Tuesday, January 17, 2017

First Week in Alaska

Hey everyone! I'm in Alaska now, it's pretty awesome. I guess I'll start with events from last week to fill you in.
So on Tuesday we flew into Anchorage and got acquainted with a new landscape. Snow was everywhere and fog was really heavy, apparently that's typical Anchorage. Wednesday we had some training, mostly for vehicle safety, then met our trainers and found out where are first areas were. We also went to the Anchorage temple. After that we ate dinner, then got dropped off at the airport. Our flight to Fairbanks was scheduled at about 7:40 pm but we didn't take off until closer to 10:00 because of heavy ice fog. We arrived at FAI around 11:00 and got to our apartment in North Pole at 12:00. Between now and then I've gotten to know the area and have met with a few people. People here are super nice, Alaska is a great place to be.
So for our vehicle we drive a Nissan Frontier, our area covers quite a distance, about an hour drive north to south, we spend a lot of time driving. We live in North Pole, about 30 minutes south of Fairbanks. Santa Claus and his reindeer live here, I'll have to get pictures of all that for next week's letter. It's always Christmas here, and all the street lights are painted like candy canes, it's a fun place. There's an Air Force Base about 20 minutes south of us, we go there quite a bit to talk to people. Everything is covered in snow, it'll be like this for many months. On Saturday it snowed really heavy, today it's lightly snowing. On Saturday we helped out with a junior dog sled race, that was really cool to see. Those dogs really love to run, that's all they want to do, so we had to hold the sled until they could take off. It's dark here a lot, the sun doesn't get too high either. Also, it gets cold in this part. -30 is the coldest I've seen so far but it's supposed to be 40 below this week, maybe 50 below next week. I thought it would feel worse, but it's not that bad, I've gotten used to it quick. Just have to dress warm and throw on a heavy coat when I leave the apartment.
All in all, it's really great here, the people are awesome, and it's a beautiful place. Best thing is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is still true even up here in the cold! People have such great faith and devotion, and really hold their families dear to them. I'm grateful to be up here serving among them, strengthening their faith in Christ as well as my own. I love you all and wish the best for you, I hope everyone is doing great. Stay positive and stay happy! Life is always gonna throw curve balls, but it's no fun if you just sit there and let them hit you, you've gotta swing!

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