24 February 2013

Week 33 from Afghanistan

Hope this find you well. 
Things are fine here.  Another descent week.  We got a new boss in as the J2 (Director for Intelligence) and he comes from a similar background as the community I come from.  We brought him around to see some of our units, and he pointed out a lot of the issues I have been talking about since I got here.  Looks like I will now have the political top cover to get some things fixed.  It may be a bit late in coming, but we have to set up for the enduring presence, and frankly, any doctrinal gains we make now will only help us in the next conflict we find ourselves. 
I continue to look forward to vacation in a few weeks and a move a few months after that.  I can appreciate what it was that was said in Ether about faith that giveth us a hope for a better world and maketh an anchor to the souls of men.  Of course he was also talking about the difficulty of hanging onto that which is just and true in the face of war and political machinations of his day.  Like the starving people who are so preoccupied with survival that the Gospel seems ethereal ("will that bible buy me any bread")--those who spend weeks upon weeks in situations they cannot control, and whose fate is determined by others (to include many whom do not have altruistic motives), can be challenged in feeling after spiritual things.  The immediate stressors and challenges can overcome our spiritual natures.  But with hope for a better world, we can hang on.  Fortunately for me, it is not much longer.  I can appreciate the difficulties of others who are stuck in situation for which they see no end to, which will last far longer, and whose hope is for the eternities--but even there, by clinging to faith and hope, we can separate ourselves out from the silliness around us. 
I am thankful for the quiet assurance of the spirit that I can feel, that assures me all is well.  When struggling I remember the fate of Joseph.  When he was being carted off by Arabian traders as a slave--things couldn't have looked very good.  Promises must have appeared dashed.  When fleeing from the wife of Potiphar and thrown into jail--things could not have looked any better.  Yet with all that, the way was provided not only for his escape, but the salvation of the family of Israel.  Like Joseph, we cling on to the hope of promised blessings, put our head down and trudge on--but we can move forward with assurance of the spirit that all promised blessings will be provided.  We may not be able to see it.  It may look pretty dark. But we will feel it.  Like Joseph, in the end, all things will turn to our good.
That said--it is nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

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