Sunday, March 3, 2013

The marriage workshop is going gangbusters!

Meeting three friendly children in a flower shop
Weather report. The weather is noticeably warmer with today being the first melting since winter began. It can be almost pleasant except when the wind blows, then we bring out the scarves, hats and gloves. We are still wearing our big down coats. We are having more sunny days. Spring is on the way.
The flower part of the flower shop
English class. We are in a groove except our attendance is more inconsistent since Tsaagan Sar. Most of it has to do with class members have work conflicts (meetings) during our English class time. The Chairman will start up his English tutoring sessions on May 14.
Map of Mongolia at the place where we teach - the glowing lights indicate locations of special telecommunication services.
We had a fun class were we delved into Mongolian genealogy with the class members. They were fascinated as their own family lines were disrupted by the communists and all their policies which weakened family and tribal identification to minimize any threats to their governance.
Small class - one student stepped out to take a cell phone call
Family history. We spent time this week straightening out problems with the new Choibalsan Family History Center, the Erdenet FH Center, the 2013 budget in coordination with the UB FHC, solving member problems with the new Family Tree program,  and planning our next consultant training for next Saturday.
 Senior couples honoring a Mongolian matriarch on Tsaagan Sar
P-Day on Friday. We finally had a relaxing day of food shopping, office supply shopping, and organizing both our home office and work office.  Saturday is a big day which sometimes turns into a 12 hour day with Darlene teaching piano, training Family History Consultants and me getting ready for the marriage workshop in the evening.
The Title of Liberty carvings - they are carved in the likeness of adult children of a senior missionary couple
New missionaries arriving. Six new American missionaries arrive tomorrow, the first ones in 11 months. It will be exciting. We will meet Elder Odd from Providence, Utah. Seven missionaries from Mongolia are currently being trained at the Missionary Training Center in the Phillipines. Two more groups of missionaries from the United States and Mongolia will begin their missions in late May or early June.

Carved nativity set
Our numbers will grow this year – finally. We lose three senior couples this spring and one replacement couple will arrive in June. It is not so promising on that front.
We are becoming acquainted (and customers) with church artists and artisans
Pleurisy. It is great to have our health back. I had a scare for about a half hour with some chest pain that was sharp and suspiciously located close to the heart. Dr. Stewart came over and diagnosed the problem as pleurisy. He prescribed Ibuprofin and sure enough the pain subsided. The symptoms are quite distinct from a heart attack but I didn't know that.
Elder (Dr.) Calvin and Sister Anne Stewart from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada with Sister Clark
That immediate reassurance was priceless. Dr. Stewart performs a valuabe service for all the missionaries (and members) in Mongolia and we have been some of the main recipients.

Marriage workshop. We had our 3rd marriage workshop. It was a big success. The room was filled with mostly eager, smiling young couples soaking in all the information they can. We look into their eyes and see love and concern for each other. The future of the church in Mongolia is bright with promise. What an enthusiastic audience!

Teaching relationship skills in another language - not easy but it is working
The marriage information we are presenting is translated into Mongolian and goes out to all the priesthood leaders in Mongolia plus it is posted on the popular Mongolian LDS Church Facebook page.

We are working on listening skills, softened communication by the speaker, conflict resolution and negotiation. The next workshop is on March 23rd.

There have already been a few spinoffs as one participant presented our ideas to his supervisor at a mining company and they are instituting a training program based on the principles we are teaching. This kind of human relationship information is new to Mongolia. The Russians didn’t promote or teach anything like this.
"Kick az" advice for all our granddaughters growing into young women
The Mongolian people, whether it is in the workplace or in the church, are quick on the uptake, soak in new knowledge and are quick to apply principles in new and innovative ways. I’ve haven’t seen American audiences so receptive, so open and enthusiastic.
For example, one of our English class students was so taken by how he could connect with other relatives by tracing his family history that he was already thinking of designing his own software. We reminded him that that “wheel” had already been invented. It is easy to see our value here in Mongolia when the a little bit of knowledge we share is grasped with so much enthusiasm.

Winter is almost over


  1. We follow your blog"religiously" . This is Elder Odd's Mom. We spoke with him last night while his group was enroute. He is fired up and prepared to serve. Take care of my boy!

  2. The people sound prepared for your message there. Enjoy the upcoming spring. See you in a month!

  3. Hey Farmers,

    You were referenced at Stake Conference. We appreciate your blog dedication. We also hope that Elder Odd's mom has also discovered Elder Neuberger's blog since we're kind of partial to that one. We are finalizing our Mongolia travel plans and getting pretty excited.