I'm not really sure how well the epic saga of visas, people coming and going, and transfers is being understood on your end, partially because I feel at times I only know about 50% of what's all going on myself. Hopefully 50% of that 50% is making sense to you . . . Pretty much everything and nothing happened this week in these regards.
The week started with a sweet group activity of our full MTC group at a member's house way outside of town. There was a full fenced in basketball court and we played some basketball and soccer. The President even came out for a minute to say hi. We pulled it all together for Elder Naef who left early Saturday morning and is now safely in Oregon.
Tuesday we spent the entire day putting up wallpaper and painting a small house of a new member. I'm pretty sure I had no qualifications for that work, but it turned out alright.
On Wednesday we got stopped by an undercover cop who told us we needed to go straight home and stay inside for the next two days. Our experience resulted in all missionaries staying inside for all of Thursday and Friday while the elections went on. As far as the elections are concerned everything seems to have gone pretty peacefully and we are good to go for work in the upcoming week. Thursday and Friday were hard, but we did get special permission to go to the dentist both days so at least we got out of the house. We also made pizza with Elder Naef and so we got to see him a bit before he was out of here.
The one thing everyone was allowed out of the house for was Friday night baptisms of which the sisters had one. When we got the the church the water was completely brown. I'm not sure I've ever been a part of a seamless baptismal service, but what fun would that be anyway. We drained the font once and refilled it . . . still brown water. Again . . . same result. We eventually found a hose that was giving clean water; the only downside was that I'm pretty sure it was water left over from winter . . . really cold. We got started a little late, but everything from that point went well. From the minute I stepped in the water to perform the baptism I could not feel my legs at all. I felt bad for the girl who entered the water after me. Even though it was so cold she seemed rather unphased. She was so excited to be baptized that the temperature of the water made absolutely no difference to her. Later this week I had the opportunity to confirm her and give her the Gift of the Holy Ghost during Sacrament Meeting which was my first time in Mongolian and a fantastic, experience.
So the transfer right . . . I'm not leaving Khailaast which was a bit of a shock, but I couldn't be happier. It also turns out that I'll be training a new American this transfer as will Elders Boyd, Lloyd, and Stranski from my group. The city now is pretty much all American Elders as the rest of my group is pairing up with Americans from the group that got here three months ago. The downside of the whole thing is that the Elders haven't actually gotten to Mongolia yet. Their visas have been delayed for what is being approximated to be three weeks. Elder Titensor from the group ahead of us is the new AP and the new city ZLs are the two that are leaving in February.
So what is going on while we wait . . .
In the greatest unexpected mini transfer of all time I'll be spending the waiting time as companions with Elder Boyd. Definitely pumped about that. His branch meets in the same building as us and we'll be working both of our areas for the next couple of weeks. We are looking forward to dominating both areas so they will be great when our new companions get here. We also attended 6 hours of church on Sunday which was a bit long, but church service is easily the best part of the week anyway. We even had a new investigator just show up and show interest in the church.
Last night was the fireside for those going home. Elder Jolley, Wilson, and Huff all got up and bore their testimonies. All were amazing. It's really tough to see them move on, but its definitely exciting to have a chance to step it up and become a leader at the same time. We have been looking up to the three of them for so long that it seems impossible that they could leave. They actually leave Tuesday morning so I hope to see each of them at least once more before they're gone.
It's been a pretty quiet week for the work, but loud in every other sense.
Have a great week!