Archive for the ‘Enkhtaivan’ Category

Ninja Camp

August 4, 2008

I was at ninja camp.

My LDS mail killed my last email, so I guess a recap.

Last p-day we went way out to the country and hung out on the side of a mountain, which is cool because I won’t see anyone else for 6 months because I live in Choibalsan. That’s the farthest east you can get.

When I got transfer calls Tuesday, president had to repeat a few things because district leader 😯 and Choibalsan were having a hard time finding a spot in my head to settle. But it’s cool now. Spent a lot of time saying good bye to people in Enkhtaivan, and we’re Mormons so there was much weeping. It doesn’t feel like 5 months passed, it went so fast. But most important, Sister Chukaa is going to send me candy. Sweet.

Just got to Choibalsan, my comp is sweet, my district is sweet, and I only slept an hour last night so it means it’s time to thrash the young men to assert my authority.

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Three Baptisms and an Amazing Painting

July 21, 2008

A little rushed on time so this is going to be kinda of a short email. The high point of the week was the three people that went in for baptism this Friday. The first two are named Uuganbayar and Otronbayar. Their older brother is a member of the church, his name is Batmunkh (his missionary was my MTC teacher Brother Cannon, so that was kinda cool. At first their mom and dad had no interest, but now the mom has a baptismal date and comes to church about every Sunday, and the dad comes in and sits on the lessons, so it’s all getting pretty cool. (The mom is the lady that made me the awesome shirt, too).

The next family is one of my favorites. The mom, Dolgormaa and the son, Batsuren, were baptized almost 3 years ago but the father never became a church member. He was always in the county working and the missionaries could never keep track of him. His wife said it was also a little hard for him because he’s kind of a shy guy and by the time he got used to one set of elders they left. I’ve been working with him since I got to Enkhtaivan and I think his family is now some of my favorite people. I love being around them. The other cool thing was that his son was the one who got to baptize him. I was really happy to be apart of helping, and it’s going to be neat watching their 7 year old daughter grow up with both her parents as members of the church. The way the father put it was “I never have to worry about my son running around at night, fighting or getting into other trouble, and now they don’t have to worry about me.”

And then, I had an investigator give me a print of one of his paintings, he’s freaking amazing.

Time’s up!

Naadam

July 15, 2008

So, the biggest news of the week is probably Naadam. As the quick explanation, Naadam is the national festival celebrating the founding of Mongolia some 800 years ago and was started at the more recent freeing from the Chinese in the 1920’s (I think). The major section of Naadam is marked by Mongolia’s “national sports” of wrestling, archery and horse racing.

It was pretty sweet. Almost the whole mission went to the opening and most of us went way out into the country to watch the horse races.

It was so pretty out there. Away from UB everything is still green and clean. Lots of white people again. It’s still weird. We were about the only foreign people talking to Mongolians in Mongolian. But once we got away from the more touristy part and just started going around and going to people’s houses it was way sweet. Our branch president invited us over and we just traded dumb humor, photos, etc. It’ cool to finally be at the point were I can act like myself in this language without having to think too much. I’m going to be kind of sad when I leave Enkhtaivan, it’s the first place were I’ve been able to do enough to help out at all, and most everyone I know is here now.

And speaking of! Some of my peeps from Sukbaatar are going to America! That’s nuts! Sister Tsenglee is going to Arizona and Elder Odgerel is going to California. They’re some of the first people I ever got to know very well is Mongolia. They went with us all the time during the winter and I learned most of what I know (especially the funny stuff) from them. So if any of them wind up in your ward say “hey”.

Tegeed, my investigator made me this awesome Mongolian shirt that goes sick wit’ ma deel, yo. She tried to get away before I paid but even after I haggled the snot out of her she would only take 15 dollars, a shirt like this would usually be like 30-40 bucks. She said it was because of all the service we had been doing at her house, but then we pointed out that it wouldn’t be service if she paid it for us.

And then I lost my keys at Naadam and my companion left his on the table when we went to try to find a spare copy because he thought I had mine. We spent two days sleeping on the district leader’s couch. It’s not a nice couch at all. It turns out they had to switch the locks anyways so we did that this morning.

In other exiting news, three people are getting baptized this week. The coolest one is a man named Tsengel. His wife and son have been members for a few years, and his son is actually on his mission right now. He was interested for the longest time and since the start of this year he’s gotten really good, his wife is amazed sometimes, and his son gets to baptize him this Friday, so we’re all working to keep thing going.

I think that’s about that. Oh, and all the letters I tried to send got messed up and bounced or something. That sucked, going to try again next p-day.

My Team Won at Tug of War

July 7, 2008

Yeah, it was nuts. 3 buildings got burned, lots of cars, and the entire city’s police force has wounds of one sort or another. I was standing next to that building a little before it started, but I had run into some street promoters trying to get as many people as they could to go down there, so I decided to change my plans and go back to the other half of the city early.

“Lock down” sucked. Got my ceiling kind of dirty from all the times I threw my basketball at it . . . Started making a missionary teaching dictionary and stupid word collection . . . Got to around 1500 for the first and second lesson before I got bored . . . Ordered pizza . . . Slept . . . Cleaned my closet . . . Slept . . . Wrote letters to new members . . . Fell asleep on the letters.

