Monday, November 5, 2012

Baptisms and Batalgaas

Hello everybody!

First of all I hope everyone's doing alright on the East Coast.  Sounds like quite the storm. We're praying for you.

This may have been one of the busiest weeks of my mission.  We were pretty much everywhere every day.  A wise missionary (Elder Jolley) once told me that you will find true success and joy as a missionary as you "immerse yourself in missionary work and not just missionary things."  The difference you ask  .  .  .  much like the principle of good better and best, there are many things that need to be completed as a missionary, things that need to be retrieved from the mission office and from storage, things to get for your investigators and members and many other things that can fill your time.  These are missionary things.  The trick is to fill your schedule with missionary work.  Being in the homes of people, teaching people and bringing people unto Christ.  This week was full of both which much like what happened on the east coast (is it too soon) made for a perfect storm of business.

Well starting from the beginning, last Monday after email and just before P-day ended we went with the son of my sponsor to tour the national treasury of Mongolia in the central bank.  It was a lot of gold gevch uneh helehed americag guitsehgui.  We saw all sorts of things from old kings of Mongolia and collections of coins from the beginning of Mongolian history including those from the time of Chinggis Khan.  It was above all very interesting and my companion was super psyched to be there so it made it all the better.

I taught my last district meeting to this district. Tomorrow I’ll be teaching 5 districts including two in the countryside over Skype so that should be quite the adventure.  Plus this week I’ll do my first baptismal interview via the phone which should be doubly adventurous.

How’s the member eating schedule you ask?  WOW.  The best part is just getting to know all the members a little bit better (actually remembering people’s names).  And sharing scriptures to strengthen families.

My companion got his patriarchal blessing this week just before he left which is great, and should be a blessing to him throughout the rest of his mission. 

English is English, nothing new on that front except that my sponsor surprised me with Gatorade!  First Gatorade in over a year was fantastic! I also told them how the drink got its name and they got a kick out of that.

The new companion  .  .  .  not Elder Williams.  The President found mini-missionaries right before the transfer ended and that puts me with temporary Elder Enkhdorj for the next 6 weeks.  This will get ya, he’s shorter that Elder Osorjamaa.  I’m pretty sure he’s not quite 5 feet and there’s no way he busts 100 pounds.  He’s a good guy with a big heart, but it’s tough for him to just start living by the missionary guideline,s so we are working on that a little bit.  It’s a little strange because he hasn’t been through the temple or received the Melchizedek priesthood.  Kind of like rolling around with a member of the local priest quorum. I’ll be back with a full time missionary in mid-December, but I’d wager a guess that I’m here in Songino for a bit longer. 

But on to the best part of the week.  I don’t even know how to describe how awesome this Friday was.  The turnout was fantastic, the best that I’ve seen for a baptism here in Mongolia and those who gave talks were amazing.  We had an RM who got back over the summer and the father of one of those getting baptized give talks.  Everything went without a problem and there was a wonderful spirit the entire time. At the end each of those baptized shared their testimonies (the best part). Bayarbold, an investigator of almost a year, got up and spoke of the long road that got him here and the spiritual confirmation that he received that brought him to this point.  He was so nervous as he got up to speak but what a great testimony. Nasantogtoh spoke of the confirmation he got when we asked him to pray about his baptismal date.  Lastly, Navcha spoke about the feelings she got when she prayed after our first visit and new that the Church was true. Definitely three of the strongest testimonies I’ve heard at a baptism.

Saying good-bye to Elder Osarjamaa
Afterwards one of the members had brought three cakes and drinks and there was a small social to further integrate the new members into the ward family.
Saturday had Elder Osopjamaa off to Zuunharaa early morning and Elder Enkhdorj and I with the afternoon to meet with people.  I pretty much ran the transfer from the bus station getting everyone on the busses.  It was tough to not just jump on a bus and go to the countryside  .  .  .  just kidding, but it definitely crossed my mind. Excited and definitely more than a bit nervous for the next transfer.  We'll see what happens

This week one of our investigators asked us the common question: "if there was a loving Father inHheaven, why does he allow so many bad things to happen to his children who are choosing the right here on earth?
I love the scriptural response of 1 Nephi 21:14-16

14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not.
 15 For can a awoman forget her sucking child, that she should not have bcompassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may cforget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.
16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the apalms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
Many times during our short turn here on earth we will ask the same question as this week’s investigator.  Things will seem unfair and not right and we may even question the existence of deity.  But what we need to remember is that he truly has engraved us on his hands, he has paid the price.  As PMG says: all that is unfair about this life will be made right through the perfect atonement of our Savior.  He loves us.  And he wants us to be happy.  Face fear with fortitude.
Have a great week!
Elder Neuberger

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