Archive for September, 2008

Chosembawon and the Sons of Ander

September 22, 2008

[editorial note from Mom – the title was the subject line from my last email to Elder Byrd. The mission president is an Andersen and the senior missionary serving as the Choibalsan branch president is an Anderson. The general authorities who spoke at the Bessemer Alabama Stake Conference were Neil L. Andersen, Senior President of the Seventy and John S. Anderson Area Authority Seventy in the North America Southeast Area – that phrase popped into my consciousness and I thought it might amuse Elder Byrd, who apparently didn’t need my help being amused . . .]

Behold the two symbols: one, over here . . . one, over there. . .

Three high points this week:

One, we convinced a drunk man one by one to throw away all over his cigarettes, until the last one, then he just ran off screaming he really wanted to smoke at least half of it.

Two, a man went in a store after lying and saying he was a Chinese and bought us come pickles to apologize. We are going over to his house for buuz this week.

Three, I have DONE IT . . . NOW . . . it is YOUR TIME. [Mom: I have no idea, do any of you?]

And on a totally random note, conducting probationary council interviews and post branch presidency discussions is hard, especially on an empty stomach. Translating all the time has been crazy hard and cool at the same time. This Sunday I ended up translating 3 simultaneous conversations at once. I don’t think I could do that a month earlier. It’s crazy trying to be the mouth piece. There is no such thing as waiting in line in Mongolia, so everyone shoves in and starts talking at once right after church. Before, they would get offended if I didn’t start translating for them right then, but now I just stare blankly until there’s just one person talking and then we go from there.

We made hamburger helper, and there was much rejoicing.

Got duped into singing “Zuud Noirondoo” by The Lemons in English class, but they have to sing “Mr. Lonely” by Akon. So that’ll be cool. Naisbitt’s also got a one on one challenge in basketball and we’re going to see if anyone was serious about wanting to box 😉

One of my elders and one of my sisters left a week ago during mini transfers and their replacements haven’t come in yet. We’ve been going as a threesome with Jargalsaihan. He’s a stud. Actually gave me a run for my money when I played him and his companion at stick pull.

We need to find a new apartment and all this other stuff, so we’ve been crazy busy all the time, but we’ve been getting the same amount of work done in a third of the time, so we aren’t ecstatic but we aren’t displeased.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot the best part.

So it’s Monday night before transfers. We had been having a little bit of a problem with the leaving people staying out a little late to run around and say good bye. I made my usual 9:30 PM call and nothing. 10:00 PM nothing 10:15 PM nothing and I call the Zone leaders and they tell me to go over. Before I can get out the door the Assistants call me and gave me more instructions on what to do. We run over but the other elders call us from their window and say no one has come home or left since they got home early to pack. More calls from the AP’s and ZL’s and we leave the other two elders calling all the branch missionaries and members they can think of while we run over and pound on the door. 11:00 PM we wake up the branch president and get his key to their house and bust in. Nobody had been in since morning. Naisbitt starts calling down the list of all their investigators as I start working out the search party plan with the AP’s who call the mission president. Naisbitt and I step back out into the cold and start rolling around in our heads what could have happened. It then occurred to us that it was Elder Anderson that had been the last to leave the church and that meant that he might have . . . at first, it didn’t seem possible . . . t about midnight we run over to the church and the AP’s called right as we unlocked the door. Eventually they hung up on me since neither one of us could stop laughing nor get up off the floor. Once the sisters stopped crying and yelling at us they said that they had been locked in since around 7:45 PM. They had spent about 30 minutes screaming out the window and someone had sent me a text message (that I never got since my phone is busted). I jury rigged it back on long enough for the message “2 people stuck in your church – sisters” (time stamped 8:20 PM) to pop up. All I could manage was a “my bad” between giggles.

And then I killed the dog. [Mom: He gave his cat CPT everyday for almost 3 years and offered to sell his car to pay for its cancer surgery.]

AND I want it to be publicly known that despite my giggling that I DIDN’T LOCK THEM IN THE BUILDING. I left way before that. [Mom: giggling is compelling circumstantial evidence … thankfully I know his heart]

So yeah, it’s Choibalsan, we rock out. I’m looking forward to the 2 new missionaries to get here; it should be sweet.

