Saturday, September 15, 2012

Elder Wilson's visit

Elder Tugsbaatar's sketch of Christ given to me during the mission conference

English class. We met with our 11 new students. They are from the Customer Service Department of TelecomMongolia. Darlene puts a lot of effort into preparation for these classes and it shows. Our sponsor expects a lot and the extra effort makes a huge impression on him. It would happen anyway because Darlene takes the challenge of teaching English seriously.
Our new class
Our schedule turns out to fairly manageable with two hour classes from 5:00 – 7:00 pm Tuesdays and Fridays and 9:00 – 11:00 am on Saturday mornings. We had one week of this schedule and we like the back to back classes for getting more accomplished with the students. It looks like I will be teaching a conversational English class on Wednesday nights (minimal preparation) but lots of focused discussion topics on a weekly basis.
TelecoMongolia sponsor Sharadembrel

We met and interviewed a former Family History Center Director, Solongo (Rainbow), on Monday night. This is part of our effort to meet and learn everything we can from key members who have contributed to the program.
Greeting the Clarks
Mission conference. Elder Wilson is one of three general authorities assigned to manage church affairs in Asia from Hong Kong. This was his first visit to Mongolia.
More of the line-up
 We missionaries stood in a line and then each in turn met Elder and Sister Wilson prior to our meeting. It is a ritual that has been developed to organize the experience and prevent confusion. We had two solid days of training with most of it being focused on Peach my Gospel and the Doctrine of Christ.

Sister missionaries at the conference 
We had translation of the Mongolian speakers and the English speakers President and Sister Clark and Elder and Sister Wilson had translators for their talks. Sister Wilson had a significant portion of the training time.
Role playing
There were several training segments where the Elders and Sisters role played teaching in certain scenarios. The missionaries were dynamic and enthusiastic in their presentations.
Missionary choir doing sign language
We had some lovely missionary choir numbers and concluded with a testimony meeting. We had just enough time for the missionaries (and a few others) that will be leaving the mission before the next big mission transfer in November.
Work groups
Elder Wilson was impressed with the spirituality and dedication of the missionary force in Mongolia. There are about 1,000 returned missionaries in a country with only 10,000 members. He couldn’t think of another example of a country receiving the gospel so fast and having that many missionaries serve within 20 years of the gospel being introduced.

Christ in Mongolia

I had a moving experience. A Mongolian missionary noticed my doodling and he quickly sketched out a picture of Christ and handed to me as a gift. It was absolutely beautiful. We handed it back to him to sign and he did in Mongolian script. Later we showed the picture to the Clarks and Wilsons. They were moved by the beauty of what this Elder had created.

Elder Neuberger greeting Elder Wilson

It turns out that Elder Tugsbaatar is an artist and at the end of the conference, he donated two pictures of the “tree of life” to the Mission. A year ago he drew a portrait of Elder Holland preaching at the pulpit, had it framed and gave it to him at the end of his visit to Mongolia. Elder Holland has it on his mantle at home as a treasured memory of talent and generosity of this Elder. I feel the same way with my gift.
Sister Manduhai - Our daughter's convert

Post missionary conference events. We met with Elder Wilson on Thursday. He wants to help us clear the path for a budget line for Mongolian records acquisition when he goes to Salt Lake to General Conference. He understands the importance of why this work needs to go forward, especially after experiencing the great strides the members have made here.
Elder Wilson with Ganhuyag, District President
Thursday, we also have a staff meeting with the senior couples and Elder Wilson where we all reported on our assignments. We also had our weekly Skype training session with the Asian Area Family History couples in the afternoon.

The week ended with our having made an appointment with the Director of the National Archives this coming Wednesday. It will be the launch of what we hope will be a successful effort to access and put online Mongolian family history and genealogical data.
ElderWilson and Pres. Clark with young Mongolian priesthood leaders
On Saturday and Sunday we were a part of the UB East District Conference. Elder Wilson presided at the conference. The focus of the Sunday meeting was the temple and having a current temple recommend. 

Afterward he called a meeting with all the new converts during this past year and their Branch Presidents. Each Branch President introduced his members and described their church calling and current activity in the church. This ended his visit to Mongolia. This has been a busy and full week.

My birthday. I celebrated my birthday in the mission during the mission conference. They sang happy birthday in Mongolian to me and two others who were celebrating birthday within a couple of days of the conference. I wore my "birthday suit" to the Conference. I had picked it up on Monday morning and it is the best fitting suit I have ever had.
My new suit

Darlene and I will have some more tailoring done before our mission is over. We have another 18 months to figure out what we want. We will probably have a couple of deels (traditional Mongolian clothes) made also.

We postponed our birthday celebration dinner until Saturday evening when we went out to eat with three other couples to an Indian restaurant in the Flower Hotel. The senior couples have a tradition of paying for the meal for the birthday celebrant. Great food! Great company! Great price!
Birthday dinner with senior couples
We Skyped with all our children except Tyler who is in Afghanistan. He is scheduled to depart for home on Sept. 25. It was wonderful and we hope to set a Skyping routine to have at least monthly contact with all of them.  It was a great birthday present.
Hunts, Farmers and Woods
Meeting the Woods. Mongolia received a new senior couple on Wednesday night. They are Elder and Sister Woods from Las Vegas. They are a delightful couple with outgoing personalities. They will be the office couple. They are well suited for their calling. They are enthusiastic about their preparation to teach English and want to share what they learned from BYU Professors Anderson and Evans. They also had a great experience with Bolorma, our Mongolian teacher at the MTC.

Sister Wood with new friends
   Another couple, the Gardners, are coming to in October. In short order we will have the Farmers, Woods and Garderners to help cultivate the work.

We hosted the Woods in our home Thursday evening. Every senior couple takes a turn with the new couple either fixing a dinner or taking them out to eat.

Darlene fixed a lasagna dinner that worked out wonderfully. We visited and enjoyed getting acquainted. They will make a huge impression here – they can’t help it. Elder Woods has a salesman personality and he is selling the Gospel, English and the sheer joy of life. Sister Woods, no shrinking violet herself, has silver hair and a winning smile. She and Sister Farmer will be an elegant pair in a dark-headed country.    

Minerva Tiechert  - Church History Museum
We now have Mongolian pioneers adding to church history  





1 comment:

  1. We are certainly enjoying the extra Mongolian insight that you are providing. Elder Neuberger writes good letters, but yours are a great bonus. Also, thanks for getting him in a couple of your photos.