Hi: We met these two great Elders yesterday at the Church Service Center in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia. Looks like Elder Byrd is having a little difficulty reading Mongolian! We are serving a mission here as well. We come from Tallahassee Florida, and have family in Brewton AL going to church in Jay, FL. They are the Sessions and Lands. Elder Byrd’s family may have run into them in their travels to visit relatives in south Alabama. The Elders are doing great, looking healthy and happy. Thanks for all that you do to support them in the mission field. Elder and Sister Clark, Country Directors of Welfare and Humanitarian Services
Archive for the ‘Sukhbaatar’ Category
I made a copy of my pictures for one of the missionaries who just went home, so one of the office elders has my Tsagaan Sar card, so I’ll send more next week.
Well, this week was mostly just Tsagaan Sar. We had a hard time getting in houses because everyone was getting ready and didn’t have time to meet with us. Met with a lot of members this week, a billion people invited us over for TsS.
I think my companion and I hold this year’s record for eating buuz at 222 and 200. Cook got more than me because I ate a whole bunch that were still a little raw (exu.. ecsu…I don’t remember how to spell excussesesess…ss… anymore…). it was sweet, we wore deels for 2 days straight.
It’s one of those things that shouldn’t make your head big, but it was cool. A lot of people said that we were their favorite companionship that’s been in Sukhbaatar in along time. The usual reason was that we were just so happy all the time, we made people laugh, and we worked hard. It was sweet. Even the senior couples said they like us.
Transfer calls were Wednesday; I’m going to Enkhtaivan branch in the city with Elder Harding (I was with him in Baganuur). Should be sweet, I heard the branch there was way awesome.
Pecans were much enjoyed, one of my ZLs is from the south (ish, he’s from Virginia, but he knows chittlins, so I give it to him) so we shared. I cooked out of the wok, made enough food for 4 elders with massive leftovers.
I’m emailing early this week because of Tsagaan Sar (lunar new year).
So, Bolormaa (say it more like bothrmaa) was baptized Friday. She was way excited for it. One of the Elders who taught her 2 years ago did the baptism. In total, there were 5 people from our building branch that went in last Friday.
There was a big branch activity Saturday. We all went down to a high school gym for a couple hours, played basketball, ate, drank, and wrestled. Cook and I would occasionally do standing stuffs on people just because we could. I got in another 15 minute match with our security guard, finally got him after sweeping both his legs from the inside. Arms were aching for the next 2 days.
We had another escapade with persons on alcohol. Remember how Brother Peterson said we would one day be grateful for everything we had ever been through? That Saturday, I was grateful that I was adjusted to calming someone down as they’re thrashing out at you, being able to tell someone that there is a way out, and just the situation of being in a house like that.
I was the mouthpiece of the ordinance conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost to Bolormaa Sunday, so that was sweet.
Zone Conference was Tuesday. I actually understood almost all of it this time.
We did service Wednesday. Moved a lot of 10-15 firewood logs around. Just by weight and leverage we got it done faster because we could move one on our own. Also made fry bread.
Package came, we’re all fine.
The death of the prophet sent a shock through the mission. Every single Mongolian member has only known President Hinckley. Cook and I ended up telling a lot of the Sister Missionaries, many of them cried, but after that, they almost all said, “but now he gets to live with his beloved wife”.
So let’s see. Learned to throat sing this week. It sends this crazy ringing feeling all through my head when I hit it right. Also confuses the heck out of everyone when a random foreigner just starts doing it down the street, but hey, I got a contact out of it.
Speaking of priesthood quorums and wrestling, I got dropped by the 60 year old elders quorum president; it’s harder than it looks.
Tsagaan Sar is next week. One of our members is hand making us wrestler boots.
I’m looking forward to the package. We had the branch outing this weekend, played a lot of ice hockey and Mongolian wrestling. Missionaries aren’t allowed to go sledding, so I did running, but slid down an ice covered mountain (Hey, I got permission from the ZL’s). Finally remembering all my old martial arts training when I wrestle. I relearned an important lesson this week about not changing your style. Mongolians wrestle aggressively, and I kept getting wasted a month ago because I went like everybody else. I remembered patience and weight sinking Saturday. Went for 5 minutes in a match with our security guard before he got comfortable then I dropped him under his own weight. Also finally went 1 win 1 loss 1 tie with Tumur, his name means steel, and he’s built like it. I’ve seen him lose once before to one of the wry members of the high priest quorum. Yeah, I was a little proud 😀
We have two more people with baptismal interviews Saturday, so hurrah.
