Archive for May, 2008

I Built a Ger

May 27, 2008

I built a ger, yeah, how’s that for freaking cool. I’d send pictures, but I don’t have a USB port on this computer, and that’s lame. It was nuts. We were trying to get the whole thing build before a massive rainstorm hit, and we didn’t quite make it. It was movie quality. We were on the side of this mountain watching clouds that were so close the ground that the front swallowed the mountains as it came in. The temperature dropped from 80 to below freezing in about 15 minutes and the wind was all over the place. We managed to get the main roofing up before the worst hit, but we were still out for about an hour trying to get everything else tied down. A lady saw us working in the rain and invited us all over after we finished since she was impressed that we would help (oh yeah, the couple we were helping was a deaf man and wife in their late 40s) She went to church last Sunday from it, cool.

There have been a lot of breakthroughs this week for both Elder Byambadorj and me. I’ve started trying to focus on nothing but the good in my companion, and like President Andersen said in Zone conference, looking to see where he will be in a year on his mission and not in a few days. He wants to be a good missionary and he’s got a good knowledge of the scriptures. He wants to do good work. He’s unabashed; it’s got us into a house that we might not have gotten into otherwise. As for me, I can say that I fully love my companion now. Neither of us is the person he was 3 weeks ago, and I mean that in the best way. We pray more for each other, I try to apologize more; the loss of the spirit isn’t worth pride. Patience and diligence has increased incredibly between us.

District conference was this weekend. It was sweet, I got to see and talk to all the people in my first and second branch that I never got to know too well a year a go. There were some people I knew would be happy to see me, but what surprised me was that everyone I bumped into remembered me, wanted to know why I hadn’t written more, the first councilor called me over and personally introduced me to a family friend that had just joined the church, and almost everyone I met asked if I would ever come back or if I could request to be sent back (can I?). To say I was a little baffled was an over statement. I asked some of the branch missionaries why it mattered to anyone. I could barely speak, and didn’t do anything over-the-ordinary for the branch. The answer summed up as this: Ruiz and I were always happy, helped on the little things, and everyone knew that we loved them more than anything. The same goes for some of the people I talked to from Sukhbaatar. It’s so simple that I feel stupid. I want to love everyone. Everything that’s good and needs doing in this work will come from it.

Woah… it is gonna be a year soon.

Anywho, stuff to send with the messenger bag . . . um: black athletic socks, a pair of 38-40 black jeans (my old ones are torn to bits and goofily big, and the biggest pants in Mongolia are a Chinese 36), my “Got Tao” shirt, shoe insoles are always good, pecan pie, a pony, 38 cases of IBC root beer, a small service monkey to get my water from the freezer and wash my feet.

Oh yeah, and I’m sorry for all the times I was retarded and didn’t listen to you as a teenager, and for doing all the stuff that came from not listening. Sorry. I love you mommy.


Dinks and Dunks

May 20, 2008

High points: baptism,

. . . and a car wreck with cops on the way to zone conference, cool right?

The senior junior thing has still been odd. I don’t want to do things by the fact that “I’M senior, YOU’RE junior”. We get along ok if we don’t talk about anything important and I don’t force my will on anything. Some planning sessions, companion studies, and inventories ended this week with him huffing and not talking to me for the hour. I remember being 15 and doing stuff like that to my mom; I wrote him and apologized today. I’ve been trying to compromise on as many things as I can this week. I realize that there’s about no personal behavior that’s so important that it can’t be set aside if it’s that important to your companion. There’s something powerful in giving; even if it doesn’t change the other person, it does something good for you.

Hmm, if this seems more like complaining than anything, Elder Byambadorj has a lot of potential to be a great Elder, he has a firm basis in the gospel, and his heart is good. We had one really good day together, we taught 2 lessons. They were sweet, beautiful lessons. The spirit was there, it got two people to commit to come to church.

I’m seeing a more definite need for happiness in missionary work. I’ve been, if not sad, agitated, for a large portion of the week. On the positive side, I’ve seen displays of love for my new members, old district members, and church members that touched my heart a lot this week. To relate one, some of the youth had been watching me all that Sunday. I know most of them pretty well. A few of them came over and started telling me dumb jokes and such until they had me laughing out loud. It was so simple, but that little thing was all I needed. I want to learn to be like them, to notice the one little thing someone needs to help them through the day.

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 12, 2008

I just called my mom so have some pictures of clouds

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and horses on a highway. . .

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It’s a Boy

May 5, 2008

I’m a daddy!

… er, I’m a training Elder.

Well whatever, my new Companions name is Byambadorj, he’s from Bayanzurkh district, and it’s his first transfer. He’s freaking amazing. He taught seminary for a month and did a mini mission, I barely have to teach him much, we just work.

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Two other elders from my group are training, 1 district leader, and 2 zone leaders. In the words of Elder Jones: “We’re so shildeg” (just kidding).

Anywho, we are running around doing our thing. I’m getting money out today; someone stole the Sister’s new member’s bag with her tuition money, so I threw some out.

Hmm…I have to teach 17 hours of English on my own now…

Oh, and to the relation of big German Mike and Piccolo and others, I put letters in the mail (finally)

Calling Sunday morning Mongolian time . . .