Sunday, December 7, 2008

Well folks, another week has raced by. Some times looking back I wonder where did the days go? This past week held some very busy days for us and some were pretty special. Our "P-day" (preparation day) floats around in the week based upon what we have going that week. This past week we took our P-day on Monday evening. We signed up for a USO tour to a city about an hour away for a quick tour around their Christmas market and then to attend the play "A Christmas Carol" and it was in English. We left about 4:30 in the afternoon and got back about 11:30. The Christmas market was a little disappointing but the play was quite fun. After that the rest of the week was back to work.

The week was filled with our regular activities of working with the Young Single Adults and the military folks. We wrapped up this week in a very big way. We had chaired a committee to put together a "Fireside" for the service members and their families that deal with the challenges of deployments to dangerous areas of the world. There was a great deal of work involved and the last few days were full of making it all come together. Saturday was the day and when it was all over we were about worn out but happy that everything came together so well.

The keynote speaker at the fireside was Elder Robert C, Oaks of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He is also a retired Air Force four star general who has served in combat. His wife also spoke and they did a job that probably few if any others in the world could have done. They have been through the challenges of military life and long separations for combat service. Sister Oaks comments were sweet and comforting to all who are waiting for the return of loved ones. Elder Oaks spoke right to the heart of serving in the military and especially in combat. Their experiences are so important to share with those who are going through similar things now.

We also had two workshops presented twice by five people (two couples and a brother). They were all so good. There are some times in life and certainly on missions when you look back and say, "Perhaps that is why my road took me to that place at that time. I was there for that person or those folks." When we look upon events like yesterday we think perhaps that is why the Lord sent us here. Now if we get a couple of nights of good rest we will be back to full power again! (Until the next rush of events which happens this next week.)

I'm sure we told you before but Germany really gets into the Christmas season. Decorations are everywhere! Stores and homes are really decorated. Yet it doesn't seem near as commerial as all of our ads at home. Things are decorated but there isn't the push to get you to buy things. Yesterday was Saint Nicholas Day here. Saint Nicholas not Santa Claus is the one who brings presents and they are brought on 6 December. Children put their shoes outside their doors to see what they will be given. If they have been good they receive presents or candy but it they have not been good they get a branch - or to be more exact a "switch". This type of "switch" is not the one to turn a toy "on" or "off" but one to be applied to the child for correction out in the woodshed. I forgot to put my shoes out so I didn't get any toys (which I am sure I should have had I remembered). The good news is that I didn't get a switch!

I think that is about it for now! I'm worn out for the day and we have yet to go to an open-house tonight. By the way - the weather report is - cloudy, damp, and dark. The farm report is - a few big round bales being hauled in from the field and that is it. I saw only a couple of tractors this past week.

We are well, happy, and working hard.


The Karns in Germany