Friday, August 30, 2013

Our last summer school class, new missionaries arrive and some leave.

Our summer students
Summer is over and so is English. We had an intense but delightful Summer English class.  On our last day we had games, songs and a Readers theater.

I was recruited at the last minute
All boys with one exception for Billy Goats Gruff
We had some doubling up on this story - I like Mama Bear
Parents and family members were invited. The kids did great and everyone was all smiles.

Parents, grandparents and siblings enjoyed the show

They were very sweet to us with their gifts and goodbyes. We will miss them.

The children sang us a special Mongolian anthem - a surprise they prepared
We grew attached to these children during the short time we had them. We learn their personalities and see their progress.  Teaching is a fun and rewarding profession but it takes a ton of hard work. 

Waiting to go onstage


Darlene puts a lot of effort in her lesson plans. Our enthusiasm and relationships with the children (plus the novelty of having American teachers) help make the class special for them. 

Darlene was pleased with how this class turned out
We get a week off before we start our new class.  It can’t be as much fun but working with adults has its own special rewards also.
Family History. Ulziika and others thought the family history presentation at the YSA conference was one of the highlight activities of the conference …and there were a lot of them (See previous blog). We will be going to Choibalsan next weekend to firm up our training there.

Val with Buyannemekh translating
New Missionaries.  We spoke to the new Mongolian and American missionaries and their companions about the connection between Family History work and missionary work.
New sister missionaries and their companions
There were 6 new Americans that arrived and at least 10 new Mongolian missionaries. This replaces the group who just finished their missions.

Training for the new missionaries -senior companions sitting in

Pres. Benson is dispensing with the devotional testimony meeting for incoming missionaries. A lot of Mongolian members (including the new missionaries) have become used to this traditionally well attended fireside devotional in front of a packed meetinghouse of friends, relatives and interested members.
There were plusses and minuses to this meeting. The logistics of dealing with the huge numbers of incoming and departing missionaries made it impractical to hold the meeting.
Mission Farewells. Pres. Benson has started holding farewell testimony meetings for the departing missionaries and their immediate family members the day before they leave. The senior couples are also invited to attend.
Returning missionaries to Mongolia are being encouraged to report their missions in their Stake and District Council meetings and in their home branches and wards. The big devotional format in Ulaanbaatar seemed to have a negative effect on whether or not this was being done.
Three more Americans go home. Three American missionaries left this week, Elder Quinton, and Sisters Gillen and Largin.

Sisters Gillen and Largin

Add Elder Quinton to the departing group

While waiting for their trip to the airport on the morning of their departure, I was amused by the Sisters enthusiasm to play basketball in their traveling clothes. It seems Mongolians love of basketball has rubbed off on them. They were pretty good players.

Elder Flint on right testing his skills with his new companion

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