Monday, April 9, 2012

This is a modern replica of the winter bear proof winter food cashes used in early Alaskan homesteads. 
 The two major conifers of the taiga or interior forest of Alaska. The even one in the middle is the white spruce and the other very uneven ones are the black spruce. This forest basically covers the interior of Alaska.
Sister Spens in her office at the institute preparing Easter eggs for a special Easter lesson for our family night.
Elder Spens at his favorite study place in our apartment kitchen study area. Notice the bowl of chocolate Easter eggs on the table.
Many of the fine young adults end up leaving the branch and going off to school or getting married or going on missions or many other reasons they just seem to always be on the move. This is our last week with David H. who is one of the great returned missionaries who is now off to attend BYU Idaho.

     We are finally beginning o see the end of the winter here in Alaska. The days are warming up into the 40's and the snow is really starting to melt away. They call it the "break up season" because of the breaking of the ice in the rivers and the opening of the rivers to navigation. What it really means is that all of the sub-zero weather is past for the year and the greening of the forest is coming within weeks. Even those who are totally accustom to the very cold winters here are always exited to to see the weather change and spring come to the north. We now no longer need to plug our car in to heat it up in the morning before starting and we no longer need to let it run for twenty minutes to warm up the engine and trans at those 30 to 40 degree below temperature.

     We are getting into the Isaiah chapters in our institute class and the students seem to be excited to study this wonderful prophetic work of the Old Testament. We will also be presenting our last seminary teacher inservice lesson this week. The early morning seminary will end by the middle of May and suddenly the year will be over. Where did the time go? This mission and all that we are doing seems to be moving very fast to a conclusion. We are however discussing the curriculum for the summer institute program as it will begin in the first part of June.

     It has been a wonderful Easter day here.  The branch choir sang "He Is Risen" and JoAnn got to accompany them.  East Sunday as we teach the Temple Preparation class, we realize what a great blessing it is to know that families can be forever through temple sealings.  As we learn of those we love who are close to returning to our Father in Heaven due to illness, we recognize how wonderful it is to know that we will see them again.  Christ truly did rise that we might all live again! 

Love to all,
Jim and JoAnn