Archive for December, 2008

Hugs and Flying Dragon Kicks

December 29, 2008

I don’t know how to do that thinking nonsense anymores…

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Well, the Christmas party was.

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My whole district gets a last minute cut from the mission party, and then I went back to Choibalsan. I love this place.

Oh, and yadaj I got a wicked huge head cold that blew me on my face for a whole day. And then church attendance numbers fell from the 120 we had been working back up toward down to 83. Bah. Dumb city.

Now we do have pass-a-long cards in Mongolia. One of my English students from almost a year ago joined the church. Reason for first listening to missionaries on street ni: Me and Monukia were cool and didn’t act like perverts (and in general just seemed different) so that meant that elders were different from normal people. Cool.

There is nothing more annoying that people who just go to church and sit. We get more referrals and in the end more active members from the less active members than from any of the “active” ones. Think about the word, would you call a kid sitting on the bleachers watching stuff happen around him an “active” participant. No. I think a lot of us are spiritually flabby.

My sisters are dead. That’s weird. Editorial note from mom: sisters serve for 18 months, not 24 and dead equals released.

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Hugs and flying dragon kicks to those who deserve them.

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Hungry for Work (and food)

December 24, 2008

You have no idea how much I needed to hear of pie and football.

I haven’t eaten today. I am hungry.

I am in the city for 5 days. I am not happy.

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I will not be sad if I die in Choibalsan and do not see this place for a long time.

SO yeah in the city, kind bummed and out of it, going to miss the branch Christmas stuff. Not being able to work for a week is slowly driving nails under my nails. There are lots of ridiculous things in the city that I will not miss.

So anyways, we worked on building a building at the orphanage. We did a lot but then the other elders went behind us to try but they got cold after an hour and quit. The director got a kick out of it. The two Americans (and the sisters) plug it out in -20C weather hauling bricks around and then the other guys came, played around in what we did, and then went home. little lol

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We also worked on helping the 2nd councilor on his skating rink, but in the end ( and as I found, for the better) it fell through.

Translated the movie Testaments again and this time it came out a lot clearer.

Mostly, I’m in the city and going nuts for lack of anything useful to do.

3/4 Milestone Ignored

December 15, 2008

I’ll probably call the 26th, 6:00 a.m. or so Mongolian time.

I don’t know anything about dad, but everyone keeps asking me if I know.

So we’re trying to cross the road today and then a car comes. My branch missionary and I decide to run across the road, but then Ganbold gets scared and run/jumps back . . . right into my nose. It was sweet, had a nice little go of blood. Ganbold thought I had hit him with my elbow because the force of us crashing knocked him almost on his butt. It was sweet.

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I baptized a person, first in Choibalsan that I’ve got to teach from beginning to end. She’s way good, understands stuff better than most of the older members her age. So that’s cool. It’s funny, her member friends are more of an annoyance and a problem than the other people she hangs out with, but that’s another story.

Everything else cool happened in interviews so I can’t talk about it.

We went to one of our new member’s concert performances. It is the only one like it outside of the city. They were pretty good.

That’s cool about the growth in Tuscaloosa, kinda reminds me of Choibalsan, lots of potential that’s just farting around not doing much sometimes.

Yeah It Wasn’t a Date

December 8, 2008

That’s the primary teacher. She has a cute little fart of an 8 year old son named Munkherdene. Actually, he’s the one in love with me. He was running around one day so I grabbed him and torqued my whole body weight into a 360, chucked him about 4-5 feet above my head. I’ve heard a kicked laugh that hard about 3 times my whole life.

I can khuumii now, now just make the noise, but actually control the pitch. It is sweet. I’ve also been learning a ton of old Mongolian songs as of late, also sweet.

My new member family got a pet hedgehog. Gekh sweetchlen.

We showed the aforementioned family legacy in Mongolian. It is weird, I’m starting to understand things faster when I read or hear them in Mongolian, but on the down side I’m actually losing the ability to speak understandable English. My brain is bagtamj muutai so it memory full khiisen my English class gene.

Helped the second councilor prep the area he’s going to use to make a skating rink. He was originally just digging all the grass out but then I showed them the art of control burn and things got done a lot faster.

Money is around 140 right now. I take my district and the second councilor, branch mission leader, etc out to dinner sometimes. Usually the elders are poorer than the members but out here it is usually the other way around.

It is tithing settlement time. I live at church. In some ways it sucks but in other ways its sweet because I interview everyone in the branch.

Two branch missionaries got their calls. It is interesting watching the differences the way families take things. One has been a member of the church 1 year and her father 1 month and the fathers so overjoyed that he got dumbfounded when we filmed the opening. The other was the first member family in Choibalsan and because of many things he won’t let his daughter go (if it were his choice). I’ve noticed a lot of interesting things this week but I guess as part of the calling I can’t talk about most of it.

One of my investigators that bounced around between all the companionships finally got baptized. She is someone’s niece that I never figured out whose, but she’s always moves around so it was impossible to keep track of her. But the most important thing is that while everyone tried to figure out how to make my camera work, I still managed to keep a one legged wall sit going for a 1 minute and 15 seconds even after 5 hours of heavy service. Score one for the stupid mission rubber band work out thingy.

