train to be in a family.  It is not a skill that comes over “I do” at the altar.  It comes from training as a child, denying oneself as a young adult, and finally sacrificing for each other as adults.

I think one of the main benefits of trek, is to teach our trek kids that they can be part of something big, by small acts of cooperation.  Being in a family requires sacrifice, but the rewards last an eternity.

Teri Booth, Bellingham 1st

"I'm a fifth generation member of the church, which means that many of my ancestors traveled across the plains.  Some were part of the Willie and Martin handcart company rescues.  It's not difficult to find stories about their sacrifices as they made their way to Utah and that gathering of the saints.  I feel deeply their legacy of sacrifice and obedience and hope that my life will also reflect an attitude of sacrifice and obedience.  

My wife, Teri, on the other hand, is the first member in her family.  She has no LDS pioneer stories from her ancestors.  She does, however have a story of sacrifice for family.  Her great grandfather was a master brewer from Prussia (currently Poland).  He left home and moved west to a town south of Berlin in the Sachsen-Anhalt region in the 1890's.  He married while living there, and after his two children were born, he received word from his wife's sister that the sister's husband had stepped on a rusty nail, had contracted lockjaw and had died in America.  The sister sent money for passage and asked the family to come to America to help.  Teri's great grandfather left a successful business in Germany to come help his sister-in-law's family at the insistence of his wife.  Although, my wife's great grandmother was not a member, and never did become a member, she listened to the promptings of the spirit to go to America just after the turn of the last century, and by so doing, saved herself and her family from the devastation and horror of two world wars and the prospect of living behind the iron curtain in a divided Germany.  Our youngest daughter, Sophie, who will be participating in trek this year is named after Teri's great aunt Winna Sophia Emilie Wolfert, who helped her ancestors come to America."

Steve Booth, Bellingham 1st

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