Sunday, March 17, 2013

A bit of everything and then some.

A family welcomes their missionary daughter after the completion of her mission

We had a week with a lot of variety to it. We accomplished a lot yet the week had a relaxing and uplifting quality to it. Darlene works hard every day but on Saturdays she works especially hard. She teaches piano and trains Family History Consultants. 
A yard with used cranes for sale on the way to the mental hospital
This Saturday we had an adult session of District Conference at 4:00 pm. Friday feels like a preparation day because our English teaching is finished for the week.

Transfer meeting. Perhaps the transfer meeting on Thursday night was the highlight. Eight new missionaries from Mongolia returned from the Phillipine MTC to join the six American missionaries who arrived on March 4th.   
Mongolia's newest missionaries (front row) and their trainers behind them
We taught the new missionaries how to invite new converts to become involved with Family History after their baptisms.

The Richardsons giving their farewell remarks - the incoming and outgoing missionaries are seated on the stand
They spoke at a packed house fireside program. The departing missionaries also shared their testimonies. Elder and Sister Richardson said their farewells to Mongolia though they still have another week to go. 

Richardsons farewell dinner at Los Bandidos
The transfer and releases of missionaries will be every 12 weeks when the Provo and Phillipine MTC coordinate to send us new missionaries. There will be an internal transfer every 6 weeks.

Elder Woodward goes home in June

By next February this mission will be up to full capacity of foreign missionaries (20 Elders and 10 Sisters). The number of Mongolian missionaries depends on the number of young people called from Mongolia to the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission.

A real head scratcher of a test
English class. We had all 10 students show up for an exam last Wednesday. We have a fun class and will miss them when our class with them ends at the end of March. 
Mongolians are serious test takers
Our next class starts April 2nd. We invited this group to come back on April 16 to meet our 3 daughters and our daughter-in-law who will be visiting Mongolia.  

Dr. Stewart, Elder England, and myself with our hosts
A visit to a mental and addiction recovery hospital.  I was able to go with Elder Stewart, Elder England and Ulzicka (translator) to the main psychiatric and addictions hospital. We were hosted well and given a tour of the facility by an English speaking doctor. 
The history of psychiatry and mental health in Mongolia
Dr. Stewart forms working relationships with the medical community all around UB. I gained an appreciation for what the mental health and addiction professionals are doing here with limited resources.

They have a ger village of 10 gers affiliated with the hospital where mental patients live 5 to a ger under supervision. They implement a halfway house concept where patients are taught survival skills (money management, cooking, shopping, personal hygiene, work habits etc.) to help them reintegrate back in society. We didn’t have time to tour that aspect of their program. 
Art therapy room
We did visit a unit that had art therapy, gardening, a sewing room, a beauty shop, handicrafts, cooking, music therapy, a library and an exercise room. The place was spotless as are all Mongolian hospitals.  
Narantuya's photograph on display
A visit to Narantuya’s family.  Before District Conference today, we visited the home of a member who passed away a week ago.  Her funeral was on Friday and they have had lots of company the past few days. Her name was Narantuya. She died at age 29, leaving a husband, a nine year daughter and a two year old son. 
Sister Stewart and Darlene with Narantuya's almost three year old son, Ekh Achlan. He was playing with an electronic "angry birds" game.

The Branch Relief Society President was doing a needs assessment on what the family might need. She invited the Sister missionaries - Sisters Javzanpagma and Mathews, ourselves, Dr. and Sister Stewart and Elder Wood (our driver) to come along.
Time to go - Sister Javzanpagma is on the left

The family's outdoor rest room
If you want more information and additional pictures about this family, go to 

Ekhjin, Narantuya, Bathuu, and Ekh Achlan taken three weeks ago

The sands of the Gobi desert
It was a touching and meaningful way to spend the Sabbath.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the interesting account of your visit to Mongolia. The tented Mongolian houses called Gers in the Mental hospital in UB were started by me in Dec 1999 in an an effort to start Psychosocial rehabilitation and move patients out of institutional mental hospital settings (de-institutionalisation). Started in Maant another institution in a very rural area about 100 km from UB I managed to get 10 Gers with WHO funds. Later more were added - to total 17. Sadly many problems led to the that hospital closing down and some of the Gers moving to a few hundred feet of the UB mental hospital. The original plan to rehabilitate mental patients through livestock herding milking etc has been truncated.
    best wishes, M P Deva - psychiatrist from Malaysia parameshvara24@