Ping-pong has now become the weekly P-day tradition much like basketball is when it’s above freezing. Thanks to the hours of jungle pong we played a few summers ago, I've still got enough skill to be undefeated against my companion and get the best of some others. The official rankings haven’t come out yet but I’ve got to be close to the top ten for white people in Mongolia. Lol
Last Monday we met with erdenebat as he preps for his baptismal interview this Saturday. And then at 8:00 we stopped by navchaa's house who we hadn’t seen in a week and who wasn’t answering her phone or texts. I was a little bit on edge, but when we got there she was happy to see us and told us that she had lost her phone so she hadn’t been able to contact us...relief. (She also got her first calling in her young womens presidency this Sunday)
Tuesday was our second attempt at Skype district meeting. We managed to get both countryside branches working for about 30 minutes before their internet went out. They called us on the phone at that point to finish the meeting. It was somewhat like a press conference with me holding a phone and talking to a computer and to the other 5 people in the room. On top of that the Elders in Murun were at the senior couple’s house who also participated with their translator translating everything that was going on. Miraculously we got through everything just in time to run to English class at four. Because Wednesday was chiggis khans (Gengis Khan) birthday (sidenote nobody actually knows when his real birthday is so they decided to guess and picked a random date) we didn’t have class on Wednesday, but my sponsor had me come in on Tuesday. That evening we had dinner with a great member family who has the cutest three kids, one of which looks like a little Spanish boy. If you try hard enough you can get him to say "como estas?"...fantastic!
Wednesday night we met with one of our investigators who lived in khaan-uul during the elections. It was way further than my companion or I expected, but we made it in time to teach a lesson and eat some bainshtai shul. Unfortunately we had to postpone his baptismal date a few weeks as his friends convinced him to go out drinking. His wife was irritated and angry at her husband, but you could tell it was all out of love.
Friday was our last meeting with Erdenebayar before his baptismal interview on Saturday. We reviewed all the questions and made sure he was ready to go on all fronts. Even though he’s not the fastest learner and we've had to review some things multiple times he has a heart of gold and a great testimony.
Three weeks ago we got a referral from the sisters of an investigator who had moved in from khovd. We have tried for days to get a hold of her but her phone wasn't connecting so on Friday we just went straight to her house. Her husband answered the fence, and let us in. In typical Mongolian fashion before we could introduce ourselves we were eating some budaatai khurag. And then before we could say anything else they were ready to start the lesson. We had been expecting to meet with two people and there ended up being almost 8 in the ger and 5 of them sat and listened including the neighbor and the husband. It was just fantastic to be teaching a family and as we left the ger my companion and I were jumping up and down.
I always look forward to meeting with bayarbold. And this meeting was no less awesome. He’s just great to talk to. I can’t remember what about, but we were laughing as we left and we all learned the word for shoehorn in italian “calsascarpe”...long story.
Skipping first to Sunday, church was great with an RM singing a beautiful rendition of, “How Great Thou Art” in sacrament meeting. Then after the block of meetings there was a ward choir rehearsal for a special musical number on the 1st of December. Erdenebat and bayarbold stayed and sang so we did also. It was great trying to write down and then memorize the words to “Dearer My God to Thee”, but everyone really bought into the idea so it was very successful.
And back to Saturday where we had English at the church (teaching the upper language English class is the greatest thing ever!) and then met with Miiga who I’m sure I’ve mentioned before. She’s the one who asked awesome questions last time and again this time. She herself brought up the important difference of feelings and knowledge. As missionaries we can give people through the lessons all the knowledge they can handle about doctrines and principles of the gospel, but it’s not until they pray to know for themselves that they can receive true light and knowledge from heaven through feeling the Spirit. At the end of the lesson she asked "If no unclean thing can live with God then God must have some way of determining what is clean and unclean right?” As we started to introduce the commandments she wanted to continue and learn them all right then and there. It was something I’d never experienced as a missionary, but we ended up explaining that all things must be learned line upon line. In closing we asked her to read the Book of Mormon and ask if it is true. She responded with something like "I have no reason to doubt it, why do I need to ask?" I assured her as I would anyone that through asking Heavenly Father in prayer she would be able to gain a sure witness of its truthfulness.
Hope yours was as well
PS I feel terrible for missing Kevin Kramer’s and Kyle’s and Nana's birthdays last week!
Hope they were great!