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, November 22, 2015

It may only be the middle of November where you are, with balmy temperatures, leaves still on the trees and the occasional Indian Summer day, but in Alaska - IT'S WINTER!  Over the last couple of weeks we have gone through a little cold spell here in Anchorage.  The average high temperature has been about 12 degrees - average low temperature about 0 degrees or a little less.  I don't think Anchorage had negative temperatures at all the last couple of winters and we've already had three or four nights that got down to -1, -2, -6!  We've had snow and ice and have been driving around in 4-wheel drive with studs for about a couple of weeks.  It has warmed up (to freezing!) over the last couple of days and we've gotten another 6-8 inches of snow.  Sounds like fun, doesn't it?  It reminds Sister Taylor and I of our childhood in Colorado and Idaho.  We're really enjoying things, so far at least.

First snowfall.  Looking out of our back bedroom window in the evening.

A little bit of snow on the hills, on the road, no real issues.

Then the cold spell hit.  It was so cold that the moisture condensed on the bare tree limbs.  From a distance it looked like it had snowed overnight.  And then when the wind blew, the frost falling off the trees made it look like it was snowing.

Ice crystals formed from moisture in the air.

Our apartment has dual-pane windows, but they are aluminum.  All the window sills are ruined due to the constant moisture.
It got so cold outside this last week that the moisture froze on the window frame.  It was plenty warm in the apartment, but the window frames were cold enough to form ice on the insides.

On Saturday it warmed up a bit and got really serious about snowing.  These next pictures are from our grocery shopping trip to Fred Meyer.  Hey, it was P-day.  We had to get groceries!

We've been pretty busy lately and haven't had a chance to get out much so Saturday, before we went grocery shopping, we decided to see what Potter Marsh looked like.  Guess what.  No birds, no critters of any kind but Sister Taylor & I.

No problems finding a parking place!
Apparently there had been at least one critter out there.  This is looking down from the boardwalk into the ice.  It must have been just soft enough at some point that the animal's feet sunk in a little, but not all the way.
Living most of our lives in a temperate climate, we had never seen these before we came to Anchorage.  They are small sweeper/plow/snow blowers that the city uses to clean/plow and clear their sidewalks and bike trails.  On our way back from Fred Meyer, we passed seven of the full-size plows and graders working the same street.  These Alaskans are serious about snow removal.

One day on our way into the mission office, we saw a mother moose and her yearling trotting along the sidewalk on Strawberry Rd., the street where the office is located.  As we pulled into the parking lot, we saw another adult female trimming the bushes along the front of the building.  Then when Sister Taylor was out and about later in the day, she saw this bull trimming things along a street just a quarter mile or so from the office.  Four in one day!  We haven't seen any moose since last spring/early summer, but they are coming back out now.

Today we had an interesting experience that a few of you will find interesting.  One of the sisters in Palmer called last night.  It turns out that she has been sick for a couple of weeks.  Sister Taylor was concerned that she might have pneumonia so we met her (& her companion, of course) at the Urgent Care Clinic in Wasilla this morning.  Wasilla is about an hour from here.  That made us miss our church meetings with the Bush Branch so we went to Sacrament Meeting in the Campbell Park Ward.  We were able to say hi to several folks that we got to know in that ward when we first got here.

After the meeting, as we were walking down the hallway, a man reached out and stopped us, saying something about having met us before.  We both thought that he was talking about here in Alaska until he touched my nametag and started talking about his first bishop being named Taylor in Corvallis, OR.  He was talking about Daddy, of course, and he said that I was the spitting image of him.  It was George Jarvi!  As soon as he told us who he was, we both recognized him.  We had a great, if short, visit with him.  He and his wife have recently returned from a mission in South Africa and he is currently serving in the bishopric of the Inlet View Ward.  He has lived in Alaska for eight years and is a chemical engineer.  

As we were talking with him, the the sister missionaries walked up to say hi and he started telling them about having danced with Sister Taylor at the stake dances when we were all young.  I think they got quite a kick out of that.  It may be a small world, but it is really a small world in the church.

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