Sunday, February 10, 2008

February 10, 2008

One of three German grocery/variety stores where we do our shopping. Norma has the best produce.
This is our favorite Bakerei and we often stop there to buy a treat or a small loaf of bread when we take a walk in town.

Four days of blue sky and sunshine and counting! The birds are singing like Spring is around the corner. We have been told this is just a teaser so we won't be disappointed when the gray and the drizzle reappear. While it is here, we certainly are enjoying the good weather! 'Never be ungrateful for a sunny day for those of you living out West.

Sister Karn made it through a grueling thorough and intense eye exam at the eye doctor's for her German driver's license while Elder Karn sat in the waiting room, wondering if Sister Karn had been dragged off somewhere. Elder Karn passed the preliminary little machine eye test with flying colors so he didn't need the eye exam. But Sister Karn has a "lousy" eye (this is a professional eye doctor opinion from a Dr. son-in-law) and failed her eye test. After a couple of hours of tests, etc., the German eye doctor signed the form saying she could drive. Now the nice thing about that is it is already in German and we don't have to have it professionally translated!

Our first aid certificates that we just obtained from the American Red Cross have to be professionally translated. (The funny thing is all the Germans we have ever met speak wonderful English). Our Saturday was spent in a classroom learning (and re-learning) CPR/AED/First Aid from the American Red Cross. It wasn't free but the handouts and the materials were great. We are glad to have them. And by the way it is 30 chest compressions and 2 rescue breaths now for adults, children and infants. The only difference is how much you can compress the chest - obviously! Elder Karn was most vigorous in his rescue breathing on the dummy. They had us use plastic shields over the face now and it is really hard to get a seal. You know how you have to get the chest of the dummy to raise with each breath? It is pretty hard to do with the shield over the dummy's mouth. Elder Karn was blowing like crazy and Sister Karn was saying - "the chest isn't rising" like a good coach would, right? So he blew harder and faster - poor dummy (the plastic thing with the phoney head and chest). Well, he (Elder Karn - keep it straight now) developed a bruised and fat lip from blowing so hard. After that we didn't use the face shield. The AED training was pretty fun , "Stand clear!", however, we hope we never have to use one.

Last week most of Germany celebrated Karnival, or Fasching or Fastnacht. It is all the same but is celebrated in bigger and better ways in more densely populated areas. The Germans in Baumholder had a little parade and wore costumes. We saw one lady with a beer keg hat that was pretty cute. Fasching is a continuation of the Catholic tradition of living it up before Lent. We were fed Berliners at the Thrift Store. No, that is not people from Berlin. It is a sweet filled donut that is delicious. You can say, I am from Berlin; "Ich bin Berliner". Or, you can say, I am a jelly filled donut; "Ich bin eine Berliner" (an American president once said this when visiting Germany).

We have had a wonderful and busy week. We drove to Frankfurt on Wednesday for a general combined stake Auxiliary Training meeting. We made it through many Autobahns and traffic jams to arrive at our destination without a hiccough. Our GPS is a lifesaver! The meeting was wonderful and we received some inspirational training. Elder Oaks, the Area President of the Europe Central Area for the Church, and also a retired 4 star general, has agreed to come and speak to our little branch in mid-March. Our branch president, President Nelson, was able to meet with Elder Oaks for a few minutes and Elder Oaks offered to come and speak when he heard that 85% of our men will be deployed in April. We are really looking forward to this and we know it will help the soldiers and their families to prepare for the deployment. And we, the Karns, will be working with the brigade chaplain to see if he will agree to give us a list of the LDS soldiers on post so we can give them a personal invitation to come and attend. We will invite the chaplains also.

So, good things are happening! Hope you all have a great week!
Elder and Sister Karn