Monday, June 10, 2013

Wearing the Onion Belt

So with a little more information and the transfer now several days behind us, let me try and explain how everything turned out.  Elder Muldowney is now companions with Elder Lloyd in Khan-uul across the city, but as you know that means not really that far at all.  I'm still in the same area, but my companion and I are now the zone leaders for the Songino zone (one of the two zones in the city).  My companion is Elder Mainbayr. I think that I at least told you that much last week.  He has been out a year and 7 months and has never served in the city.  He is 25 and was raised by his grandparents in the countryside before studying in the city and graduating college.  He wants to continue his studies in business after the mission.  As for things of more importance, he is the humblest ready to work missionary ever.  Always happy and yet able to be completely serious when he needs be.  And he even knew what the green jacket was and named some golfers!!! haha  He knows a lot about sports which is a rarity.  It should be a great 11ish weeks.

I don't think you can really have a transfer that goes completely smooth and this week proved to be as such.  After spending all Tuesday building a fence with the Khailaast Elders, we received a call early the next morning that Elder Williams companion had to leave the city early the next morning and we would be a threesome for the day.  By 8:30 we were out the door to the busstop to drop off Elder Chingunjav.  After wating around there for a while it was back to the apartments to pack up and clean not just the one, but both of them.  By the time we got Elders Muldowney and Williams ready to go and the apartments looking livable, my sponsor had called and wanted to have our English lesson before Elder Muldowney left.  So the three of us trundled across the city to my English sponsor.  Turns out that a famous classical music group in Mongolia uses the rooms of our school for their rehearsals and as a recording studio.  We got a free concert and they told us to come in and listen whenever we want.  We took some pictures and I didn't even know they were famous until I showed my new companion later.

We put together our first successful meeting with the branch missionaries this week.  Even though we don't have a ward mission leader we decided to run it and we were able to get the ball rolling.  Hopefully by this next week we will have all of the new members meeting with ward missionaries at least once a week.  That would be a tremendous load off our shoulders and really free us up to focus on less actives and investigators.

We found some success this week taking the branch president with us to the home of some less active members that live outside the city.  Though the numbers for church attendance wain during the summer months, there are still several strengths in the ward including the Elders quorum president who presided on Sunday because the entire bishopric was out of town.  Our efforts are definitely focused on working with ward members and leaders.

On Friday we had zone leadership council where all the zone leaders get together and get the unique opportunity of listening to President Clark talk about the  conditions of the mission and then work together to see how we can fix any pressing problems and prevent against arising ones. I've said it before, but anytime you get to spend time with President Clark in a more private setting it's always a privilege.  Elder Osorjamaa is also a zone leader right now, so I got to spend some time with him as well, bonus!  Plus Sister Clark made lunch...double bonus.
The work is plugging along here in Sukhbaatar and with less English teaching, we're just getting started.  With the presidential election and naadam in our sights nothing is going to slow down.  I'm so grateful for the bonus month that my group has been gifted.  Its a pleasure as always to be in the greatest mission on earth with the greatest mission on earth.

Loving every moment,
Elder Neuberger      

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