Tag Team Translation

April 20, 2009

Anywho. Sister Garrett and I translated General Conference into sign language (took turns each session). Doing all of Priesthood session non-stop was a brain killer. It was pretty sweet. Sat in on part of the Mongolian session, understood everything. I remember a week into the MTC listening to conference on the internet and I couldn’t even pick up the names of the apostles, much less the simple words that I knew at the time. Woop.

Tegeed. We have a baptism this Friday. He’s a pretty sweet kid. Well, by kid he’s like 20 or so. We went around this week to meet with a lot of families. The Mission President laid down the law that it is no longer allowed to teach lessons at the church, so it finally dislodged the excuse that “it’s too hard” and we go out into people’s homes now.

We found out that some of the other pastors had been coming over and saying all sorts of crazy stuff about the church. (1) You’ll get weak and even die if you don’t drink tea; (2) we teach the youth to jump off buildings because the Lord will save them; (3) we beat people that don’t agree with us.

I answered in order (1) I’m 6 foot 2, 215 pounds, walk a minimum of 10 km a day, you’ve seen me one arm dead lift your son off the ground, and I don’t even know what tea tastes like. Think about it. (2) If we teach all the youth to jump off buildings, how would it even be possible for me to be here meeting with you seeing that I am one of those youth? (3) I’m sitting here laughing and talking with you and as stated in item (1) it is not due to lack of ability to do otherwise. By the end there was a general consensus that what they had been told before really didn’t make sense and it was probably good for them to go to church.

I really want to dig a hole or do some kind of service, but everyone here is rich. Random thought.

If there was anything else to say I think my brain is to blown to remember it.

Hey, we just round out from the Area presidency that Elder Ganbold can do the baptism Friday. SWEET


Still Chillin Out Here

April 14, 2009

I had another experience with the gift of tongues, which is now in the unwavering testimony category . . . then I went and played soccer.

Other stuff. Transfer, nothing changed, still chillin out here.

Tegeed. The young girl we teach sign language to, is growing at an awe inspiring pace. In the last 2 months she’s gone from nothing and always sitting on her own, to interacting with everyone, participating in choir, telling stories about the funny stuff that happened in her day, expressing a wide array of emotions and thoughts about things. It’s really amazing.

Works good, got another kid prepping for baptism this week. Lots of people, such as the pastors from the other church are going out on double duty to lie about us. He’s even saying that he came up to me and thrashed me so good that I couldn’t respond from the scriptures and such, which is a lie, and in fact it was the other way around.

Anyways, freak, I’m dead, Elder Jones is dead in 5 weeks, Now not Elder just Alex Harding goes home with his parents in 3 days, and then me. Dang. I just got letters from a lot of people in my old areas, all ending on “wow, I can’t believe you go home in 3 months, actually exactly from today its 3.

Anyways, my brains all burned out from the last couple days worth of stuff. Love you and stuff.

Oor Chin Yu Bilee

April 6, 2009

Conference, sweet, waiting on the translations to get here, I can’t believe the way time passes, 6 months ago I watched it in Choibalsan, and a year ago I was sitting in Enkhtaivan marveling at how fast time was going because last time a year ago I was watching it in America, and now the next I watch will be in America again. Weird.

We had the first Baptism in the Darhan sign language work. Woo. Adversary went all out on our new member. The pastors, well many of them, have been stalking the people who meet with us, yelling at them, threatening etc. Everybody and their mother was coming down and getting on her case about being baptized, her sister started beating her, and boon yum bolson. It was pretty nuts and on top of all that Thursday before the baptism, she goes to invite her best friend (who’s less active) and instead of the expected congratulations she got chewed out for an hour. If you tried to convey trying to talk while crying in a text message, it would probably resemble what showed up on our cell phone. She asked us to come over so we went with another deaf sister who is doing a mini mission. The inactive lady was going nuts. At first it was about all the “proof” that her pastor had that his church was true (take your pick from Noah’s ark in Turkey, signs of times, etc) but then she started making personal attacks such as our investigator was too stupid to understand anything at her church and lots of other jabs at her worth at a person. Now this got on two of my nerves negen bol . . . (1) I’ve researched Christian history better than most people, and for the most part, it is like sand. Everybody likes beach side property but makes for a horrible foundation, and (2) I’ll it quietly and let people do whatever they want until they make people I know cry.

