And why are they not frozen? Because their hearts are warmed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Welcome to our blog! We hope you enjoy our travels and dialogues as we journey to Anchorage Alaska for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!!

Hope you all were able to enjoy General Conference.  We were able to watch/hear the morning sessions on our laptop, via the internet (it's easier than being at the church at 8:00 AM!)  Then we went down to the Stake Center for the afternoon sessions and the priesthood session.  Lots of good stuff from the brethren, as usual.  It is obvious that the family is on everyone's mind right now.

We have been busy this week, running hither and yon.  On Monday we had to be in Wasilla (about 40 miles NE of here) at 9:30 to get the studded tires on our truck changed to the summer tires.  After the tires were changed, the owner, a member of the church, had us follow her to their house out in the country to pickup some other tires for another mission vehicle.  By the time we got there we were driving on solid ice!  On summer tires, for crying out loud!  Their driveway was quite an adventure, but it all turned out okay.  Then we spent a couple of hours running other errands in that area - delivering mail, etc.

The rest of the week we kept pretty busy visiting sick elders and attending doctors appointments with them.  Sister Taylor usually goes in with them and I keep their companions company out in the waiting room.  One morning on the way to the office, we dropped by to check on a sick elder.  After leaving their apartment we spotted a couple of MOOSE foraging next to the road.  They were in a small park on the edge of a lake so we whipped into the parking lot and were able to park about 30 feet away from them and snap a couple of pictures with Sister Taylor's phone.  Actually, I think I counted 19.  She was pretty excited.  Unfortunately, they blend in with the trees really well, but we were able to get a couple of decent shots.  (In case you're not aware, you can click on any/all of the pictures in this blog and see a larger version.)

Sister Taylor and I have been trying to get some exercise by walking the trail system here in Anchorage.  There are over 200 miles of trails within the city of Anchorage, most of them paved.  We set ourselves a goal of walking the entire system in the next year and a half.  What do you think?  Will we make it?  We walked three different evenings this week.  We usually try to walk for at least 30 minutes but sometimes we get out there and it ends up being more like 60 minutes before we get back to the truck.

This is one end of the Campbell Creek Trail.  It is called University Park Lake and it is located on the campus of the University of Alaska Anchorage.  Although the trails are pretty clear, and we've been having weather in the 40s, it is still frozen over.  The ice is not very thick, though, and there are places where it is melting away.

For those who have never seen one, these are bear box garbage cans, designed to keep the bears out of the garbage.  You can see that it is right on the edge of the paved trail and right in the middle of a residential neighborhood.  Each trailhead has signs warning people about bears and moose, with instructions on just what to do if you see or confront one.  You don't see those in Cowlitz County!

See the culverts under this trail overpass?  They are not for water.  Look below.

This is where "mushing trails" intersect with ski/walking trails.  The dog sleds go through the culverts and off into the woods on trails that are dedicated to, and restricted to, dog sleds.

They are serious about their trails.  They must spend more on maintaining their trails, with paving, bridges, overpasses, grooming for skis, etc., than all the parks departments in Cowlitz County combined.

Today, along with watching General Conference, we had a couple of the Elders over for Easter dinner.  Sister Taylor was determined that there not be any missionaries out there who didn't have somewhere to go for dinner today, so she contacted a couple of Elders who are assigned to a Young Single Adult ward and, sure enough, they didn't have a dinner appointment.  So we invited them over for dinner and also invited our bishop whose family is out of town.  She really outdid herself, fixing ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams, green beans with bacon, deviled eggs, green salad and apple pie and coconut cream pie.  AND, she also bought a couple of Easter baskets for the Elders and filled them with goodies.  They were really pumped.  (She also made a basket for the Elders who live downstairs and left it on their doorknob last night.)

We had to kick the three brethren out the door after supper, though, because we had a baptism to attend.  We attended the baptism of a young Samoan man and it was very neat.  It was held in our building (it's a Stake Center) by one of the Samoan wards.  The man conducting the meeting spoke in English, the invocation was in Samoan, the baptism talk was in Samoan for the first two or three minutes and then the sister switched to English.  The baptism itself was done in Samoan and then the talk on the Holy Ghost was in English.  There was a musical number that was in English for the first verse and Samoan for the second verse, some additional comments in Samoan and the benediction was in English.  It was kind of hard to keep up, but it was cool!  There were about 45 members of the ward in attendance, at least 40 of whom were Samoan.  These people really love music,  When they sang the opening hymn they sang louder than our whole ward back home.  During the prelude music there were a number of people humming and singing along and even during the special music number, a man and women duet, there were several people humming and singing along, and not exactly softly, either.  It was awesome.

This was the other wildlife we saw this week.  Now that we're into breakup full swing, we're starting to see more birds, etc.  We're looking forward to seeing more of wild Alaska and sharing it with you.

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