Sorry we're late. It's been a busy and fun week. I had a Sister Missionary Conference in Anchorage and we spent three days in Barrow. There is snow in Barrow already. It was probably our last trip to Barrow, so we went up on Saturday in time to catch the Relief Society Conference and then we went to the Branch meetings on Sunday. They have a small but wonderful branch. It is quite multicultural with members from Samoa and Tonga, the Philippines and Americans. Our main purpose was to visit the seminary class on Monday morning. Todd Henke, the seminary teachers picks up the 3 boys every morning to bring them to the church for seminary. Because we got to stay with Todd, two of the boys came on a four wheeler so that we could fit in the jeep. They were pretty cold by the time they got there. It was a great class. We realize how important each one is to the Lord. Even small classes are important. Todd and Elaine had a skin sewing class on Saturday that we visited. It was so interesting to learn how to work with furs, etc. Fur parkas and hats are really a necessity in Barrow. The wind a really strong most of the time and it's cold! Elaine is working on a parka for herself lined with some nice sheep skin that she had shipped up. It should be really warm. We wanted to visit before things were totally frozen. We got some fun pictures of the Arctic Ocean that we will post later.
We had a wonderful zone conference last Monday with Elder William Walker of the Seventy and his wife. It was an intense day of learning. We met them at the airport along with Pres. and Sister Beesley and the two assistants to the president. Elder Walker was raised in Raymond, Alberta, Canada and knows the Ehlert family up there. It was fun to be able to call Dad and tell him about the conference and Elder Walker's comment, "the Ehlerts are a good bunch." Now I know how our sons felt after zone conferences on their missions.
I got to repeat the zone conference in Anchorage on Thursday, only this time we had five zones together so that Elder Walker could meet more missionaries. After zone conference all the sisters in the mission got together for dinner at the mission home and a wonderful meeting together. The theme of the conference was that we are all children of our Heavenly Father and that each one of us is so important. It went along perfectly with Pres. Uchtdorf's message in Relief Society conference. The sisters in Barrow really responded when he talked about the forget-me-not since it's the state flower of Alaska. It had special meaning to us in Alaska.
We forgot to bring home the camera from the institute tonight so we missed trying to take pictures of the aurora that was out tonight. We'll have to catch up with pictures later.
Be sure to watch general conference. It is such a blessing to know that we have a prophet on the earth today that can guide us if we will be listen and put into practice the messages we hear. Listen for ways to strengthen your family. That's what life is all about--helping our family and others return to Heavenly Father. We love you so much and want to have our family be together forever.
JoAnn and Jim