Tuesday, January 15, 2008

From US Army Garrison, Smith Barracks, Baumholder, Germany

There is a large artilliary museum on post. This is a photo of an old Russian tank destroyer captured in the Gulf War.

On Sunday we had the treat of hearing a talk given by the son of some dear friends from back home in Ogden. He is living here in Germany in the US Military Kaiserslautern Stake with his family serving in the Air Force and was just recently called as a high councilman. He visited our branch for his first assignment and we had the privilege of meeting him. Even though it is a worldwide Church, it is a small world!

A couple of weeks ago we received an email from a senior missionary couple serving in Australia. They were given our email address by the Church Military Relations department. Their grandson is stationed here in the Army and he was asking his grandparents about getting a serviceman's scripture set (miniature for ease of carrying). They had asked Military Relations for the name of an LDS chaplain here. There isn't one right now so we were the next hope. After some asking around we found his unit and his neighbors. We also emailed him because his grandparents gave us his email address. We have an appointment to meet with him and his wife this evening. No one in the Church knew he was here because he is not active. . . . but a small world!

What did missionaries do before email technology? Our mail from the USA, even though it comes through a military APO service, usually takes 2 to 4 weeks. Thank goodness that the cost is just the same as it would be stateside. A German stamp to mail a letter within Germany is equal to 75 cents, USA money. Although I think the mail would arrive much faster! We love the ability to communicate so quickly with friends and family through email. It is instantaneous! Most of the wives of the soldiers here have "webcams" where they can also see their loved one as they talk over the phone.

In the past month we have had 3 young mothers give birth. The last was just Sunday. She is Russion and it was her first baby and last month her husband was sent back to the States as a PCS (permanent change of station). However, she doesn't have a visa so she couldn't go. She gave birth a week early and her husband will be here in a few days though for a short visit. But now she must find a way to get a visa for the baby so she can go back to Russia and gather all the necessary papers to go to the States. And the Army wants her out of the military housing by March 10th. The branch is doing all it can to help.

We continue to serve where needed and find many blessings daily in doing so. Our prayers are with our family and friends and we miss you all.
Sister and Elder Karn