Monday, October 21, 2013

Our first real day of winter, Darkhan again, and loving English.

Elders Bayarjargal, Standley, Odd, Chingajav and Jangar, our guide
An outing on a really cold day. We have been enjoying a brisk, cool fall with bright sunshine. Today was different. The wind blew hard and we layered up with clothes to cushion us against the weather. We didn’t bring out our heavy winter coats. Maybe we should have.
Our visit to Dambadarjaal Monastery
We planned a District P-Day outing to a monastery in the northern suburbs of Ulaanbaatar. The monastery was founded in the 17th century by Tibetan monks.
The "eyes" show the Tibetan influence on this stupa - a burial tomb and alternate worship site
The buildings are over 300 years old.  It was the center of what was to be Ulaanbaatar at the time. The Gandan Monastery toward the center of modern day Ulaanbaatar later supplanted this monastery and took with it the Buddhist University, leaving a mostly a shell of a facility.

Elders Standley and Odd - the large white building is an abandoned Buddhist university
Jangar came along as a tour guide.  
Jangar explaining Buddhism to Mormon Elders
Darlene chose to stay home to protect her health. Smart woman! We survived our manly adventure and we are no worse for wear. I think tourist opportunities are limited from now until spring. We climbed to a hill overlooking the monastery and the ger district looking toward the city.
Elder Odd in front of a typical Ger District -  the Chingeltei mountains are in the background
Special broadcast. On Sunday, we enjoyed an Asia Area broadcast to all the meetinghouses in 14 countries. The broadcast was translated into all the local languages ahead of time and took the place of the three hour block schedule.

Elder Holland from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has been assigned the Asia Area and was one of the featured speakers. We senior couples listened to an English version. The broadcast featured talks on member missionary work.
Those who arrive early get individualized instruction
English class. We are in a groove and have polished our teaching methods and lesson plans. We have six months or less to go on our mission so all our teaching skill we will take with us.
Going over the clues used in the treasure hunt
These classes are delightful despite being a lot of work. We love our students. There will be so much we will miss about Mongolia when we leave. We planned a treasure hunt this week which our students enjoyed thoroughly.
Part of our training in Darkhan
Quick trip to Darkhan. On Saturday, we hired Zorgeo, our taxi driver from this spring, to take us up to Darkhan and bring us back the same day. This saved on hotel expenses.
Elder Fredley is in the center and Sister Fredley is on the right, - Zorgeo, to my right, joined us for lunch
The Fredleys, who live in Darkhan, helped with the arrangements and the food and were wonderful hosts.
PuuJee on the left with our new consultant in Darkhan
We traveled with PuuJee, our friend and new country adviser for Family History in Mongolia. We wanted to train her on this trip and introduce her to the Family History Director in Darkhan.
Orunchimeg, the FH Director in Darkhan
I had a counseling assignment and took along our own translator from UB in preserve the confidentiality of local members in Darkhan.
The weather cooperated and our trip went without incident. It will probably be our last trip of the fall and winter as road conditions will make travel more hazardous.
I should have said “next to last” as this weekend we will go to Khovd for Family History training. This trip was rescheduled from earlier this month when we missed our flight.
Landscape near Khovd

This will be our one and only trip to western Mongolia during our mission. We are looking forward to it and we hope the weather cooperates.
Our health. Last winter we both ended up with double pneumonia. This winter we are being a lot more careful and won’t push ourselves so hard. The smoke and pollution in the air makes us vulnerable to respitory type infections.
We aren’t looking forward to the siege of cold weather that will be our new life for the next four months.  I will have a couple of writing projects to keep me busy but indoors. We have special masks to wear that filters out the pollutants.

Monastery grounds - the red building is the summer temple and the circular light orange Ger temple on the right is the winter temple.


  1. Brother and Sister Farmer - I just got news that there is a Mongolian Elder who joined them in the MTC and also, an Elder from Kobe, Japan. I think Nicholas is helping the Elder from Kobe to learn Mongolian. This is all very exciting! I am glad you mentioned the masks for pollution - I had debated whether to send some. I will do that, for sure, now. I read the UB post every day.....Stay warm and healthy! Jeanette

  2. You all look so cold!!! Thanks for all the great pictures!