Sunday, December 19, 2004

Sundat 12-12

We can talk about……the weather, but first: I guess this email didn't get out last week. I'm sorry to those of you who thought I might be dead. Not yet, please don't worry.

Now, I tried to optimistic about “the situation” over here but the rebels are truly getting totally desperate to stop the elections. You may recall the Afghanistan elections went off successfully and the country is free now, so we can still have hope that things will go reasonably well. You may also have seen the email that has been going around sometime now of the first baptism over there. So the heat is really being turned up here, I am sorry to say.

The terrorists are now going with VBIEDs or Vehicle-Bourne Improvised Explosive Devices, or what you and I would call car bombs. This involves of course a suicide driver, but somehow I think they will come up with enough of those. As a result, we have quite a few more seriously wounded soldiers here in Kirkuk than in a long time. One soldier that just came back from seeing his newborn was killed last week by an IED. Very sad and a time for mourning and prayer.

Just as Kuwait and Afghanistan became free though, just as surely the U.S. will succeed here as well. But it looks like it certainly won’t be a smooth experience, but no less necessary. In the Stars and Stripes paper here though we are reading the successes of clean-up operations and also how the drivers are becoming so familiar with the roads that they drive that they can tell when something is out of place and many IEDs are discovered before they do damage. Some of these truck-drivers have logged 100 to 200 safe trips up and down Iraq. That is amazing. I wish you all could see the news I get over here, it really is better.

Other changes as well at church, a very inspiring meeting today, by the way. We’ve averaged 4 to 7 in attendance and this week we had 14. Next week, almost a hundred. We just found out we’re getting a group from ID and so a member in the Air Force found us a new building to meet in, since the army chapel will not be able to hold us anymore. Fancy that.

Also, there is a translator who started reading the Book of Mormon when she was down by Baghdad. Her member friend there promised she would meet a Mormon when she moved to Kirkuk. Turns out the top guy in her company is a Mormon and she is now being taught by one of our church-group members.

Strange thing about the weather here. It has been beautiful Fall weather but we just got a 12-hour rain and everything is muddy. But, the grass and other green things are really coming up! I guess the Summer is too much for most plants but some things really grow in the cold Fall. Who would guess. It’s really nice looking grass!

What else could possibly happen here?

Ernie

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