Sunday, April 1, 2012

                       The new district leaders assigned to the Branch, Elder Poole and Elder Hinkley
                                             Calan, how do you like this funny ice cream shop? 
                                          The famous Fairbanks Ice Bridge over the Chena River.

The highlight of the week was definitely watching the sessions of General Conference.  We are always anxious to hear the words of the Prophet Thomas S. Monson and the other Church leaders as they give us counsel and encouragement.  One of the top themes was the importance of the family.  Families are one of the greatest blessing we have in this life.  We are so thankful for our own family as well as our extended family.  Of course, several talks taught of the great atoning sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ.  His sacrifice gives us the opportunity to repent of our sins and mistakes so that we can return to him again.  What a wonderful blessing to consider as Easter approaches.  We invite all who read our blog to view the new videos on the life of Christ that the Church has made available.  You can see them at:
Based on the Bible verses, these videos are a wonderful way to strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ this Easter.

We invited the new Branch missionaries to have dinner with us on Monday and go to Home Evening with us later.  They are quickly getting to know the members of the branch.  We appreciate having them here in Fairbanks.  On Friday, we were invited to have dinner with Sister Lolita Gridley and her son Ethan along with several of the missionaries in Fairbanks.  She loves to feed the missionaries and is a wonderful cook as well.

Classes are always a highlight of our week.  We enjoy teaching and being a part of the lives of the young people here.  It is so fun to watch them interact with each other.  We had another missionary return home to Fairbanks this week and attend institute class.  However, by next week he will be on his way to Idaho to school.  The young people come and go so quickly.  (We were excited to see Sister Mallory Wrigley in the MTC choir that sang in the Saturday afternoon session of Conference.)  She is almost on her way to Brazil.

 The sunshine is such a welcome sight.  The temperatures have even been above freezing and the snow is beginning to melt.  Hopefully spring is on its way.  We wanted to take a picture of the Ice Bridge during winter.  Right now, they have made a snow dam so that you can't drive out onto the river.  We have not felt like it was a good idea to try it even when the ice is thick over the Chena River.  It is melting now and is definitely not safe besides it is mission policy to not drive out onto frozen rivers and lakes. There are such interesting things here in Fairbanks. 

We are looking forward to Easter.  The choir is preparing to sing "He is Risen" and the director asked me to accompany them.  I've been practicing all week.  It's good that I have another week to polish it.  We are so blessed to know that the Savior lives!  Happy Easter to all of our family and friends.

JoAnn & Jim