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.
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.
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.
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.