Tuesday, January 8, 2008

2008 Looks Great!

January 8, 2008

The photo is of our meeting house. We meet on the bottom floor. That is our little red rented vehicle out front.

There were a few days that we slowed the pace a bit because we both had a touch of a cold. Pam had it much more than I did but with chicken soup and everything else we could think of we got past it. The weather has been cool (running just above to just below freezing most of the time) and wet. We haven't had much snow but lots of days with light rain. Some days we have a few moments of sun then longer periods of light rain. The weather changes fast here. I know every place in the world people say that the weather changes fast there but I submit that in my experience this place has them all beat by a mile (well over a kilometer)! Additionally the wind blows quite a bit and with the dampness it really feels down right cold. The short periods of time that we had snow on the ground it felt much warmer that it does when it is just rainy and damp.

Our days have really filled up now and we are back at full throttle. We take some time each week to try to clear the obstacles in our way. We now have a bank account and have money in it. And we have a "pin" number to use with our card to access the money. We don't have the card so we can't get to the money yet. The money in the account is there to pay the mission for our rent, utilities and use of the car. So far (we are now in our third month) we have not paid them anything. I recently told the mission financial secretary that we had never lived so cheaply. We don't pay rent, utilities or for the use of the car! Is this a great mission or what? Of course our bill keeps going up and she said she knew where we lived! I told her we had put their name in the hat to see who gets paid this month and that their name was drawn! Hopefully they will get paid this month. If only we get the card.

We have also started working on what to do to get German drivers licenses. We now understand that we may have to go to Frankfurt to have our licenses translated and then we can apply. We plan on applying one at a time because we understand that we will be without licenses for about two weeks when we apply. We were told that we have six months to do that after we arrived in November. And for those who were in Germany long ago and think that all we have to do is apply for international drivers licenses - they don't accept international drivers licenses any more. We have to surrender our Utah licenses to make this all happen. The good news is that they honor Utah drivers licenses but we don't have to take tests or the driving school. Many states, including NY and CA, they don't accept for transfer and those folks have to take the drivers school, written test and driving test. I don't know why - I'm just letting you know how it is.

We have had some wonderful days recently. The branch has been wonderful. What great young soldiers and families we are around!!! We have so much respect for these young service members (both the single and the married ones) and their families that bravely face whatever is ahead of them. It takes special people to pack up and go to a foreign country and be prepared to be seperated. The deployment is hard in many aspects. The climate where they are deployed alone would drive most to the breaking point and then to do it dressed up for combat and under the stress of being shot at or blown up really seperates them from the average person. Most folks have no clue what stress and physical hardship these folks go through. Then back at the family there are the challenges that young families face: the uncertainty of the safety of their loved one, being a single parent 24/7, dealing with the military, being in a foreign country without extended family, handling everything on your own for the family! Our visits with these families is really sweet. We often thank them for their sacrifice and tell them it is not only from us but from everyone that has put on a uniform or served and sacrificed for others.

It has been our sweet privilege to meet with and teach a family about the Gospel of Jesus Christ this past week. There are 6 members in this family and they all attended Sunday meetings this past Sunday.

We continue to volunteer on post. On Mondays we work at the Thrift Store and on Fridays we will be working at the Arts Shop. (Formerly the Arts and Crafts Center) We do whatever they ask us to do - clean, sort, paint, or anything else.

We have found the Brigade Chaplain and will now meet with him until he deploys. And we continue to meet with the Senior Garrison Chaplain so our list of folks to be in contact with continues to grow. We are getting known on post.

All our love to family and friends!!!

Elder and Sister Karn