Monday, December 10, 2012

All Over the Place

I remember Elder Wilson was always a big fan of top ten lists as a missionary.  I'd have to say that this week may top the charts of top ten craziest/strangest weeks of my mission.

We started the week on Monday with Elder Williams (who’s in my district and in my same church building) losing his mini missionary   A personal problem came up and he needed to be done immediately.  That was just fine and the President was able to find him a replacement for a couple of days without any problems.  

Then on Tuesday:  If you were wondering what the Mongolian word for tuberculosis is its curye.  We got a call Monday night from the doctor that said he would need to see us at 10 sharp the next morning.  We knew that there had been some trouble with Elder Enkhdorj's  mission physical, but we weren’t sure how serious.  When we get to the office the President came out and gave me the slow two hand handshake, looks me in the eye and says "we're going to get this all worked out.  Don’t worry about anything."  So of course that gets me a bit freaked out.  Pretty much everyone who works in the office knew and was saying the same kind of things.  When we got to the doctor he told us that my companion’s chest x-ray was positive for tuberculosis and we needed to get to the hospital immediately.  He has to wear a mask and the doctor told me how my living with him for the past 5 weeks might have put me in some sort of danger.  We went to a few hospitals and finally found the right one.  Then in the biggest plot twist we got to the hospital and the doctor looked at the x-ray and said there’s no problem.  So I’m trying to explain for the Canadian doctor that we had sent the x-ray to Salt Lake and they had called it positive. But he said there is nothing they would do so we tried another hospital.  Same thing. Apparently everyone in Mongolia responds positively to TB tests and it’s no big deal. Using the “better safe than sorry” principle my companion was still released from his mini mission and I was immediately put with Elder Williams and Elder Gantogtokh who is supposed to be finished the next day so he can go to his home branch and get the Melchezidec Priesthood (more on that to come)

This is where the week gets awesomely crazy because on top of covering two wards and two areas we now have two English teaching schedules, 4 baptismal interviews to conduct and Elder Gantogtokh has 2 hour choir rehearsals every other night at the Bayanzurch.  Although we weren't able to meet with a large amount of people this week the fact that we were able to get everything else done was nothing short of a miracle. Also I had some tests for TB and it’s all good. I was completely negative.

The week went pretty much like that with the most excitement coming on Sunday. Since Elder G went to his own ward with Elder Williams for the a fore mentioned reasons I was left with ward member for the first half of the day as the only missionary for both wards and  the entire west end of the city.  I had to keep explaining to people that I really had no companion. By the way, the choir sounds amazing as always and they are singing at the circus on the 21st (tsag gargaj chadwal ochoroi). The circus is a large indoor theatre venue in the city.

This week the senior couple the Gardners decided to visit both the Unur and Songino Wards which meant translating for them for each service which was fine and I was super lucky because both wards had their annual primary programs. As long and the kids don’t completely eat the microphone it’s the easiest thing to translate ever.  I’m pretty sure each of these primary programs rivals the cuteness of any of those back home. And it’s amazing how some things are always the same: the primary president is there to whisper in  the ears of those who get a bit frightened, and there’s  that one kid who is singing with a few extra sharps and flats, but also manages to be the one singing the loudest, and there are smiles on everyone’s face for the entire meeting.  Enough to brighten everyone’s day.  To top that, our new member Erdene-bat was 45 minutes early yesterday to sacrament meeting to fulfill his new calling as a greeter.  He nailed it.

And that brings us to the transfer  .  .  .
Now two weeks ago the President in an interview told me "I really see you as a trainer,” so there wasn't much shock in the call, but my group has now officially usurped the mission.  Elder Stranski is in as the new AP. There could not be a greater more humble person/elder in the world. Can’t say enough. Anyway  .  .  .  Because we can’t leave the city, my group now fills pretty much every DL and ZL spot here. There are two new missionaries coming this transfer and the other will go to Elder Lloyd who will now be serving in the same building as me. The best news ever is that I’m staying in Songino which means I’ll totally be here for tsagan sar!!! I’m extremely excited about that. We also are getting Sisters added to the ward which is a bit of a burden off for me. It’s going to be awesome working tag team with them!

Well the time is far spent
Have a wonderful week full of Christmas fun
Read the 12 month liahona its fantastic!
Elder Neuberger

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