Then they had a 4h of July party on the 5th. That was kind of weird, but everyone was happy to be out of the house. It was about 100 other Americans and then an even split of about 60 Mongolian and American elders. It was weird seeing white people. They had a rope pulling contest. There were 8 teams. The 2 missionary teams trashed everyone, and then my team trashed the other missionary team. Our team was also the only one with Mongolian members, and most of the missionaries got a tickle out of the irony. Another random thought, the party took place at “Star Apartments”. The star has 10 foot concrete walls and security every few feet. You go in from the sun dried dirt of an old Russian city to treated lawns and mulched gardens and ponds. I already felt unnatural at places like this, and now it’s just creepy.

But most importantly, my team won at tug of war. Well, the general safety of everyone I know personally during the riots trumps that, but on my list of trivial things the tug of war is right at the top.

Elder come back! Elder come back!

June 30, 2008

Hellotsraana you nar. saikhan sleepsen yy.

Anywho, the week in review:

Teaching English at Mongolia Telecom now, it’s pretty sweet. Most of my classes refuse to believe that a 21 year old kid is living on the other half of the world teaching English. For that matter, they all think I’m 28-29. They all want to learn, so classes are pretty active. My contact there is the department head, and he’s pretty interesting.

Tegeed ran mutual this week. Had the kids run 30 minutes of it, and I helped them do the other half. It went good, they told me a lot of the missionaries don’t really get into it that much so it gets kind of boring, so I’m trying to help them take more control so they can be involved and do what they want. Found out 2 of the girls there have absolutely amazing English but they just don’t talk that much. They want me to teach a class at our building, but it’s kind of hard to sort out all the stuff with the office.

Dug 2 more feet out of that hole, then i turned 2 kids into a living helicopter, and that was cool.

Anyways, we’re working and walking, and the sprain in my foot is almost all the way gone after 2 months. Speaking of pain, my companion is getting 2 root canals on Wednesday. Yeah. And then… I can’t think of anything relevant to say. So, I love you and I’m done.

Families We are Teaching

June 23, 2008

See June 9th for details.

Dolgormaa’s family:

EnkhTubshin, her sons and a ward member:

Elder Go Down Hole

June 23, 2008

Anywho, been working with my new comp this week, it’s been sweet. I’m running short on time so it’s another brief letter. We did service for one of our new member families this week. Dug an out-house hole for about three hours through clay and rocks, was pretty sweet, other than that nothing too amazing.

The Mongolian elections are going on, and it is kind of annoying, but now we do street lessons to the people that try to give us fliers.

Second Son Arrives by Train Wednesday

June 16, 2008

We just get wailed on by dust storms. One big one left a pretty thick layer of dust all over the . . . well everything including my bed.

It is transfer call time again, my kid is going out to Erdenet to be the district leader’s comp and my new companion is named Tuvshinjaral. He’s coming in from Zuun Kharaa. Pretty excited, going to go get him from the train station this Wednesday.

As for work, we picked up a lot of families this week. We’ve been working a lot with the families that are only part member and it’s been pretty sweet. Two kids, 10 and 12 year old, started teaching their mom about the word of wisdom and prayer, and she’s starting to follow the principles.

My foots still a little messed up from getting sprained a few weeks ago, but now it’s almost all leveled out. Hit my year mark on my mission, still trying to wrap that around my head. It doesn’t feel like that much time has passed. Anyways, love you all, going to try to send a few pictures if I can.

BBQ and a Baptism

June 9, 2008

Joy is brought through the spreading of joy, if so then my joy is full.

Sweet week, this computer is going to bust so this is going to be a fast email.

Highlights:

I took my district and some of my new members to BBQ Chicken for birthday lunch. My new members got me a watch because the clasp pin got messed up on the one from dad, and I never have time to go fix it. They spent 7 dollars on the watch, rent and utilities total 30 dollars here.

I spent dinner hour sitting up on top of a mountain, looking at the city and just thinking.

Baptized a lady named EnkhTuvshin, and now her kids are taking the lessons too. Picked up our new member’s dad as an investigator, he’s a pilot trainer and he’s got way sweet English.

Ooskoo Bayarbat Bayartsogt say “medekhrui ” gene (I don’t know)

Hello, we are your son’s friends and Tsogtoo is hungry.

Anywho, love you all.

IT’S A FERRARI

June 1, 2008

Yeah, the weathers been nuts. The snow storm didn’t hit the city as hard, but we had about 2 inches of snow in the morning. My companion says that this is the coldest he’s ever seen. Alot of people think there’s not going to be much of a summer, which means nothings going to get too green, which kinda stinks.

So, the high point: There’s a Ferrari in Mongolia. It’s an older model, but IT’S A FERRARI. I got a picture of my comp standing next to it.

We have another lady going in for baptism this week. She’s a friend of one of the members, so we really didn’t have to do much. She’s such a sweet lady. It’s going to be my companions first investigator taught from start to finish, so he’s way stoked about it.

We have been trying to contact all of our old referrals in the ger district. We search for 2 hours and find like 1 or 2. It’s good exercise though, we go up and down the same foothills over and over, and we can almost run it now. But, from all the walking around, works getting better. And, for now, all my English is on break so we can work all day.

I started learning sign language more this week; it’s way sweet. I’ve got pretty good friends with the deaf branch missionaries and learn a lot from them. I bumped into one of my old English students who’s almost entirely deaf and taught her a lesson. It was freaking hard, but it was way sweet. My student thought it was funny. It was me, my comp [anion], a branch missionary, and her, and the only people who could communicate were a deaf Mongolian and an American. I’ve done 2 street lessons, too. It’s like being in my first transfer again; it’s kinda funny to me. I hit my year mark, can kinda speak, and then I start trying to pick up a new language.

Anywho, here are some pictures from last week.