Happy New Year!!!
One of the more difficult holidays to celebrate as a missionary seeing as we go to bed at 10:30, but there was excitement this week as I did get to eat wolf (but that's a story for another time....plus cards on the table, it tastes just like mutton яах вэ?)
Other new experiences this week also include getting picked up by a drunk man on the bus and my first trip to the жинхэнэ zax. Elder Jolley, Boyd and I all went down to get some material for Deels (google it) which is traditional Mongolian clothing that we will wear for tsagan sar in February which is a multiday holiday celebration. The zax was amazing, kind of like the outdoor market we went to in Brazil this summer, but three times the size. Picture two covered football fields full of little stalls and then thousands of other stalls in the open selling anything you can possibly imagine. Seriously, it's huge.
Yes, I got the Christmas packages this week, and wow you way out did yourselves. There are so many amazing goodies. I'm going to be eating candy for a year. For my birthday which is ridiculously near, I really don't need a package.
I just got John's letter with the Harry potter thread starters . . . amazing and I got an amazing letter from Leslie. Someone tell her I loved it because it was from three months ago and it will probably take me that long to get one back to the states.
I'm not really sure where this week has gone. It feels like yesterday that we were waking up to talk to our families. Amazing investigator of the week goes to Batcaxain. This week we were able to meet with him a couple of times and teach about some of the commandments. In one particular lesson we asked him about his testimony of Joseph Smith. His response....I know Joseph Smith was a prophet because Nephi prophesies about him in the beginning of the Book of Mormon. I'm not sure I even completely picked up on that until seminary. To be able to read and understand that was such a testimony to his faith and desire to learn. Just another instance where the investigators have taught me as much as we have taught them.
We met with a couple who just had a baby this week and gave him a blessing. It was an amazing opportunity to share the story of the Christ child and testify of His life and ministry. We read from Luke 2 and then I was able to bear a simple testimony of my love for the Savior.
We spent the end of New Year's Eve with our new members who fed us more buuz, potato salad and bread then we needed, but I was extremely grateful. While we were there the other good people of Ulaanbaatar had an awfully hard time holding on to their fireworks until midnight. After about 9 oclock it seemed like there was a display every minute. Fireworks just started erupting from between every building in the city. I'm not sure what the fire codes are, but what can you catch on fire at -30 degrees anyway?
Best way to spend New Years day? гэвэл Sit and listen to the wonderful testimonies of members for an hour and a half, at which point the bishop had to turn away about five more people that were headed toward the stand. Then go to another ward and do it all again. We went to the khailist branch with the president where I sat next to the cutest family with a ten year old girl. She was so excited to share pictures of her family with me and to see mine. And we played some wonderful Mongolian pictionary.
This week we taught several lessons on faith and I was able to devote time in my personal study to the subject. The concept of faith is much like the passing of light through a prism. When we focus a light on a prism we find that it comes out the other side tranformed into a rainbow of color. Likewise, when we focus our faith on Jesus Christ through Him we can gain faith in every principle of the Gospel. Through the transforming power of the Savior's atonement we can gain faith in a rainbow of gospel topics that encompass the spectrum of truth.