Monday, October 22, 2012

Snow, SWAT, and shoron

A great week in Songino as the cold weather and the smoke roll in simultaneously.  I had a thousand things to say, but I’m blanking under pressure right now.  This week one of our investigators (Tsetsegmaa's younger brother) disappeared on us so we called and talked to Tsetsegmaa. She told us that he was in jail because he got drunk and sold his house.  I’m still not sure how that qualifies you for prison, but I didn't ask.  As sad as it was my companion and I couldn't help laughing at the bizarre nature of the situation.  Doesn’t happen every day. In fact I've never seen a prison in Mongolia.  

On the other end of the spectrum we found out that one of our investigators is on SWAT this week...awesome.  We knew he worked with the police and when we asked a bit further he lowered his voice and said, you guys probably shouldn’t tell anyone, but I work for SWAT.  He showed us some pictures of himself in uniform and it’s safe to say that SWAT is SWAT wherever you are. It’s funny because Enkbayar is the nicest, quietest, shiest guy you've ever met.  And an amazing investigator who if all things work out should be baptized before the transfer ends.  He heard about and started attending church with an RM friend of his in another city and when he moved here  he came to the building on his own.

We had a cool experience just yesterday with an investigator.  It was a sister who had come to the church three weeks ago and wanted to learn about our church because a Cambodian friend of hers who she meet in China had told her about our church.  We met and taught a condensed restoration lesson, but unfortunately she was headed to China for school in the next few weeks and had no more time to meet with us.  We said goodbye and encouraged her to continue reading the Book of Mormon and find the Church when she got to China.  She was really accepting and we were a bit disappointed that we wouldn't be able to meet with her again.  Then yesterday as Sacrament Meeting was finishing up I received about 4 calls from the same number.  At the end of the meeting I quickly called back and someone on the other end asked if this was the Mormon missionaries.  I responded in the affirmative and as I walked into the foyer I saw a women talking on the phone and quickly realized who it was.  She told us her visa had been delayed so she hadn't left quite yet for China.  “I’m leaving tomorrow and I just wanted to meet with you one more time before I left.”  We quickly took her to the investigator class and then after the block of meetings we spent an hour and a half talking about the restoration and answering her question through the Gospel of Jesus Christ "what does God want me to do during this life?" (absolutely a golden investigator).  At the end of the lesson she said her only other question was why God would kick Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden and punish them in such a way.   Great question. Unfortunately, we need a bit more time to answer it.   We then proceeded to set a time for later that evening to meet again and discuss the Plan of Salvation.  That night she brought her siblings along and we spent another hour and a half discussing where we came from; why we are here; and where we are going.  It was such a great experience to teach so much of the doctrine of the Church to one person in one day.  As we parted Duurenbileg promised that she would locate the LDS meetings when she got to China and I know that she will. Meanwhile we have two new investigators in her siblings.  It was a amazing to teach someone who has been so prepared by the Lord to hear the Gospel.
I’m going to try to do a better job documenting awesome things that happen this next week.  There are times during each day that I stop and think "I’ve got to write about that on Monday" and then it’s gone by the time I enter the internet cafe.

Anyway in closing, I reread Elder D. Todd Christopherson's conference talk from 2010 October, and I love the beginning:

“Life offers you two precious gifts—one is time, the other freedom of choice, the freedom to buy with your time what you will. You are free to exchange your allotment of time for thrills. You may trade it for base desires. You may invest it in greed. …
“Yours is the freedom to choose. But these are no bargains, for in them you find no lasting satisfaction.
“Every day, every hour, every minute of your span of mortal years must sometime be accounted for. And it is in this life that you walk by faith and prove yourself able to choose good over evil, right over wrong, enduring happiness over mere amusement. And your eternal reward will be according to your choosing.
“A prophet of God has said: ‘Men are that they might have joy’—a joy that includes a fullness of life, a life dedicated to service, to love and harmony in the home, and the fruits of honest toil—an acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—of its requirements and commandments.
“Only in these will you find true happiness, the happiness which doesn't fade with the lights and the music and the crowds.”

As a missionary I realize that my days with a black and white nametag are numbered and that it’s up to me to chose how I will spend every minute that’s left. In the broader prospective, although we cannot visibly see the end, we all will someday "run out of tomorrow"  Spend your today with the things that matter most.

Have a wonderful week!
Elder Neuberger

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