Archive for June, 2009

Viva la Mongol

June 23, 2009

Hey, you’ve probably already bought the tickets and stuff but if you could get here for the 29th my group is going out to the country side and doing some sick Mongolian food and they want you to come.

Telephoto lens……. doughnut…. gaaaaahhhh

Wow, 1 week left.

Anyways, last week Elder Bodhaine and I destroyed work this week 30 lessons, 80 ITL’s, 7 referrals from members, 9 new investigators, and in all that built a roof on a house, started the home teaching program (which got 5 people to church), and organized a whole bunch of activities for the branch. I’m really happy with that, it was my last real week of no-interruptions (well, other than that me and companion were so sick last week that if we stood up even a little too fast like we would black out). This week is a lot of service,2 days stuck in the city for zone conference, and then helping out with some other branch stuff over the weekend. Really don’t want to leave, so much to be done, but as Elder Stevens from my group noted, ever since we passed our real 2 year mark, everyone’s body has gone to pot, so maybe that means it’s just time to go.

Cats, yagaad ugui geech.

My trainer came back to Baganuur and we went to work together for a few days, it was sweet. Met with a lot of people from 2 years ago, both of us were kinda mad that no one really meets with them anymore, so we’re dumping everything into Bodhaine’s brain before I leave. We have this idea to start up these youth center things in Mongolia, with stuff like skate parks and bmx rings, anything to actually give youth here something to do other than stand around drunk and look stupid.

I’ve been thinking about the trip. I don’t know if I really want a 24/7 guide. one, running around all spaz like for 2 weeks doesn’t sound that cool, and well, I still have a “don’t tell me what to do” thing going on. That and the rent condo money could be better used given to a member family to bum a spot on their floor. Anywho.

Other stuff, Freak, I totally stopped looking at school stuff a month ago. Dang it. House. I dont know what I am doing.

Bah . . . Well, love you, probably see you in a week from now, how weird is that. To say one of those “Called to Serve” movie kind of things, once you get here, you really do straight turn around and leave.

Viva la Mongol

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Full Circle = SWEET

June 8, 2009

Actually, because of the cake video I sent you I think caking got banned in the mission. Well, for my birthday I got transferred. I’m back in Baganuur for my last month. Yeah, I get giggly just writing that. Color, life, and the ability to sleep have slowly been returning to me. And the never ending black bags faded out this week. I’m with Elder Bodhaine. He’s from Elder Shiozawa’s group.

It was kinda funny when I got here. Everyone got news that Elder Byrd was back, and when we were waiting on the van to go to the city people were fluttering around looking for me, but all they saw was this new skinny elder with Elder Bodhaine. About 15 minutes later someone finally came up to me and read my name tag and said “Elder… B…Y…..R…..!!! BYRD! How are y. . . You’re really REALLY skinny now! Whoa! This conversation was repeated many MANY times. Only the people I’ve been sending pictures and stuff to recognize me anymore.

It’s sweet being back. Going to rock it out here my last month. We’ve already had some way sweet lessons. There’s been three lessons where people went from saying “I don’t believe and am not interested” to asking how to pray and how to find out what we feel and know. It’s sweet, we have one family we’re working with now that’s doing way good. Taught like an hour long lesson on faith and at the end the mom said “Bi neeree itegchikhmeer baina” which is kinda like “I seriously want to believe in this”. Had another lesson with a guy about the nature of god, it was one of those things where my ability to speak went through the roof and I started expounding scriptures in such a way that I was teaching myself as well.

It’s sweet to be back here.

It was sad leaving Darkhan, I had finally gotten 100% in love with the place. One interesting thing of note is this. Remember when I told you about what happened before the baptism of that young deaf girl? We’ll part 2 happened the day I left. We got a call as we were having our goodbye lunch; she said she wanted to meet us at the church. She had been having a lot of family problems lately, one of her sisters had hit her and she had moved over to her oldest sister’s house. And on top of all that one of her other deaf friends that could speak a little had been coming over and trashing the church. And then on top off all that all of her deaf friends had been pulling the isolation then “we’ll receive you with open arms if you deny your faith thing”. She was pretty shaken up.

