Monday, March 28, 2011

                                       President Dance      Elder Spens           Sister Spens
                                                      Sister Dance       Sister Spens
                                                   Our newly printed t shirts designed by Patrick.
                                                            (Printer's sticker on shoulder)

We have had a wonderful and busy week.  Classes are back in session again.  It's fun to be a part of these students lives.   On Monday we had a few more come to the home evening group.  That was really nice.  It's been hard for some of the students to adjust to meeting in smaller groups.  Besides classes, the Branch had a pot luck dinner on Friday night.  There was a nice variety of food and we had a good group attend.   Shane, who is in the military, brought a friend to the dinner.  He was a friendly guy but not interested in religion.  That's okay, too.  After the dinner, we offered to drive them home to Fort Wainwright.  It was the first time we had been on that base.  It is interesting to talk to these young men as they prepare to be deployed to Afghanistan in about a month.  They are so willing to serve our country. 

Friday afternoon we were able to attend part of a specialized training with President and Sister Dance.  We were not able to get them both together for a picture.  They are great leaders and really help all of us to feel the Spirit of the Lord and to have a desire to do better.  One of our young girls, Katie, was able to spend some time with them in Nome last week.  She bore her testimony in sacrament meeting today.  She told how Sister Dance had wanted to watch her play basketball, but had been unable to come so she gave her a letter.  In that letter she gave a scripture reference for Katie to look up.  Katie was amazed when she looked up the scripture that it was exactly what she needed to get through some problems she was going through that she had not even mentioned.  I love Sister Dance!  She is a great example and just knows exactly what to do.

Saturday we had a Relief Society meeting on healthy eating.  I need to think about that a bit more!  After the lesson, we made cookies.  Not in keeping with the lesson, but they were good anyway.  Melanie Johnson (Payton) and her mother and friend came to decorate the Institute for a wedding open house that evening.  I could tell they needed a bit of help, so I stayed to do what I could.  The open house was a lot of fun.  It was great to congratulate Melanie and Travis. They were married in the Logan Utah Temple.  I will miss them at the Branch. 

This afternoon after meetings we left quickly to drive to Delta Junction, about 2 hours away, to speak at a fireside about senior missions.   Bryce and Jan Wrigley (Mallory's parents) invited us to have dinner with them before the fireside.  It was a delicious dinner.  We love getting to know the members of the church here in Alaska.  I think we helped those in attendance understand a little more about senior missions.  On the ride home it started snowing.  It's still winter here.  We won't complain though because the weather has been above freezing this week!   We probably have more sunlight than you do in Utah now!  Things change quickly here.

A special thank you to Patrick for working out our new t shirt design.  The kids really like it.  Thanks, too, to all those who have helped Tina recently.  We have a great family and love and appreciate the way you help each other.  Have a wonderful week.

JoAnn & Jim