|The image above shows the migration of the early church members.
Our trek started at our home in Lindon, Utah. We traveled in the following order: Martin's Cove Wyoming, Council Bluffs Iowa (also Winter Quarters), Independence Missouri, Nauvoo Illinois, Kirtland Ohio, Palmyra New York, Harmony Pennsylvania and back home. It took us 15 days to travel and visit the sites, and 3 days to return home.
Our family of 6 traveled in our suburban and we pulled a 24 foot camper trailer. We had to make some adjustments in our lifestyle for our family to live in the above mentioned accommodations. The trailer was a very nice trailer. It had all the conveniences of home -- with a few exceptions. We of course had smaller living quarters. Because of the fresh water and gray water limitations, we had to conserve water, especially when showering. The best way to do this was to lather up without the water running, then start the water again to quickly rinse off. The toaster, microwave, and beloved air conditioner only worked if our campsite had power.
One of the unexpected blessings from this endeavor was realized upon our return home. We were all filled with the usual joys experienced when getting home after a long absence, but there were additional feelings of gratitude due to living in a small trailer. The children were elated with the renewed roominess of home. They loved going in to their room and being able to have privacy. They expressed joys of taking a shower knowing there was ample water. They reveled at being able to use the dishwasher when doing dishes.
The return for my wife and I was very emotional. I enjoyed as much as anyone the comforts of home, but I couldn't help but imagine how the saints felt at times. I imagined how I would feel if, after returning to the comforts of our home, someone knocked on our door and informed us we had to leave - move on to an unknown location, where we would arrive at an unknown time.
I have changed as a result of this trip. Our family has changed. It may only seem for a short time, but the memories and images are stored in our minds and will become a part of our every thought and deed.