© [2017] — Destinations Journal

This is a little about the work I do today.

The purpose of  “Creekers Foundation” is to provide the resources to help with Women’s Empowerment , Economic Development , Social and Personal Life Skills.

Coaching , mentorship and Counseling resources. Offering through non formal education ; events , seminars and retreats in a Social Club to those who need it in the Flds.
Specializing in women but not exclusive to men and women everywhere.
Our main goal is to accomplish a support group and simply to hear your story and encourage everyone to follow our own heart.
Other goals are to build bridges amongst women everywhere.
Also, offering education, resources, support and mentoring services.
Giving the tools and support to become our best self.
We are bringing in the Winds of Change in my Hometown, following our own hearts for the very first time and accepting diversity exploring new ideas and inviting you to explore ours.
In this little hidden valley where I grew up grew up in the FLDS, Mormon church. Hilldale and Colorado City. With our personal preference nickname “Creekers” we use to identify ourselfs.
We identify ourselves with that name because of a beautiful creek that runs down through the middle of town close to the border of Utah and Arizona. As children growing up in the flds
the creek was our playground.
In the Flds.

With the town blossoming it is fertile ground for change and women’s Economic Development.
It’s time to hear our voices.
The results of the crumbling Flds Mormon religion has found the women and destitute and in poverty.
Being a female leader can be very risky and unpopular in my culture.
Everything we owned including ourselfs belonged to the church.
I think here we are at least one or two generations behind the rest of the world in women’s empowerment.
Approximately 70% of the people are uneducated past the 8th grade.
We live in a small town that is very secluded from the world. We have never had the opportunity until now to invite you to see our beautiful little Creekers community, giving the world a chance to see with their own eyes are beautiful community. For the first time we invite and share with you our beautiful community and culture.


We are coming out of oppression and beginning to blossom!
By empowering each other through self-development and non-formal education and standing up for our own voice ,
“Creeker Foundation” is the place where survivors can come and raise their voice and tell their own stories.
Reaching out for what they need.
For the very first time , women have the power to act freely and exercise their rights to be equal members in our society.
Like when we can get married and how many children we want to have and how we spend our money. With women’s empowerment we can gain 50% more of our economic development.
More women should are being elected now.   Economic empowerment and hopefully a balance on wage scale can only blossom our hometown and the world we live in. It can only help all!  Women around our hometown are taking part with their partners working together in decision-making for the first time.
Having voices on our own stories.
With the town blossoming it is fertile ground for self-development and economic development also.
We are still lacking behind in basic social skills, confidence and education. We are lacking in formal employment.
It is in everyone’s best interest men and women should get behind this organization.
We finally have the opportunity to
come together and support each other to live up to our own “God-given” potential!
When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending or change history. When we push down hurt or pretend that struggle doesn’t exist, the hurt and struggle own us.
We can’t smooth over hurt feelings in our families and communities.
It’s too easy for stockpiled hurt to turn into resentment, and isolation.
We can’t pretend our family histories of religious force, abuse, addiction and mental health issues don’t exist if our hope is to write a new story and pass that legacy of emotional honesty and health down to our children.
We must own our failures and mistakes so that we can learn and grow.
It’s hard but I’ve seen how it becomes part of a family and organizational religious culture.
It doesn’t feel comfortable, but courage rarely does.
Owning our stories is standing in our truth. It’s critical and transformative in our personal lives.
It’s also critical in community.
Until we find a way to own our collective stories our history. The stories of pain, fear and heartbreak will continue to run over our community.
Our stories are not easy to own.
We will have to choose courage over comfort. We will have to feel our way through the shame and sorrow.
We will have to listen. We will have challenge our resistance and our defensiveness.
We have to examine and own are prejudices. Every single one of us has them.
This means being  honest  about how we were raised and what we need to work on. No blaming or shaming.
We shouldn’t underestimate the power of love and truth-telling.
This is not bigger than us.
This is us.
Yes, we need to own a million heartbreaking stories and make millions changes But, if each one of us owns one story and makes one change for the better. “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.
Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness. The Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.
Words are so powerful in the negative as well as the positive!
This is a way to write a brave new ending. It remains to be seen is if we have the will and courage.
I believe we do.
These stories will go down in history and hopefully history will not repeat itself.

believe that I am a good person and I follow my own heart.
When I was FLDS, I never thought I was good enough and I was always under pressure. Today I follow my own heart and I know I’m good enough.

Anne Helen Petersen
Senior Culture Writer / Western Correspondent, BuzzFeed News
Missoula, Montana

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