Monday, March 25, 2013

The Almost Countryside

Looking back at the journal for the week we have been all over the place.

Tuesday began with Elder Muldowney leaving the house in jeans and a jacket for his date with immigration.  The only thing weirder than the pday clothes on a Tuesday was the fact that he had to go solo to the immigration office with the lady from the service center.  I was paired up with Elder Boyd for a few hours after an awesome district meeting by Elder Farmer who counseled us on how to talk and communicate with our companions.  Elder Robbins and I got to have a fake argument as an example....pretty awesome.  When Elder Muldowney got back it was off to my sponsor for a couple hours that ended up with us going out to see where his really big house is being built instead of English teaching.  We even had time to run back out to our area to meet with someone who unfortunately wasn't home, but we met with his mother and two nephews instead.  The night ended with a drunk guy confronting us at the bus stop telling us he played guitar and then air guitaring in almost perfect English three Beatles songs.  It was pretty amazing and we helped on the harmonies.

We had the annual "you are teachers not missionaries as far as the government is concerned" meeting on Wednesday which was probably good for everyone to hear again from the stand point of playing within the rules and keeping ourselves in the country.  Plus an extra bonus of being with the MTC group was great.  We then spent the next 4 or so hours with Mongolia Paul.  A member from the Chigeltei branch who spends all his free time going around with the Elders.  Fantastic missionary!  Also his high squeaky voice and short stature fit the description. More English teaching.  And then a three bus one taxi ride to the top of a mountain to eat with a just returned missionary and her family for dinner.  I was actually her last district leader. The Chingeltei Elders and Sisters were also there which meant Elder Bayartsogt, great to see him!  They made a ton of food and then we all had to display a talent before we left.  Turns out her Mom is an amazing guitarist.  Which isn't very common in Mongolia.  She blew all the rest of the talents out of the water it's safe to say.

On Thursday we met with Enkhbayar an investigator of several years, but because he was at home alone we had the opportunity to talk for a while and get a feel of what's really going on in his life.  I'll take a brief moment here to say how cool it is to see some things come full circle with me directing the conversation just as Elder Jolley did a year and a half ago.  Didn't think I'd ever make it that far. We gave a blessing with our Branch president later in the day which gave us some wonderful time with our branch president as we waited for someone to find us at the bus stop.  The wind chill must have been around -30 unfortunately, which was more than a match for my white shirt and windbreaker combo.  Then in "memory-moment-of-the-week," Elder Muldowney and I headed out to our area where we had to stop at a  small main street and switch buses.  We were so cold at that point that we stopped in a small store and took a few laps to get feeling back into the extremities.  Because we hadn't really eaten all day (if Sister Muldowney is reading this, I promise I'm not starving your son!) we bought a 50 cent loaf of bread and passed it back and forth tearing off huge chunks.  It may sound like "whatever", but it was for sure a "smile and enjoy the moment" kind of experience.
Blessed twice immensely on Friday.  The first was running into of a new member from Sansar on the bus.  She was probably my first new member with Elder Jolley named Sister Nymsuren.  We talked for a moment and she actually lives in my area! so we are set up to go and meet with her this evening!  Then at the house where we were going the family informed us they couldn't meet because the father's younger brother was drunk and on his way over.  We convinced them to let us at least share a small spiritual thought. They obliged and literally seconds after the closing prayer the brother came in.

Saturday had us out in Sanzai which is a good hour bus ride outside of the city.  With a few inches of fresh snow it was an absolute gorgeous day.  We met with a blind lady who was a doctor before she went blind and had a  wonderful conversation which was uplifting for us as well as her.  Then we found the other house we were looking for with an 83 year old new member who lives alone.  The most together 83 year old I've met on my mission, full of energy and even milks her own cows every morning and I'm pretty sure cuts her own wood.  Some how that night we ended up eating pizza with Elder Quinton after getting burned on an appointment at the church.  Elder Quinton had his appendix out last week and he and Elder Morris ( a new Elder with a bit of a back problem) have been on bed rest ever since.
This letter is all over the place, sorry.
Id feel bad if I missed Sunday.  We got there early and met with the branch president which went great and he gave us a few assignments.  Then we were able to chat with a bunch of members and get to know the branch better before the meeting started.  We actually had to ditch out after the first meeting because I was giving a talk in the virtual branch at the Bayanzurkh.  That's the branch held on-line and through the phone for those members in the countryside who are unable to attend regular church services.  It was a fun experience then we ran back to our building to meet with an investigator.  That evening we spent an hour looking for a house.  We talked to over 7 people trying to find it, knocked on a bunch of wrong doors and then right before we were going to give up we found it.  It turns out it's a family of AlA's and half were excited to see and meet with us.  We exchanged albums, shared a scripture and finished the week with success.  Such a good week!

Elder Neuberger

Editor's Note:  We are curious if any of the new missionaries' families are keeping a blog and/or reading this one.  Leave us a comment and let us know. Also, couldn't help but re-post the photo below from Elder Farmer's blog of camel polo out by the Chinggis Khan monument. It appears that you have to have a two-hump camel to play.


  1. Elder Odd's Mom here. He is with Elder Boyd now.... I read this and the Farmer's blog. One of their daughters live close by! Thanks for the information!

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  2. My daughter, Laura Magleby, will be heading to the MTC in one week from today (April 3). We assume she will be arriving in Mongolia in early June. We have been enjoying your blog and the Farmer's blog as Laura has been preparing. Thanks for sharing!