Monday, July 1, 2013

Presidential Changes and Not

For those of you avid followers of the Molgolain election progress you probably already know that the current president, President Elbigdorj, will be retaining his post at the head of the Mongolian government for another 4 years.  Unfortunately, that's not the candidate that my sponsor was supporting, but my sponsor was successful in collecting all the electoral votes in the regions he was in charge of, so no blood there.
It's hard to know where to start, but I suppose the most build up event from the past week was the breaking down of the old house....didn't disappoint.  It was a one story house with an attic.  When we showed up there was a pile of axes, sledgehammers and pickaxes.  I was expecting at least a small degree of guidance as to the proper technique and strategy, but the little lady was like, "yea pretty much just bring it down as fast as you can."  We haven't sent video into the department of health and safety, but the lack of gloves and protective eyewear would probably be very low on the list of complaints they would have.  Or in other words it was amazing in the same way scout camp is amazing to teenagers who can't wait to play with fire and knives for a week.
This week was another highlight reel in several other missionary areas as well.  On Wednesday we were standing at the bus stop when a man engaged us in conversation and showed general interest in the church. We ended up meeting with him the next day.  A forty year old unmarried man who spent 11 years in prison and has now turned his life around and works as a carpenter.  The entire experience felt so classic missionary.
Friday was the baptism for Naranchimeg and the Chingeltei Elders had a baptism as well.  Everything went wonderful and three or four women from the ward were there to be with Naranchimeg for the event. Everything went great and both of the sisters who were baptized had wonderful stories as to how they had made it to the gospel.  The Chingeltei Elders' convert is a member of a family who has been members for 13 years, but she has never accepted the gospel herself.  When Elder B went to go meet with the family one night he asked if she would be interested in hearing more about the gospel and she accepted.   Simple as inviting.
We ran from the baptism to Sukhbaatar Square to meet up with the Elders from Khanuul for this week's exchange.  I spent the ensuing day was Elder Lloyd (yes from the MTC group).  Probably one of the greatest days ever.  We tag teamed two English classes both with unplanned lessons and both went perfectly. Teaching English has now become almost borderline fun.  Then we ran around in the rain meeting with a couple of investigators before finishing up the day with my sponsor for English class/dinner.  (we may or may not have eaten caviar).  Elder Lloyd and I had a ball teaching him English together and the night culminated with the three of us taking funny face pictures on his new ipad mini.  We were running late so he drove us home and we made it just in time to switch back with our companions.
Sunday was quick as well.  The Farmers were there today so I got to chat with them and allow them to experience the meeting in their native language.  Today was the fifth Sunday of the month which means the missionaries give talks.  I was super pumped and gave 15 minutes on acting even when we feel we haven't received direct revelation.   Using the gifts and knowledge that the Lord has given us to make the best possible choice and then to move forward in faith.  I think it went pretty well and my companion did fantastic as well. We finished the day meeting with our investigator Chogjinjalav, our other investigator looking toward the 19th of July and our weekly dinner with the RM who served in Arizona and her family.  Home in time to collect numbers from the entire zone, put together today's encore to last week's soccer and somehow get off the phone just after 10:30 to get to bed.
Best moment of the week:  This morning all the missionaries met at the main building to present President and Sister Clark with a painting.  We got there early and all lined up on the stage while the AP's lured the President downstairs with some great ploy.  When they walked in we all began to sing "Called to Serve" and presented the painting.  After we sang and Sister Clark had wiped away a few tears, the President had us all sit down for a moment.  He then gave a 20 minute spirit filled thank you complete with a story of finding the diamonds that are right inside of us instead of going looking for them somewhere else.  Sister Clark added a few words and it was opened up for questions.  Questions were asked such as what are their plans for after the mission and what they had learned.  There was a feeling in the room of no one wanting to leave and break the moment.  Spontaneously we began to sing "God Be with You Till We Meet Again" followed by a kneeling player by President Clark.  Easily one of the spiritual highlights of my mission and a great way to end not quite two years with President Clark. 
Have a wonderful week, 
Elder Neuberger

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