Monday, July 4, 2011
We have had another busy week here in the great Alaska mission. We are continuing to teach institute classes at the institute building here in Fairbanks as well as the class down in Delta Junction. We drive down each Wednesday and it is about 100 miles. It is a scenic drive with lakes, rivers and forest and also the occasional moose alongside of the road. We have a small but great group of students at the Delta Branch. The Delta Junction area is one of the few areas in Alaska that can be farmed and they grow mostly grain. There are farmers that came up years ago from Idaho. It is a growing and very faithful branch.
The weather continues to be wet and rainy as well as being cool. The summers here is supposed to be dry and hot. It is just the way the interior of Alaska is. It is also technically a desert so the moisture is another weather anomaly. The conditions do not affect our work but the outdoor activities of the Alaskans are being curtailed. The whole interiors very green and the rivers are full. Also there are no fires that are normally common this time of year.
Our new mission president arrived here in Alaska on the 28th of June and came up to Fairbanks on Saturday the 2nd of July. Pres. and Sister Beesley are from Texas, however they were both born and raised in Idaho. Pres. Beesley worked for thirty years as a test pilot for the U.S. Air Force. He also aspired to be and astronaut. He spoke to us on Saturday and we realized what a great leader and teacher he is. He and his wife were originally scheduled to go to St. Petersburg , Russia. He told us that the Russians believe that the L.D.S. Church mission in Russia is just a front for the C.I.A. so it would not have been a good thing for him to go there, especially with his top secret military background.
Also our long term investigator Trisha went back to Rochester N.Y. to a cousin's wedding, I called and made arrangements for two sister missionaries to meet her at the Palmyra-Hill Cumorah area for a tour while she is in the area. She really wanted to visit the historical sight in the area and asked if she could actually go into the sacred grove. I told her she most certainly could go there. We are hoping the visit there will help with her investigation and move her closer to baptism.
This afternoon after meetings, we went to visit Marilyn Whitehead, who is affectionately called "Grandma Marilyn." We have been meeting at her house for some time for home evening on Mondays. She has been coming to the singles branch for some time to help with whatever is needed. Everyone loves her. Today we were informed that she has an aggressive cancer. She is so much weaker than she was a couple of weeks ago. We wish her well as she goes to Anchorage to stay with her son and meets with doctors to discuss her needs. Life and health are great blessings.
Happy 4th of July.
Elder and Sister Spens