I can’t believe it’s been almost three weeks since I sent a decent letter. The biggest problem now is that I have no idea where I left off. I’m pretty sure I finished up Tsagaan Sar and where my district went to 8 houses on the last day and probably ate a solid 200+ buuz that day alone. The only problem with Tsagaan Sar is that it really doesn’t end. You just keep counting the new 1st day, 2nd........13th. Fortunately, we were able to break the Tsagaan Sar slump with a beautiful baptism on Friday (that was the new 5th day if you’re keeping track). Again we had the hot and cold water problems, but we weren’t expecting more or less. Because it was still technically the holiday, we were severely worried about who would turn up including the people who were assigned to give talks. By the time we were about to start we were fortunate enough to have a decent amount of people and the bishop. Then, coming straight from school Maralmaa (the girl being baptized) showed up right on time with who else then her mom who has been working in the Gobi desert for the past year or so. Excited and a bit shocked we welcomed her in. Even with the few people we had everything went very smoothly. Hats off to my companion who performed the baptism in only about two feet of water. The talks were great and then afterwards there were some refreshments set up. Maralmaa is 12 and probably the most golden of investigators. And to prove it she got up and bore the best testimony I've heard at a baptism. She went into a story of how an incident at school reminded her of a story from the Book of Mormon and then started quoting and citing scriptures from the middle of Alma. The other youth in the ward have got to watch out because she has been going to seminary more faithfully then any of them and I’m pretty sure her and her sister have memorized all of the seminary scriptures.
It’s amazing that Elder Ganshagai and I are in our last two weeks together. Where has the time gone? And on top of that has it really been 8 months in Songino!? I think I’ve said it before but it bears repeating that the thing I’ll probably miss the most from this ward is the returned missionaries. They are absolutely incredible. Talk about never leaving your mission. Amazing! We'll see what happens, but odds are I’m out of here on the next transfer.
I think yesterday was a bit of a microcosm (don’t know that one in Mongolian) of the last couple of weeks. We had a great meeting with our ward mission leader and then a beautiful Sacrament meeting. Even our ward missionaries were awake and alert for our meeting after church. Then the day was left open. We had madea fantastic plan the night before, but one by one we watched our appointments cancel. The hardest part being that we were taking along our ward missionary who is on the fence about serving a mission. After church let out we then helped the primary president with a song they were learning using my limited right hand piano skills. I then tried to call probably ten people with no luck(somebody anybody). We resorted to checking a few houses baihgui baihgui. But then as we were walking back to the church a lady stopped us on the road from her car. She was yelling a little bit so I was a bit confused. But she got out of the car and introduced herself as a member who had just moved to the city and needed to know how to change her records from her old branch. And also her 10 year old daughter hadn't been baptized and is it possible that she could meet with the missionaries. Yes and yes. I feel like at the beginning of my mission I wouldn’t have taken it for much, but know and especially on Sunday where it felt like nothing was working, the small exchange felt like somewhat of a "thanks for trying, and keep going" from a loving Heavenly Father. We did finally get a meeting in with someone who lives behind the church and then as the CES broadcast was about to start (yea we're kinda of behind) three guys of about 20-25 years of age showed up and start asking questions about the Gospel. So we took them aside and decided to take a quick moment to answer a few questions. And hour and 20 minutes later we finished answering some well thought out and profound questions from what are some very prepared investigators (the fireside had begun and ended). This was a classic example of how being a missionary is awesome because your defending something that defends itself. It’s amazing to me that I can sit calmly in a room teaching in a different language and know that there is literary no question that they can ask that the Gospel doesn’t have an answer for. In fact, more commonly then not people will ask questions that are based on doctrines that we intended on teaching in the lesson. There must have been three or four times that my companion and I stole looks at each other and just smiled when questions were asked.
We had about an hour till it was time to go home and we were able to feel that amazing thrill of pushing for one more house at the day’s ending. We showed up to teach our new member Khasnavch and her uncle ended up sitting in on the lesson. We taught an impromptu lesson on charity and it went amazingly. After we read from Moroni 7 my companion said something pretty profound and I think it’s where I’ll leave the letter this week. You could bring in the intellects from every university, institution or organization together and they could not produce a better description or powerful understanding of what it means to be charitable. And so it is with all the scriptures. There really is no other source of such profound understanding and perfect knowledge.
Have a wonderful week,
ali bolokh ikheer bichsen shuu