Monday, February 7, 2011

                  Yesterday we got a great view of Mt. McKinley or Denali in the sunset across the valley.
                          The mountain is not often visible because it tends to make it's own weather
                                                          and is usually shrouded  in clouds.
                                   A closer view shows some lights of Fairbanks below in the valley.
                                      Denali is about half way between Fairbanks and Anchorage

     Today it was Fast Sunday and testimonies are shared in our sacrament meeting.  Staci Homelvig who was just baptized in December got up to bear her testimony for the first time.  She was so sincere when she expressed the happiness and joy she has felt since joining the Church.  She said that the Holy Ghost had born witness to her of the truthfulness of the Book of  Mormon through her study and prayer.  As we have watched her, we have seen the happiness that has come into her life.  What a blessing it has been for us and for her.  She is now bringing her brother to activities and to meet the missionaries.  The faith and strength of the young people here is amazing especially when we find that they have been members for less than a year.

      Last Friday evening we were invited to go to dinner at the Kennedy's home.  They have been attending our adult class on the Gospels of the New Testament, and Brother Kennedy is on the High Council of the Fairbanks Stake. The Kennedys have lived here for a number of years, and Brother Kennedy appears to be quite involved in hunting and fishing in Alaska, as are many of the men here.  He had a large rack of moose antlers, in his kitchen along with the baleen  from a 300-year-old whale and many skulls of small animals that he and harvested. We had a fine dinner of snow crab.  Brother Kennedy told us a couple of Moose hunting stories and then we  retired to the living room where we left a message and discussed the importance of the doctrine of revelation, especially as it applies to our attendance at the temple. The Kennedys then proceeded to give us two referrals for people that may have some interest in the church that live in the apartments that he manages.  All in all it was an enjoyable evening. We continue to meet more members of the wards and the stake here in Fairbanks.  We met their twin sons over Christmas break.  Now they are going to school at BYU, and Mike and Michelle met them in South Jordan.  They are good friends of the twins' cousin.  Small world indeed.
     We enjoy teaching the classes here.  It is a blessing to be able to study and share our testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others.

Jim and JoAnn