A group of youths from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Manassa Colorado Stake tested their mettle on an unusual three-day pioneer trek in Alamosa, Colo. Dressed in pioneer-era clothing and carrying all of their personal belongings in a 5-gallon bucket that could not exceed 17 pounds, 170 young people endured a staged train robbery before finishing the last 22 miles on foot and pulling handcarts. Local newspaper Alamosa News described other staged persecutions and hardships the teenagers and adult leaders faced as their re-enactment of the Mormon pioneers' journey West.
Another youth group participating a pioneer trek in honor of the Mormon migration just hung up their hats on Saturday after a three-day hike in New Hampshire. This company of 160 Latter-day Saints hail from New Hampshire and Vermont, NewHampshire.com reported.
Another article, posted on the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat, featured Mormons on a different kind of journey, serving full-time missions for the church in Florida. Elder Saunders, 19, from Logan and Elder Buttars, 20, from Ogden talked about how their experiences have helped them to grow and will continue to stretch them throughout their missions.
In the words of Elder Buttars, "When you leave everything you know and find yourself in someplace new, that is when you grow the most. The distractions of your everyday life are gone."
Other LDS Church members made the news through their willingness to serve. In Arvada, Colo., Latter-day Saints teamed up with members of other faiths to finish a hiking trail near 80th Avenue and Quaker Street. The Arvada Press reported "more than 450 people, including many families, were hard at work Aug. 4 to make their community a better place."
Mormons in New Jersey worked with the Roxbury Township mayor and parks and recreation director painting a bridge, cleaning along a roadside and removing trees in front of the town's recreation center in a day of service, the New Jersey Hills Newspaper reported.
Also, more than 30 members in Wales rolled up their sleeves to work in two community gardens.
"Both the gardens had become quite overgrown in the wet weather and the small groups of volunteers who had been trying to look after them were really struggling to keep on top of things," Keep Wales Tidy project officer Judith Wright explained to the Flintshire Chronicle. "This has given them a big boost and the group has transformed the areas. I'm very grateful to them."