My companion describe it as, I had just been sitting and watching for about 20 minutes of the lesson, letting the 3 of them go back and forth on stuff till the inactive lady went after our investigator. My companion was blocking my line of sight to talk to the lady, so I reached out and pushed him back a foot (I don’t remember that part) and went on to teach the principle of faith in a way that after 15 minutes she was sitting dumbfounded. I’ve have never done that in English or in Mongolian, and my sign language is decent, but it’s not that good. I think this is the first time i can truly claim a more visible manifestation of the gift of tongues. She said it was the first time she’s seen something drive the other lady to silence, much less dislodge her from her stated position. By the end the friend said she wouldn’t come to see the baptism, but wouldn’t make herself an active persecution. So she got baptized, and it was really sweet, our branch is trying really hard to learn sign language, so after the baptismal service (which started an hour late because no one had a key to the closet, and the water was 33 degrees or so, I mean I lost the feeling in my legs just standing in it.) everyone introduced and talked and stuff.

And speaking of random, the Akhlagch and Uilchlegch from the other church have been going around harrassing our investigators. A couple of the youth came running into the church building all sweaty and said that one of them had been waiting outside their school to chew them out but they blitzed off to the only place where they were pretty sure he wouldn’t follow them. Another time they went to the kids home and started yelling at him, but the kid responded with such a testimony about prayer that it left the pastor with only the weak response that “God doesn’t listen to prayers until you’re 30,and until then you aren’t able to decide”. It’s pretty silly. They came up to us, too. We were walking down the street when a guy comes up out of nowhere and asks “You’re Ganbold the deaf Mormon missionary right” (at the time we hadn’t been speaking in sign language and I was talking to people doing ITLs). So they tried to get us to argue, asked me a whole bunch of doctrinal questions, but after answering most of it right out of the 2nd lesson, they all quit from that and tried to make attacks on my companion about trying to steal everybody to get rich, but after pointing out that we don’t get paid and most of the people had first asked us to meet with them, and from all them it was everybody’s choice to do what they want in life and we don’t force anyone into doing anything, they quit from talking about church stuff and we got their phone number. lol.

We had 8 deaf people at church, there would be more but it’s a pretty far drive. A sister bore a really powerful testimony to one of our ALAs who hadn’t been to church in almost 5 years or more, and after sacrament they were all hugging and crying and stuff . . . women . . .

oor chin yu bilee…….did 30 ITLs with one of the new missionaries, got 18 referrals in a part of town where I’ve gotten 3 in the last 2 months and more on top of that for other places

Jay is now on the “you’re silly” list. Dad and all that crowed still on said list.

. . . not everyone ends up wearing their birthday cake!

Yum Shig Probably Yup

March 17, 2009

Huh… If you could deflate a football and send another one, that would be cool. I donated the other one to Choibalsan. Trying to get anyone to play any kind of sport here on p-day is like pulling teach out of a bobcat. [I’m pretty sure he meant teeth but this suits my mood of late]

So anyways, the only interesting thing from my end of the world is that we’re teaching the second counselor in the district presidency sign language now and more importantly to his younger sister. She never got any education because the right kind of schools were really far away and she couldn’t deal with it when she was really young. She’s way freaking smart though. Most of the people we teach that never went to school have memorized like 5 words in 2 months. She’s got 50 in the last week.

The other thing is, I don’t know how to describe it well, but it’s this art where you fold up little paper triangles and stack hundreds of them to make stuff like birds and ships etc. The book I was looking at has a picture of the basic folds, then a pictures of the finished thing, and a count of each kind of fold and how many needed from each. She made like this huge stork in a day, and it’s the first one she ever built. I’m still trying to figure how the paper folds work.

I asked her mom what happened to her hearing and she said that something got botched in medical treatment with her eye, so the eye went bad and it effected her senses a little. And after that, at the time the only treatment they thought would fix it was sticking a whole bunch of needles in her all over the place, which of course hurts like nuts so they stopped doing it, and in turn the doctors blamed her for her hearing not coming back. I think she still worries about it to this day.

But anyways, on that note I’m trying to make a lesson book for all our deaf homies like that. Starting of with simple stuff like <> then working on connecting verbs that go with the object <> then going into pictures involving time <>. using a lot of kids education books etc. as a basis, but if you’ve got any connections with someone who knows how to do this, that would be great.

We cleaned a stairwell Saturday. That’s a feat here. It is now the only graffiti, pee, dirt, carrion free 5 flights of stairs in all of Mongolia; and it has a minty after smell.

