Sunday, May 8, 2011

                          This is a picture of Denali (Mt. McKinley) in the distance with one of it's glaciers
                          flowing to the valley below. This view from our airplane at 20,000 ft. was
                          taken on our trip to Anchorage.
                                                  Giant mastodon at the Anchorage museum.
                                                 Eagle and the giant clam totem in Anchorage.

                                                      Raven stealing  the moon and the stars.
                                         This picture was taken at 11:00 pm, and as you can see it is not very dark.
                                         The days continue to get longer as we move into summer. Also notice that
                                         the snow has finally melted.

     This past week we spent three days in Anchorage for CES training at the institute in Anchorage that is an exact duplicate of our building in Fairbanks. We met the new CES missionary couple in Juneau. They are the Schindlers from San Diego, California.  We spent a day training each other in the policies and procedures of the seminary and institute programs. With all of the business items completed, we then had the opportunity to teach a little doctrine to the group and focused on the Godhead.  While in Anchorage we also attended the temple  a couple of times, went walking and visited the Anchorage museum. We are getting used to the city of Anchorage and it actually resembles the Salt Lake Valley because it is a city with snow capped mountains on the east and the waters of Cook inlet to the west. We stayed at the mission home for the first time. It is located in a very nice neighborhood and is spacious and comfortable. We stayed in what is affectionately known as the " General Authority room."  It is just an extra room in the home for guests.
     We had an interesting experience there in Anchorage when we were a little bit lost. We had stopped at a shop on a frontage road then drove south to an unknown exit on the Seward highway.  JoAnn needed a drink so we went looking and found a Safeway store to go in and buy a beverage. While inside the Schindlers called and said they had arrived and we would meet them for dinner. We had noticed a Chillies restaurant across the street from the Safeway so we told them we would meet them over there. JoAnn and I went over to the the restaurant and went in to get a table for us and the Schindlers. The girl who took us to our table noticed JoAnn's missionary name tag and  asked what it stood for. JoAnn proceeded to explain to her what it all meant and who we were. Then the young lady said she was looking for a church and we told her about the YSA branches in Anchorage (there are two) and gave her some contact information.  It like we were meant to go to that specific restaurant at that time. When we return to Anchorage in two weeks for the sealing of a YSA couple from our branch we are going to stop by to follow up with that young lady.
     While we were gone the YSA had a service project to help the town clean up trash on the highways around town. Every one here seems to be cleaning up the town in anticipation of the tourist season.
     Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers in our lives.  We love and appreciate all of you.

Jim and JoAnn