When we think we’ve seen it all, we haven’t.
|Missionary transfer meeting held every six weeks|
The Missionary transfer meeting was a spiritual feast. It was like entering the MTC in Provo and seeing an army of dedicated young men and women from all around the world coming together to serve the Lord. It is a visual testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
|Big crowd - Big smiles|
The incoming and outgoing missionaries bore their testimonies and sang a muscial number. This meeting was broadcast to all the chapels in Mongolia.
Afterward we watched and participated in the expressions of joy and communion in the chapel and in the hallways as companions and converts, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters embraced and engaged each other in love and appreciation. What a crush of loving humanity. No farewell or homecoming can match what we saw that night.
|Martins, Clarks and ourselves - released missionaries behind us|
|Sukhbaatar Branch members in attendance - we are the ones with white hair|
Meeting our daughter’s converts. Our daughter’s converts and one of her former companions (Narantseteg) sought us out to connect with their own past missionary conversions and experiences. Tawny made friends here and we are here to see the fruits of her work. What an experience.
|Tawny's converts, Mandulhai and her mother, Enhktuya - Mandulhai is currently serving a mission.|
There are two missionaries from that family (Ulzika and Dagvadorj) that are serving or have served and Pujee will serve once she finishes college this April. What an ultra-talented family and what leaders! That family alone would more than justify our daughter’s service.
|Naranchimeg, her husband, and two children, Pujee and Dagvadorj|
At the conclusion of the conference, we go from the YSA camp to Erdenet by taxi. Then on Sunday we will be doing some training in Family History and speaking in church. That evening we will be taking another all night train ride back to Ulaanbaatar arriving at 7:00 am in the morning. The next blog will probably be posted sometime after Aug. 27.
|Cranes and construction are all around the Ulaanbaatar skyline - I wish we could say the same for the roads.|
The last half hour they are going to talk about themselves in front of their parents. We are going to have a party, make lemonade from lemons and sugar, and Darlene will bring chocolate chip cookies.
The students will dress in traditional clothes, describe the symbles on the Mongolian flag, talk about Mongolian food, and muscial instruments. It should be a lot of fun.
Shopping and being fitted for a suit. We had another big shopping outing on Friday to set us up for the next two or three weeks. Darlene went shopping on Saturday with Sister Richardson to get a few more things while I went with Elder Richardson to the airport. He was the driver in charge of taking Pres. Clark and his wife, the Shrobes and two interpreters to the airport to fly to Khovd.
On the way back both Elder Richardson and myself were fitted to our new suits that are being tailored. The Richardsons came over for Egg Fuo Yung and chocolate chips cookies. Great way to end a Saturday!
Dinner at the Bull. One of the highlights of the week was the dinner we had with Biamba, his wife, Ehkbayar and 4 year old daughter, Nimjin. Biamba trained with our son in St. Louis and we had hosted him and two of his collegues at a Mongolian Barbeque and a basketball game at St. Louis University. They also came to our daughter's (Tawny) home where they fixed us a Mongolian dinner.
|Biamba, Ehkbayar and Nimjin|
|Meats and other ingredients for a Hot Pot meal|
Ehkbayar was meeting Americans for the very first time. That was amazing to me. I wonder how many other people only know Americans from looking at us on the street.
She had been studying English on her own and enjoyed practicing with us. She spoke very well. She is a customs official for the Mongolian government. What a neat and friendly couple!
Their four year old Nimjin had been learning English. She was astonished at meeting Caucasions and having them speak and sing to her in her favorite English children's songs. She overcame her shyness and was fascinated by the whole experience.
Biamba drove us home after the meal. He offered to be our chauffer on a drive to Khovd next summer. He is from Khovd and he genuinely want us to plan on us asking him.
Family History. Our work with Family History moves ahead. We were able to Skype this week with Elder Speidel, our trainer at the Family History Mission is Salt Lake City. He trained us on Family Tree which will be coming out in September.
We are still waiting on a meeting with the head of the National Archives. We hope it will happen before our YSA conference. One unexpected treat was discovering that "Ukraine Nara" - of one the tireless family history leaders in Mongolia - was also the artist whose work we saw displayed in the Church History Museum.
|The Lord's Simple Service - Narachimeg Tsend|
|Patrons looking at Nara's art|
|As I sat pondering - Vicki Lynn Walker. One of our favorites at the Church History Museum gallery|