Here is an article about the church in Afghanistan and the military. It is interesting to note that the church meets on Friday there to match the rules of Islam. Gives a new meaning to Friday night dates.
LDS military district in Afghanistan brings blessings of service
By Michael L. Haller
Public affairs representative, Kabul Afghanistan Military District
Published: Monday, May 18, 2009
Members of the Church continue to enjoy the blessings of the gospel while serving in Afghanistan. There are more than 400 members serving in Afghanistan at more than 40 locations. While they make up only a single district, Latter-day Saint expatriates can be found in virtually all corners of the nation.
"We have been blessed with a special opportunity to serve the Lord in Afghanistan," said Eugene Wikle, president of the Afghanistan Military District. "Our service is needed and appreciated as we serve Him and our respective nations."
The Afghanistan Military District was created in July 2008 and includes the entire country. It is part of the Middle East/Africa North Area. The Middle East Desk and the Church Military Relations Division maintain contact with the district presidency as they administer the affairs of the Church in Afghanistan.
Latter-day Saints assigned to military, diplomatic or aid and nation-building missions and activities within Afghanistan may find themselves among a large body of Church members or at a remote location. The district includes four military branches and numerous LDS service member groups across the country.
"We've had the blessings of having had LDS chaplains on our district council with the ability to move about the country and meet with fellow saints, as well as others who've taken up the mantle of leadership in assisting Church members when and as needed," President Wikle said.
In many areas of the country, Latter-day Saints follow the Islamic traditions of honoring the Sabbath on Friday. "Being a bit adaptive is very necessary to being successful in everything we do to help Afghans," President Wikle said. "While we clearly maintain our standards, we've learned to adjust how and when we meet as both a practical matter and also a matter of respect to our hosts. Such courtesy demonstrates our true desire to be of service and speaks more to the Afghans than almost anything else we might say."
Each week Latter-day Saints receive a devotional message and other important news from the Church through the district presidency. To help relieve some of the stresses of serving in a war zone, they also are provided with DVDs and CD recordings of "Music and the Spoken Word," Church devotionals and general conference through the Church Military Relations Division. The Brigham Young University football team has provided DVDs for members from time to time as well.
Many wards or branches "back home," no matter the country, help provide service men and women with generous amounts of special packages of food, treats and other remembrances from members, friends and families alike.
Service in Afghanistan is challenging. "We encourage each member to stay close to the Lord through daily prayer and scripture reading, and to receive the blessings of the sacrament each week," President Wikle said. "Our active participation in Church services and association with other members of the Church helps strengthen each of us. In this manner, we are a positive example with those whom we serve and with the citizens of Afghanistan."
Members deploying to Afghanistan may contact the Church Military Relations Division at: PST-Military@ldschurch.org or call 1-801-240-1931.