Sunday, January 26, 2014

Family History weekend, Darkhan, the road to Darkhan

Herder bringing his flock home
Road to Darkhan. On Saturday we hired Zorgeo to drive us, Sister Farmer, myself and PuuJee, to Darkhan to train Family History Consultants. We arrived at 10:00 am and left a little after 4:00 pm for our four hour trip home.

The weather was cold, crisp and bright. Darkhan was probably 10 degrees colder than UB. The fresh air in Darkhan was fantastic – downright breathable.
 On the way coming and going, Zorgeo accommodated my desire to take a few countryside pictures.
A lonely grave on the steppe
This is what we saw with the morning and evening sun shining brightly on the landscape.

Nomad family's outpost
Fellow traveler giving us a wary eye.

The Darkhan miner stands sentinel at his outpost winter and summer
Family History training in Darkhan. We expected about 12 FH Consultants and three senior missionaries to attend. Instead there were 21 altogether including a senior sister serving in the Selenge Branch. We had a great training day.
The lady next to me (and her husband) are the first Mongolian senior couple serving a mission in Mongolia. They are from the Choibalsan Branch and are serving in Sukhbaatar.
Members came from Sukhbaatar, Zuunhaara, and Erdenet to Darkhan for the training. We feel the foundation is in place for the work to really move ahead in the Darkhan District. We provided a noon meal for the participants.
PuuJee is up front team teaching with Darlene
PuuJee was able to meet all of the FH Consultants and establish a communication link for problem solving and future training. She will be a tremendous resource for Family History work after our missions are completed at the end of March.

The meeting ended with one-on-one "hands on" computer work
Sunday on the Songino Ward. We alternate weeks between the Unur and Songino Wards. This Sunday we heard Ondrasaikhan give a talk in temple preparation in the Songino Ward.
Ondrasaikhan is one of our daughter Tawny's converts 14 years ago.

Family History Devotional. Darlene spoke in the devotional for 15 minutes. She spoke completely in Mongolian.

Darlene at the pulpit with Nasanbold in the background
She developed the talk, had it translated by Ulziika, and then practiced it for more than two weeks in preparation for the meeting. She finished the last three minutes with a spontaneous testimony given without notes.
Baska, one of the speakers, is waiting for his visa to serve a mission to Adeliade, Australia. He is translating for Darlene.
She had at least three people listen to her rehearse the talk and offer suggestions including Bradley Warner, her Skyping teacher from the Missionary Training Center in Provo. This week will end the six month program she has had with BYU language training department.
Ulziika was one of the main presenters
Darlene did real well! It culminated all her efforts to learn and speak Mongolian on our mission. I overheard the compliments she received after the meeting – including a joke the counselor in the Stake Presidency made about listening to Mongolian spoken with a Russian accent.
From let to right - Baska, Enkhbat, Nasanbold, Darlene, Ulziika, Puujee on the organ, and the chorister.
We have a few more goals left but this talk was definitely a highlight and brought closure for Darlene on her efforts to speak the language.
The majority of our audience
One special treat from the devotional program was watching a videotape of Battsey from BYU- Hawaii, our dear friend and associate who left us in April. Her heart is with us and the family history work here in Mongolia.
Member looking at the Chinggis Khan genealogy
Next week we will show our Tsaagan Sar visits, the Lunar New Year greeting of the sun, and Zone Conference training.  
Our Mongolian travels are drawing to a close


  1. YOU GO SISTER FARMER!!!! I can't imagine the BIG-Ness of learning Mongolian. You should be VERY happy and feel so accomplished. WOW. What beautiful weather on your journey....if only UB could be clear and have blue sky, too. Thank you for everything. I am so sad you are leaving in a few months. But how AWESOME to be with your daughter's convert. "The Farmers are cool" is the decision in our house. Have a great Tsaagan Sar!

  2. Those are beautiful pictures. I'm glad the work you started will be left with Puujee to continue on with. She will do well. Great job on your talk. I'm sure you learned so much preparing that and practicing it. I imagine that you are able to understand more and more with each passing week.