Think I taught the most lessons of my whole mission at 29 for the week. Yeah, that sucks for a lot of places but that’s pretty dang good for me.

We’re going to make a kung fu movie and it will be sweet.

Mom, three elders have broken their legs playing Frisbee here. More from other sports. None for football or rugby.

Oh yeah, at the baptism I had to pick the lock to the baptismal font. Thanks for teaching me how to do that.

And then someone turned the water back on and we flooded half the primary room. The sisters were teaching a lesson in there. They said it looked like a horror movie. They hear this burbling noise and then all this water starts shooting out the door. The part that made me laugh the hardest was the first time they told the story, they said right after they saw the water that the first thing anyone could think of was to run around the building shouting “burduu” until some could find me. I had been sitting up on the benches behind the pulpit fidgeting with my backpack when I see 4 people go running like nuts shouting my name. I giggled.

Cheese is making awesome taco style breakfast sandwiches right now, but I’m going to make chips and dip and burritos with the second councilor sometime soon.

Turkey meat came out sweet. Other than the morbid nature of the kill, no damage was done to the body. And we were inspecting pictures of the ax and after looking at the side that hit it first and seeing exploded brain all over, we’re pretty sure it died on the first whack; but seriously, it was really REALLY good.

Where is my football?

December 1, 2008

Burkhan is as close as to China as you can get without getting shot, really.

So, on the idiot side of things, I took a dull ax and killed a turkey Wednesday. And by kill I mean I clubbed it until it’s body stopped moving, which was about 7 minutes later.

[Editorial note from Mom: Hopefully a traditional Thanksgiving dinner made his week a little easier.]

It’s all on Shiozawa’s camera. Was also Shiozawa’s first time pulling an animal’s insides out through its butt, and then finding the heart and liver and sticking them back, all this after carrying it a mile and a half across the city while it was pooping all over the place. There have been a lot of firsts for Shiozawa this week.

Had a massive 25 man brawl start up outside of the church front gate (also Wednesday). So, someone in a moment of brilliance decided to approve letting a skating rink be built next to the church, which usually isn’t too bad, but since it’s a bright place that makes noise it draws drunks like flies, and then someone called a girl a name in Mongolian and smacked her, so all the youth and RMs get all riled up and protect her, and then “a whole lot of stuff happened” (gene) and then our freshest RM has a bloody lip, the young men’s president has a big old beaner from a metal rod, and there’s something resembling a zombie movie right at the church sidewalk gate. Then is when I round the corner. I’m on a split with Shio (who has been having a little bit of a culture shock punch in the face anyways). He said he was going to say we need to turn around but his mouth wouldn’t work. The next part was my favorite. to quote ” We got right up on the edge of it and then out of nowhere a perfect way appears for us as we walk through, people dividing and closing around us like we had a bubble around us or something. I think I know now what it was like to be a Jew following Moses into the Red Sea.” we got the last of the youth in the gate and shut it. The crowed slowly dispersed, a few tried to bust in but after looking at me and Shiozawa quickly gave up and started calling us names. Then we gave first aid to a few people. The beamed in the head youth president didn’t get a concussion, but he wanted to do some pretty stupid stuff for a few hours. A few people jumped on me for not helping, but after realizing that I hadn’t been there anyways, everyone reached a general consensus that it was better that I was gone (seeing that ” it’s good everyone’s alive”). One of our more hot headed priests wanted to go run after them, but I pointed out to him that love was key and the fact that one of the teachers had thrashed him in wrestling last week. He calmed down after that.

Where is my football?

We had a huge activity at church for all of the old people. Had really good attendance and it brought back a lot of people that had been gone for a long time. Erkhembaatar and I set up a photo thing for everyone to take pictures with their husband/wife/date. The pictures came out cool but the photo guy was drunk (yum shig) and all the pictures came out way crooked. Other than that everyone was really happy. Church attendance went from 100 to 130, and in general everything was a lot better since people remembered that they were actually friends and could just talk to each other.

[Another editorial note from Mom: The only thing I know for sure is that missionaries do not date.]

Works been getting good, have an investigator about to go into interview, and I did two interviews this week. My investigator is one of those people that comes out of the blue and is just ready. She reads her scriptures all the time, already does volunteer stuff at the church. I found out she had been coming to church 3 years ago, but then her parents made her stop, so she waited for 3 years until she was 18 to start coming back. She’s already making plans to go on her mission. We had a ton (10) of less active members come to church (up from the usual 4). Two families came, and a kid I’ve been working with to help go on his mission, and my RM who is almost back and is working with her husband to go to the temple with him (after he gets baptized). They are some of my favorite people. My whole district made a huge plan for how we’re going to start putting more focus on helping all the members, so we’re all pretty happy right now. (Well the other elders have been happier, their week has been a progression of hard and harder, the power going out for three days, and then to top it all off the keys breaks off in the lock and they couldn’t go home Sunday night.)

That’s sweet that granny watched The Best Two Years.

I wrote up the whole trip to Burkhan story, I’ll take a picture and send it next time.