Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 27, 2008

Another busy week here in Germany and the weather was the best we have seen. I am struggling to sit here and write because the sun is coming through the clouds so it is filtered a bit but it does shine and the temperature is seventy (70) degrees! We have not seen that since we left Utah (seventy that is - we have seen the sun on a number of occasions.)

There are some interesting facts we learned about Germany that we would like to pass along to you. We understand that Germany is number one in recycling in the world; meaning that they recycle a bigger percentage of their used materials than anyone else in the world. It is obvious that they are really into recycling so that is believable to us. The second thing we have been told is that thirty percent of all wind produced electricity is produced in Germany. I have not confirmed these details but they seem like they might be true and accurate because of the electricity producing windmills we see and the great emphasis on recycling. There are of course things we look at and say we sure like our way of doing that better but they do some things wonderfully well here too.

We have had a few good weather days this week so we have enjoyed that but even more we have enjoyed some great times with the Young Single Adults this week. Monday night we had a great Family Home Evening presented by one of the YSAs, Tuesday night we had our Institute class on the Old Testament, and Friday night we had a conversational German class by the Zone Leader Elders. And then yesterday we spent a few hours being trained by the Church Education System coordinator(CES) over this area. What a treat that was! The time we spent with him just flew by. (By the way, he told us we were to make sure we had some time off every week - Preparation Day or "P Day") And he encouraged us to see some of the local sights and enjoy our time in Germany. So we will have some time to travel locally and see the sights.

We also took part of a day this last week and went to Saarbrucken, Germany. It is quite close by and near the French border. It was amazing but the closer we got to the French border Pam just felt better and better! We didn't see any castles but we did go in a big shopping area and sat outside to eat lunch. There was a man there playing a saxophone so she was really doing well. Just down the street we found another fellow playing the accordion. That sounded even more French so Pam felt like she was in France. (Besides people walking by and speaking French!) The day really charged her batteries!

To make you folks feel better back home - we paid $9.40 per gallon for gasoline this past week. The car does get 30 miles per gallon but those prices still make us walk when we can. As soon as the car starts we put it in gear and drive, if we stop for a train we turn the engine off, and when we pull in and park the engine is quickly turned off. Sitting and idling doesn't take a lot of fuel but at those prices we try not to waste any. (The price is back down a little now to about $9.20 a gallon.)

And if anyone has lost track - this past week we passed six months that we have been gone so we have days less than a year to go.

We love you and miss you!

Elder and Sister Karn

Here is a photo of the front of
our new apt. building. There are
2 apts., ours is on the lower

This is a photo of one of our
young single adults teaching
Family Home Evening.

Here we are at a wonderful
sidewalk cafe for lunch
on P-Day in Saarbrucken.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

April 20, 2008

We are sorry about the delay but we are just now finally sitting back and catching our breath. The move went well. We have a nice apartment and everything is put away. We have more space but less rooms. Figure that one out. And yesterday the brilliant and patient Elder Karn connected up our Vonage phone (801-476-4206) so we can call home again. It took many many tries to outsmart the German DSL service here (which was also difficult to get going) to allow the connection. We have no "techno geeks" to help us through this stuff. It must have been a techno angel answering a prayer, that is for sure!

Our new assignment keeps us mostly gone from our apartment. We are at the Institute Outreach Center 5 evenings a week. The young single adults, with whom we work, will make us young and energetic however. We have Family Home Evening with a meal (we both will cook) on Mondays, Institute (Old Testament studies) and a meal on Tuesdays, Wednesday night is open for anything, Thursdays we are closed for P-Day (preparation, and "play" for senior couples), Fridays is movies/game night, and Saturdays is BBQ (Summer!) and movies also. Sometimes we have meetings on Thursday evenings. Sundays we will be finding people. This past week has just flown by because we have been busy trying to figure out how to do this job. Our attendance has been low compared to the possible clientel and this is really where our work will be - in the "search and rescue" mode. Sister Karn finally figured out how to get into the official website to update it:
Go to Germany, then Servicemens Kaiserslautern to see the IOC information.

