Thursday, July 11, 2013

Our wonderful visit to Murun

Our Friday night training in Murun
Puje. When we arrived in Mongolia last July, one of the first church members to greet us at the airport was Puje. She had lost her husband in May and after a 49 day grieving period, she volunteered to go on a 6 month service mission.
Puje on right
In late July, she accepted an assignment to go to Murun to help a senior couple there, the Groesbecks, with interpreting Mongolian.
Sister Farmer and Puje showing off their Khoshuur
As a result, the Groesbecks were effective in their work. The members loved both the Groesbecks and Puje. Puje's personality is infectious with her openness, love, and good humor.
Puje demonstrating Family Tree on a projector, Elder Tulga is on the right
Puje speaks English and has served a couple of missions for the church. One mission was to Great Britain and the church transferred her to the Helsinki Temple where her ability to speak Russian came in handy as she helped the members coming to the Helsinki temple from Russia.

We took Puje along on this trip as an interpreter and we are glad we did. Not only was she helpful with Family History work, but she received all these dinner invitations. Guess who got to tag along?
Our group at the Branch president's home
Mongolian hospitality and food. We were welcomed with overwhelming Mongolian hospitality and food every evening we were there.
Khoshuur meal
We experienced the "best" khoshuur on Friday night at Darkhand and Oyundalia's home.

On Sunday evening, It was soybain at the Branch Presidents home.
Our meal at the Branch President's home
The culmination was on Monday afternoon was a Mongolian traditional meal of khorkhog. The missionaries were invited along with a few other families.
Some of the ingredients for Khorkhog
The Khorkhog meal was done right - a half a sheep was cut up and placed in a old-fashioned milk can. Onions, garlic, carrots and potatoes were interspersed with the meat,
Dorjhand and guests standing behind the Khorkhog on the broiler
Hot flat rocks heated over a fire were inserted at different layers ad the meat built up. At the top, cabbage and rolled noodle dough crowned the ingredients and the can was sealed shut. The khorkhog was placed over a hot fire to cook for a couple of hours while we went in to play games. Some of the men played chess.

After we finished our Khovskul lake trip on Saturday, we visited a member couple who were spending a two week retreat at a hillside resort. That was a memorable add on to a great day. We got home at 11:00 pm
Talking late into the night under a gazebo
The missionaries. We were also assisted in our work with the two missionaries in Murun, Elders Tulga and Bayanjargal. They spoke English and were computer savvy.
Elder Bayanjargal working with a member
They quickly learned the Family Tree program and with minimal guidance assisted members register and enter their data. Elder Bayanjargal adopted me as his personal English tutor when he and I weren't busy.
Helping members and youth sign into Family Tree
Our group training took place Friday evening with individual appointments set up for Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.
Murun members love family history
Fast and testimony Sunday. On Sunday the youth had returned from Youth Conference and gave wonderful testimonies about their experience. It was a spiritual feast. After Sacrament meeting and before we settled into an afternoon of helping members with their family history, Puje had arranged for a Skype call from the Groesbecks who are currently serving in Khovd.

We projected their image on the big screen. the members loved seeing the Groesbecks again. Puje and the Groesbecks are going to the Hong Kong temple in November with at least three families from Murun.

Through the magic of technology, the Groesbecks revisit their former Branch 
Home at last. Our scheduled flight to UB was delayed by three hours and we returned to play cards with our hosts and Puje. We finally made it to our apartment by 11:00 pm that night - thoroughly exhausted, more plump and definitely satisfied. We left for Erdenet early on Monday July 1st and returned from Murun night, July 8.
Chinggis Khan genealogy on display at the Khovskul Provincial Library
More to come. We have one more blog to write - youth conference - before we launch into Naadam - a three day Mongolian national holiday. We also met President Benson, our new Mission President, and his wife Heidi and their four young children, Isabell, John, Tom and Maryann aged 9 to 2 years.

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