Saturday, October 31, 2015

Miscelleanous Stuff!

It seems to be fairly traditional that Institutes have some kind of regular Friday activity. We hold ours in the evening starting at 7:03pm at the institute building. It is called SASWAFN. SAS means Soup And the Spirit. WAFN means Waffle Night. It always starts at 7:03pm, why? Don't know. It just does. So, we always eat either Soup or Waffles, and then have some activities or games.

Sister Gardner and Sister Bybee at SASWAFN.

TP Costume contest at SASWAFN.

Mafi & Falua, Twin sisters at SASWAFN.
Sister Watts and Sister Gardner.
Our opening fall activity was a Pizza Fest and Dance. It was a fun activity.
Before eating Pizza!

After everyone had been eating for a while!

Diana Ntono

This is Diana Ntono. She is from Kampala, Uganda. She is a church member of about 15 years and came to October General Conference in Salt Lake, attending the temple for the first time while there. She then came to Alaska to see some friends and then our paths miraculously crossed and we became instant friends. We took her to church (it was Stake Conference) and then the following week we took her twice to the Anchorage Temple, and then to church again the following Sunday. After church we drove down the Seward Highway to Beluga Point on the Turnagain Arm for her to see something not Anchorage.

We had a wonderful time with this new friend.

A Close Encounter of the Moose kind!

On a recent Saturday morning, we pulled out of our side street onto the main road and here appeared this critter. A young bull moose! He was on the move so the shot is a little blurry. Moose are plentiful within Anchorage's city limits and they are seen occasionally, even more now that the weather is getting colder. Just last week, there were two fatal accidents in the city; one with a motorcyclist hitting a moose and one with a car hitting one.
Bears are also occasionally seen in the city. Last spring there was a black-bear mom and 2 cubs roaming neighborhoods in North Anchorage looking for food.

Alaska State Fair-Palmer, AK

We were able to go to the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, AK, about 35 miles NE of Anchorage. This is a dance being performed by native Alaskans.

There was lots to see including some traditional "wild" hairdos. We saw a number of similar ones.
Palmer, Wasilla, and Willow are in an area called "The Valley". Almost all of the agriculture in Alaska takes place in this area. Alaska experiences a short growing season, but makes up for it with very long days in the summer resulting in good growth while the sun does shine. Things like 4H and Future Farmers in America are quite active in the Valley. They were having pig showing while we were here.
There were quite a few rows and areas of displays, many of which were selling food. There was a lot variety in the food found here. As expected, most of it was overpriced, but I guess that's part of the appeal.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Senior Missionaries

What great friends and co-workers. These are some of the Senior Missionaries and Mission Presidency & Wives in the Anchorage Mission. We occasionally get out and enjoy a picnic or a hike in beautiful Alaska. This is in a park in Palmer.

These pictures are from a hike we took from a trail head called McHugh Creek. It is just Southeast of Anchorage. There had been a report of a bear in the area, so that got us all excited.

Around South Central Alaska

Downtown Seward

This picture is from downtown Seward. This mountain is known as Marathon Mountain. Notice the pathways leading up the side. Every 4th of July, this is home to the Mt. Marathon Race. Runners leave downtown Seward and race up the mountainside and then back down on a different route. Elevation gain is a little over 3000' and the record time is about 42 minutes. Wow!
A couple of glaciers overlooking Resurrection Bay going South out of Seward.
This is how YSA Alaskans have a swimming party!
This is how YSA Alaskans warm up after swimming!
This is Virgin Creek Falls, on the outskirts of Girdwood. Very beautiful!

This is a Humpback Whale having some fun entertaining the tourists in Resurrection Bay, South of Seward. This took a lot of luck, being in the right place at the right time and snapping off the picture at the right instant and then having the subject positioned well in the picture.

Abby and Jenica in Downtown Seward
Dylan, Logan, and Kade posing with fish in Talkeetna. Smack!
Rebecca, Jenica, and Abby & Vicki hiking on Matinuska Glacier. The blue cast is for real.

Wow, look at those skipping rocks!

Matinuska Glacier

This is the Matinuska Glacier, about 100 miles Northeast of Anchorage. This is one of the few that is accesible by a vehicle and a favorite of our visitors. This one is huge, about 27 miles long and about 4 miles wide. You're only seeing the very lower end. It's melt feeds the Matinuska River. And, yes, they do have a blue cast to them.