Sunday, December 24, 2017

We are coming home.

We are coming home. 

Today is December 24, a strange sort of day for us. We won't be celebrating Christmas until New Year's Day, when we will be home with the kids and grand-kids. When we woke up this morning the temperature was -28 F, feels like -46 F. The sunrise was 10:08 a.m. The sunset will be at 3:06 p.m. We have gained 1 minute and 8 seconds since the shortest day of the year.  The low will be -34 F tonight. When we wake up tomorrow it will still be -33 F.We are planning on packing our car tomorrow. The high for the day is at 3 p.m. at -29 F. But it will be getting dark at that time, and will get colder fast.

Last Sunday we took the Elders to the airport so they could attend the Christmas Zone Conference in Edmonton. They will stay down for Christmas and return after we have gone. We have enjoyed these two fine Elders.

Elder Gorsky and Elder Sinco

It was dark as we left the airport at 4:00 p.m..

This rock has cool frost.             We do service at Aven. 3:30          There is a huge quarry next to                                                            is dark as we are leaving.              Aven. Someday it will be a tower
                                                                                                          addition to Aven Senior                                                                                                                              Community.


It is now another day and it is dark in our alley at 3:42 p.m.

These three birds are Rock Ptarmigan. They are all white in the winter except for a black tip on their tail. They are from northern climate, but they migrate to Yellowknife when they move from high latitudes to escape the dark arctic winter.

Inukshuk help travelers in the North find their way.

Local sleigh riding and tobogganing hill is in a neighborhood. So, the road is blocked off for the winter.
Snow berms are built to keep riders safe.

There is a wide turn at the bottom which travels down the street to a barrier to stop.

View through Sombe Ke Park. Looking at Museum across Frame Lake. The flag enclosure is for the skating rink. This city knows how to make winter fun. People in Yellowknife do not stay inside just because it is cold and dark. They bundle up and play.

We are inside the Food Rescue tent. This is the kitchen area. We did a lot of service in here. This was a get together to thank all the volunteers for the year. The are closing and will open in the new year. The lady in the red vest is the director. She also collects nativities.

Outside of the tent. It has a kitchen, office and warehouse area. We did service in the parking lot sorting recyclables for the money they could bring to Food Rescue. The bags came from the mines and they let Food Rescue have the deposits.

Sister Krause is our oldest branch member. She is 78, just had a knee replacement and drove up until a few months ago. She lives alone with her two dogs, Whisper and Mishka. Her two daughters live near and look in on her.

We have waited for eight months to see this "Christmas tree" lit up. And one afternoon, it was. 

We have loved Yellowknife. It is time to go home. We anticipate leaving on Tuesday, December 26, 2017. It should take us four days driving for eight hours each day to get home. Bad weather, bad road conditions, wrecks, and wild animals could change the plan. Also if it is crowded at the border or just takes a long time to get through US customs, we could be longer.

Hopefully we will be home on Friday, December 29, 2017. We have a new Stake President at home, he's been at it for three weeks. He said to call and he would like to meet us and release us. That sure sounds final. We will also be getting a new Bishop in our Ward the week we are home. The one we had is in the new Stake Presidency. We think we will be speaking in church on January 14. If you want to know for sure, reach out to our phones, emails, or Facebook. We have never seen comments on this blog. If you don't know these methods, use email

We love all of you. We are looking forward to seeing you all again. 

We are thankful for Jesus Christ, our Savior. We celebrate the anniversary of His birth. We are thankful for a Heavenly Father who gave His only begotten Son to help all of us return to Him again. We are thankful for Joseph Smith who acted in faith and asked Heavenly Father which church to join. He found out that he shouldn't join any of them. Joseph Smith became instrumental in translating the ancient plates with help from God, to bring forth the Book of Mormon and in the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ in these latter days.  

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a lovely year in 2018.

Elder and Sister Brown

Friday, December 8, 2017

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Every night little crystals fall out of the sky. If it wasn't cold, it would be dew. It just brushes away. It blows out of the trees if there is a wind. 

This is a trail and it was cleared with a sweeper attachment machine. Sometimes they use a leaf blower. Most people just sweep with a broom.

