23 December 2012

Week 24 from Afghanistan

I hope you had a good day and were able to enjoy a nice Christmas program wherever you were today. Things have gotten really quiet here. There was a bombing down the street earlier, but overall attacks are way down as Taliban sit tight for the winter. The climate has been a bit milder, and hopefully that doesn't allow more attacks, but there is snow in the mountains, and that is what makes fighting the toughest for them.

We are all waiting in anticipation for President Obama to make a decision on force presence here. I saw an article in the Washington Post saying he was considering a more rapid withdrawal.
I hope that is the case. There really isn't much more we can do out here. If you could see the Taliban, you'd want us home as quickly as possible too.

For Church today we watched the Christmas devotional after sacrament. As I listened my mind kept turning to Christmases past. When I was young, the church my family attended would have a candlelight service on Christmas eve. There would be a short sermon, but it was pretty much congregational singing; a lot of it. The closing hymn was always Silent Night. We'd light our candles and sing that by candlelight--thus candlelight service. For me, those were wonderful times. I remember coming out of the chapel into the crisp New England air and year after year looking up at the stars to trying to imagine which star had led the wise men on. It was a great experience and served as a strong foundation and preparatory testimony of Christ that would help me later on.

I am thankful for this season, for my Savior. For his birth, his life, his sacrifice. For his perfect example. For the traditions that have been passed down through the years in celebration of his life, that as a young boy I could build a foundation of faith that made me want to know. We try our best to maintain traditions in our home that allow our children to understand the meaning of Christmas. I hope they will treasure those traditions.

We had a nice "Christmas Present" ourselves this week. I found out that the leadership accepted me to teach Air Force ROTC program next school year. That is an exciting opportunity for me. This will be my 15th (and probably last) assignment and 12th move for the Air Force. They have a Criminal Justice Department and I hope to land a permanent faculty position there after I retire. The kids are looking forward to living in the mountains, learning to ski, open spaces and a new adventure. It won't be official until the Air Force gives me orders, but its probably 99% locked at this point. Should be fun. So something to look forward to

Merry Christmas

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