Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The small canyon of Gjáin in the south of Iceland. A bunch of small waterfalls makes this landscape very different and interesting. Gjáin lies near the volcano Hekla and the ruins of the historical farm of Stöng.
Háifoss is Iceland's second tallest waterfall at 122m. Nearby this waterfall sits Granni (the Neighbor).
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Elder Christensen and Elder Ellsworth are serving in Selfoss, Iceland. They are dedicated, faithful servants. They have helped Sister Ashby and myself in many ways. We appreciate all they do for us. They work together in unity and are a great support for each other. So far they have lost their cell phone only once each, that we know of. On Mother's Day they fixed a meal for Sister Ashby, althought the meal was of need of a little help, the thought is what counts. We enjoy their friendship and service.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
We had the opportunity to visit with Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland. Elder and Sister Koyle and Sister Ashby and myself went to Bessastaðir the Presidential Residence. President Grímsson visited with us for an hour and half, we then went upstairs and to see some of the gifts that have been presented to the president from many different countries around the world.
President Grímsson is interested in what we are doing in Iceland as well of what we think of the economic conditions. He also wanted to know how his friends in Utah are doing.
He commented on how much the Icelanders in Utah have done to preserve their heritage. He is impressed with the Icelanders in Utah and specially all they do. The Icelandic Association of Utah, according to the president, is one of the best Icelandic organizations in North America. He is very impressed with what they do both in Iceland and Utah.
He commented on how good of man president Hinckley was. President Hinckley visited with him at Bessastaðir in 2002; as well as in Salt Lake City in 1997 and 2003; and Spanish Fork, Utah in 2005. They had a lot of respect for one another.
President Grímsson made us feel right at home. He is a gracious host. We all enjoyed our visit with him. He request that I stay in touch with him during our stay in Iceland. He said he would possibly come to our church and talk with the young single adults some evening. I look forward to seeing that take place.
The two statues pictured above were given to the president by the Icelandic Association of Utah; the angel (Messenger) in 2000, and the (Ascent) statue in 2005. What an honor it is to have these statues dispayed at Bessastaðir, the Presidential Residence.
I am honored to be a friend of President Grímsson and a member of the Icelandic Association of Utah.
President Grímsson made me remember what it is like to be part of an organization that has been around for over one hundred years and that has done a few great things. I am in awe at what the Icelandic Association of Utah has accomplished. What a wonderful experience this has been for Sister Ashby and myself.
God bless Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland and all the people of Iceland.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Iceland’s volcano Eyjafjallajokull is showing signs of increased activity, scientists say. High altitude winds are reported to be pushing the volcanic particles directly south over the Atlantic.
The cloud shot up as high as ten kilometers into the air earlier this week, higher than during April’s crisis, forcing large parts of Irish and British airspace to close. Geologists are measuring around to Eyjafjallajokull daily to see how much ash is falling. The experts say they are picking up signs of increased seismic activity deep under the volcano, indicating that magma below the earth’s crust is trying to force its way up.
Friday 7 May 2010 we made our way to the volcano at Eyjafjallajokull. We were traveling with Elder and Sister Shumway from Germany and Elder and Sister Koyle from Reykjavík. The Shumways were in Iceland to help advance the Young Single Adult Center in Reykjavík. The Center is functioning well and just needs some minor adjustments. Elder and Sister Koyle have done a marvelous service getting the center up and running. They spend many hours to make the center a success. After the training we toured along the south coast of Iceland and ended up near the volcano at 11:00 pm. This is when you can see the glow at the base of the ash plumb. The weather was clear so we were treated to a wonderful show. I am not sure the pictures do justice to what was going on.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
We had the opportunity to visit with Gugga and her husband Kristjan at their summer house near Selfoss, Iceland. Gugga and her husband own a tour guide service and they have been guiding the tours from Utah, (Lil Shepherd tours) for the last couple of visits to Iceland. We enjoyed our visit with them. They are fun loving people with lots of stories about Iceland.
They would someday like to visit Utah. I am sure they would have a great time in Utah. They know a lot of people in Utah and have learned about the Icelanders in Utah.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
The eruption at Eyjafjallajökull began 14 April 2010. These photos were taken 16 & 17 April 2010. We drove out along highway 1 to Hvolsvollur, the road was closed just past the town. I also took pictures from my appartment in Selfoss.
Monday, April 5, 2010
The Northern lights were out last night. On Sunday evening 3-April-10 as we had just finished watching general conference (10 pm) and were taking the Elders from our apartment back to theirs, we saw the most beautiful scene in this ever changing sky here in Iceland. The Elders recommended that we drive out away from the city lights, thinking we could see even better. From just outside of Selfoss we could see the most beautiful Northern Lights stretching across the sky. It was a band of greenish colored lights that was at time from the east to western horizon with a splash of smaller lights mostly in the eastern sky.
