Sunday, December 2, 2012

Baukqui! Not here anymore, but I am

The Mongolia we saw when we first arrived isn't so pretty and dramatic anymore.
As some of you are aware, my personal e-mail account has been hacked. All my Inbox was deleted, my contact list and sent messages. I am not getting incoming emails. I am sorry for any inconvenience the phishing email sent out by the hackers may have caused you. I changed my password on the old account but decided not to use it any further.

The upside of all the technology we use has a downside in the hands of evil and malicious people. I still like the trade-off but at times it can be aggravating.

I was planning to switch to g-mail at some point and that time has now arrived. My new email account is Please use this in the future. 

I guess I am learning to deal with no incoming e-mails until I contact everyone on my email address book. In one fell swoop my online existence was suddenly blotted out except for this blog.  I still exist in Mongolia and all is well.

The grayish horizon and snow-covered landscape of UlaanbaatarCity
Shopping. We had a big shopping day with our driver. We went hunting for a lot of things we were short of. We now have a well-stocked pantry that should carry us through the next month. We bought a big fish from Lake Hovskul, a beef roast and a pork roast too. Darlene likes to out cook the restaurants in UB and conserve our “toogruds” to boot.
Our sponsor Sharadembrel took us shopping

Our sponsor took us shopping for Mongolian scarves and winter hats. It was a nice gesture and I enjoy the feel of oh so sooooft cashmere around my neck.

English teaching and politics.  We administered English tests to 22 prospective student for our next 3 month block of students. I stayed up late into the night scoring the test. I believe 19 of the 22 will make it into our class. We still have a couple of weeks to go with our current students.

It is fun working with motivated students
We had an interesting development with our English class. The new head of TelecomMongolia and two other main telecommunication companies requested that we personally teach him English. We will visit with him this next week to define our role with him. It is a wonderful opportunity to develop a relationship of trust with someone well positioned in the Mongolian government. We are excited to have this prospective relationship even though it will add to our workload.

He is a dynamic young leader in his late 30s whose main drawback is his lack of fluency in English. He has a reputation as being an anti-corruption leader who wants to insure that Mongolia is governed according to transparency and honesty.    

New calling. We had a meeting with President Clark to go over our Family History goals and plans for next year. He approved them all but suggested we give them to the Priesthood leaders in bite sized chunks over the next few months. He is quite supportive of our work and appreciates our initiative. He has his hands full with all his other duties.

He then surprised us by calling me to the Mission Presidency as a clerk. My main duties are to keep track, locate and follow through on members who have received some sort of disciplinary action and have fallen through the cracks. I will be at a Mission Presidency meeting every Wednesday and will contribute my thoughts and feelings regarding all the things the Mission Presidency has to deal with.
Really "baukqui" - not here anymore

Goodbye to the Shropes. It was the Shropes’ last week in Mongolia. We said our farewells and were the recipients of a lot of spices and other foodstuffs. Their replacements, the Englands won’t be arriving for a couple of months. 
We missed their farewell dinner because of teaching commitments
New restaurant. We went out to eat with the Richardsons at a new Asian restaurant about a little over a half a block from the church. We watched this restaurant being worked on 7 days a week all summer and falls. Our anticipation was 90% of the pleasure.
Now open for business

They feature a Chinese and Korean menu. It is a fancy place and their prices reflect the ambiance. They seemed to mix the Chinese food we ordered with a ton of little Korean side dishes. I guess I was looking for American Chinese where we share main courses and not Korean Chinese that to me seemed distracting. It was good food but not great. 
Car in foreground has a map of Mongolia on its roof
Weather, health, and winter. Most days are cold (single digits and below mostly) and clear. It seems like lately we get a sprinkle or dusting of snow every night that is swept off in the morning. 

The heavy duty pollution doesn’t kick in until late December and January. So far, so good! The big problem is the wind. Even a slight breeze can turn something tolerable into a stinging cold on the face. So far it has been just slight breezes, so not so bad! I got a head cold and was congested midweek – still am.
Senior couples getting translations at zone conference

Before this happened we attended a District meeting on Wednesday and were invited to a 5 hour zone conference on Friday. I chose not to attend because of my health problems. Darlene attended and took in the training that was basically for the young missionaries. Darlene also attended a Senior Couple Family Home Evening Sunday night while I rested and worked on this blog.
President Clark talking through a translator at zone conference

A visiting Church authority comes to Mongolia. The weekend ended with a visit from an Asian Area Seventy, Elder Toronto. He lives in Beijing for 17 years and is an attorney. He helped with the 2008 Olympics and currently works for the NBA. He came in to do some training with the East District Priesthood leadership meeting on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday he did some more priesthood training in three priesthood meetings in the Chingeltei church building. He had an appealing teaching method that was down-to-earth and yet very powerful. He is also in charge of governmental relations in the Asian Area and reports directly to the Asian Area Presidency. 

He and President and Sister Clark came late to the Family Home Evening. He answered questions about the progress and status of the Church in China.
Monhkjargal played a private concert for us

Skyping makes us happy. It was great fun Skyping with most of our children and some of our grandchildren over on Darlene’s birthday and Thanksgiving. What a miracle that is! Sunday and Monday mornings are the best times to Skype. Darlene's Saturday morning has filled up with piano students.
Elder Stranski with his new convert

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry about your email account. It's such a feeling of violation. Sounds like you've had some inspiring speakers recently. That new restaurant looks very nice and inviting. So many new buildings have gone up in the past 12 years. We'll have to skype again soon. We have alot of fun seeing you! It's like you're not so far away. That's great you were able to eat turkey on Thanksgiving. Have a great week!