Hang on for Your Life

grand canyon 2We had the incredible opportunity to float the Grand Canyon this past week.  280 miles of incredible scenery, sheer cliffs, slot canyons, water falls, rainbows, and even an eclipse. From the start of the float, we felt the thrill of clinging to the rafts through turbulent rapids. We had to be prepared in case one of the rafts flipped or a rafter fell into the water.  If a raft flips, it takes an incredible amount of time to recover gear, get the raft righted, and get the motor running again. Being the middle of the monsoon season, we also had to be prepared for thunderstorms and flash floods.

My brother Krehl Stegelmeier, an experienced pilot, was in a smaller 8-man raft and was sure that his raft would be flipped in one of the larger rapids.  Therefore, he was cautious and took the more conservative (but still crazy) part of the rapids when possible. On the second day, we had 3 of the biggest rapids coming up.  I started praying that we would be safe and that the rafts wouldn’t flip. It is really intimidating when you watch a 10-foot-tall boat disappear into the holes of a rapid and then resurface.  My heart was racing and the butterflies in my tummy were flying extra crazy. My brothers smaller raft went successfully through all 3 rapids.  I was riding on a J-rig. We had fun rides and even caught some air through the first two rapids, Granite and Hermit.  On Crystal, the third big rapid, however, our boat turned sideways in a hole and we were holding on for dear life.  Our pilot thought we were going over, but we didn’t somehow.  I believe this was an answer to my fervent prayer, probably along with the prayers of others.

As for monsoons, we experienced the fury of the wind and heavy rains of 2 monsoons the first couple of days. On the latter part of the trip, we didn’t want the rains to ruin our chances of seeing some of the amazing side canyons and waterfalls.  I started praying that it would not rain. The sky was beautiful and clear almost the whole time. One day, a monstrous, looming cloud was coming straight for us, but skirted around us.  On the last day, another storm moved off to the East of us instead of hitting us.  I believe this was also an answer to my prayer.  They seem like little things.

Reading in Mormon 9 today, I read verse 21.

“Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.”

I was impressed by the word whatsoever. It doesn’t matter if it is big or little, the Lord promised us he would grant it unto us if we would believe.  Sometimes, I feel like the Lord is there, poised, listening, and waiting for us to ask for something so He can bless us with it. He lives. He wants to bless us, His children. Ask, Believe, Receive.