Earlier that day as we drove from Reykjavík we had noticed the sky was clear. We could see the Westmann Islands, toward the southwest, from the top of the pass, as well as steam drifting up from the volcano in the eastern sky. Sunday was one of the few clear days we have had since we arrived in Iceland.
We have only been in Iceland a month. We have already experienced many great and marvelous things. We look forward to more experiences to share. The Northern Light show was a fitting finale to a wonderful general conference.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
P-day 31.03.10 we made a trip to see Fimmvorduhals volcano in the middle of the Eyjafjallajokull glacier. Fimmvorduhals volcano erupted on March 21, Iceland's first such volcanic explosion since 2004 and the first in the Eyjafjallajokull area since 1823. We were able to view the volcano only from a distance. We only saw steam or maybe smoke rising in the distance. We made the trip with Elder and Sister Koyle as well as all the Elders serving in Iceland.
After viewing the volcano we went to nearby Skogar and went through the museum located there. Thordur Tomosson was there and toke us on a short tour. He knew of Eirikur Eiriksson the father of Eyjolfur Eiriksson my Great-grandfather. On the way to Selfoss from Skogar we stopped at Nyibaer undir Eyjafjollum, Rangarvalla. This is where Eyjolfur Eiriksson was born in 1854.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Selfoss, Iceland Missionares with President and Sister Olauson - Pictured above; Sister Ashby, Elder Ashby, Sister Olauson, President Olauson, Elder Christensen, and Elder Ellsworth
Zone Conference Theme: Master Teachers; Ambassadors for the Lord (2 Corinthians Chapter 5)
There is no more noble task than to be called as full time missionares and to extend ourselves in service and striving to motivate, inspire, uplift and influnce others. Christ spent His time on earth in the business of saving souls, as missionaries we are called to do the same.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
We took Elder Ellsworth and Elder Christensen to Reykjavik on P-Day. We visited down town and then went to the Pelan(Pearl). We had a Pylsur in downtown at the famous pylsur stand did a little shopping and enjojed our time in Reykjavik.
Last week was busy for us. It seems we were in Reykjavík ever day or two. On Thursday (18.03.2010) Brother Eckehard Jensen came from Germany. He is over Church Education System for Europe. He spent Saturday and Sunday teaching. We attended all of his classes. We will be over the Institute and seminary classes here in Iceland. On Monday we and Elder and Sister Koyle went on a tour short tour with him. He is a very kind man. He is also very knowledgeable. It was interesting and at time fun to be with him.
Monday, March 22, 2010
21 March 2010
A volcano erupted near the glacier Eyjafjallajokullin in Iceland, shooting up ash and molten lava and forcing the evacuation of hundres from nearby villages yesterday.
The eruption at the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, located near a glacier of the same name, shot ash and molten lava into the air but scientists called it mostly peaceful. It occurred just before midnight Saturday at a fissure on a slope — rather than at the volcano's summit — so scientists said there was no imminent danger that the glacier would melt and flood the area.
Scientists say it is difficult to predict what comes next. Like earthquakes, it is hard to predict the exact timing of volcanic eruptions.
This was a rather small and peaceful eruption but we are concerned that it could trigger an eruption at the nearby Katla volcano, a vicious volcano that could cause both local and global damage. This small eruption could bring about something bigger.
The last time there was an eruption near the 100-square-mile Eyjafjallajokull glacier was in 1821, and that was a "lazy" eruption — it lasted slowly and continuously for two years.
The eruption is taking place in an area that is relatively ice free, there is little chance of a destructive glacier burst like the one that washed away part of the east-west highway four years ago, after an eruption under the vast Vattnajoekull glacier.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Just out the front window of our apartment is the Ölfusá. The river is running high this morning. I am surprised as to how much it fluctuates. It gets muddy when it is high, but still beautiful. Today the forecast is for partly cloudy with the temperature in the low forties, so it is not so cold.
Wednesday is our P-Day so we spent the day, yesterday, cleaning our apartment, grocery shopping, washing clothes, and getting our personal bank account set up here in Iceland. We made a deposit of 64,000 ISK, sounds like a lot, however it is only about $500 USD, I had deposited another 28,000 ISK earlier, so we had enough to pay our rent for March. We will get our debit card on Monday so we can start using our Icelandic bank account to do business with.
Last evening we met with the YM/YW in the Selfoss branch, which there were only 1 YW and 2 YM. Sister Ashby taught about etiquette. The Elders here were in charge of the evening and it was interesting to see how they interacted with the youth.