Monday evening is always a fun time at home evening. We meet at Trisha & Christina's apartment. President Olsen had a great lesson and the new Christina brought a wonderful apple bread. We keep a detailed record of our home evenings which has provided many smiles and laughs later on. This time, we decided to take pictures of each one there so that we could add them to the journal.
Classes this week have been enjoyable and challenging. We continue to have trouble with our camera in broadcasting our classes on the internet. Travis Payton came and spent several hours working on things and eventually bought another camera. We thought all was well until we tried to broadcast class on Thursday and it all froze up. Needless to say, we will be working on that project again tomorrow. Technology is really stretching us. We have been having some great classes although most of the classes are small. We realize, however, that each one is important. It reminds me of the song the Reynolds sisters sing called, "He Blessed the One." We were looking at pictures of those we met when we first came to Alaska and realized that about 60% of them are no longer in the Branch. We did have several new people come to the Branch today, and we are encouraging them all to attend institute classes.
Spencer and Stephanie were married in the Anchorage Temple on Thursday. Because of classes, we were not able to be there. On Friday, they had a ring ceremony especially for family and friends that are not members of the Church. Afterwards, they had a wonderful reception. I felt badly that we didn't get to take a picture of them. The most important thing is that they were sealed for time and eternity as a family. That is the main goal--to see members receive eternal temple blessing. Today another couple announced their engagement. What a blessing.
Saturday we had Zone Conference in the afternoon with President and Sister Beesley and all the elders from our area. It is always uplifting to learn from them and feel their spirits. We are always given challenges to help us become better missionaries. To close the meeting, we sang a wonderful Primary song, "If the Savior Stood Beside Me." As we look at our lives and our missionary work, and think of the Savior being right by our sides, we can strive to be better examples of his followers.
We are so thankful for the blessings we have received here and for the blessings that our family have received as well. Thank you for taking care of each other so well.
Love to all of you,
JoAnn and Jim
To hear the song, here is the link to the Sally DeFord site.