The short story: It hit -47 C Monday, my companion and I had to go hide in a random store because we had be outside for 6 hours and had started to go numb all over, one of our branch missionaries lost feeling in her hand after 10 seconds outside of her glove, and I loaned her my extra pair of fatty ski gloves, and 2 elders got frostbite because too many elders have this tough guy approach.
I’ve started wearing 3 shirts, 3 jackets, 2 gloves, 2 hats, 2 socks, and a scarf and a neck gator. But I also feel toasty warm at -35 C in the day.
Me and Cook ran mutual for 3 branches Wednesday. Apparently the news of how goofy we are has made us famous. We played crab soccer, but for the most part elders just stand around, but we got down on the floor and we’re probably more hyperactive than the 16-19 year olds we were playing with (hey, we just turned 20). The Zls heard people from other branches wanting more stuff like that, too. Huzzah for directed immaturity.
Going on a massive outing tomorrow with the branch, so that will be exiting.
The baptism was way sweet. Saraa was way excited. The water was freezing cold, though. I guess the water heater couldn’t keep up for that long. Her whole family sits in on the lessons, now. We found out almost her mom’s whole family is a member of the Church in Darkhan. We’re pretty stoked. The dad wants to learn way bad, but he works all day until winter breaks.
The other thing of note is that PurevSukh served a mini mission with us this week; he’s going on a full time mission this February. He’s a way sweet kid. He works at a computer place, draws, and plays CS, so breaking the ice was easy, and he’s a stud of a teacher. He was good enough that I went on a split with one of our branch members so we could do twice the work. It was kind of a punch in the face to take the lead doing work for a few days. It forced my language and teaching ability up through the roof; and we picked up a lot of new investigators from it. We have 10 that are going to have baptismal dates this week.
I’ll try and cover both weeks today.
There was a big gathering at the Brauhaus restaurant. We were given to much eating and drinking of Apple Fanta. A lot of the elders and sisters did talents and such. One kid played the entire Zelda: Ocarina of Time soundtrack on the piano. I hugged him.
We had a way awesome dinner with some members.
New Years Eve: UB sounded like a war zone for 2 hours.
New Years Day: 2 Challenges to fight, 1 attempt at stealing my ice cream followed by a challenge to fight. All accepted with two thumbs up before the would-be assailants ran away. 😆
This week: Can’t keep track of the temperature at night, Cook’s thermometer bottoms out (-20 F) at 6 pm everyday now.
I’m going to buy Grammar books today, exciting.
My L D S Mail
Timed Me Out For My Safety
Yeah, it’s sometimes -5 F here…. in the day. Last night Cook’s thermometer bottomed out at -20 F at about 7 pm. But fear not, here is a picture of what I really wear.
The only reason frost freezes on my eyelashes is because the tiny slit that I look out of. My real clothing is a neck gator, scarf, double layer wool beanie, ski gloves north face jacket liner, trench coat with the collar popped up, thermal bottoms, and my thinsulate boots. In all honesty, neither I nor my companion feels the cold too bad right now, but apparently this winter going to be way bad, so we’re going to hit up the open market one last time today. I’m also getting my canvas and supplies for the painting for the Christmas party too.
The news this week:
• Got my suit and deel (rhymes with health).
• Got bit on the hand by another 80 pound guard dog. I was wearing my leather gloves and divine protection so all I got was a little blood blister and a good giggle with my companion.
• Had some people try to steal our investigator’s dogs, too (the same dogs that follow us everywhere). They wanted to make dog ear oil medicine to sell. But that, sir, frankly does not fly. They got mad at us for stopping them, but got so flustered when we kept asking them what dog ear oil did that they just left.
• Oh yeah, we have a baptismal date with the same investigator now. She’s going in right after the New Year. She’s way good. She met with the elders 2 years ago but lost track when she moved into the city.
Anyways, to quote, “We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?”
Oh yeah! Almost forgot… somehow. Doctrine and Covenants came out this week. Cook and I helped the Zone Leaders sell them this week (and by sell, I mean cover the 60 cent printing cost). It was way awesome; the first one we gave out was to a return missionary who served back in the 90’s. Its way cool, we’ve been working a lot with the members this week.
Oh yeah and on a random management note, could you put more of the pictures of just Mongolia on a page of the blog. I just want other people to see what I see in this place.
Oh yeah, I’m calling around 6:30 am Dec 26!!!!! UB time! I think that comes out around 5-6 pm ish Dec 25 your time.