We have loved going to the boat harbor. It is by the sailing club. We would watch the people coming and leaving. We watched newbies learning how to sail. It was a good place to fly radio controlled airplanes that land and take off from the lake surface. We watched over the weeks as people brought their boats into dry dock. We have seen people get out of their boats who looked like pirates. We have seen it in different stages of ice buildup. On Tuesday, we could tell that people had been driving on the ice. We walked out on it. And, please notice the sun. It is 10:30 am. The sun came up at 9:45 am. This is the way it is. The sun doesn't come up very high above the horizon. On Tuesday, the sun was up for 5 hours and 25 minutes. It stays on the horizon. When we drive home, south, this sun will be in our eyes for just less than 5 hours. We have our sunglasses ready so we won't be blinded. 

This beautiful shop is a dentist office and a quilting supply fabric store. The fabric shop is a really good one. It is just through our parking lot. These two businesses decorated for Halloween also. They make such a fun community Christmas atmosphere. There will be lights on the main street and the government buildings. The community Christmas lights will come on December 15. We already did have the Santa Parade and we missed it because we were doing service.

These are some of the people at the Branch Christmas Party.
This is the elementary school in our neighborhood. The playground is asphalt. There is also a basketball court The terrain in front of the school, behind that tree, is a giant rock. The playground area, not shown, is gravel. And all along the fence are grow boxes, that the children plant, take care of, and harvest. One day in the fall, 5 men crossed the street carrying a huge roll of something. They rolled it out and it was artificial turf. In the following days they brought in sand, poured it on the turf and brushed it in and off. They painted lines, brought in nets and then the children started to play on it. We don't know what game they are playing. It is hard to tell from the street because of the fence. Could be field hockey. When it snows the kids sweep it off with the brooms and play.

This ice is thick enough to drive on.

So we drove out on Yellowknife Bay. The people in the houseboats are driving out to their houseboats. Our car needs to be washed. It is just a little cold to get out the supplies. A person could have a good business if he opened a self-serve car wash.

This view is looking back at the ice road coming from the street.

 The sled dogs raced by as I was taking pictures of those columns of ice in the background.

They were having fun as they raced out on Yellowknife Bay.

Elder Brown and Isaac Rodriguez were keeping busy on P-Day. I was making bread and buns. Isaac came from Mexico City, to care for his brother-in-law, Pablo. Pablo had more surgery and Isaac is a good medical escort. Pablo lives in Norman Wells which is 600 Kilometers from here, by plane. We had taken Pablo to the airport to fly home. Isaac was waiting until later to get his plane. We really enjoyed both of these men. We got to know them so well, and we really may never see them again. Thank goodness for e-mail.

Elder Gorsky, Elder Sinco and us, attend district conference via Skype. We are hanging out in the Family History Library. We Skype with the rest of our district, to the Millwood Stake, which is in the southern suburbs of Edmonton. It is over 1,000 miles away from us. Yes,the Canada Edmonton mission headquarters is 1,000 miles south of us. When we get home to Draper, the Canada Edmonton  mission headquarters will be 1,000 miles north of us. 

These are our friends Marcel and Lisette. They had us over to supper. 

This is their dog, Suka. Suka is part wolf and part husky. She is really very gentle. 

Suka has one brown eye and one blue eye.

There are lots of people who ride their bikes everywhere. I saw the cutest thing the other afternoon. There wasn't time to get a picture. But it will be good for you to imagine what it looked like. All the children in Yellow ride in jogging strollers that have covers over them. Many people transport their children in the strollers. At daycare places, there are a whole bunch of strollers parked outside. What I saw was a father riding his bicycle, steering with his right hand, and pulling a stroller to the side of his bike with his left hand. He was even riding on the road with packed down snow, and it was already dark. It looked so funny. 

The deck is a good place to hang bikes and park strollers

We had a lesson with a woman. Here is Elder Brown with the two missionaries waiting for her to answer the door. 

This is a short blog. We will be here a few more weeks, so I will send other blogs with more information. I have mixed feeling about our mission ending. In some ways, there is a natural break in things. In other ways, there is more we would like to do. We have talked and emailed the couple who is replacing us. They will be good for Yellowknife. The work of the Lord will go on. We love all of you. We will see a lot of you soon.

Love, Elder and Sister Brown, Mom, Grandma and Dadoo

Friday, November 24, 2017

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...and dark!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...and dark! 

