Monday, January 23, 2012

                                                   Ice sculpture polar bear, UAF's mascot.
                                                             This speaks for itself.
Our Institute library with all the books cataloged!
       On the way to the temple in Anchorage, Jim shot this nice picture of the Alaska Range from the bus.
                            Part of our rescue crew.  Note the tow truck on the right in the background.

  It has been a great week serving as missionaries here in Alaska. As you can see from the temperature sign  with Sister Spens bundled up that winter is solidly here at thirty eight below! This sign is on the UAF campus and is a popular place for the young Elders to have their pictures taken. We have adjusted to the cold of the north to a degree. When it gets up to around zero Fahrenheit it actually feels warm to us. When it is thirty or forty below you just cannot have any exposed skin for any length of time or you are in danger of frostbite. I helped with the changing of a tire in Anchorage last Saturday and worked with a metal jack without gloves but it was only a couple degrees below zero and I felt fine without hat or gloves.
     We started Institute classes for our spring semester this last week and we are off to a great start. Our population of YSA continues to diminish and so our classes are smaller. However , the young people are faithful and strong members and are great students to work with. Sister Spens as usual prepared great food for the young people and one young man said, "if you have food they will come".
The polar bear ice sculpting is also on the UAF campus across from the institute and is the schools mascot. The ice sculpting in the area seems to pop up about this time of the year and it should last for the next four months.
     We also had the opportunity of going to the temple in Anchorage this past week with the stake on a bus. About 54 people went down for the temple trip. It was a great experience and gave us the chance to associate with the great faithful members of the stake. There were about three YSA and three youths old enough to perform baptisms at the temple. The forested mountain picture is of the Alaska range south of Denali park. It was clear and beautiful weather for the trip.
     The picture of the four people clustered in front of our car are part of the rescue team that helped us just after the fireside with Elder Packer commemorating the 100 years of seminary. This event was held at the Fairbanks stake center. After the broadcast as we were driving down the road from the stake center our car just stalled and totally quit on us. We were in the middle of the road and I turned the flashers on and then a car pulled up behind us and a family that had been at the fireside got out and helped us push the car about 500 feet down the road and off to the side. Others gathered to help and the Elders arrived to take us to the back up mission car so we could have our car towed to the repair shop. Just then a tow truck drove by and I hailed them and asked them to tow the car to the shop. They were on the way to Healy and had time to take care of us as well.  We drove away with the Elders to retrieve the extra car and as we drove home Sunday night we felt blessed that the Lord had been watching over us with our car problems and provided immediate solutions to everything. We also felt blessed that the car decided to quit in town and that the weather was only -3 degrees.  It is great to be serving her as missionaries of the Lord.

Elder and Sister Spens