We had eight deaf investigators to church and one inactive member,that was sweet. Every area I serve always gets sweet right when I leave. Baganuur went from 30 to 80 people at church when I left. All the work in Sukhbaatar went nuts and attendance went way up when I went to Enkhtaivan. Enkhtaivan is already the promise land so that didn’t change much. Then in Choibalsan I was so happy when attendance went to 130 my last week, and now it went to 181 this week. If our work is getting like this now it’s gonna be sweet when I leave yum shig probably. Yup.

Anyways, going to go try and find a B-ball.

What is Sarah’s snail mail address?

If you could vacuum seal a thing of Hot&Spicy Chicken from Grand Buffet that would be magical.

And then, yeah …

March 10, 2009

Snap, I don’t recognize anyone anymore.

Actually, I almost forgot that that’s where I came from. Weird. So, went out to the big Darkhan sign and took pretty pictures.

Went out and looked at camels, and one of them was foaming at the mouth and growling at everything. Asked the herdsman what that meant and he said he didn’t know because he had never seen it happen before. Yup. . . (we prefer fun non-growling camels)

Transfer calls happened, one of the ZLs and a new missionary left. Myagmarjav (Migaa for short, the ZL) has this thing for smashing people in the face with cake on their birthdays; he’s gotten half the people in the mission I think. SO we decided for his last day to get him back. We set up a fake one at the church, turned out all the lights in the chapel and tripped him up at the podium. He squealed like a little girl. Then the lights came back on and we just sang to him. Then he calmed down. What he didn’t know was that right after that the DL and I snuck into his apartment. The video tells the rest better.

But for one thing, originally we were just going to stick it lightly on his face, but I think muscle memory got away from me a little and I punched him with a pair of cake-knuckles.

And then, picked up a way sweet family and we have a way good investigator who has a solid date for 3/20. She’s changed so much in the 1 1/2 months we’ve been meeting with her.

Stuff, I dunno, I can’t think good no more. I can’t speak reasonable words anymore. You can’t say that [Mom: no idea what that is] in English but I’m too lazy to fix it. And then, yeah … Greetings to people, you know who you are. If you live in Arizona and know Sister Tsenglee, say hi.

Nifty Yum Bailee

March 4, 2009

Weather is warm. Didn’t get my camera but got pictures on other peoples cards and stuff.

Only ate 120 buuz this year [Mom update: down from 200 last year]. Desire kind of ran out and not that many people invited us anyways. Plus, I didn’t have my deel on day one. Called up the Zone leaders that night and they said they would send it the next morning, but they forgot. So I called up another set of Zones and got it sent in a miker from the city.

The miker driver called at 2 in the morning; I went stumbling out the door with my companion, and at that hour I really couldn’t put on friendly niceties. Due to the half stumbling drunk nature of my walking the driver thought I was a thief until he realized I was white. Then we walked around a lot and drank airag and stuff.

Then there was zone conference; translated the whole thing into sign language. It was pretty cool making new connections among faith, testimony, and hope. Nifty yum bailee. Works doing good, got some people getting ready to go in for interviews and stuff, and I’m going to go translate one pretty soon. Whoop.

Oh yeah, got a picture of my three children and grandson. yay, my posterity grows. Tegeed, yeah, I dunno. I’m trying to round up pictures from people and stuff. We moved our cleaner today.

I’ll nab pictures and yavuulna them.

Fireside with Elder Russel M. Nelson

March 3, 2009

So, this week, already wrote you about the cool part last email daa.

Went on a split with the DL, which was cool since I haven’t gotten to take lead in a lesson forever so I was cool to get to be lead teacher again. It’s kinda like my 3rd transfer again, when there isn’t a native speak, people will actually stop being annoying and try to pay attention. Were also working in the area that m DL was born into like 1 1/2 years ago. We were looking for an address I had been to 1 time a month ago, and felt really good about this being the right road cause we recognized it, but then got to the end and realized that was because we had been down it 3 times. We did that a lot.

Got 3 people to church with baptismal dates, woo.

Going to Erdenet to translate a baptismal interview next week, woo.

Don’t worry about the camera, Elder Jones is going to hook me up and get my camera repaired, and over Tsagaan Sar I might not even have a deel to wear so not a lot of pictures to take anyways.

Tell Sarah to drink dried goat cheese mixed in boiled whole milk with a little oil and salt. It seriously works. Oh yeah, and I’m thinking about her.

Yeah, I kinda realized I didn’t call anyone else at Christmas, my bad. That was a really interesting time period.

Installed a light door bell at an investigators house this morning, thinking around ideas how to make it easiest to produce more and install them faster and easier.

