July 3, 1997
Location: Farson, Wyoming
Summary: Rest day in Farson -- Choir Practice(s), cemetary man
Journal entry: Even though we are at a high elevation here, the sun came out and warmed us enough to urge us out of our sleeping bags. A few of us have been sleeping under the stars at the edge of the large field, near the cemetary fence. The sprinklers in the cemetary occasionally spray through the fence, and so there is some green grass on the edge of all the sage brush.
As we were rolling up our sleeping bags, the caretaker of the cemetary, Virgil McWhorter, sauntered over to the fence and introduced himself. After talking about the usual wagon train questions, he said, "Why don't you kids come over and sleep here in the cemetary. That is, if you don't mind. You shouldn't have much problem that I can think of. There is only one lady who might come and complain, but just tell her that I said it is OK." He also invited us over to his place later on to rest, shower, even to sleep there for the night.
There were two choir practices today: one for the adults and one for the childrens' choir that will be singing for the program on Saturday. President Hinkley will dedicate a monument where the Johnson's Army wagons were burned at Simpson's Hollow. The kids are practicing a song called, "Pioneer Children." It was writtten by a girl on the wagon train, Laura Anderson, who is only 9 years old. They have asked Amy to play the guitar and me to play the violin. It is sounding good.
The other choir practice was with the adults again. Everyone was enthused to get together and sing. Sandy VanLeewen, the choir director, brought in a tape recorder and a tape of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing, "Come, Come, Ye Saints". We practiced singing with a full orchestra and the Choir. We sounded great.
As the afternoon dragged on, Amy and I realized we needed a nap, so we called Virgil and he offered to come pick us up. He took us to his home, a white A-frame house outside of Farson. They built the place by themselves from lumber that they got from a school that they helped tear down. They actually bought an old school for $535 and then took the materials they needed before bulldozing it under. They let us take showers and naps there, and even shared their supper with us. We are so grateful for their hospitality. Virgil's wife, Pat, let Amy borrow her sewing machine to stitch up a hem in her dress. After supper, we sat around and had a nice discussion about the small LDS branch there in Farson. The McWhorters feel that the Lord has really blessed them.
Amy and I also realize that the Lord has really blessed us in so many ways while we have been on the wagon train. It has been a humbling learning experience for both of us as we realize what it is like to be "lillies of the field." Some days we have no idea what we will do for supper, and then something always presents itself, just like tonight. Amy and I feel that we need to take the things that we learn together out here and try to implement them in our lives back home. If we can remember the feelings of gratitude and dependence on the Lord, we feel we can do all right.