Monday, July 27, 2009

Story # 206: Pioneer Day celebration

Pioneer Day was a big celebration here in Toquerville, even bigger than the 4th of July, said Mr. L as we drove to the Toquerville park where most people in the town were there lining up to get the dutch oven cook-off food.

On Saturday, we had a city parade here and I participated along with my brother-in-law, Tyler, and my mother-in-law. It was pretty fun even though we didn't get any prize for it. I got lots of compliments on my chinese traditional clothing though. Not too shabby, I suppose. haha... Tyler dressed up as a muslim dude. How is that pioneer again? LOL.

I know about the pioneers from the church history. I knew that they crossed the plains from the east coast of US to the West and settled down here and built homes and colonies. I guess what I didn't know about was most of the pioneers were Mormons and many cities in the West coast were founded by them, even Las Vegas.

I didn't really give much thought about the pioneers as I studied the church history because I didn't have any pioneer ancestors in the US. Now that I am here in Utah, I can't help but was told many many times on all the hardships the pioneer went through as they crossed the vast land to come to where we are now. In many occasions, Mr. L would ask me "What if you were a pioneer crossing the plains in the winter on the hand cart" to which I would curtly reply, "I don't know and there's no what if." I truly cannot imagine the hardship because I wasn't there and I couldn't relate to what they had been through. All I could say was it must have been tough, losing your family to the bitter winter, having no extra clothes and food on the journey, and have your faith being tested. I do admire their courage and faith, I do feel sorry for their loss, but I can't imagine myself doing that.

Mr. L took me to the museum in Hurricane where there were old handcarts and wagons displayed out in the open. Then, it struck me. It almost seemed like I had a glimpse into the lives of the pioneers. The handcart, simply made from a few planks of wood. I could almost see a young mother with 5 young kids, pushing the handcart with little food and possession, in the snow towards the unknown land beyond her wildest dream. I was told back home that I was a pioneer too because I was the first generation in my family to join the church. Have I been through any hardship since then? You bet. Not very different from the pioneer in the past, I set out on the strait and narrow path of the gospel, relying on faith to push me forward.

Covered wagon. Most people back then didn't have the money to get a wagon like this. It was pulled by oxen.

Handcart. This was their transportation across the plains. Someone has to push it. So basically, their legs were their main transportation. RESPECT!

You don't need to push a handcart to be a pioneer. Yay to the pioneers in the past, present, and future!

1 comment:

Leighton Whiting said...

I'm happy I married a real-life Malaysian Pioneer!