Sunday, December 18, 2011

A beautiful sunset today at 2:30 p.m.
                                A few of the Christmas lights at Pioneer Park on the old log cabins.
The Nenana paddle wheel ship in Pioneer Park.
Look who came to dinner at Sister Gridley's house.  The elders know a good cook.
                               Part of Sister Loveless' class in Salcha.  Her brother was there as well.
                                               More seminary students looking up scriptures.

Well I guess this week we can wish  you a very merry Christmas and a joyous season to all! As you can see from the pictures above the time of  Christmas is full upon us here in the great north. We have had occasion to be in the city of North Pole a couple of times this past week and it is certainly a very interesting place at this time of the year. The post office is extremely busy and the town is a decked out with ice sculptures in Christmas themes and colorful lights every where.

The days are very short now as we noticed the colors of sunrise while driving to church at about 10:30AM and noticed the colors of sunset as pictured above at about 2:30 PM. I also watched a moon set the other night and noticed that the moon was moving at a 45 degree angle across the sky towards the horizon. If we were to drive 130 miles north of Fairbanks to the Arctic circle on the 21st of December (the winter solstice) the sun would actually disappear below the horizon and would never come up on that day.

The other day we took a walk through the Pioneer Park streets that were all decorated with Christmas lights. There are many old pioneer buildings that have been rescued and placed in that park and are used for stores in the summer. It is all closed in winter except they do a great job of decorating all of the buildings including the old stern wheeler they have on display there with colorful lights.

Pictured above are many of the Elders of the Fairbanks zone. They are really a great bunch of missionaries and are happy and hard workers seeking out those who are willing to hear the message of the restored gospel. Sister Spens baked cinnamon rolls for them this week at there district meetings that they always hold at the institute building.

The early morning seminary class pictured above is an example of the fifteen early morning classes that occur throughout the stake and that we have the privilege of supervising  as part of our mission responsibility. They are filled with great young people and are taught by wonderful  and dedicated teachers that we have the privilege to work with.

It is a wonderful opportunity to be serving a mission at this Christmas season. To a great extent it allows us not to be to concerned about the materialism of Christmas and to focus on serving the Lord. We would join our testimonies with others and declare that Jesus Christ, the infant son born to Mary in such humble circumstances was indeed the very Son of God and is the Savior of the world. We rejoice in celebrating his birth and commit ourselves to his service this Christmas season and wish for all of you all of the blessings that come through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

With love,
Elder and Sister Spens