Oh no, it is 10 pm here and I need to do the blog! Where has the day gone? Well, it has been a good Mother's Day for me because I got to talk with all my children. It is a little painful to be away from them but talking to them really helps. We hope all of you mothers out there have felt the love of your family today. Family is everything.
Our time is racing by so fast . . .two weeks have just whizzed past. I don't know where to start. Somehow I will try to make some sense and keep this brief . . . .
We had some wonderful success at the Institute Outreach Center (known hereafter as the IOC) this evening. We had a potluck dinner and a rebroadcast of a CES (Church Education System) Young Adult fireside from BYU. We started advertising several weeks ago with flyers in the halls of the church, notices in the bulletins, online web notices and email updates to all the young adults we had addresses for. So tonight we jumped from our average attendance of just a few to 10. That is major progress. And who can say what really made the difference but we will keep up the work of getting the word out. We just want to make sure these young people know they have a place to come and feel loved and comfortable and also a place to have wholesome activities. The speaker for the fireside was Elder Russell M. Nelson and he talked about the good that can come from listening to good music. Then his 9 (NINE) daughters sang a hymn together for the audience. They were good but they weren't fantastic, but the number of them was definitely a statement for teaching good music to your family. We think everyone had a great time tonight.
Tomorrow we have family home evening (hereafter known as FHE) at the center. One of our favorite families, the Nelsons from Baumholder, will be giving the lesson, providing the treat and showing us a new game. I am excited. This family is so awesome. They PCS (permanent change of station) in 3 weeks to Las Vegas. These are people we will miss much like they are our family. And actually, while away from our families, we have adopted them as surrogate children and grandchildren.
Two nights a week we have meals at the center (we cook). Tonight our potluck dinner was an exception. The meals have been free but as our numbers increase we have been advised to charge a small nominal fee. Otherwise our budget will be drained. So far we have had chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, spaghetti, chicken enchiladas - all good German food as you can see. Tomorrow we are having haystacks. Yes! I hope you know what that is as Elder Karn is still wondering. He will have to wait and see! Being raised on a farm kind of interferes with your imagination at times. We have a saying on the wall in our apartment left by the previous couple. It is on the wall above the doorway going into the dining room and it says,
"Im not, schmeckt die Wurst, auch ohne Brot". It means, in an emergency, eat sausage without bread. And we will do that too.
We have had the most glorious and beautiful weather for the past 10 days than we have had since we arrived. It has been perfectly clear and sunny and blue skies and 70-80 degrees everyday. We have done a lot of walking, and castle-ling, in addition to our very busy schedule. We just don't want the good weather to go. It is energizing.
This past week we had an appointment with the senior garrison Army chaplain here in the Kaiserslautern Military Community (hereafter known as KMC). We had been forewarned (by the LDS Air Force chaplain) that he was not too friendly toward the Mormons. Well, he was wonderful and extremely supportive and friendly. Maybe that was because Bruce is retired Army. Anyway, it was an answer to our prayers. We hope to be able to obtain the Alpha Roster (listing everyone who put "LDS" as their preference on their military paperwork) for the Army in this area. This coming week we have appointments with two other chaplains in the Air Force, one over Landstuhl (huge medical center here) and Ramstein Air Base. 'Wish us well.
Speaking of air bases, the other day we saw from a distance the tarmac of the airbase. There were 12 C-17s lined up. These planes are so huge and then to have 12 of them there at one time is interesting. We are not sure what they transport but we do know they bring the wounded back and take out those being deployed. We were just told that the average length of stay of those wounded in Afghanistan or Iraq is only 72 hours. Then they usually go to the USA military hospitals. That is a lot of coming and going. They also carry heavy equipment and other stuff. It is really fun to be under one as it comes in to land.
On our last castle-ling adventure we took in some castles on the Mosel River. These are included.
Much love to you all.
Sister (and Elder) Karn