Class 5 Rapids

September 15, 2008

So, we had zone conference this week, it was a punch in the face as usual. The talks were about tithing, it was awesome. But in brief, you were right about paying before the government. Our interview went for almost an hour after that. I assaulted him with questions on what to do for the branch. It’s kinda cool being able to ask a member of the 70 for advice, he (well, him and the connection he has) could solve stuff I had been rolling in my head for a week in like 5 minutes. So yeah, we might actually shape up now. 😀

I did my first baptismal interview this Saturday. Don’t know how to describe that really. It was kinda like shooting a class 5 rapid in a pair of floaties.

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I mean yeah, you got floaties on, so everyone gets out alive and you ran the rapid, but you think back and it’s really not what you thought “it” would be like. There was so much Spirit it compensated for my incompetence. Managed to say a lot of things I didn’t know I could say.

Mini-transfers and 2 of my missionaries are leaving. Sister Enkhjargal is going to Khovd and Bayarsaikhan is going to the city to be an office elder. Getting the new people in soon so I’m excited to see what happens. My district is going to be really young. I’m the oldest, Jargalsaikhan is in his 4th and the other 3 are all in their 2nd. Right on.

Went out to a mine and climbed the snort. Yeah.

I think everything can be summed up in that one Snow White song:

And on a totally random note I managed to drill a 360 lay-up today. I was happy.

Love you all.

I love China Bob.

Lorraine what are you doing in MI? Weirdo . . .

Naisbitt Slam Dunks & Byrd Sings Karaoke in Mongolian

September 8, 2008

Did a ton of service this week: washed carpets, laid concrete floors, dug trenches etc. Been doing a lot of office and sorting work. Take a look at the sorting method on my computer, and then imagine the opposite. That’s the way stuff is now ha-ha.

We picked up a few investigators by trashing some kids at basketball. While some of the youth were outside playing, we had some kids want to play. Most were okay but a few were street ball wanna-be nut heads dropping ‘bows and playing dirty on fouls and such. We finally got so sick of it that Naisbitt, Ganzorig and I went out and thrashed them 3 times in a row. Nothing deflates your ego like having someone (being Naisbitt) slam dunk over three defenders. They got mad and left, and the other kids thought it was so cool that they just hung around with us and all the other YSA.

We went and watched Choibalsan’s 70th year anniversary show at the theater. Martbold was playing so it was cool to watch. Crazy hot, though. The theater kinda has the 1850’s western feel going on in it, even had the amateur brass band in the pit. The ambiance was kind of a kick just waiting.

Saw the 3rd white person since I’ve come to Choibalsan. They’re getting sick from all the stress of living so far out here. It’s bad, but I giggled a little.

Sang karaoke in Mongolian, which was kinda cool.

Jumped over one of the sisters, her companion thought it was funny.

I Listen in Mongolian

September 1, 2008

So this week in review: Shaved all the hair off my hands during comp study one day, also shaving 2 seconds off my total walking time this week. Been working with some of our church members to help them translate stuff, its kinda funny, I listen in Mongolian and then ask my companion how we say that in English. I used to make fun of my trainer because of that.

That was a year ago. Today last year was my first full day of work in Mongolia. What the freak.

Moment of silence.

Anyways, set up to get one of our member’s babies off to the city to get into a good hospital. The hospital out here has nothing and the little dude looked like death. It’s some kind of bacterial infection, a little proper medical treatment and he should be fine, there’s just none of that in Choibalsan. One of our other investigators is in the hospital too, but she’s just there for a cold, more like the sniffles.

I’m going to start learning moriin huur from Martbold today that should be sweet.

We had to go to the ghetto part of town to play body guard for the branch president. One guy got a little rowdy so we walked in circles around him till he got mad and then started circling a building. He got so worked up going that we just ran off the other direction and he kept going.

Saw our breath for the first time last night. Bye warmth.

Oh yeah, we had our English class write Naisbitt’s ex girlfriend saying why she shouldn’t have dumped him. That was possibly the highlight of the last few months. They got into it. My favorite is still “we don’t understand you” we’ll send copies later.