Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Woods go home, visiting homes of missionary parents, family history swan song

Woods farewell party - Jiguur, secretary to the President, is the clown in front

The Woods leave. A lot of activity this week centered around Elder and Sister Wood leaving this week. They are the first senior couple to leave since the Hunts left last April.  We must have saved up some energy for this because it was quite the whingding.
On Sunday evening , there was a testimony meeting in which all the senior couples attended. They were the office couple so a lot of church employees came also to bid them farewell.
It was a touching tribute to their impact and contributions as missionaries. It was held in the high council room. 
Another thing we do for departing couples is prepare a letter expressing personal thoughts and memories for the Woods. We will also receive these letters from the other couples with whom we served when we leave our mission.  For example, the Woods wrote letters for all the senior couples and these will be given out as the missionaries leave the field.
Tommy Benson was first in line
We also held a potluck dinner and program for the Woods on Wednesday afternoon.
Monkhjargal on the harp
The Service Center staff also participated. After eating a lot of good food, we sang and played games.
At the end of March and the beginning of April, ourselves, the Gardners, and the Stewarts will all be leaving.
From left to right, The Gardners, Linfords, Farmers, Woods, Nays, Englands, and Sister Stewart. Elder Stewart was taking the picture. Pres. and Sister Benson were in Hong Kong.
We will be having testimony meeting and a farewell party also. That time will come sooner than we think.
We coordinated our selection of ties
Visiting the homes of Mongolian missionaries.  Pres. Benson has assigned each senior couple several families of recent Mongolian missionaries serving in Mongolia and other countries. Even though we have just a month left on our mission, we have five families to visit.

We visited our first family this past Sunday. After we leave, these families will be reassigned to another senior couple. Each family will receive two or three visits from senior couples during the course of their child’s mission.
Elder Murat's family - Galiimaa in blue is a returned missionary who served on Temple Square
Many of the missionaries that serve from Mongolia come from part member or non-member families. These visits will help the parents understand the mission better and encourage supportive communication between themselves and their missionaries. These visit are like Tsaagan Sar visits, full of good will, good food and Mongolian hospitality. 

In addition to learning Mongolian, Elder Palmer is learning sign language. His companion, Elder Oyunsukh, is scheduled to start hearing sound for the first time beginning March 20. 
Elders Palmer and Oyunsukh teaching in sign language

He recently received cochlear implant operation. Elder Palmer is having an unbelievably sweet experience in the mission field associating with the deaf. 
Nyamka's mother and Sister Sneddon
A new missionary arrives. Sister Sneddon was delayed from coming to Mongolia with her group of American missionaries.

One of her MTC companions, Nyamka, was from Mongolia and is now serving in California.  Sister Sneddon was assigned to our ward and was able meet Nyamka’s mother at church. Small world.  Sister Sneddon was called on to speak her first Sunday in church – a baptism of fire.
Alimaa and her sister Nomin
Alimaa and her sister come to visit. Alimaa's husband, Batbayar, is getting baptized this weekend. Due to our travels, we will miss it.

I am helping Alimaa with her dissertation project. She was my co-presenter on the marriage seminars we held last spring.

Our Thursday English class. This is our new English class we teach at the church on Thursday nights.  There were 37 in attendance. By the time they fall in love with us and we with them, we will be saying our goodbyes. I stayed after class with a group of about 10 to chit chat or "shoot the bull".
Family history - our last countryside trip. This weekend we will be going to Choibalsan with Puujee, Country Adviser for Mongolia at our side. Choibalsan is on the far eastern side of Mongolia near the Chinese border. Our next blog will have details of our journey and what we accomplished. We worked at getting new printers and scanners for our countryside (Darkhan, Erdenet, and Choibalsan) Family History Centers this week.

The Harringtons, Asia Area Family History Advisers based in Hong Kong, will conduct their last Skype meeting with all the Asia Area Family History missionaries tomorrow. We had a great working relationship with them - we will miss them… for about a month. They will be returning to Blackfoot, Idaho. All of us will take terrific memories home with us when the time comes.
The Woods brought sparkle and enthusiasm to everyone's lives. Soyolmaa is cheering in delight.


  1. Holy COW! What a grand party. I can tell you are all fun and amazing people. How lucky you all are to have met each other across the world. Thank you for including Elder Palmer in your blog. Thank you for everything!

  2. And sp the torch is passed on from the old missionaries (as in experienced) to the new ones coming in. Welcome to a wonderful mission Sis. Sneddon.