Monday, March 26, 2012

Gonna Be Crazy

Well the excitement in the mission is rising as we come up on the most packed weekend/biggest transfer ever.  This next transfer on the 6th of April there will be a total of 32 missionaries either going or coming including eight from America.  Almost all of the leaving missionaries have filled leadership positions.  Adding to the confusion will be the fact that it will be Easter weekend and general conference weekend in Mongolia (we get to see general conference in English a week late).  From Friday till the end of Sunday that week will be packed with transfers, special choir concerts, general conference and the missionary fireside where all 32 will bear their testimonies.  (the missionary fireside alone will probably be at least three hours)

In any case, until then Elder B and I are working hard till the end here in Khilaast.  It’s pretty much impossible that we will stay together here for another transfer.  He will need to fill one of the many vacancies and probably in the countryside.  It’s been a blissful couple of months with a missionary who is going to do amazing things.

In temporal news, dish of the week: ridiculously good kebabs or gyros.

This week while walking down a goatamj (dirt path in the ger district) we were stopped by a drunk man yelling over a fence at us.  After telling me how he felt about religion, he invited us inside.  We were a bit reluctant, but how do you dissuade a persistent drunk.  You can’t.  He proceeded to give me a Mongolian name (the difficulty in saying the name Neuberger enhanced by inebriation) and tell us about the sky and the earth and something else (slurred speech still out of my league).  My companion and I laughed about it for the rest of the day when we finally made it out.  (It took several attempts to leave).

In the success column for the week we had several lessons with a family whose daughter is not a member, but the mom and the other daughter are.  She was completely against anything we had to say the first couple of visits having built up some sort of resentment toward missionaries and the Church in general.  To be honest I was scared to speak.  If my companion was having trouble getting her to listen what could I possibly say?  Looking back it’s hard to say what happened mostly because it’s difficult to understand how the Spirit works in others.  But last night after she had tried to leave twice before we started the lesson, she listened.  My companion had me start.  I began to talk slowly and timidly.  She was sitting across the ger and as I spoke she moved closer to hear, I was so surprised that I almost stopped talking all together.  I talked for probably five minutes and then my companion expounded.  She didn’t break eye contact until we were finished. As we left the ger after she made a baptismal commitment, Elder B and I could scarcely talk all the way to the bus stop.  We just smiled.

Our new member Cyvdaa has been trying to share the blessings of the gospel with her family and they consented to have us come visit this week.  It was amazing to see the change that has been made in her.  Hard to see over the week to week.  But it was the first time we had been in her house since we first meet with her two months ago.  When we got there she told her dad to turn off the TV and made sure that her family was paying attention the whole time.  She practically taught the lesson.  It was amazing to see her excitement for the gospel and her wanting to share it.  The gospel can change peoples’ lives like no other physician, school work, circumstance, or experience can.  It’s a wonderful thing to be able to teach a whole family.

Finally as we get ready to enter Holy week, I hope that we increase our focus on the life and ministry of the Savior, his atoning sacrifice and the meaning of each in our lives.  I have been reading from Jesus the Christ recently and am slowly working my way through its pages. This week’s thought comes from pg 142 the forth point entitled “Come and See.”

“The spirit of our Lord's invitation to the young truth seekers, Andrew and John, is manifest in a similar privilege extended to all. The man who would know Christ must come to Him, to see and hear, to feel and know. Missionaries may carry the good tidings, the message of the gospel, but the response must be an individual one. Are you in doubt as to what that message means to-day? Then come and see for yourself. Would you know where Christ is to be found? Come and see.”

He lives and through his mercy we too can live again!

Have a great week,
Elder Neuberger

PS I never did give an answer about winter time bathing for ger residents. Okay, so there are places called hot water, where you go and take a shower.  They're not super common so it makes for minimal bathing.  Nobody smells terrible though.  So there must be some science behind it. Fortunately, there's a shower in our apartment.

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