Good Morning Everybody!
I can’t believe it’s almost Tsagaan Tsar again and we've already started the 4th 9 (that’s the coldest nine weeks in Mongolia).
Crazier than that is that the Bishop’s daughter came back from her mission this Friday, which is only crazy because she was in the MTC in Provo with us. Is the time really going that fast? We had dinner with her family on Friday night and talked for about an hour about missionary work and everything. It was crazy to realize that practically every other mission in the world is proselyting (no clue how to spell that) and knocking doors. It’s also crazy that the average lessons taught in a week for her mission was only around 5 or 6. That’s tough! What a blessing to be in Mongolia (although I'd secretly love to knock on a couple of fences every now and then).
This week was packed with splits and baptisms and some great times with my English sponsor.
This Thursday was splits with the Zone Leaders which had me with Elder Amartuvshin in our area for the back half of the day. Wonderful day beginning with him getting his patriarchal blessing. And then off to a lunch appointment with the Sisters. Probably my favorite RM from the ward made us an incredible meal of pizza and sushi and some crazy good pasta. We knew that it had to be quick in and out to get to my English sponsor. We had about 20 minutes as we finished up eating and were getting ready to leave the house. Of course we shared a scripture and had a chance to sit and talk with the father who isn't a member. After being originally resistant about the whole idea of talking to missionaries we ended up talking with him for about 40 minutes which had us running to English which was close enough that we weren't terribly late. My sponsor just got elected as some sort of governor or something for the neighboring state of Khetii, so he’s now out of town for the weekends, but says the only reason he comes to the city during the week is to meet with Travis. Great guy! It’s amazing how much my English teaching has become less and less of a burden since being in Mongolia. I actually spent an extra 20 minutes with one of my classes this week because we lost track of time. There’s only one class whose picture I would write "The Alternative" underneath (Dad might be the only one getting that joke). English has really turned from a burden to a blessing and a wonderful experience. Elder AT and I still had time after that to get to a new member’s house which is probably my favorite new member, Bayarbold, who is 20 and thinking to some degree of serving a mission once he becomes eligible in a year. We had a wonderful discussion on missionary work and asked him to read Alma 26 and pray about it. What a fantastic new member, excelling in his calling as a member of the young mens presidency and doing his home teaching.
Best part of the week and what makes the top spot as often as there is one was our baptism. Badral Ax who we’ve been working with for just shy of 4and a half months was baptized along with one of the Sisters’ investigators. The highlights included an amazing musical number by the branch missionaries "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" (which brought the number of dry eyes way down) and Badral himself who had a fresh white shirt and a new tie to change into and looked and more importantly sounded great as he bore his testimony.
Alright closing out the week I read a great article by Elder Jefferey R Holland this week. He referenced the first vision and countless spiritual encounters where people have endured great trial before the inspiration comes, and then turned around the opposition that comes after illumination. Referencing the Jews fleeing Egypt, who when faced with the Red Sea in front and the Egyptians behind feared and were ready to turn back, he reminds us that in times of great peril it is important to remember what has been. For the Jews it was the plagues and the locust and the fire and the deaths of first born sons. How quickly they had forgotten. Then this quote from Hebrews:
But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
In times of great trial realize the the Lord has blessed you before and will bless you again. Wade in to the Red Sea with both feet and have the faith and the confidence to receive your own personal revelation.
Have a spectacular week,
It’s gonna be warming up
|At the baptism|