Tuesday, August 9, 2011

No Happier Place

Hello Friends and Family!
And you thought I'd never write.  Today is our first P day.  There are about a million things that I can tell you so I'll try to get through them all in the 30 minutes we're allotted for writing letters.  

My district is made up of 8 missionaries.  We are all headed to Mongolia in October barring any mishaps with visas.  My companion is Elder Call from Springville, Utah.  A pretty quiet elder who enjoys computer programing and interjecting odd comments.
So the Mongolian mission is about 80 missionaries and we found out this week that only six of them are Americans!  The mission was shut down in 2009 when the government decided that we didn't have enough documentation certifying us as English teachers.  Since then 6 elders have made it to Mongolia and there is a district of just two elders in front of us.  Chances of me ever having a American companion 0.   Awesome!!!  Our district is awesome and we've really bonded during this first week.  I already knew Elder Boyd from school and Elder Stranski is Andrew Larson, both in look and especially in gestures. 
The schedule here is crazy!!!!   We learn so much everyday.  Usually we'll have two 3 hour blocks of language study time a day along with meals, personal study, and gospel workshops.  It is non stop learning.  Our teachers are both returned missionaries and bring such a sense of love for both us and the Mongolian people.
On the third day here we taught our first investigator in all Mongolian.  Most of it was read off a script, but you could still feel the spirit when we bore our testimonies to him.  The language is pretty difficult, words are hard to memorize because they don't sound like anything that is previously in my brain.  Our teacher describes it as talking under water.
The first couple days were really long with all of the classes we had to attend, but once we made it to Sunday the time has been flying.  The rhythm has set in and we are all focused on learning all we can to help the people of Mongolia.
This week we have ESL certification training because we need to be certified to enter the country.  All week we are teaching Elders learning English from all over the world.  It is such  rewarding experience.  The focus this week was to teach individuals.  We have to let the spirit guide us with what is to be said.  We need to get to know our investigators. Understand what they feel.  When the lesson is no longer our lesson is when the metaphorical lightning strikes.  As we struggle with the language we have to remember that Mongolain is merely a tool to reach Gods children. 
While everyone is counting down the weeks till they leave, the MTC has to be the happiest place on earth.  The counsel we  receive everyday is like three months of General Conference.  On Sunday we had testimony meeting where all the outgoing Elders spoke.  The district before us (the two elders) are having visa issues so they are still here and bore there testimonies in Mongolian.  Then we had a district counsel with the branch president, interviews, a two hour mission conference where all the head leaders spoke mainly on baptism.  After that we had a devotional where we learned about sticking to the basics.  And that we need to feel all the things our investigator needs.  If we want them to pray more earnestly, the Lord wants us to pray more earnestly etc.
I've seen people I know all over the place.  Elder Maquet is on my floor!!!  And Elder Holmes and I have talked several times including during the movie on Sunday night.  It's the unity in cause of BYU times ten.  Seeing all the familiar faces strengthens my resolve to press on. 
Times up!
I love you all
Pray Always,
Elder Neuberger
P.S. If you want to write me follow the instructions on the side of the blog.  It's so fun to get your letters during the week!