Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Wendy Westergard Journals

July 26, 1997

Location: Salt Lake Valley (the right place), Utah - The end destination for the trek across the plains.

Summary: My new life.

Journal entry: Today was my first day not being around people on the train. It was so hard. It was harder than I ever thought it would be. I was so depressed, I almost drove myself nuts. Everything seems so foreign. To be able to turn on music and have it sound so wonderful and professional feels weird and out of place. So many modern conveniences at our fingertips. Running water, electricity, stores around the block...everything. The most foreign is the phone. Calling people on the train on the phone and not being able to see their faces as they talk, feels more than odd. I don't like it. Having to drive 10-20 minutes to see friends from the train is more than a foreign concept. I'm used to just walking around camp and knowing where to find them. I'm so used to them be so close at our convience.

Being in buildings I feel closed in. I miss the fresh air. Our noses are much more keen to smell. It's is nice to be clean all the time, know where my stuff is and flush toilets, but I'd rather be back at camp. Our bodies will be going through an adjustment, not walking so much and not moving everyday. More than anything our minds will be going through the most adjusting. I hope I do okay. It will take a while. I am told this feeling is much like coming off a mission. I suppose it is. We knew we had an overwhelming power with us everyday. This was an adventure in spirituality and much more. It will be difficult to keep it a part of our everyday lives. It is too easy to fall into our old habits. I hope I can fight it enough that it won't happen. I want to bring what I learned and that kind of lifestyle to my own lifestyle here at home or wherever I go.

I want everyone to know that I will carry this memory of the train in my heart and mind forever. I will pass down what I have learned to my children and to anyone else that is willing to learn form what I have learned. I want to pass this legacy on to my children when I have some. I love the gospel with all my heart. I love the Lord and am his humble servant. I will do whatever he asks of me. I have learned much more than I expected to.

I hope that I have given you a better understanding of what happened on our trek along with the pioneers of old. I love each of them with all of my heart for making the sacrifices that they gave to bring forth this great work. They gave much more than any of us gave on this trek. We gave, but they gave more. I want everyone on the train to know how much I love them. They are my family. I have lived with them for the trek and got to know many of them better than a lot of people I have known for a long time. I appreciate all that they do and they are my heros. I saw everyone on the trek always doing some small kindness for someone else. I will always treasure my small glimpse of an understanding of what Zion is all about. That was the thing that made the trek - we were a traveling Zion. We had bonded together and knew we could count on each other and could trust each other. That is the major reason we felt so close was we all trusted each other so much. Normally you don't trust completely a person so quickly. We had to depend on each other. I will treasure them always and I hope that I never lose contact with any of them. It would be great if each year we could have a reunion. I don't think that it would happen that often, but it would be wonderful. Thank you for your interest in the wagon train. It has been an honor to let you experience a little of the train through words. Don't ever let this experience through words fade. Make an impact on the people around you who don't know what this kind of sacrifice is about. Make a difference in the world around you. People need to remember where everything we have comes from. Hard work and the Lord. Don't let this legacy of faith die. Help it to live on forever.