Sunday, May 2, 2010

First Sunday at Al Asad

I have been here at Al Asad for a week and things are going well. I went to church today and the spirit was very strong as it always is here in theater. This was my first time to the service here at Al Asad and next week I am speaking in sacrament. As most of you know one of my biggest fears is speaking in front of a group of people. So next week I have to speak for 20 minutes on the Priesthood. Thank goodness for the church website, it makes writing a talk so much easier. I really need to read my scriptures more. My scripture knowledge is kind of embarrassing.  I have never been a big reader, but now I have plenty of time to change that. I was the only Air Force guy at church, the rest were Army. There were about 20 people there. I talked to a Major that is on his way back home next week to Lehi  Utah where he is a seminary teacher at Lehi High School. It is such a small world. The Army does one year deployments as apposed to the 6 month deployments that the Air Force does. Yet another reason that I am glad that I joined the Air Force. I could not imagine being away from Jill and the kids for a whole year. This is challenging enough.

Now that I am actually busy at work it is passing the time a little faster. I am having to swallow my pride a little and just be a grunt which is very difficult at times. We are doing vertical construction work which is not my career field in the Air Force. With this not being my career field people don't much want to hear what I have to say. They just want a robot. This is one thing that I am not. Don't get me wrong I don't mind doing hard labor at all. I actually enjoy labor, it makes me feel like I have accomplished something at the end of the day. But I firmly believe in using all your tools to accomplish a job as efficient as possible.  This also means recognizing peoples strengths and abilities and utilizing them for the benefit of the team. This is something that happens daily at my civilian job and makes it such a great place to work. Makes me miss the people I work with back home even more. It seems as though everything on this deployment brings me to how grateful I am for the things that I have back home. Maybe that is a big reason why I am here.

I was speaking with that Major today at church about my first born son Jamey Neil and how hard it was on Jill and I when he passed away and that is why I decided to get out of active duty. I had to do what was best for my family at the time and the best thing to do was to get back to a good support structure to help us through such a hard time in our young lives. He said that that experience has probably made you and your wife cherish every moment with Colby and Morgan. I never really thought about it in that way. I do. I love the time I have with them. I love snuggling with them and watching cartoons Saturday mornings. I love coming home from work and them running and yelling daddy. I love when they come down stairs and want to get into bed and snuggle with me because they had a bad dream or don't feel good. I know that baby Jamey is up in heaving waiting for Jill and I to one day join him with our Heavenly Father. Not having him here is most definitely a trial that makes me appreciate the things that I do have like Colby and Morgan that much more. This deployment although no where near the trial is having the same effect. I appreciate the things that I do have so much more. I think that is one of the reasons or Heavenly Father gives us these trials through out our time here. Not only are these trials tests of our faith they are also to strengthen our testimony and  to remind us of all the wonderful things that we do have. I can't wait to get home and just hold my family in my arms. Nothing on this earth that I want more at this time than hugs from my wife and kids. Five more months and squishes all around. Can't wait!