It has been such a long time since the last blog. We are keeping quite busy. We are having such wonderful experiences. We arrived in Yellowknife six months ago. In that time we have done a lot of things. We have participated in many festivals, Farmer's Markets, volunteer service, events and activities. We have met so many people. We meet people we know everywhere we go. If we haven't met them yet, it is time to get to know them. We will leave many friends when we leave, -- in 32 days.

So yesterday was Thanksgiving. We thought about getting a turkey. . .
No, maybe not. This is a small turkey. We opted for deli cut slices for four, us and two Elders. Only $20. They weren't as good as slices from the whole bird. We had all the other
traditional Thanksgiving foods.

Every day we get snow. It is more like powdered sugar, just dusting everything. Sometimes it is like grains of salt. Whatever way we get it, there is no moisture in it and we just sweep it off the steps, the walks and the cars. The alley gets packed down with people driving on it. The main roads just get worn off. The city puts gravel down in intersections.

                      Snow dusts the car every day.

Snow accumulates

                                                                                                                       The roads are not too bad.

Elder Cinco and Elder Vernon flew to Edmonton for the Mission Tour. Our visiting General authority was Elder Schweitzer, our past Stake President in the Butler West Stake and his wife, Sister Schweitzer. We didn't fly down to it. We got to skype the meetings and we got to talk to the Schweitzer's. Elder Vernon was transferred during this time and was replaced by Elder Gorsky.

Then there was a day last week, November 14, 2017. It snowed all day. This time the snow looked like feathers falling out of the sky. We could blow it off. Big fluffy feathers. When it stopped we had 12 inches in the alley. The airport reported 9 1/2 inches and it was 0.11 inches of water. That is very dry snow.

The car is covered this time. Still, we just swept it off with a broom.

This is the fence between us and the neighbors.

The space between car and fence.

Doesn't it look like feathers?

We sorted one last time for the season. The other times this month we have re bagged flour, and made apple sauce.

We have lots of ravens in Yellowknife. 

This one sticks around the church and greets us when we come and go. Sister Brown talks to him and she must make him feel welcome.

Sister Brown had to have one eye dilated. It made her look quite crazy for a couple of hours.

The Status of Women, a government agency in Canada, had a project where they paired a senior woman with a new mother and they worked together in an art class.
The first class we worked with acrylics in a group of six. Each of us had part of a picture and worked independently on our little part.

Sister Brown had an eye and part of a nose.

With all of our parts, it was a dog. (Yes, someone was absent.)

This dog was an effort of two, making the mosaic with scrap colors from magazines.

Don't ask, but it was Sister Brown and a young mother holding her baby. It was fun.

Sister Brown made a linoleum carving of a trumpeter swan. Her partner Jesse, made a feather.

They printed a design on rice paper.

There will be an art show in March of all the art in three different art sessions. Sister Brown won't be there.

The auroras have been quiet. While the lakes in the Northwest Territories are freezing there is constant cloud and mist. Tonight we can see a moonlit sky, but it is not a good time for auroras. December 4th and 5th are supposed to be good nights. Yellowknife is setting record temperatures for cold temperatures. The day before yesterday was -20 degrees Fahrenheit. It got up to -15 degrees Fahrenheit. Days before were -10 to -15 degrees Fahrenheit. Currently, at 9 pm, the temperature is -8 degrees Fahrenheit. We said we would go to a cold place and we are there. We are keeping very warm. We do go out, we dress in layers. And today, sunrise was 9:18 AM and sunset was 3:29 PM. The sun remains low in the Southern horizon the whole time it is daylight.

And, what would we be doing in Salt Lake on the day after Thanksgiving? Why, we would be setting up our nativities. And that is exactly what we did today in Yellowknife. We brought three nativities with us when we came on our mission. We added 16 nativities by last Christmas. Unfortunately we have been unable to find a nativity in the Northwest Territories. But we have an idea of one we will add, probably after we get home.

Here are our newest nativities. You will be able to see them at our open house in December 2018.

Go online and check out #Light The World

There are many ideas on things you can do this Christmas to show your love for Jesus. It starts on December 1. Copy and paste the line below to see what is available.

We love all of you. We love our mission. We will be sad to see it end. We will be starting on our way home on December 26th, 32 days from now. Rumor tells us we will be speaking in church on January 14, 2018. There will be another blog before then so we will give all the particulars later. 

Love, Elder and Sister Brown, Mom, Grandma and Dadoo, Bruce and Robyn