Hi everyone! :)
First off, big shout out again this week to the little people! Breanna sweeping 1st in every single dance both solo and team, and Bryce receiving two gold cups this weekend for his amazing piano skills! Ya'll are amazing!
If the snow continues to not melt, I may not have a summer! The locals have been explaining that it's not uncommon for there still to be snow on the ground late into June and sometimes even in July... So yes, even in mid-April there is plenty of snow on the ground-more then we ever see in Utah. It appears that the four seasons in Valdez are beginning of winter, hard winter, coming out of winter, and pretending to not be winter...:) It does make for neat p-day explorations however! Last p-day, for example, we hiked out to some really neat ice caves! The ice was like pure glass and very smooth! We were warm enough too that we only had to wear a light jacket and that kept us warm!
So you're all probably saying to yourself at this point, "yeah, yeah enough about the weather, get to your email title already!" Glennallen is a little town about 2 hours away from Valdez, it's part of our area and there are three active members that we like to visit about once a transfer! It's known as the "hub" of Alaska or the potty stop to Fairbanks! We drove up Saturday afternoon, stayed the night at the church, and then drove back Sunday after church! They have a cute little fun sized chapel there! Sacrament is broadcast over a speaker system and we just listen to Valdez ward, and then have Sunday School together. For the sacrament, they turn off the sound and bless and pass it just to the people there. It's really neat! I'm so impressed with the faith of the members there. They go to church because they know it's true, and it's where they'll feel peace-not for social reasons, to impress anyone, or even to fulfill a calling. I'm grateful I got to meet them and feel the spirit of their meeting there! A fun miracle that happened while I was there too! We stopped at the gas station when we got into town and I heard someone call my name-I was a little shocked because I wasn't expecting anyone to know me! But, sure enough there was L! He was an investigator from Inlet View! He was in Glennallen for the weekend to visit and help his grandma! We went and talked to them for a while and the grandma mentioned that the next time we're in town we should stop by her work and say hi! What a fun encounter and miracle!
Another cool miracle happened yesterday when we were out and about after we got back to Valdez! Three people right in a row were just really mean and hateful towards us, it's never the most encouraging thing that's for sure. They hold an evening sacrament meeting here for all the fishermen that we sometimes attend, and it was about 30 minutes until then after we talked to all these people, and part of me just wanted to go early to that and just make phone calls or copies until then, but I know the Lord blesses us when we keep going even when times are tough! We decided to stop by a part-member family with a couple kids that were baptized recently and they let us right in. The nonmember dad is the police chef and we started asking him if there is any service that he could think of for when the big team of missionaries come in! Turns out there is a huge emergency preparedness project that needs to get done and he could use the man power! It was such a relief to have a big project to keep the missionaries busy and so happy to be a big help to the community!
We are teaching some great people that I'm really excited about!
C is roommates with a member, E in the ward! She's been visited by the sisters for a while but never agreed to missionary lessons. When we stopped by and I realized that she wasn't a member, I invited her to take the lessons, which apparently she's been asked before and always turned down! She accepted which I didn't think was too big of a deal, but Sister Dotson was telling me it was! So that's exciting! We're able to meet with her several times a week and she's loving the Book of Mormon! She has great faith and really wants to do what's right and change her life for the better. They're the cutest little old ladies and best friend, and they even have a bird named Curious that imitates what people say! He sounds just like C and E when he laughs! It's so funny!
We were also tracting one day and we tracted into a Jehovah's Witness named Gab! We talked to him for quite a while on his porch and then he invited us back. He's really nice and seems to be really open to us. He is pretty firm in his beliefs but is polite and listens to us!
We were also trying former investigators, and we felt like we should try the F! They saw us walking up to their house and they came outside to greet us! They invited us right and and were so friendly and happy to see us! They know lots of the members and seemed eager and willing to learn. Mrs. F works as an elementary teacher so we had that bond right off the bat! I'm excited to continuing meeting with them!
E is an investigator the sisters were teaching before, he grew up Southern Baptist but has been sincerely reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and he knows when he's ready the Lord will let him know it's true. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he loves it! He mentioned it's much better than what he grew up believing (hellfire and brimstone, which is 7 times hotter than fire in case you're wondering!). He's in his 60s and just a blast to teach!
We saw the northern lights this week too! It was pretty neat! They were a really pretty white color and we watched them dance out our apartment window for a couple minutes! I love the beauty in this world!
The work is really going great here! We are teaching about 20 additional lessons to what the sisters were teaching last transfer so we've been busy! It's been a huge blessing and we're really seeing the hastening of the work take place here!
I love you all! Always remember that as we share the gospel that we succeed in the invitation and follow-up, and the spirit's job is to testify and teach!
Have a happy week!