Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Less than 2 weeks ago one of our young single airmen brought two nonmember friends to the German conversation class held on Wednesday evening at the Institute Outreach Center (IOC). All three work together in security forces at Ramstein Air Base. After the class the missionaries asked if either one of the nonmembers was interested in learning more about the Church. One said yes. He has since been taught by the missionaries on several occasions and a baptismal date is scheduled for a Sunday in June. We are excited about the missionary work and the great elders that work through the IOC.

This is Joshua, our investigator

Tomorrow the missionaries will be teaching three new YSA investigators at the IOC. Miracles are happening and we thank the good Lord for how we have been able to be a part of this.

This past week we have had the excitement of having some family visit! Kirk and Annie Drennan found some cheaper airfares from Utah to Frankfurt. So they quickly took the challenge to find places for their 4 children to stay and threw some stuff in a bag and hopped over here. Thanks to all those sweet souls for helping care for our grandchildren and also supporting the Drennans in their adventure. And even though Annie is a little pregnant (well, one can't be a "little" pregnant, but she is showing a little) she has faired well. We are delighted to have them. For a day and a half we took some driving tours and saw the sights. Right now they are taking side trips outside the mission but we will see them again in 2 days for one last day together. It has been great fun to have company and Germany is so beautiful and welcoming right now.

Annie is Bruce's daughter. Her husband Kirk is an optometrist and often goes on humanitarian trips ("Give the Gift of Sight") to third world countries, sponsored by the Lion's Clubs. The castle in the background is Burg Eltz.

This coming week we will be working with the Air Force and the Army chaplaincy in assessing the possibility of the members of our Church doing a huge service project for Pioneer Day. There is a 40 ton humanitarian clothing contribution given to the Wounded Warriers project. The large medical center here in Landstuhl receives all the wounded military from Afghanistan and Iraq. They come without personal clothing as their uniforms are usually cut off from them. The average stay for most of the wounded is only 72 hours and then they are flown to military hospitals in the USA. But, during that time they need clothing such as shoes and sweats. The 40 tons are not sorted into sizes or types of any kind. The chaplaincy had considered hiring some people to do the inventory and sorting, which might cost upward of several thousand dolloars. Our LDS chaplain, who is leaving very shortly for a PCS (permanent change of station), thought it might be a good idea for the Church to organize a service project. We will be visiting the 40 tons tomorrow with some other people to see if that is possible. It would be a great road "in" for the Church. With all the negative media attention (some people confuse FLDS with LDS, which it is not) we can help people understand we are just good folks. It is possible that other secular and religious communities will want to join in for this day of service. It is tentatively planned for Sat., July 26th. We hope it goes.Since Elder Karn has been designated as the POC (point of contact) for the Kaiserslautern Military Community, this is also a great opportunity for us to work shoulder to shoulder with the chaplains.

Last week we had a zone conference in Heidelberg where Elder Robert C. Oaks and his wife spoke to us. Elder Oaks is the president over the Europe Central Area, comprising many missions (counting just 4 in Germany alone). That zone conference will always be a highlight to us. He is a great speaker and we will remember some of his sayings: "Goal setting without planning is daydreaming"; "Until it is written down it is not a plan, it is just a discussion"; "We boast about not having a professional clergy and then we act like amateurs", and "There is a difference between believing and knowing; the Holy Ghost makes the difference". Elder Oakes retired from the Air Force as a 4 star general. He was in charge of all the US Air Forces in Europe longer than any one has ever been in charge. It was great to listen to him.

With Memorial Day we once again ponder about those sacrifices given by so many who have fought for the cause of freedom. For them, "Freedom will have a flavor the protected will never know". We honor and appreciate all those who give so much.
Sister and Elder Karn

A C-5 aircraft, one of the largest transport aircraft in the Air Force. These planes come and go many times during the day from Ramstein Air Base, taking troups and equipment to Quwait (for transfer to Iraq) and also bringing back the wounded.