The Words of the Sakaguchi Family
Hi, I’m Tadayoshi Sakaguchi (I go by Tada) and this is my testimony. The Montana Adventure Workshop was an amazing experience for me and eleven other brothers that went with me. I was really looking forward to going to the workshop because the workshop is designed to challenge you and I like challenges. When we first got there, I was amazed by the surrounding environment. The whole area was filled with mountains and valleys covered with trees. It was truly an amazing view for me because I come from Michigan, which is basically flat land. Seeing mountains and valleys is something new to me and I enjoyed looking at it every day that I was there. These are some of the great experiences that I would like to share with all of you who are reading this.
One of my favorite experiences was the snow. The first day we were there it actually started to snow! It was still in the middle of October and it was truly unusual to see snow this early. We were informed by Mr. MacMurdie, the workshop guide, that it was about 70 degrees when the first STF team came a few days earlier. We were also informed that it was going to snow for the next three days! Snow was one of the challenges me and my brothers faced at the workshop.
The snow made it pretty tough to walk through the hiking trails. Since it snowed for three days straight, you could imagine how much it piled up. Basically, it snowed up to our stomachs! Some of the trails were uphill hikes and the snow made it especially tough for our team. A trail that only takes 15 minutes to walk turned into a 2 hour hike and a small anthill hike turned into hiking Mt. Everest. It was a huge challenge for our team, but we were able to pull through because our strong determination, support, and teamwork.
No matter how tired we were, we trudged through the snow and encouraged each other to keep going until the very end and we switched the hiking leader every 5 minutes to keep each other from getting too tired. We were really able to unite as a team while hiking through the cold, tough snow. Even though the snow was an obstacle, it made the workshop fun, too. The snow provided the team with unlimited ammo for snowball fights, we made slides on the side of a hill we climbed the morning after we arrived, and we made funny video clips thanks to the snow.
Another one of my favorite experience was learning to be grateful. At the workshop, there is no electricity or lights, no running water or bathrooms, and no heaters. So, we were provided with gas lamps, snow for water, a homemade outhouse, and a stove. To survive the hike, we got jackets, boots, gloves, etc. Basically, what you get is what you get. It made me feel grateful for the things provided in the end. We didn’t have the best materials in the world, but it was enough for us to survive the workshop. The gas lamps still gave us light for us to see, the snow gave us water, the outhouse was still usable (even though the toilet seat was extremely cold), and the stove gave us warmth. The jackets, boots, and gloves that were given really helped us get through the hike and survive the hike. I was really grateful what I was provided with. It may not have been the best, but they did their jobs. It was a very valuable lesson.
There are many things that I would like to say, but it difficult to narrow down all the experiences. It was an awesome experience going up in the mountains of Montana. I am truly grateful to God, True Parents, and Hyun Jin Nim for allowing to me have this experience with creation. Seeing how it is so pristine has given me hope that we too can one day come back to our original state.