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Women Leaders Minister in Alaska

Several members of the Relief Society, Young Women and Primary general presidencies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ministered to members in Alaska recently in a rural community far away from Anchorage.

 

Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary general president; Sister Reyna I. Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency; and Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, arrived in Anchorage, Alaska, Friday, April 20, 2018, for training with local leaders. In the early evening, they traveled to Bethel, 400 miles west of Anchorage.

“Meeting with the members in Alaska was an inspiring experience for me,” said Sister Aburto. “It was uplifting to feel their profound faith and their desire to follow the Lord Jesus Christ as they minister to each other as a way of life and from the heart. I will be forever grateful to them for strengthening me and for teaching me through their example of faithful discipleship.”

“Their visit brought the prophet’s love and the ministering spirit of Christ to the Bethel Branch,” said President Michael Chadwick of the Anchorage Alaska Chugach Stake. “As I observed and listened to the comments made, I felt that the members lifted the sisters and the sisters lifted the members. Hearts were touched, and fond memories were made for all involved with the visit.”

On Saturday, the women auxiliary leaders attended a potluck breakfast where they met with more than 40 members of the Bethel Branch to learn about living in a remote area in Alaska. They were presented with kuspuks, traditional native shirts. The sisters also visited with a local family.

A quick tour of the town included a visit to a local market to observe the higher cost of groceries in the rural town in Alaska, which is the largest state in the United States.

The leaders flew back to Anchorage Saturday afternoon for a statewide devotional that evening.

“Our love for the Savior, for one another, and for His work unites all of us,” said Sister Craig, who is part of the new Young Women general presidency. “And this love and care abounds among the Saints of Alaska! Our hearts will always be connected to them.”

On Sunday, the leaders met with Latter-day Saints in Anchorage before returning to Salt Lake City. During their trip, they were also able to visit the Anchorage Alaska Temple, which was dedicated in 1999.

There are more than 33,000 Latter-day Saints in Alaska in 82 congregations.

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