So I have no idea what happened to last week’s letter. I wrote one, but it isn’t in my “sent mail” either. A bit disappointing, but what can you do?
I’ll try my best to catch you up.
Biggest news of the last couple weeks is the return of Elder Naef (remember he left with a leg injury in early July). He will becoming off the DL at the end of the month and should be looking at good playing time come November.
Taking it back to last Sunday.
|Buddhist items for sale at the Zaak|
Because of a less than fantastic turnout at church I had a chance at the trifecta. That’s leading the music, blessing the sacrament and giving a talk all in the same meeting. It was my first talk in sacrament meeting in Mongolia and it just made me realize how I would have been afraid to give the prayer in an English sacrament meeting a year ago. I think serving a mission scares the being scared out of you a bit. After a few discussions after church we were off to my sponsor’s house who lives in Khan-uul (yu gesen ug we gekhler...bayn yum aa!) It was fun and my sponsor’s wife made some delicious Russian food. The only weird thing was not leaving spiritual thought at the end.
Monday was the usual with some great basketball (If I could go to my left at all my game would be decent). I had a great quick talk with President Clark followed by the most adventurous FHE (Family Home Evening) ever. The traffic was out of control as we headed up one of the canyons, so we ended up getting in and out of taxis for about three miles. In the end, we found that the last mile of the road was out and we had to walk it...all of which made us just a bit late. Only time for a quick spiritual thought and we were out, but when your with the district it’s a good time.
|Pots and pans vendor|
Tuesday we met with a young man who came to the church on his own last week when Elder Stranski and I were on a split. He was phenomenal and we had a Mongolian returned missionary sit in on the lesson too, so it turned out great. From there we ran across the city to meet with another golden investigator named Khaasnavch who is preparing for baptism the week after General Conference by the 19th of October (BTW General Conference is available a week later than in the States).
Jargalmaa continued to dominate the lessons on Wednesday as she broke down first Nephi verse by verse for us. She is another who has been so prepared to hear the Gospel. To finish off the night we met with the husband and younger brother of Tsetsegmaa, (one of Elder Wilson’s new members). She is probably one of the greatest members of all time. Talks a mile a minute and if you didn’t know what was going on you'd think she was super angry all the time. Wednesday night she actually was a little angry as she lovingly laid into her brother and husband for going out drinking the night before. The road up to Tsetsegmaas is also a treat. She lives up in the ger district a ways, so the only way to make it is by taxis that circle up and down the canyons and all convene at the same place. In the evenings huge crowds of up to 50 people are assembled to get in taxis and get home. The cars come around the corner and people just swarm them. It took us about 20 minutes to get to the front of one of these swarms (you pretty much have to get lucky). In Mongolia I think cars are rated about like tents are America. That is that they don’t really fit as many as stated. So it’s body to body until its full. Ten in a Hyundai Excel is good by anyone’s standards. I’m on my companion’s lap. I’m pretty sure he’s on someone else’s lap and as we bounced down the road with the roof inflicting minor concussion symptoms on my head, it was one of those wonderful moments you step back and say, “Man this is so awesome! I’m in Mongolia!”
|Furniture (Dressers) for your ger|
We committed an “eternal” investigator of almost a year to baptism this week. His father is a member and so is the cousin he lives with. We hope that he makes the commitment personal and urgent and is ready by the end of this month.
Elder Osorjamaa and I all and all are looking to a spectacular end of the month with 9 people committed to baptism before the month is out. Wonderfully special people who have been prepared by God and who are now preparing to make covenants with Him.
Finally, one of the things I think I've learned most about on my mission is selfless service. Not because I myself have been a great example of I,t but because I have seen magnificent examples over and over again of people giving freely of their funds, energy, and time. Even when the funds are seemingly empty, the energy depleted and their time running out. I think what allows people such as this to give so tirelessly is their making service a physical and mental part of who they are. In other words it is a pattern of life; it’s what they do. To the many who fit this category they may find themselves asking like those in Christ's parable:
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
To these people the actions of service are reaction or a reflex of the mind and heart when they see one in need or who’s hands hang down. Like all Christ-like attributes it takes time to build up such a unique skill. But there’s no better place to start then today. Strengthen your service muscles and you can seek and find those you can lift up every day.
Have a wonderful week!
All of us here in Asia are anxiously awaiting General Conference next week . . . can’t wait!!
Editor's note: Thanks to Elder Farmer for posting so many photos on his blog. We are liberally "reposting" them. Elder Neuberger said that he tried to send five photos today, but for whatever reason the files wouldn't send.