Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Concert, piano lessons, and a needed break from teaching English

Christmas concert. This week was highlighted by the annual Christmas Concert. Last year it was performed at the Circus – a rented public auditorium and advertised broadly to the community.
This year the decision was made to hold the concert at the Bayanzurgkh building and split it into two performances – one for the District and one for the Stake members. Members would invite friends to attend with them.
Our good friend, PuuJee, had a major contribution
Because of a mix up on times, we missed the first performance but were able to attend the second one on Sunday afternoon. We got there early to get good seats and to be able to take pictures of the event from a good location.

Love of music. Mongolians love and have special gifts for music. The choir had been in rehearsal since October. They prepared a full range of Christmas carols, pieces from Handel’s Messiah, and light-hearted Christmas music.
Curtain call with guests
Some of the performance was in English and some in Mongolian. The English was completely understandable as if performed by an American choir. It was an hour and a half of Christmas songs sung to perfection. The venue was an improvement from last year when the sound system and acoustics left something to be desired.
After the closing prayer, the choir performed the Hallelujah Chorus. A little Down’s Syndrome girl from the front row walked up and inserted herself between two choir members and proceeded to sing along with the choir. The moment was absolutely precious.

She fit right in
Concert afterglow. After the concert, we mingled and took pictures with the performers and filled special requests from members for special group pictures.
Unur Ward members in attendance
Unur Ward Bishop and family member
The atmosphere was joyous as friends got together and celebrated with choir members. Here are a few snapshots from that scene.

Ourselves and our daughter's converts - Ulziika, Naranchimeg, and PuuJee
Tuvshinbayar and his fiancé, Bolmaa
Piano Teaching. Though English teaching stopped for the Christmas and New Year’s break, Darlene’s piano teaching kept going.
Enkhjin, next to Darlene, was baptized three hours later
One of her students, Enkhjin, was baptized into the church the same day as her lesson.

Buyanzaya, a gifted student, was preparing to accompany eight Christmas numbers at church and needed some extra attention.
Buyanzaya had a two hour lesson that night
We also caught up on some shopping and personal errands during this break time. We had one dinner out with a few of the senior couples.
Darlene, the Stewarts, Gardners (backs to camera) and the Woods
Mongolian winter? The weather is around 20 degrees below zero or more on some days but is bearable because of layering up. The smoke in the atmosphere is definitely unpleasant and seems much worse than last winter. As far as Mongolian winter in concerned - so far, so good!  

Merry Christmas everyone!


  1. Oh my goodness. The little Down's syndrome girl just brought tears to all the Palmer's eyes just now. What a precious event! I can't imagine how beautiful the choir was. I wish Nicholas would take a piano lesson. You should ask him to play something. He can't read music - he plays by ear. Your daughter's converts are just lovely! What an amazing week you all had. I hope you continue to do well and that the weather stays, well, ^moderate^ by Mongolian standards! Much love - Jeanette

  2. Love the picture of Naranchimeg and her daughters. They look beautiful. Sounds like a great concert. Love the little Downs girl that joined in for the last song. How precious! Keep up the great work with the piano lessons, mom! It's a gift that will keep on giving long after you two have left.