Well, unless I've missed my guess, this week and next will bring the beginning of second semester for just about everybody except maybe Ole Miss who if I remember start again sometime in March(lol). In any case have a great semester. Go listen to a Jeffery R. Holland BYU speech before your class load gets you down.
As for us here in Mongolia . . . being honest I’d have to say it was a slower week than usual that left us with a few less lessons taught and people met than we would have liked; but as I look back at the week and at the beginning of another, as always there are enough wonderful things to fill ten emails and put to rest any doubts that we were blessed this week.
After the few weeks that I spent out of my area at the end of last transfer the main push has been to revive the work especially in the new investigator category (I’m sure I told you that last week). Because tracting and street contacting are illegal in Mongolia’ our form of such is taking the ward list out and checking addresses, a practice we resorted to this week. We walked up and down small back streets and side roads in the ger districts all day, but it appeared that all the less active members in the ward had taken a page out of Harry Potter and invisabilized their homes. We couldn't find a house. A bit discouraged (although we did take a number of pictures which we considered a success) we headed back to the center of our area where we were scheduled to eat dinner with a family that evening. We were not in the door for more than, I kid you not, 20 seconds (my shoes were still halfway on) when the mother of the family rushed us into a side room and told us there were some people that we needed to meet. It turned out that this family (probably the best in the ward if not Mongolia) was hosting another family (a close friend) as their son was being treated in a nearby hospital. We spent the next ten minutes to get to know them and set a return appointment before the food was ready. The father is apprehensive but the mom is motivated; ready to read the Book of Mormon pray and get an answer. We set a return appointment and with that the buuz tasted that much better. What a blessing and a tender mercy.
While we continued contacting passed referrals and old investigators our biggest struggle was getting people to stay committed to the times and places that we had set. But we pressed on and were excited for the prospect of fast Sunday to fast for the specific needs of the area. Again the blessings came. Our new member of two weeks brought with her a friend and another member who I'd actually never met before brought her boyfriend who just from a few minutes of talking seems golden. We received as well from the AP's the names of another investigator. The moral of the story being that missionary work in general and especially in places such as Mongolia is almost impossible and in the very least less profitable if not for the help of the members.
Another highlight of the week was a dinner appointment with an RM who served in my district in Khailaast. She's now living with a few other members from the Khailaast area who it were great to see. Added bonus the AP's were there. Elder Bayartsogt and Elder Stranski. What great people! After a great meal and some reminiscing, Elder B did what I've seen him do on countless occasions and brought it all together with a fantastic scripture that brought everyone from laughter to thoughtful contemplation. To bring in the New Year he shared 3 Nephi 12:47
And so it is with the new year, what’s done is done and everything is new. In like sense it’s best to remember as the Savior exhorts Lot's wife, who looked back longingly at what had been and was unable to have faith that what the Lord had in store for her was far greater that what she had had. In the words of Robert Browning "The best is always yet to come." It’s up to us to have the courage and the faith to learn from the past but not live in it.
Don't look back!