Monday, April 23, 2012

Roller Coaster

Tegvel, an absolutely exciting week for meteorologists here in UB.  A couple of days without coats, a few with relentless wind and one massive dust storm.  Although it’s all felt relatively warm.  Apparently it’s just a normal spring in Mongolia.  The Mongolians say "mongol khaver khaverag nevt" which is to say Mongolian springs will tear through your ribs.  True that!  The wind is phenomenal.

Either way we had a great week despite losing Elder Wilson on Monday to Elder Naef whose companion finished his mission last week.  And Elder Wilson is now on his way to Khovd where he's going to do great. 

We picked up two outstanding new investigators this week.  One is the sister of a former less active member and she has already been to about three church activities this week.  We've meet with her twice this week and her understanding of gospel principles is great for someone who has had no background knowledge of religion.  The best part was having her older sister there to help her understand and to bear testimony.  Teaching lessons with members, especially friends or family, increases effectiveness by infinite amounts.  The other new investigator, Sereglen, had a friend who joined the church about a month ago and told her she should go. Even though her friend attends another branch, she showed up to our branch (of which she lives in the boundaries) on Sunday.  She like so many Mongolians was impressed with the hymns that we sang in sacrament meeting. She actually met once with Elder Jolley last week and he passed the referral on to us.

On Monday we visited the home of a recently returned missionary and his family.  When it came to share a thought we shared one and then he did.  As I listened to him reflect on the best two years of his life, I could immediately see the change that it made on his life and the path that he is no forging for the eternities.

Wednesday it snowed all day, with winds over 30mph. It was like something out of a movie.  We met with another less active member’s son who is turning eight and preparing for baptism.  Even though the mom became less active he has been faithfully going to church every week for the last 4 years.  What a great example to his family. 

I taught “America the Beautiful” to my English students on Thursday and I will not be sending any recommendations to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir lol.  Tone deaf doesn’t begin to describe.
Friday we went to the young women’s’ activity outside of town with special permission because the young women who went were made up of three of our new members, two of our less active members and three of our investigators.  Wow, the young women of the church are so much spiritually stronger than the young men (sorry guys).  At the beginning of the activity not everyone really knew each other and by the end they might as well have been friends for life.  It was also cool to testify of the inspired programs of the Church and explain that both of my sisters back home are working with the same handbooks.

Man it was a good week!

On Sunday we had a full investigator class and after church we met with a ten year old who we found out later lives outside our ward boundaries.  She was hilarious.  When we started talking she told us that her dad’ss Christian, her mom’s Buddhist, but she was unsure about her 3 year old brother.  This had me and the member that was in the lesson almost on the floor because she said it so straight forward.  I think what made this week so great was the abundance of meaningful lessons with people who are excited about the gospel, ready to learn and willing to change.  There is such a stark contrast in ITL referrals and those from members.  Working with members is the only way to do successful missionary work, which is definitely something I didn’t understand in the least before my mission.

In closing I had this thought during personal study this week.  In Preach My Gospel on the section on charity it attests that through charity we realize among other things the potential of others.  And we recognize that it is the same as ours.  So here is my thought: Physical potential energy is almost always determined by the distance of an object from the earth or the source of gravitational pull.  In a like sense our spiritual potential energy can be measured by our distance from God, the source of spiritual gravity.  As mortals on this earth we all begin the same distance from God or with the same SPE (spiritual potential energy).  The purpose of this life is to turn the stagnant SPE into spiritual kinetic energy (SKE) on the pathway back to our Heavenly Father.  Although some have turned more SPE into SKE than others, it is impossible for one to have more total energy than another because PE+KE= the total energy. In effect we are all equal in the sight of God.  When we realize this and we reach out and help others we increase both of our SKE on the way. 

Have a great week,
Elder Neuberger

PS HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!  And best of luck in the marathon this week.  Also my companion is tapping me on the shoulder and telling me that if I don’t tell you an absolutely huge thank you for the jersey he'll be upset.  Seriously, you made his life.

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