Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fairbanks Zone Conference
The white elephant gift game
A couple of Elders?
                                                       Thursday evening institute class

Merry Christmas from North Pole, AK  --  The elves are busy making toys for Christmas.

                                                       Santa's almost ready for take off
                                                    The perfect face warmer for the season

Zone conference on Friday was the highlight of the week.  Pres. and Sister Beesley were here for the weekend for zone conference and  for interviews.  We enjoyed having an interview with Pres. Beesley.  He certainly has been inspired in leading the mission and in making missionary transfers which come all too often it seems.  In December, the missionaries leaving will leave three days before their replacements arrive.  It should be an interesting week.  Besides having wonderful instruction on how to share the knowledge of Christ at this season, we had a wonderful "Christmas dinner."  Sister Beesley asked me to be in charge of getting some sisters to help prepare the food and have it ready for dinner at 4:00 p.m.  I was in charge of cooking two turkeys in roaster ovens.  It usually makes me nervous to cook something in a way that I have never done it in the past.  The turkeys were ready three hours early!  Luckily they were in roasting bags so they stayed moist and nice.  We had enough food to feed an army.  With the left overs, we made plates of dinner for almost half of the branch after meetings today to take home.  At least the food is gone and has not gone to waste.  Sister Duval, Sister Hardy, Sister Gridley and Sister Cook helped with the food.  Their help was so appreciated.
After dinner we had a white elephant gift exchange that was lots of fun.  Elder Spens ended up with 1 ear protector, and I got a pair of socks with a purple moose on them.  That should be fun.  Afterwards we enjoyed musical numbers and the elders and sisters each shared something about Christmas that was special to them.  We ended on a note of gratitude and commitment to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others.

This week was the last week of classes at the institute until school begins again in January.  We had a pizza party after classes were over on Thursday that was enjoyed by all.  We certainly enjoy our association with these great kids.  They are faithful and strong. 

Last Monday morning we drove to Salcha to visit the early morning seminary class there with Sister Loveless.  We didn't check the internet to find out that school had been cancelled because of road conditions due to the freezing rain on Sunday.  Needless to say, we arrived safely and realized that class was not being held.  Tomorrow we are going to return and the weather should be fine.  It's about a 45 minute drive to Salcha, we it will be early when we leave in the morning.  On the way home, we made a quick stop in North Pole to take some pictures of the ice sculptures there.  It's too bad that the rain had melted them a bit.  At least it did not rain for three days like it did last year.

What a wonderful time of year.  I love the Christmas music that reminds us of the wonderful birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  We invite you to view the new Bible videos that are about the life of Christ that were filmed in Goshen, Utah, this summer.  The video of the birth of the Savior is very touching and will bring the love of Christ into your heart this Christmas time.  The link is:
We encourage everyone to view this wonderful video.

We miss all of you this holiday season and pray for the Lord's blessings to be with you and your families.

JoAnn and Jim