Sunday, February 13, 2011


                                             The Branch choir practicing before meeting today.
                                 Melanie Johnson and Travis Payton are getting married on Mar. 12
                                                           in the Logan, Utah Temple.
                                   More friendly ravens playing with some garbage in the parking lot.
                                   We were reminded today that the prophet Elijah was fed by ravens.

Today was an unusual day for us.  Because the temperature was -41 degrees, we only had Sacrament Meeting today.  When the weather gets too cold, it is hard for cars to start after three hours, so they have cold weather rules for church meetings.  Even though we only had one meeting, there was a great spirit there.  Travis and Melanie talked about preparing to receive temple blessings.  They have been taking our Temple Preparation class and gave wonderful talks.  It is so fun for us to see them prepare for this most important decision.  They are two great examples of the young adults here.  Melanie has been teaching the genealogy class and is so enthused about linking families together.  Her father died when she was eight years old, and she has a strong testimony of temple marriage sealing families together for eternity.  I love to listen to her talk about it.  We are so blessed to know that families are forever, and we can be with our loved ones after death.

It's a lot of fun singing in the Branch choir.  These kids love to sing the hymns.  You find them singing around the piano before or after classes and on Sunday.  They have great favorites and gain great strength from singing together.  The girls in Relief Society are practicing some special numbers to sing at Stake Conference along with the Relief Society sisters in all the wards here.  It's a special "Singing Mothers" choir to remember the "Relief Society Singing Mothers" who used to sing when I was young a long time ago.  We have some beautiful songs to learn.  I think these songs may be used this year throughout the church in Relief Society choirs. 

I am fascinated with the ravens here.  They are really big birds and are everywhere.  I often think of the nursery rhyme "four and twenty black birds baked in a pie."  It's amazing how they can stay warm in the cold weather.  Ravens are an important part of the Eskimo legends. 

Happy Valentine's Day!  We have been studying Pres. Thomas S. Monson's talk from last conference on "The Divine Gift of Gratitude."  I am so grateful for my Mom and Dad and for all they have done for us.  Families are the greatest blessing of all.  We love all of you and thank you for your love and support.  Find something you can do for someone you love and appreciate this week. 

JoAnn and Jim