Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Harringtons and Martins leave, new couples and "Flat Stanley" arrive

Flat Stanley meets Chinggis Khan

It was a wild, whirlwind of activity while the Harringtons were here. We did some major sightseeing on Monday which was to be the last day of their visit. Their flight to Hong Kong on Tuesday was cancelled and rescheduled to Thursday morning. They were able to be with us two more days.

After watching the presidential debate in the morning, we took the Harringtons to the Black Market on early Tuesday afternoon. They were able to meet with President Clark later that afternoon while we went off to teach English that night. 

We debriefed with the Harringtons Wednesday morning after which they attended a mission staff meeting in the afternoon. We hosted them in our apartment for dinner that evening. We said our farewells and they jetted off to Hong Kong Thursday morning.

New office. Also on Wednesday we finished (not really) moving into our new office down the hall from the English Office. 
Elder Richardson installing our computer

Part of our new office is filled with 314 large print Books of Mormon written in a language for the tribe of people living in the Bolivian and Peruvian Andes. They were sent to Mongolia by mistake and were stored in the vacant space along with mission pamphlets and Books of Mormon. We do like our new office though. It won’t be a high traffic office like the English office.
The Gardners and the Stewarts
Welcoming the new couples. The new couples arrived on Wednesday. The Stewarts are taking the place of Elder and Sister Martin as the Mission medical team and the Gardners are the new English and Welfare Missionaries. We were occupying the English office until the new couple arrived and they finally did.

Elder Stewart was a family practice physician and cattle rancher from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada and his wife was trained in Public Health nursing. This is their first mission as a senior couple.

Elder Gardner and his wife retired to Cedar Hills, UT after a career in banking with Citibank in Sioux Falls, SD. Our paths overlapped briefly when he was a Stake President in Sioux Falls and I was a Bishop in Huron. Another coincidence is that they met October, the English office secretary and translator, during her visit to the United States. When October returns at the end of November, they will work together in the same office.  

The Gardners had previously served a mission in Cambodia and a temple mission in Hong Kong that was cut short by Sister Gardner’s knee injury. They finished their second mission in Oakland, California.
A great climate controlled market

We had a major food shopping trip with them on Friday and hosted both couples for hamburgers, potato salad and chocolate cake on Saturday night. We also had our own shopping trip to the Sunday store (a six story building filled with individual shops – kind of like an indoor market) where Darlene bought some long fur-lined winter boots.
Goodbye to the Martins

The Martins farewell and “Flat Stanley” arrives. The service center, the mission staff, and the senior couples gathered on Thursday afternoon for a surprise dessert farewell for the Martins. They left Friday morning for Mountain Home, Idaho. We all wrote some farewell thoughts that they took with them on their flight home.
Our translators and support staff
 It was bittersweet for them to leave as I am sure it will be for all of us. We really grow to love this country and its people – especially the devoted and faithful church members.
Two cheerful and friendly cleaning ladies with the Martins
We also greeted Flat Stanley, a cardboard cutout boy, sent by our granddaughter Juliana’s school class from Little Rock, Arkansas. 
Look who came to visit us

The object is to take Flat Stanley’s picture somewhere distinctive of where he visits and then send him back to his class where he will be dispatched to some other part of the world. 
I've been sent to Outer Mongolia

Flat Stanley says "San ban oh"
We took Flat Stanley to visit a statue of Chinggis Khan and to our English class on Friday night. Flat Stanley enjoyed his visit to Mongolia and we had some fun showing him the sights.

Primary singing time
Other duties. Since we have our Saturdays free, Sister Farmer is now helping teach on keyboard class on Saturday mornings. On Sunday I visited her Primary and watched them learn “Joy to the World” in Mongolian. The picture shows the entire primary and nursery all in one room. It was really different from our super organized Primaries in the United States but it all seemed to work out. I was off in another corner playing games with a 2 year old boy. 
Am I scary enough?

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