Elder Karn was called as a high councilman in the Kaiserslautern Military Stake. For those of you unfamiliar with this, he will be responsible in encouraging the wards and branches (parishes or congregations)within the stake (large region covering 7 different parishes) to help find the young single adults (ages 18-30). This is the age when sometimes the young people fall away from the Church as they are usually away from home and family and "rules". They often come back, but not after they have some regrets. We want to help them have no regrets, find good friends, and have wholesome activities for them to enjoy. And also, the largest growth in the Church in central Europe is among this age group. Perhaps you can see the vision in establishing these Institute Outreach Centers. There are 19 in the central Europe area and just 4 in our mission. However, we have the one and only IOC that is strictly English and for the US Military and their dependents in that age range. The small German branch used to meet with us and perhaps they will re-join us. All in all, it is a challenge, believe us. We just found out that the military stake overlays another German stake. That is very different.

We will hit our 6 month mark on Tuesday. Now we have just a year to go. Hang on families! Don't forget us! We think of you every day.

We will take some photos of the center and add them next time. Our new address is:
Bruce R. Karn
Box R
PSC 2 Box 11916
APO AE 09012

Our German address is: (faster but a little more money)
Fabrikstrasse 15A
66849 Landstuhl

Elder Karn is in his 4th meeting this evening. When he comes home we are going to "kick back" for a couple of hours. Tomorrow we have an appointment with a local bank to see if they will let us open an account. We have found that if you don't have your "salary" automatically deposited they don't want your business. Baumholder was much easier. But, that bank doesn't have a branch here. Fortunately our German driver's licenses are good for all of Germany.

Take care all.
Elder and Sister Karn

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April 6, 2008

We have enjoyed the General Conference sessions thus far. The broadcast is 8 hours behind Utah but we feel watching it "live" is a great blessing. It was great to hear Elder Christofferson sustained as a new member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Much to our surprise our former Paraguayan mission president, Eduardo Gavarret (currently in Lima, Peru) was sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. I guess we didn't pick that up from Pres. Uchtdorf's pronunciation. It is a French name but must be pronounded with a Spanish accent! Also from Pam's old stake Elder William R. Walker and Elder Allan F. Packer (little "P" as he was fondly remembered) were also sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy. We had met and shaken hands with Elder Christofferson when he visited Paraguay. We love the way the Church is organized and also follows order. We also sustain Pres. Thomas S. Monson as the Lord's annointed prophet in our day. For anyone interested you may find more about General Conference at

It is snowing here today! It makes it lighter and brighter though! We have had more snow in the Spring than we had in the Winter. However, the trees are leafing out and we know Summer must be coming. Otherwise, it is a really big joke on us.

Knowing that our schedule will change dramatically this coming week we took off on some adventures. We visited a little town on the Moselle River called Bernkastel-Kues:

It would be pretty hard to find a quainter place. There were lots of half-timbered buildings and a castle and a lazy river. Here are some more photos:

This is a major wine center in Germany and grapevines are seen on the very steep slopes of the hills on each side of the Moselle Valley (Moseltal). We didn't taste the wine but we did have a fine German lunch of Schnitzel mit Sahne, Pommes Frites, und Salat, also Flammkuchen mit Schinken und Tomata! Of course there was Italian Eis for dessert, which we ate first! Shnitzel is merely breaded pork or beef and Sahne is cream - which they eat alot of here. Pommes Frites are French fries. Flammkuchen was a kind of very cheesy pizza.

We also visited a large castle/old church/community at Burg Lichtenberg about an half hour away. This was first constructed in the 1400s and additions and other buldings have been continually added since. It was first owned by earls of Austria, then the dukes and then the French and then back to the Germans. There is a Protestant Church from the 1700s still standing. Right now a youth hostel and a restaurant are in operation. In order to reconstruct parts and maintain the place it should really bring in money. Here are some photos:

The knaves and the peasants often had picnics and outdoor barbeques:

Sometimes for sport or fun, they threw people into wells. Watch your back!

There's a handsome knave now!

Our moving day is this coming Wednesday. We leave Baumholder with heavy hearts but feel so blessed to have worked here. We will miss the families and the deploying soldiers will be prayed for. Our new home is in Landstuhl:
Fabrikstrasse 15A
66849 Landstuhl

Hopefully the internet and phone will be up and working soon after the move. And we will be getting a new APO box number. Oh, there is a castle at Landstuhl!

Have a happy April 6th! It is our belief that this is the real Christmas, the real Easter, the day the church was restored to the earth, and possible many other great events.

Sister (and Elder) Karn