As mentioned last year, July 24th is Pioneer Day -- a uniquely Mormon holiday which honors those Mormon pioneers who trekked across the United States into what became the state of Utah. Many of those pioneers travelled in covered wagons, like the one pictured above.
Our pioneer story is a little different, though both sides of the family come from pioneering stock. Grandmary's ancestors settled the South, and were among the first converts in North Carolina. Their numbers swelled and generations later the faith is still quite strong. Grumpa Max's relatives immigrated to the West from England where they were probably converted, via Prince Edward Island and headed southwest to Utah via the Canadian Plains. I'm sure covered wagons and other modes of transport were used as his ancestors travelled Westward.
Just by converting these ancestors were pioneers in the truest sense of the definition: "one who is first or among the earliest in any field of inquiry, enterprise, or progress." Whether they travelled to Utah to join the larger body of Saints or they stayed in their communities to lead by example or to presevere in the face of prejudice and opposition, I honored to be their descendant and am proud of my pioneer heritage.