|ELMER SAHLBERG||BIOGRAPHY: Early Years|
I was born in Dale, Minnesota and grew up in a large 400 acre farm owned by my parents, Martha and John Sahlberg; our family had five sons and two daughters. I had a busy life raising wheat, corn, barley, oats, potatoes and tending to dairy cattle. My mother would smoke our meat to preserve it for the winter and she would can our vegetables.
When World War II started, I was drafted and went to an Army boot camp; there a master sergeant lead me to the Lord. After boot camp I was sent to Raritan Arsenal in New Jersey to train as a bomb disposal technician. I was shipped to the Pacific Islands where I delivered bombs to the air force and shells to the artillery units. My group was called the SUICIDE SQUAD because we also defused Japanese bombs where many men lost their lives in the process due to booby trapped bombs. While I was stationed in New Guinea, I became very sick with fever. A visiting chaplain told me about a missionary organization called the CHRISTIAN AND MISSIONARY ALLIANCE; it was then I became interested in becoming a missionary.
After the war ended and I was honorably discharged, I attended Nyack College in the Spring of 1946 with the intention of becoming a missionary and returning to New Guinea. At Nyack, I met the woman I would eventually marry, Corrine Henricksen.
After graduation, I was accepted by the Prattville Gospel Tabernacle (Prattville, Alabama) as their pastor on June 18, 1948.
Corrine and I married on November 13, 1948. We lived in a little rented room attached to a house; our first child David was born in Prattville.
In November, 1949 we were assigned SIAM (Thailand) as our mission field. My goal to serve in a foreign country and be a missionary was fulfilled.
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