Sunday, June 1, 2008

The ferry that we rode across the Rhein River.There were castles on each bend of the river. This was just one on the right bank. We took the photo from the Rheinfels Castle. The Rheinfels Castle was very large with many levels and many rooms. When the castle was under seige there were about 4000 to 5000 inhabitants, including soldiers. All the levels of this wall had holes from which some of the soldiers defended the castle. The weapon was probably the deadly crossbow.

Another week went by with blistering speed. It's hard to remember all that has happened but I can remember that just about every day was extremely full of things we needed to do. "I was so busy that ....". I know it sounds like a war story but the next line fits too - "This ain't no lie!" It was so busy that I didn't exercise once - not good!

Monday we had a full day of preparing for the Family Home Evening with the Young Single Adults and working on the other major project that is coming up. Tuesday was institute night and Pam makes a big meal for those two nights (Monday and Tuesday) so we have to shop for the needed items and then prepare every thing. I move the tables and set things up and do some cleaning etc, etc.

Wednesday was our last day to have Annie and Kirk (they had left on Saturday to go see some sights out of the mission) here so we went over to the Rhein river and traveled up and down that. We went castle exploring and really found a great one. In peace time it was home to about 300 - 400 people but when they came under siege they would have about 4,000 folks hold up there. It was a city! The bad news was that most of those rascals that lived so well along the river were bandits. I would call them bandits. They had chains across the river and wouldn't let anyone pass without paying a toll. As if they made the river and it was only theirs. Reminds me of some folks with their roads. I have felt a bit held-up by some of them. Perhaps some day some one from the future will tour the toll booths along our roads today and be amazed at how they held us up for money. Or perhaps more likely they will think the fare we had to pay was cheap compared to what they will have to pay five hundred years from now.

Because Annie and Kirk had never crossed any rivers or bodies of water on a ferry, we decided to take the ferry across the Rhein. It was a really cool quick trip. It took a total of about 2 minutes to cross the Rhein! We were the first on and the first to come blasting off the ferry and on to the road. It cost 6 Euro for the 4 of us and the car.

On Thursday Annie and Kirk packed their bags and fled. We prepared for the days ahead.

Friday was our first day to work as volunteers at the Landstuhl hospital. The wounded and sick from Iraq, Afganistan and other places come here before moving on to other places. Normally they arrive with little after being wounded, having clothes cut off them and patched up for movement. We will be working and handing out clothing they might need for the next few days. We thank every one of them for their sacrafice. We thank them for all folks who breath free air.

A side note on that subject. Today I was in a Priesthood class with the LDS chaplain who is leaving in early July. In the class we were talking about being perapared for things by the Lord. I am not sure if the chaplain said over the last year or the last three years that he has worked there at the hospital that he has been with families of about one hundred service members who have died. He said that in a huge number of the cases the family said they had known their last goodbye was coming or that they had said their last goodbye. Or they knew they had embraced their spouse/son/daughter for the last time before they had left. A little while back someone told me that chaplains had a cake job in the military . . . that they had an office that was open limited hours and that they had a quick service on Sunday and that was the extent of their job. After hearing this chaplain speak I couldn't help but think they have one of the hardest jobs in the military. Being so close to heartbreak on an almost daily basis would destroy many people. They have to have faith that there is more than this life or their hearts would break. In my experience in Vietnam, I saw many people that had a premonition or were prepared by the Lord and knew that they would be departing before their scheduled departure. Some were wounded and sent home and others went all the way home to Heavenly Father.Often they would call a friend over and tell them what they wanted sent home to their family and what to divide up among the guys there. They would share with friends that they felt they were going to "get it".

Saturday was another busy day. We started with interviews with the Mission President - he thinks we are doing okay. (Those were our last interviews with this dear man and his wife because they are leaving at the end of the month.) The rest of the day was a big BBQ for the Young Single Adults. It went well but was a lot of work.

Today we went to five meetings and are all done except for a bunch of reports and work to do for the upcoming days ahead. This life is a wonderful life and the nice part is that you don't have to sit around trying to come up with things to do. There is enough and to spare! And we love it! We love being of service to those who need us.

And we love you folks! Thanks for all you do! Thanks for who you are. The world is a better place just because there are friends and family. People who love us. Thank you!

Elder and Sister Karn