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, May 24, 2015

Well, the big news this week is that the Alaska Anchorage Mission is now a digital mission!  All our young missionaries now have I-Pads to use in their proselyting and we are moving into the digital age.  All the missionaries are pretty excited.  They had a wonderful training session put on by Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Seventy and Bro. Kelly Mills, director of the international Mission Training Centers.  It was a short, four hour session of instruction, not in the specifics of how to operate an I-Pad, but in how to do missionary work in the digital age.  It was very inspirational and uplifting.  I am happy to report that I got all the I-Pads, manuals and accessories distributed with only one small hiccup.  Everything went pretty smoothly.

This week we have transfers.   I can't believe it's been six weeks and here we go again!  We only have five new missionaries coming in and nine going home.  It shouldn't be too hectic this time around.  The next two transfers, however, are going to be a mad-house.  Fifteen new elders and sisters coming to the mission (so far) in the July transfer.

Our extra-curricular hours were kind of limited this week.  We did finish walking the Campbell Creek Trail, a total of about 15 miles since we walk each section both directions, going and then coming back to the car.  We followed the creek downstream from NE to SW through the middle of Anchorage.  Next we are going to tackle the Lanie Fleischer Chester Creek Trail, which starts at the Westchester Lagoon (see March 15th post for picture of someone skating on the lagoon.)  and works its way 4 or 5 miles eastward across town to an area near the university where the Campbell Creek Trail starts.  These trails wind through some greenways that are quite pretty in areas, especially now that it's summer.  We don't have any pictures from our walks this week but will try to do better in the future.

We did get out to Potter's Marsh again this week and have a some photos for you from there.

Another shot of a Green-Winged Teal.  He just pulled his head up out of the water.
If you click on the picture, I think you'll be able to see the beads of water on his head.

A Black-capped Chickadee, hiding in the branches of a tree.
 After spending a little time on the boardwalk, we decided to drive down the highway along the side of the marsh.  Toward the south end we came upon an area that had a little more open water.  There were flocks of sea gulls and arctic terns swooping around and landing in the long grasses of the marsh.  All of a sudden they all took off, zipping around and making enough racket to deafen you.  It was then that we saw the bald eagle flying overhead.  Needless to say, they were not enthused about his presence.
The smaller birds really didn't like this guy in their neighborhood, but he wasn't the
least little bit interested.  Just kept going.
Arctic Tern in a classic pose.  If you want to learn more about this amazing bird,
click on this link or paste it into your browser or just look them up on Wikipedia.

Same bird, a little more relaxed.

In addition to all the sea gulls and terns, we saw this pair of mating Red-Necked Grebes.
Another one for the list.
 And one more for the Alaskan wildlife list -- a beaver!  From the boardwalk we could see this little guy, actually not so little, swimming around in one of the channels.  Sister Taylor saw his flat tail but these are the only shots I could get of him.

That's about it for this week.  Oh, we did have a very nice date night on Friday.  We went out to the movie, "McFarland." with two other senior missionary couples (great movie if you haven't seen it!) and then went out for Mexican food and then to Baskin Robbins for desert.  It was a very nice evening out and we really enjoyed the company.

We think about our family and friends back home every day, and miss you all a lot, but wouldn't give up our mission here for anything.  What a great experience and challenge!  And Alaska is just an awesome place!

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