Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Well I hope this letter finds everyone enjoying their Christmas Eve and Christmas week
Its getting colder faster this year, but we have started the four coldest weeks of the year.  The cold has got to be great for missionary productivity though.  Nobody's saying, "hey lets go take a break on that park bench." Keeping moving is pretty much necessary. 
This morning we got a call from the AP's to run down to a hospital where a non-member mother of an RM was asking for a priesthood blessing .  .  .  I don't think I've ever given a better Christmas gift in my life.
Tuesday was our first real day of missionary work with my new missionary.  We started after district meeting with three long burns in a row .  .  .  rough!  However, we ended up contacting about ten people and staying warm in the church for an hour.  The back half of the day was a blessing.  Sometime in the afternoon a random man walked in the church and said he'd like to meet with the missionaries. Next we were able to meet with both of our baptismal candidates that were scheduled for interviews later in the week.  On top of that we had to show the sisters where a house was that is way out in our area.  I'd been there once in the daytime three months ago, but I didn't tell the sisters that because they probably would have lost a bit of confidence in the guide.  As a certain tender mercy from the Lord, I was able to find the house by recognizing just enough landmarks to get there.
On Wednesday we met with our baptism khurtekh rej baigaa people again in anticipation of Thursday and Friday.  That's ankhbayar, jargalmaa, and badral in case you've forgotten. The former two are a great story. They are the brother and sister who didn't pass their interview two months ago.  However, because of the strength of the ward they were introduced to seminary and every acivity that was going on with young women or young men.  Their baptism is a result of a great ward way more that the result of the missionaries. Be a member missionary! The other investigator, Badral, is the funniest 55 year old Mongolian I know.  And his wife is a saint and a rock. Shes been helping him every step of the way!
Thursday and Friday passed quickly with long English teaching days and three successful baptismal interviews.  We spent Thursday night passing out tickets for the stake choir performance at the circus which was Friday and outstanding.  The choir was as polished as always and there were a number of guest performances including "The Lords Prayer" by a  famous Mongolian opera singer, and of course the President rocking a duet with another famous singer/church member. We had several investigators and new members there and all the missionaries got to sit by each other which was great. PS Elder Lloyd and I are know in the same church building which was been a blast so far.
Saturday was our caroling party which turned out fantastic.  I know one Mongolian returned missionary even posted our pics on facebook.  Unfortunately, I forgot to compensate for being outside all day and may have gotten a sweet bit of frostbite on my nose that left me looking like Rudolph.  The young women thought it was hilarious on Sunday.  Best part about caroling in Mongolia is that no one has any idea what's going on. A lot of the houses were of less active members and so some of the addresses were wrong. So when people open the door their immediate reaction in seeing two white guys in the group is, "What's wrong? What happened?.  Why are there two Russian police officers here?!"  It was a lot of fun for everyone.
Sunday was the First Presidency Christmas Devotional here in Mongolia and it started an hour late which was a result of Mormon standard time combined with Mongolian standard time .  .  .  lethal combo.
Tonight we're going as a district to RM Munkhbaatar's house (yes that Munkhbaatar) to make pizza and chicken for Christmas eve.  Wednesday morning is Skype with the fam and it should be an all around great week.
Have a great one!
Elder Neuberger

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