Saturday, November 23, 2013

New Missionaries, Darlene’s birthday and a Sukhbaatar Branch baptism.

Newly called Mongolian Missionaries to the Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar Mission
New Missionaries arrive. We had four new missionaries arrive from the United States and 11 from Mongolia to serve in the Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar Mission.
Elders Hill, Moore, Palmer, and Sister Eskelson - one missionary is still waiting on his visa
It was fun getting acquainted with them. We had something in common with Sister Eskelson being she was from our stake in St. Louis.
Family History work. We helped train the new missionaries on how they could use Family History to help them in their missionary work. Darlene was practicing what she preached as helped a young investigator register in Family Tree and enter her family data.
Elder Tulag introducing his investigator to Family Tree
We later attended a baptism service at the Sukhbaatar Branch. 
The young man was baptized three weeks earlier. He had since received the priesthood and was asked to perform the ordinance.

It was great to be around the members of the branch we’ve been attending since our arrival here.
A birthday surprise. We have an office where we supposedly have the only keys. The reason for this is that in order to change the keys, all of the hardware on the door would have to be replaced.

Darlene shrieking in surprise - Sis. Stewart in front of inner door

Sister Stewart, next door in the Medical Office, was rummaging through some keys she found and tried a key that opened an inner door connecting our two offices.


About twenty people gathered inside our decorated office. Ulziika called our apartment to tell us we had a patron waiting for us at our office. We hurried over and when we unlocked the door, the whole room what filled with people. Darlene shrieked in surprise. It was certainly a wonderful gesture - a complete surprise.
Part of the celebration - Sister Wood is cutting the pineapple upside down cake. Notice Mary Ann peeking through a small opening.
Ulziika had a surprise birthday party two days earlier
We also had a birthday party that night with our English class. They surprised us with a birthday cake and a special purse for Darlene.
I made chocolate chip cookies from scratch. We chanted a catchy rhyme, “Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?”. It was a wonderful way to end a very special day. 
Our students brought a cake
That night and the next morning (Darlene’s birthday in the US) we had a series from Skype calls from our children who variously took turns visiting with Darlene. "San Baina!"

Posing in front of Chinggis Khan Family Tree

Darlene’s health. We got some test strips back from Hong Kong and her blood sugars tested in the normal range. She exercises daily. Our diet is a lot more strict than it used to be. We are also being more careful to not overdo our activities this winter so we don’t wear ourselves out.
Winter smoke fills the air. We are both wearing masks to protect us from the smoke pollution in the night and morning air. We had two consecutive daily readings showing that Ulaanbaatar has 2½ times the air pollution as Beijing, the most polluted city.
Smoke gets in your eyes - in your lungs and everywhere else.
Ulaanbaatar ranks second on the list of polluted cities in the world. It mainly occurs in the winter when a combination of coal burning fires from the Ger Districts and an air inversion pattern similar to Salt Lake City prevents the air from moving or being blown away.
Coal-fired water heating plants don't help but that is how most people are kept warm in the winter

Daytime haze over Ulaanbaatar - the higher elevations are OK
We had a light snowfall that cleaned up the air but I am afraid that is only a temporary respite. 

A photo of yours truly taken at the missionary training event

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for posting a picture of the new missionaries! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Darlene! Have a great week - Jeanette Palmer