Sunday, June 10, 2012

 The breakfast cooking crew
Scott Beames our new coordinator [blink detected]
Happy Anniversary - 45 wonderful years.
Forget me nots in our own backyard    
 Robert (2nd from right) was baptized on Saturday by his friend
 After breakfast - the Fairbanks Zone
Silly picture of our Zone before transfers

What a fun week this has been.  It all started with a breakfast at the Institute on Monday for our Zone missionaries before some of them were transferred to other areas.  They are a great bunch of missionaries and we love each one of them.  Now we have several new missionaries to get to know and enjoy. 

On Tuesday our new area coordinator came to visit Fairbanks.  Scott Beames is a great teacher and will now be training our seminary teachers several times a year.  We are excited to have someone that is much closer than Seattle to help keep the program on track.  It was his first visit to Fairbanks, so we were able to show him around a little.  We had a wonderful dinner with Pres. Payton from the Stake Presidency and his wife that evening.  It's so inspiring to hear the conversion stories of Pres. and Sister Payton.  We are looking forward to having Bro. Beames come to Fairbanks again before we leave.  He lives in Palmer near Anchorage.  ("Hi" to Larry Tippetts from Bro. Beames who worked in Coleville Utah under your direction).)

Wednesday and Thursday were Institute classes.  We always love to teach the classes and meet with the great young people here.  Since Thursday was our anniversary, I made a cake so that our "family" here could celebrate with us.  We decided that the greatest thing we have done in our 45 years together was raising a family!  We love and appreciate our children and their spouses (who are considered our children as well) and all of our wonderful grandchildren.  We never would have guessed how many wonderful people would come into our lives.  How blessed we are.

Friday evening we had the new district leaders come over for dinner.  We really enjoy working with them in the branch and being part of their work.  We especially enjoy helping with baptisms.  Robert's baptism was on Saturday.  I often get to play the piano for the services which I really enjoy.  

Saturday evening, we were able to attend a musical program at Pioneer Park.  Gary Holyoak from the Branch sings with a barbershop quartet that was a major part of the program.  Fairbanks has a good sized group of men that love to sing, especially barbershop.  They are really good and we enjoyed it thoroughly. 

Today at out sacrament meeting, Pres. Duval our stake president gave one of the talks.  He reminded us that even though our lives don't always go the way we might plan them, the important thing is to "look at what you have and feel joy."  We need to count our blessings and find joy in the moment.  Life is amazing.  We are greatly blessed and encourage our family and friends to look for the joy in their lives.  I have noticed how prolific the dandelions are this year in Fairbanks.  They make a beautiful carpet of yellow all over.  Enjoy the little things!!

JoAnn & Jim