Oh yeah, the Apostolic Blessing left by Elder Nelson at the General Fireside:

It is the privilege of the Twelve to give Apostolic Blessings. The blessings are fulfilled when you are obedient to the law.

The specific blessing included: to desire to learn more about God; to pray every day; to know you are His children and that you were created in His image; to learn about Jesus, to love Him, and to desire to live in the pattern of His life; love at home; that your home will be a place of peace and love; that Jesus and his representatives will always be welcome; that you will read the scriptures in your home and that you will teach and learn from them every day; with your economic and physical needs, that the Lord will provide what your need of food, warmth, and clothing; with health and strength sufficient for your needs; with a love for your ancestors and the opportunity to do work for them in the temple; that the country will prosper according to the will of God; that Elder Maxwell’s blessing will be fulfilled to the end that Mongolia will become a beacon light to the nations round about.

Happy Birthday [Mom]

February 18, 2009


Yeah, it’s Tuesday, and we just had a mission conference with Elder Nelson yesterday. There is lots of stuff that can’t really be fully explained. Let’s say he opened his talk with, “I feel there are many of you here today who have come fasting and praying to find an answer to something from me. So, ask.” I had a strong desire to ask myself but had the very strong prompting that everything I wanted to know would be said, but there was someone else here who needed to have a prophet speak directly to them. And in retrospect I understand it well. On the cool easy to understand side of things, “write in you journals about the church in Mongolia now when you are working with branches here and the way you think the church is already established in Mongolia, and then show them to your grandchildren when there are stakeS, missionS, and a temple in this country. Yeah.

Train rides are cool.

Bumped into the lead pastor of the deaf church in Darkhan, and since she and her husband have connections with everyone in town they are saying that we are these horribly scary people that brain wash and beat people up. All of our investigators heard it, but one guy was pretty funny about it, he heard about how we were horrible people abusers as we were setting up a service project to install a light bulb based door bell at his apartment. Ha-ha funny, oh yeah, and as usual the pastor told us there was no difference between her and us on any doctrinal level, in a moment of unusual bluntness for me I told her the difference was that God chose the church’s Prophet and he in turn chose the rest, but she chose herself and that’s where her authority ends. She wants to meet later.

APs didn’t take my camera to get fixed, going to try to get it done on my own. Going camera-gui over Tsagaan Sar would suck.

P-day is Wednesday this week

February 16, 2009

The Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission is hosting a visiting General Authority Monday and Tuesday so preparation day (p-day) is postponed until Wednesday. Which means email and laundry are both postponed.

Maybe 2 extra days worth of laundry won’t be too bad during the winter months!

More Stuff Happens

February 10, 2009

That was Elder Hadfield with a dead fox on his head.

This week, stuff happened. I can finally say most things in sign language. But other than that work was pretty rocky this week, got burned a lot. We only have 1 witness in both branches that will go, and the one day he had time to go with us, we got burned all day long, and it’s pretty funny in retrospect. One lady was in her house, but her phone broke so we couldn’t send text, so we banged on the door to no avail and then just had to leave. Life’s funny like that. Meeting with inactive members and stuff, they’re doing pretty good, but then both of them caught nasty colds Saturday from going on the branch outing and couldn’t come to church Sunday, also funny. But our investigator attendance increased from 1 to 2, so maybe next week it will nautilus up to 4. What’s the name of that guy who made the formula for that again?

Yeah, there are many people who will be mad if you don’t come here. And me saying I did it all on my own would be an outright lie, and a very arrogant one at that. Part of me was waiting for someone else to tell you as well. And as usual, President Smartt is right. Picking up is one thing, and then there was my zone leader who’s mom got his phone number from one of the couples and called him once a week his whole last half transfer but luckily he was the super elder that spent like 3 minutes of his whole mission trunky, and that was the last day of Tsagaan Sar and he went off the next day, and it was still only 3 minutes.

An Apostle is coming next week, My companion is a little miffed that we go into the city Monday and then get sent back out the morning the day of the fire side. The last time an Apostle came here was before most of the missionaries became members, so they’re all really excited, me too, honestly.

But yeah, I’m forgetting how to talk with my mouth; sometimes the senior couples don’t understand me at all. Elder Olpin thought I had been doing sign language my whole mission and that was part of the language I had been called to, which is rather funny to me considering my hands are kind of retarded from onset of carpal tunnel from computers, boxing, and drawing all the time. . . but whatever.

I learned to skate and not die, triumph.