Sunday, September 9, 2012

The work we do.

Improbable sight over Murun
Training. We had a wonderful response by the members in our trips to Erdenet and Murun. The members are motivated to do family history work though most don’t have computers or online records to assist them. We are focusing our training on the priesthood leaders and Family History Consultants or potential Consultants in each church Branch.
Training in Murun
We encounter difficulties in getting the members to get a user name, password and an email address from English language screens on new.FamilySearch. It is a struggle because of the language issue and lack of computer literacy. The more computers, translators and knowledgeable trainers we have, the better.
Mongolian cemetery - I wonder how much of this has been recorded? The dust plume in the background is a vehicle approaching.

Unfortunately there is just the two of us English speakers doing the training with the disadvantages of not knowing Mongolian and not having enough computers, translators or other trainers to go around.

We have had key translators in each city so far but the opening hour or two of the training can be tedious as we try to get everyone signed on. We are encouraging members to sign up and work out all these issues before we arrive for our training so we can be more effective in getting members to enter their personal information on new.FamilySearch. We are going to become familiar with the Mongolian vocabulary that matches the English screens so we can train directly without a translator.

Our new partners in Murun
Church talks. We both give motivational church talks about the importance of family history work and how it fits in with the gospel. We are trying to prepare members for a temple in Mongolia so the sealing ordinances of the temple will be more accessible to them and their families. Also the submission of names of family ancestors is important for the vicarious work that takes place in the temple.

We share the Asian Area goals for Mongolia to accomplish during the coming year: each member complete a 4 generation pedigree chart, a 10% increase in names submitted to the temple and personal involvement of youth in family history research and training of members.
Family pictures have a place of honor in a Mongolian home
We will be doing training in Darkhan on Sept. 30th.   We are getting more and more aware of how to train and what to do with each training event we have. We hope to use Google + to show actual computer screens in training members using the Internet.

Additional duties. We did more work with the Ulaanbaatar Family History Consultants and their leaders in two additional meetings this weekend. On Thursday we joined a Skype conference call for all the Family History missionaries in the Asian area. We will have a weekly conference call. We also Skyped with Danny Chin, the records acquisition manager for Asia, to go over our upcoming meetings with the Directors of the National and Central Archives here in Ulaanbaatar.
Lots of data family history data here in Mongolia - in old Mongolian script
Primary pianist. Darlene was called to be the pianist in the Primary – an organization that teaches children 3-11 on Sundays. I will describe the uniqueness of what she experienced in Primary here in Mongolia on our next blog.

Milking is done

Members with prized goats
Humanitarian Service. We appreciated traveling with Richardsons and observing with their Humanitarian Service calling. They (Deseret Charities International) have funded and helped carry out vision projects training Mongolian opthalmalogists, neonatal care specialists, provision of wheelchairs to the disabled, providing drip irrigation systems for family gardens, replacement animals to member nomad families who suffered herd losses and funding water wells for communities.
Richardsons let us tag along
Wheelchair recipient with daughter and grandsons
We accompanied the Richardsons as they did follow up visits to a wheelchair recipient and a nomad family with a goat, sheep and yak herd. We didn’t get to see their follow up with member gardens as this occurred while we were doing our training.
Generations of women cooperating in a lifestock enteprise 
Meetings that we find amazing. We saw a BYU Hawaii recruitment meeting with more than 100 young adults attending.
"This is BYU Hawaii in January" - audible gasp of of amazement from audience - deal closed
Returned missionary party at Sukhbaatar Branch
Also our somewhat small Sukhbaatar Branch held a social activity for returned missionaries. There were a total of 27 returned missionaries and their families attending out 42 who could have attended. The missionary effort by young Mongolians is remarkable. There is a higher percentage of young people going on missions here than in Utah Valley.
Sister Returned Missionaries
I was on television. I also participated in a television advice show hosted by a BYU Hawaii graduate student, Alimaa. It was an hour long live show in “English”, what else. It was on how young couples handle money. The taped version will have Mongolian subtitles. We will see where this leads.
On Alimaa's show
Alimaa is enthusiastic about future joint projects for the Church and the public. She has asked me to teach her University class on marriage and family therapy in October when she will be in Korea. The Stake President is interested in holding firesides for married members. We will be running all this by President Clark to get his permission and guidance.  
A budding partnership
A big week ahead. Elder Wilson, a member of the Asian Area Presidency, is visiting our mission this week. He is over Family History for the Asian Area. We will have a half hour interview with him on Thursday. This will be an interesting week. All the missionaries in Mongolia will be coming to UB and interviewing with Elder Wilson, having training, and sharing in a testimony meeting. The week will conclude with a East District Conference (half of the church congregations in UB) with Elder Wilson attending all conference sessions.
Hospitality rituals of a Ger family are intricate and generous



  1. Whoa! Just when I think you've done it all, you manage to find something completely new - being on a Mongolian TV show! That's great.

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  3. teaching a class on marriage and family therapy at uni, appearing on tv, teaching computer classes to Mongolians - is there anything you cannot accomplish! awesome