My companion’s first response was to in turn bash the other pastor and get into a “who’s right” match, but after that followed the usual course of not working, he looked at me to see if I had anything to say. I then bore a testimony of the savior, the atonement, and what it means to inherit the celestial kingdom that I don’t even know if I could share in English. It was one of those very few times where someone’s attention was totally focused on the things I was being led to say. At the end of about 15 minutes she had decided to keep trying, and for my own part I added that I really didn’t know how many more times I would meet her in this life, but if I woke up on that last day and didn’t see her there it would be a heart breaking thing. It was one of those picturesque moments, right at that time a lot of our other deaf members and investigators and other people had shown up for an activity. The sun was setting over the church and the dusk light glinted off the little moths fluttering over the freshly bloomed flowers, and for the first time in a long time she smiled. I’m happy that’s the moment I left on. If all I was needed for in Darkhan was just those two moments in her life it was all worth it.

Anyways, a 7 hour train ride later I was in the city. It also just happened that I got into the main building the same time as my trainer did. I miss that fool. Ruiz is back for a month to go see all his peeps. We went out to dinner and just caught up on old junk, he’s going to come out here next P-day and the whole branch is going to go out fishing.

Then . . . I got to see the first Stake in Mongolia organized. Score. It was nuts seeing everyone I know. I remember the first conference I went to, the only person I knew was my comp and a few branch missionaries, and at my last one there was a flood of so many people I couldn’t think. There was one point I actually had to tell someone about something happening to her sister in Choibalsan but person after person kept coming up that after having 15 people trying to say hi in the space of a minute I had to grab the person I was talking to and duck outside with my companion. I forgot how many people I love in here. I have already met up with my second family, Dolgor and her daughter. The husband I baptized is out in the country again but meeting up with them is always uramtai.

Anyways, we are going to go be super focused and work our butts off this week, this is gonna be sweet.

One Month Left = NUTS!

June 1, 2009

Wow, yeah, I have a month left and the timer is running, that’s nuts.

Anyways, this week was mostly just working on the open house. Our church is in kind of an untraveled spot so we spent all week running around inviting people in. For 3 hours each of 5 days, 10 missionaries each talked to 30-40 people . . . that’s a lot of talking. It was sweet, sometimes circumstance keep me from doing ITLs (Invite to Learn) on other days, so it felt good to just have some unrestrained time to declare with the trump of my mouth. Pushed it a little hard though and got myself kind sick, it went from an inferno dust storm to a snow storm over one night, and I was just out in a field most of the time, so my immune system got punched in the face. Elder Frisbee just got it over fast and threw up. We both looked pretty nasty, I was kind of a pale gray with raccoon eyes, and Frisbee took on a beet red hue with white accents.

We did lots of service this week. I’ve been missing that. We moved a lady. Another church member’s fence got blown down in a dust storm, so we started putting it back up for her with the same old rotten logs because “oh, it will be fine” and then it seems to keep us from having to come back my point got proven when a brown out dust storm came in and knocked over what was left. So in said dust storm we reset the posts and nailed everything back up. It made for a rather nice instant feedback system on stability. We also roofed a parking garage. They used me and Elder Stevenson as living cranes to pull sand bags up onto the roof. I love leather work gloves, they make everything easy.

Anyways, announcing the Stake next Sunday, really want to go see that.

Tegeed, thinking about putting lamb wool liners in my leather jackets, a skin here goes for about six dollars. Can’t believe time goes by so fast.

Bolderdene’s baptism was Friday; he’s way sweet. One of those amazingly bright kids I wish I could smuggle somewhere he could get a better education. We’re trying to work out him getting a hearing aid. If he could get one better than the Russian junk here, he could hear perfectly fine. We are going to talk with the couples over Deseret International tomorrow.

Wow, I forgot my trainer was coming today, sweet.

Murphy flee before my wrath, flee with great haste, but just slow enough that I can see you open your mission call.

Interesting experience, worked hard enough this week that I was visibly skinnier than the Monday before . . . weird.

Anyways, life is life. Drinking from the bitter cup is easier if you just put some benzocaine on your tongue and grin.