Saturday, December 7, 2013

New Years’ trees, Santas, and a missionary moment

Enjoying the seasonal sights. Mongolia adapts to western culture quickly. It is quite amazing to see all the Christmas decorations around Ulaanbaatar.

There is a slight twist however, Mongolia celebrates with all these western symbols and gift exchanges on New Year’s Day instead of Christmas Day. 

These are “New Years’ trees” and “New Years’ “Santas”.
Ulaanbaatar is like a combination of New York City with the richest of the rich living side-by-side with poor.
There is plenty of money here to sustain the kind of shopping you would expect in the fanciest department stores in the U.S.
This carpet had a festive design
 A group of us senior missionaries took a walk downtown to Sukhbaatar Square and then on to the State Department store to capture the spirit of the season.
We saw the ice town being sculpted behind the Sky Department store,

Sisters Farmer, England and Linford

                           trees in front of the Central Tower,

                                       trees on Sukhbaatar Square,

                                        in the Blue Sky skyscraper,  
                        and for sale in the State Department store.  
Elder Farmer with a Christmas goose
Darlene decorated our office with some Christmas décor that had been bequeathed to us by a previous senior couple who served in Mongolia.
The next couple who takes our place with inherit our seasonal decorations - Valentine's Day, Easter, etc.
The stockings were hung by our window with care
Family History broadcast. During the week we had a broadcast from Hong Kong with Dennis Brimhall, the managing director for Family History for the Church.
We experienced some amazing high definition technology as we and all the other Family History missionaries in Asia Area saw each other and our Family History leaders through a direct broadcast to our Service Center in UB. It was a good chance to hear directly how the church is changing its approach to Family History and what we could do to further the work.
Going out teaching with the missionaries. We capped off the day with an evening with Elder Tulga and Elder Moore as we went with them to an investigator’s home.
We were treated to great Mongolian hospitality with a dinner and given time to teach them.
A new member showed up with a Mongolian Santa he had sculpted and intends to sell along with others he will make for sale on New Year's Day.
The young man on the left is holding up the Memory Book
We taught using the new Family Memory book (translated into Mongolian) the church has developed. We felt the Spirit as we taught and bore testimony. It was a great missionary moment for us.

Please note our special masks we use to prevent inhaling coal smoke as we walked to our appointment. 
The only problem with the masks is their comical duck bill design
We went by taxi to the appointment but the last mile or more was spent walking to the investigator’s home.
Family History is being integrated into missionary work and into the church curriculum instead of being treated like an appendage to the gospel. Starting with Elder Bednar’s conference talk in October 2011, the church youth are seen as vital cogs in promoting this work with their knowledge and technological skills.   
So long from Sukhbaatar Square

1 comment:

  1. What a fun time in the shopping areas! I love the trees and the ice sculptures - that little boy doesn't have on any gloves. I bet the ice village is so amazing.