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Determination in the West…

There’s a place near Durango Colorado, called Silverton. This place is one of the oldest settlements in the area. The first settlers arrived in the early 1870’s, they were mostly killed off by the Indians and the weather. That didn’t stop people from wanting to be there. The main reason for settling there was gold. The town, was later built around the mining industry. It took a few tries for some brave people to actually be able to establish the small mining town. They had to be willing to risk their lives and everything to live there for the first few decades of the settlement.  

Silverton is nestled in a valley between some very large mountains, and in the middle of some very ruggedly beautiful country. From high in the mountains, approaching Silverton, the town looks very picture perfect and cozy. But Silverton still has some serious weather issues, they get snowed in and have some brutally cold temperatures. There are times when they’re cut off completely from the outside world, even the train can’t get through some of the weather they have…

The fact that these conditions exist and the small town is still there, is a real life testament to what the first settlers had to go through and survive to create a home and life in this still dangerous area. But, survive they did, and even thrived, the town has lasted all this time, through the unkind, unfriendly, and unwelcoming elements that first greeted the first white men to the area.



Sarah’s journey west didn’t take her to the Wild West. She found a wonderful community full of people who were kind, friendly, and welcoming. There is an Indian Reservation down the road, but they don’t attack anymore.    

Excerpt from New Parish:

A couple of emails from Sarah to her little sister Hannah –

“Hi Hann

So, I went out to New Parish and had a really good visit, I asked so many questions you wouldn’t believe! They were very open and honest with me about everything. I met a lot of people who were very nice. I got to know Brother Michael’s wives a bit and they’re great. I tried to sort out which kid belonged to which mom and I’m still not sure on most of them…

I met a guy that was so incredibly handsome I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw him. Too bad he’s one of those macho jerks we both avoid like the plague. He’s a full on cowboy, yeah I know you’d like his horse. LOL

It’s weird now to be back in Atlanta, I feel sort of out of sync like here or there, one is surreal. I have to decide what I’m going to do, I can’t focus on work or anything really, so I have to figure this out soon. I’m going to check with mom and see if the condo is available soonish…

How’s school? How’s work? Any cute guys?

Love ya



Hi Hann

So this last week was full of things going on, the community had a social which you would have loved! It was on a real cowboy ranch with some beautiful horses, (picture attached), with a live cowboy band, a hayride, and a bon fire for me to burn marshmallows in. Which of course I did…

Brother Michael said he and the other church leaders think I should marry that cowboy that I detest… I threw a real fit and said there was no way I was marrying him, then I calmed down and promised Brother Michael that I would try to give him (the cowboy) a small second chance. I really can’t stand him, the cowboy I mean not Brother Michael, he’s everything I decided long ago I would never get involved with ever again. He’s a macho, self centered, nethanderthal man who thinks that the world revolves around him and what he wants, you know the type the ones with no real higher level thinking just testosterone and me Tarzan you Jane. Oh well I’m sure Brother Michael will see soon that this just won’t work.

Anyways back to the party, Mary insisted I try to square dance with her, you would have laughed at me so much, there would have been tears… it was going okay until I saw that cowboy in the band, he plays the guitar, I tripped over my own feet and fell on my bum… I can’t seem to keep my balance around that guy… Yeah I know you would have fell over laughing at me then too.

Okay, so work is going pretty good, I have a couple of picture books I’m working on now, they are both from a series that I’ve worked on before. Living with this really big family has been amazing and fun. You wouldn’t believe how much fun!

How’s school going? Are you dating anyone yet? I know you’re really busy with all the extra classes you’re taking but you should find some time for fun… Any returned missionary prospects? 

Love ya