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

May 18, 1997

Location: North Platte, Nebraska - Location: 41:07:26N 100:45:54W Elevation: 2800 feet

Summary: A spiritual day.

Journal entry: Right now I'm sitting at the edge of the Platte River. It's peaceful. The birds are chirping and the wind is blowing gently. My soul has peacefulness in my heart. To know that we are recreating some of the events and to have a better appreciation for this glorious work and heritage. We are making a great work for our own time as well as celebrating our heritage. [...]

The spirit has been so strong today. The Lord is helping us in so many ways. It is so easy to feel the STRONG spirit everyday, if your heart is open. If you let it just be "a fun time" the whole trek, it's hard to get the whole sprit of the trek especially if your heart isn't open to the tenderness and courage present.

When I think about this trek, it seems like a challenge, like a challenge when I'm primitive camping with a twist. I know that it will get tremendously harder after this point because of the sand and the difference in climate.

When I think of friends back home and friends in different parts of the world I know that this trek would be so very hard for them. They like the comfort of today's society too much. (mind you, this is not all my friends - just a lot of them) I'm different in that I like to see how little I can live on. I don't mind going without things. For the regular person on the street, this trek was be extremely hard.

The best way to learn things is sometimes the hard way. The trail will yield us its secrets to us if our hearts and minds are open and will make sacrifices along the way. Without sacrifice this is "just another adventure." This is a special adventure. It's more than an adventure. It fills my soul with so many things that it is hard to describe. I don't know if I have words to describe it. It helps my soul to soar in so many wonderful directions. I feel free. I'm at peace and I'm growing to be a better person. I've become a peacemaker. I've not always been like that. I was always squabbling over something with a sibling or parent. Now I help a lot of the time to prevent squabbles. Getting along is so much easier than fighting. Besides contention is of the devil.

I want everyone to know that I love the Lord with all my heart, mind and soul. [...] I love this work. I hope that I can be in tune with the spirit in order to progress forward. [...] Looking at this beautiful river I don't understand how anyone could doubt there is a living God directing us for good so that we can return to him someday. [...]