Monday, July 2, 2012

Last Week Salt Lake City

View of Temple Square from on top of LDS Church Administration Building
Family and Church History Mission. On Monday we were reunited with the Speidels for 2 more days of training on genealogical research using computers. We enjoyed their association and benefited greatly from the training we received. Elder Speidel taught me how to clean up my personal ancestral file that had duplicate or inaccurate information.
We put in a couple of more days auditing records on the Data Quality floor or as someone referred to it as the “Celestial sixth floor” – so named because of the tedious but necessary nature of the work that happens there. We “skyped” three more Mongolian lessons during the week – two with Bro. Margetts and one with Bro. Stephenson – two the three MTC teachers that taught the Elders Mongolian. 

Picking up the Visas.  Sara McBride, whose office is in the Church Administration Building, emailed on Tuesday that she would have our visas in hand on Thursday and that we could stop by to pick them up on Thursday. We leave Salt Lake Monday night and arrive in Ulaanbaatar Wednesday morning the 4th of July at 10:30 am Mongolian time. We go by way of Los Angeles and Beijing. The layovers aren’t too bad.

We are both relieved and excited. We learned the Mongolian word for “finally”. What a relief to know that we will actually be leaving and getting on with our mission. No more delays. No more goodbye’s. The kind folks in Provo/Orem/Springville/Mapleton have gotten pretty used to the Farmer’s being around – and around still some more.

We understand how much being in Salt Lake has prepared us to serve better once we are in Mongolia. We’ll even know better when we understand the scope of our assignments. 
Mural on top of Conference Center roof top
Conference Center roof top. We then went to the 26th Floor Church Administration building where we had a panoramic view of Temple Square and Salt Lake City. Just the day before, we took the time to go on the Garden tour on top of the Conference Center. President Hinckley requested a natural landscape from the architects so neighbors in tall apartments wouldn’t have to look down on a black roof top.
View of Conference Center roof top garden from LDS Church Adminsitration Building
The all native plant garden represents the hills and mountain vegetation of Utah. Darlene was naturally curious. Isn’t she always? She can talk perennials with the best of them, including the garden lady who led our small tour group. The Siberian fir trees on the roof are anchored in 3 – 5 feet of soil and spread their roots horizontally. The plants grow in a special soil made of popped (heated to make it porous) shale.

The adoption. One of the blessings of the delay meant that we could attend the adoption of 3 grandchildren into our family. The adoption had been scheduled for June 28 a month and a half ago. We didn’t dream we would be here for this event but we were. Our zone leaders, the Kochs, gave us Thursday off to attend (part of the day was our regular “T & R” day off).  Bonna (my older sister) and Jean drove up from Mapleton to give us a ride to Logan. We found out that Logan was within mission boundaries (barely).
Andersen adoption 6 -28-12 - Ryan, Lauren and Alex holding stuff animals
We went from 23 grandchildren to 26 grandchildren in one fell swoop. We have formed a great relationship with Alex, Lauren and Ryan. The maternal grandmother on the birth mother’s side was present and supportive. The children were impressed with all the relatives that came for the event. We couldn’t be happier for Darin and Trista. They have accepted the challenge of raising three more children and will provide a wonderful home and family for these children.
Courtroom of friends and relatives
Meeting the Jacksons. During the week we made arrangements to meet with Malan and Linda Jackson in Springville, Utah. Bro. Jackson has been instrumental in arranging for 400 Mongolians to come to Utah Valley University to get training in government, higher education and business leadership. Bro. Jackson also helped the Mongolian educational leaders convert their education system both for children and higher education to a western model after the fall of communism. He has made more than 20 trips to Mongolia since 1993. These individuals have assumed leadership roles in Mongolia.

The Jacksons also served a mission in Mongolia in 2009 - 2010. Sister Jackson was instrumental in getting Family History work off the ground floor in Mongolia. She shared the work she had done, her online resources and the contacts she made while serving there.

Meeting and conversing with her provided the actual link we needed to have in order to move the work forward. We will be in email contact with her. It was amazing what she, with the help of the Lord, was able to accomplish. We are going to follow in her footsteps and extend the work she started. For all our inquiries about family history work in Mongolia, we didn’t actually get results until we met the Jacksons.

The Jacksons had a ger (yurt) in their backyard and many souvenirs of their time in Mongolia. Before we met with the Jacksons, we went by Bolormaa Jenkins home in Springville to say goodbye to our Mongolian teacher. She had a brother visiting from Chicago and our Mongolian was put to the test. He thought we were making great progress.  But we were humbled by our inadequacy just the same and are more determined than ever to learn the language. We have our work cut out for us.

The Pelfrey wedding reception.  We relinquished the big pickup Rick and Cathy Jones loaned us for past few days. We rode up to Thanksgiving Point for the wedding reception of Steve and Connie Pelfrey’s oldest daughter, Geneva. “Jenny” is Bonna’s granddaughter and there was Pelfrey family reunion as a result. We met and visited with several great nieces and nephews from Steve’s family – Jenny, Jessica, Eric, Mellissa, Chelsea, Spencer, Brandon and Elliot.
Missionary couple at wedding reception
Steve passed away this past year from early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The wedding and reception was poignant time for the family. Brandon and Chelsea just returned from their respective missions in Sacramento and the Mormon Battalion Visitor’s Center in San Diego. Larry and Katie drove us to Salt Lake City and we said our “final” goodbyes. Elder and Sister Koch from our current mission will take us to the airport on Monday evening.
 Bonna and Jean
A patriotic 1st of July.  We celebrated our last Sunday in the US by attending a spirited patriotic musical performance put on by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Temple Square Orchestra and Bells of Temple Square. We loved it. We will arrive in Mongolia on the 4th of July. We understand the US Embassy there will host an event for US citizens that day.  That will be quite a welcome if we are able to attend.
Mormon Tabernacle Choir Broadcast 7-1-12 
Afterward we attended a Russian speaking church service across the street from our apartment. I understood about 5% of what was going on but Darlene reported 75% vocabulary and 50% comprehension. Not too bad for her first exposure to fluent Russian.

No comments:

Post a Comment