Sunday, July 6, 2008

Above is a photo taken this morning just before we drove to Sunday meetings. From left is Elder Karn, Sister Karn, Rachel Whitchurch and her husband Jeff. That is our apartment here in Landstuhl in the background and that is our little red mission car to the left.

We had some company yesterday and today. It was a delight to have my (Pam) niece Rachel and her husband Jeff come and see us. Jeff has been in Belgium doing an internship and Rachel flew over to visit him for a week. My brother and wife back home in Logan are tending their little boy so Rachel could see a little of Europe and her husband for a week. When they drove over from Belgium, they brought two other travelers with them, Justin and Olga. Even though we only have one bedroom and one bathroom, they were amicable about sleeping on sofas and an air mattress on the floor. They arrived last night at 8:45 pm and left this morning at 10:20 am. Thanks for coming!

As of this past week we have a new mission president, President Ninow. He and his wife and 5 children are young compared to most mission presidents. The youngest child is 8 and the oldest is 19, all boys. The oldest is on a mission in Taiwan but the 4 younger boys will be with him and his wife in Germany. We had an interview with president on Friday and were impressed with his humility and enthusiasm. He was very supportive of our special type of mission. He will be great to work with. Tomorrow is Zone Conference (an all day meeting with instructions and classes within our mission zone, including about 18 missionaries). He told us that Zone Conference will mostly be in English and we are excited. German is a hard language to learn and some of the newer missionaries (called "Golden" missionaries here) do not understand the language well. When we do have translators a lot of the message lost as the translator must wait to the end of each sentence to catch the meaning. And then the translator often misses the next sentence. So English will be much better for us. The president said that he may do it in German in the future but for now we are glad it will be in English!

The Fourth of July was observed on the Air Force base, Ramstein, just north of us. Of course it is just another day in Germany. On base, there were activities during the day and fireworks at night. Because we don't especially enjoy large crowds and waiting in a parking lot afterwards we decided to celebrate in our own way. We found a back road to watch the fireworks from - even though the distance was a little stretch. However, the spirit of the matter is that we love our nation, the USA, and we are grateful for all those who have fought and do now fight for the cause of freedom. God bless America.

When we went to do our volunteer service on Friday, the 4Th, there was another volunteer there that met us. Her name is Karen and she comes over to work at the Wounded Warrior Ministry Center every 6 months or so and works 6 days a week for a month, all day long. She is an awesome unselfish lady as all this she does at her own expense and time. She is a military wife and motivated and understanding with the young warriors that come through. She jokes with the patients and makes them all feel special. We will miss Karen as she leaves this coming Thursday. For our short morning, we worked hard in moving supplies into another room and we felt like we had really accomplished something afterwards when we could see the difference. The WWMC now has a new room and it is much nicer. It was a great thing to do on the 4Th! As we walked into the building however, we went through the Emergency Room entrance. There were quite a few wounded soldiers being wheeled down the hall flat on their backs on hospital gurneys. Our hearts go out to them. Thank you for your service guys!

This past week we have had really warm weather. One day it was about 88 degrees, although feeling warmer with the humidity. Then the other days have been cooler. Today the high will be in the low 70s. On the whole this is a great season! We confess to be weather watchers. First, because one of us is a pilot and a farmer and that is what pilots and farmers do. And secondly, one of us needs to know if it is a "sweater on" or "sweater off" day. That is important!

Things continue to progress on our service project. We still need to get the large metal rolling door on the hanger to work, keys to the restrooms, and congregations committed to coming!

Have a great week! All our love,
Sister and Elder Karn