Sunday, February 3, 2013

The week ends on a high note

Linking the generations
English classes. I taught 3 classes of English this week by myself. Darlene helped with the lesson plans. Tuesday was a little ragged but by Wednesday and Thursday I was starting to enjoy myself. “I can do this!”

Recuperation goes on and on. On Friday I started to run a temperature again and we got some emergency antibiotic with the help of Dr. Stewart. The Senior couples brought food in all week.

The Briggs finish their mission. On Wednesday noon, we had a farewell noon luncheon to honor the Briggs who had completed their 1 ½ year mission, all in the city of Darkhan.

Time goes by quickly

They had a satisfying mission and were pleased at the development of the priesthood in the Darkhan District. Their replacements, the Millers, won’t arrive until early March. 

The Briggs will return to their home in Springville, Utah. Darlene couldn’t attend because of her health even though she had positive experiences with the Briggs during our trips to Darkhan. Sister Clark sent home a plate of leftovers.

Last year's senior trip
Senior trip planning. On Tuesday Jangar (last year’s tour guide) and myself finally put together a senior trip proposal for this year and it was presented in the Mission Presidency meeting on Wednesday. The Clarks both liked it. It will happen during their last month on their mission. President Clark needs to run it by the Area Presidency before we start to publicize it. It is a good trip and I can hardly wait to tell everyone about it.

20th reunion of Mongolian Mission. I attended the 20th year reunion committee on Monday afternoon. The first event scheduled in the reunion week is a reenactment of the dedication of Mongolia for the preaching of the gospel by Elder Neal L. Maxwell on  April 15, 1993 at Zaison Hill. One on the General Authorities who was present that day is returning to Mongolia and will give his reflections on what transpired. There will be a choir at Zaison Monument.

Russian -Mongolian friendship monument on Zaison Hill
More stuff on reunion week later. We have three daughters coming to Mongolia that week so we are acutely interested in all the events and plans being made.

The first marriage workshop. In the middle of all our sickness I did a lot of last minute things to get the posters made and publicity out. The young man I worked with featured Darlene and myself more that I would have liked but it did attract a lot of attention. I was under stress all week trying to get handouts translated.

All ten classes are described in detail

Alimaa – my co-presenter besides Darlene finally talked on Friday before the Saturday event. We divided up the tasks and am I glad we did! We had around 35 – 40 people attend – a lot of young couples in their first 3 years of marriage with no children or one or two at the most. A lot of older members (30s - maybe early 40s - came but it seemed like one of them was representing the couple.

I learned a lot about what lies ahead for me. I came up with a lot of ideas that I will run by Alimaa – you might say I ran into a brick wall called “lost in translation” while Alimaa delighted the group with her energized and humorous teaching style. She also took up most of the time which made my day. 

My blog, after I meet with her, will reveal what I learned and it how my mission will change because of it. Darlene couldn’t attend but none of what I shared surprised her. There are times when blind optimism meets reality.

Fast Sunday and Tsaagan Car. I went to the local ward two blocks from our apartment rather than put my body under stress of trying to do too much in one day. We had an All-Mongolia fast for family history work and half of the testimonies were about Family History work.

A packed chapel
A combined West Stake/UB East District family history fireside was held that evening. The chapel and overflow area was completely filled – over 300 in attendance. They had Family History memory books and records on display before and after the meeting. The fireside was broadcast to all other chapels in Mongolia.

Browsing the displays before the meeting

Orkhon helping with the translation
The program was powerful and designed to help the members use their National Holiday to gather family history and genealogical information during the time set aside for family visits to honor their elderly relatives. 
Special Choir performance in flawless English
I was one of 5 speakers and a special choir performed. This was Darlene’s first time out in three weeks other than follow up appointments to the hospital. 

Signing for the deaf - Sister Farmer is in the picture
President Odgerel gave a powerful concluding talk.

It was a huge success and we had very little to do with it other than my talk. 
President Odgerel is a dynamic speaker

We were definitely out of the loop with all our sickness. If this meeting is any indication, Mongolia is ready to do their part in gathering their records of their ancestors.

The extent of the Mongol Empire - on the wall where we teach English

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