Monday, July 11, 2011

                                 Joshua Verhagen, a friend, Katie Oates, Shelby Solomon in Nenana.
After class in Delta Junction.
We saw this moose on the way home from Delta.
A beautiful point on the Tanana River on the way home from Delta.
                                            Getting ready for work on the Institute building.
                     What a mushroom.  We found so many varieties on our walk in the forest by our house.

It's been a wonderful week full of new an interesting things.  On the 4th of July we went to Healy to interview Cortnee Adams for baptism.  On the way there, we stopped in Nenana to see some of their small-town celebration.  It was a rainy day, but the weather cleared for most of their activities.  We have had a lot of rain for the past three weeks and the rivers are running almost to capacity.  While we were there we visited their cultural center and museum.  Joe Verhagen (one of our students on Thursday) invited us to come celebrate with them.  The Verhagen family is a stalwart family in the branch there.  Joshua is growing his beard and hair because he and his sister Mary are going to Utah in August to be in the new film the church is producing about the New Testament.  We are pretty excited for them.

It was a wonderful experience to interview Cortnee for baptism.  Jim thought that he had not given a baptismal interview since his mission in the Eastern States.  Cortnee is a lovely young lady who has been investigating the church for some time.  She is excited and anxious to become a member of the church. 

Wednesday was another trip to Delta.  The weather was much nicer on the way home and it gave us a chance to take some beautiful pictures of the scenic drive.  I think the moose was there just for us.  We usually see three or four moose on our trip to Delta.  After class, we enjoy visiting with the young people there with some treats that I make earlier in the day. We are grateful that the sun is still up when we arrive home late that night.

Thursday we had our last class at the Institute for a while.  After class the kids helped by taking down all the pictures and getting them ready to be stored, removing all the switch plates, bulletin boards, and whiteboards, and weeding the flowers in front of the building.  It was a great help.  We rewarded them with cinnamon rolls and milk afterwards.  On Friday we returned to the Institute to finish cleaning out our offices.  We now have an office at home with the Institute computer, etc. so that we can carry on. 

Sunday we had meetings in the Institute building.  I'm afraid the walls looked like we were in a war zone with all the carpet wall coverings removed.  However, the workman lived up to their promise to leave the building cleaned up enough that we could hold our meetings there.  We will be having Institute class in the Stake building until the redecorating is completed.   I love the spirit we have in our meetings.  These young people are happy to be there and love to share their testimonies of Jesus Christ with each other.  What a blessing.

With love,
JoAnn & Jim