Sunday, January 29, 2012

    Elders and Sisters preparing for a special training meeting.
                         This morning after our Sacrament meeting.  Guess who was taking the picture.
         This is a view from the end of Skyline Dr. where we live looking into the city filled with ice fog. 
                                         You can see a roof top just around the bend in the road.
                  We found this moose track with others just a few feet from the entrance to our apartment.

NEWS  FROM FAIRBANKS:  It's the fifth coldest January on record since the gold miners came to Fairbanks and started keeping records.  Today it was -51 degrees at the airport at 11:00 AM.  It's been so cold that the towing companies have been doing a great business.  One towing company reported that one of their two trucks shut down with the cold as well.  Cars don't seem to like the cold and ours is no exception.

We are grateful to have had the spare mission car this week to get to the institute and back home again.  Our car is supposed to be back in business, but we have not heard from the repair shop yet.  Perhaps tomorrow we will get it back.  The weather is supposed to get warmer tomorrow.  We do hope so.  We had planned to go to Delta Junction to visit the seminary and wish Mallory good luck on her mission to Brazil, but the weather was too cold for safe travel today.  Because of the cold we only had sacrament meeting again.  The branch had planned a carnival for last Saturday, but that was cancelled as well because of the cold weather.  The ice fog has been very thick which makes driving in the city really tricky.  Since we live on the hills, we rarely have fog this high and our temperatures are somewhat warmer.  It was interesting to see the cars lined up for pictures to be taken by the UAF temperature sign today.  It's just crazy to see students in shorts and no shirts having their pictures taken by the sign.  You can bet they don't stay out very long!

We were delighted to have a new group of people from the stake come to our class on Tuesday.  We are trying to reach out and make more classes available.  I'm afraid no one came for my class on Wednesday.  It's a challenge to have classes during the day since so many have classes.  Sometimes we have small groups of students that request a weekday class.  It was very cold on Thursday.  We are very grateful for our faithful students.  Matt walks down from campus and usually comes with ice frozen to his beard and eyelashes.  We make sure that he gets a ride home either with us or with someone else.  We always invite people to bring their friends with them.  It is hard for us to see the drop in the number of students here.  We keep working on ways to invite and encourage them to come.

We are preparing to go to Anchorage this week for training.  However, the two CES missionary couples are the ones doing the training this time and I am a bit stressed to say the least.  The young elders reminded me that who the Lord calls, He qualifies.  I'm sure I'm learning a great deal in trying to prepare for this assignment. 

Transfers are this coming week, so some of the missionaries that we have come to love are being transferred.  We feel so blessed to be able to associate with the young missionaries.  They have great enthusiasm and a love for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others.  Our sacrament meeting talks today were based on forgiveness and forgiving others.  I certainly hope my children will forgive me for some of the mistakes I made in trying to help them understand things that I felt were important.  It is important to learn and understand that we all have been given the agency to make choices for ourselves.  We must also remember that the Savior has promised to forgive us and welcome us home if we repent of our mistakes and forgive others.  As we strive to become more like the Savior, we will become more patient and loving. 

Have a wonderful week.
JoAnn and Jim