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

Friday, September 29, 2017

We live in the church

I would say it is about time I got a blog written. People ask us, What does your apartment look like? How far do you travel to church? We thought we would show you, because it is hard to believe and imagine.

We live in the church!!!

This is the back of the building where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meet. Our parking space is right next to the building. 

This is the wheelchair ramp that goes into the building.

This is the parking lot to the church.


We do have a foyer.

Oh, there are other tenants in the Church Building?

Hey, look! Elder Brown is home.

     This staircase is right outside our door.                                    These stairs go down.
     It goes up to most of the church rooms.
     We walk to church, it is not far, up these stairs.

Opposite the senior couple apartment is this area going into a small hall with  - - - -

two washrooms,

         and a custodial closet,                                              the door to the Baptismal Font.

Going down the hall between the stairs and the washroom area, is the Relief Society room on the left side and the back doors of two businesses that take up the front of the building.

Borealis Accounting straight ahead.

Northern Safety Association, plus a washroom just to the right.

The Relief Society Room has become so much more than Relief Society Room. I pointed out the wheelchair ramp, but I haven't shown you the elevator. Because there isn't one! We have two members who can't get up the stairs, and one is in a wheelchair. We use the Relief Society Room for Sacrament Meeting. It may not be every week, since they are both in their late 70's. The room is also used for Baptisms, and English Class.


Baptismal Font behind high doors. Other door is the Relief Society closet. It takes about 45 minutes to fill the font and 13 hours to heat the water. We have had two baptisms since we got here.

Entering the front of the building brings one into a main foyer to the two business 

Front entry

Accounting Office
                                                                                                       Safety Training Office

and stairs going up to the Church, and down to another business . . .

The Girl Guides of Canada.

Northern Safety Association also has a training classroom in the basement.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a Family History Library in the basement.

Then there are the various maintenance rooms, electrical, computer, internet, satellite wiring closet, boiler room, heating oil tanks, and storage room are in the basement.

And this one little space became the resting place one night for a squatter

                            I think he has been here before.

Going up to the rooms used by the Church of Jesus Cjhrist of Latter-day Saints, Yellowknife Branch, Edmonton Millwood Stake.

 Top of the landing at second floor. Going to the left to offices and classrooms. The right goes in to the meeting room called the Assembly Hall.

The hall to the right also has the woman's washroom . . .  

and the member custodial closet.

View of the parking lot and house across the alley, from the balcony at the end of the Assembly Hall.

 View from the back of Assembly Hall
The organ at the back is not used at this time.    

The two rooms at the front are little classrooms.

The classroom on the right is where the Relief Society meets at this time

This storage closet is on the right hand side of the Assembly Hall.


 Also on the right side of the Assembly Hall is a small, kitchen area.

This is from the front looking back.

Front upstairs hall.

View from front upstairs hall.

Waiting area in front upstairs hall.

                                                                     View of the hall.

                                  Branch President"s Office                                                                   

                              Other side of Branch President's Office.

 Clerk's Office
                                                                                  Media Center, Library

 Primary Room looking to front.
                                                                            Primary Room looking back.

Young Women's Room

View from balcony in YW's room.

This is the front of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This used to be an apartment building and was changed into a church and businesses. The business part is unusual, but the space was big, and the businesses offset the cost of a big building with very people in the branch. This church is downtown, however there are houses around us, too.

Across from the parking lot are apartment buildings, dentist office, and a deli.

West of our building is a residence business. The front part of the house is a business. The front and back yards have grow boxes full of flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Our neighbor is generous with her spoil, and she likes the things I bake.

A large parking lot is between the residence and the tall green building. That building is the Norwest Building - wifi, cell phone. There are also mining offices in there. The diamond mines are part of the Rio Tinto holdings.

This is a view west from our part of the alley to Franklin, the main street. The alley enters Franklin. We often go that way if we turn right. Or we come in our parking lot and out through another parking lot. Parking is a premium in Yellowknife. There are parking meters in front of the homes in the area. If you live there you have a sticker and don't have to feed the meter.
The east end of the alley is a dead end. There is a path
at the end that people walk up and down. The path is on 
a huge rock. There are people walking up and down our
alley all hours of the day and night. At first we thought they were
out because it was light all the time. But they are also out
in the dark.

These are houses on the other side of the alley.

On the east is a store, Fiddles and Sticks. They sell musical instruments. Two brothers own it and they live on the top floor. One of the families has two boys who will not speak to us at all. We were on the wheelchair ramp one day and he walked back through the parking lot, down the street, and came into the alley between two houses; just so he didn't have to talk to us. We are good friends and talk to the adults.

The space between us is gated and locked at both ends.

 Now you know that we live in the church. It is a little strange. When we lived in Grande Prairie a lot of our driving was to the church. So, it saves on gas to live in the church. Nothing is very far. We do walk in the downtown. We are going in to new stores all the time. Living in Yellowknife is still an adventure.

I loved Woman's Conference and we are looking forward to Conference. We only have to walk upstairs. In Grande Prairie we were almost the only ones at the church watching conference on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Lots of people did come to the church and watch Conference on Sunday morning. We kind of expect the same thing here.

I'm excited to hear the talks and listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I am thankful for the Prophet. I know he won't be in the conference center this year, but President Monson will be attending from his home and I am thankful for him and pray for him and his children and grandchildren. But all the rest of the talks from the special witnesses of Jesus Christ will be awesome to hear. All of you enjoy them as well.

Sister Brown, Mom, Grandma, and Robyn