Sunday, July 31, 2011

Andrea and Trevor at the Mission home in Anchorage.
    Grandpa, Tanner, & Grandma at Exit Glacier in 1951 the glacier would have  been where we are standing
With the Lanham kids - Owen, Tanner, and Morgan at Denali.
A beautiful quilt of Mt. McKinley and 
the wildlife at Denali this is the Eilson visitor center 66 miles into the park
     This three-legged grisly or brown  bear came right up to our bus.  A strange sight indeed.
                      Mama musk oxen and their babies at the Large Animal Research Station at UAF.
                                    Andrea and her bunch at the Knotty Shop on the way to Delta.
                            A mama moose and her two babies on the Wrigley barley farm in Delta.
                                  Enjoying time on our last day together for a while at Pioneer Park.
This past week has been especially fun for us.  We started a week ago Friday to drive to Anchorage.  Pres. Beesley had offered to let us use the mission home to stay in.  However, when we arrived on Friday night, President and Sister Beesley were still at home.  Their plans had changed somewhat, and we were able to spend the evening with them and several other missionaries.  Saturday we were able to attend the temple in Anchorage.  We are always excited when we have the opportunity to attend the temple. Sunday morning we got up early for our drive to Seward to pick up Andrea and Trevor and the boys from their cruise.  We were just in time to attend Sacrament Meeting in Seward.  It was great for us to meet Elder and Sister Poulsen another senior couple who are serving in Seward.   We had only met them through a phone conference.

As we traveled back to Anchorage, we were able to stop at the Exit Glacier.  Alaska is an amazing place filled with beautiful scenery and wonderful people.  We were sorry that we had to take Trevor to the airport on Sunday to return to work, but we were glad to see him again for a while.  At least Trevor got to see a moose and calf up close as one crossed the freeway next to our suburban on the way to the airport in Anchorage.

The rest of the week was filled with fun Alaskan adventures.  We had a list of things to do and were able to see and do almost all of them.  It was a perfect time to have visitors since work was still going on in the institute.  Andrea and her family went with us to Delta for class although they spent most of the time at the Wrigley farm having wonderful farm adventures.  Late in the evening the moose came out in their fields with their little ones.  We were able to see around 12 moose that night.  Thursday, Andrea pretended to be a YSA and  attended institute class and I took the boys to ride the train and play miniature golf at Pioneer Park.  The boys were very glad that there were enough cinnamon rolls left for breakfast the next day.  It was hard to see them go, but we were so glad they had the chance to come "see us in action" and share time with them.  Families are such an important part of our lives.  We feel blessed beyond measure for the wonderful people who are part of our dear family including extended family!

Saturday brought great joy to us as missionaries as a wonderful young man was baptized.  Tyler White has been coming to the Branch for a few weeks and has been taught by the young Elders.   We know that he will grow and learn as he gains a greater understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ and of His plan of happiness for each of us.

Tuesday evening was a memorial service for Sister Marilyn Whitehead.  She has been helping at the branch for several years and was a stalwart in my Teachings of the Living Prophets class.  She only learned that she had cancer about three weeks before she passed away.  How quickly life can change.  We will miss her but know that we will see her again.

All our love,
JoAnn & Jim