It's now 2016!! So weird to think that I will be finishing my mission this year.... what?! Here in Mongolia, they love New Years!!! They all rest from work and school and eat cake (EVERYONE EATS CAKE!!!! Everyone has been walking around with cake boxes all week!). They also have lots of parties and eat lots of buuz as well! So, I too had to eat a lot of buuz this week... ugh. On New Year's Eve there was also a huge party in the town square with a giant tree and music and Mongolian Santa and Russian Santa and donkeys and what not. We stopped to check it out for a few minutes on our way home that night, so that was interesting. Then we got home and exchanged stockings of candy we got for each other, then the elders stopped by with a cake and gift for us as well!!! They are so nice. Then, we watched fireworks for a while! It was quite enjoyable!
|Eating the roof of a goat's mouth|
New Year's Day, we visited a few families who made us eat and drink and eat and rink so much! So many buuz and meat and goat head and mantuu and milk and seabuckthorn (okay, I actually love that drink though, haha). It was fun and the families were so excited to share this holiday with us :)
In regards to our work; it is going fantastic here!!!! We are teaching tons of lessons and our investigators are progressing very well! We have 3 investigators set for baptism this week (Serchmaa and Zumperel who are 13 yrs old and Batumur who is 16 yrs old) and 1 for next week (Erdene Chimeg who is 20) and 1 the following week as well (Amardolai who is 21)! It's so exciting to see them all making this wonderful choice that will truly change their lives!
One of our investigators, Erdenechimeg is amazing! She is my age, and we are basically best friends, haha. She has a cute little boy, and is currently a single mom. She has a huge desire to change her life and repent of all that has happened in the past. Everything we teach her she immediately accepts to follow! She says that everything we teach her sounds amazing and is exactly what she needs! She just like every Mongolian really loves tea, but this week we taught her the word of wisdom, and she immediately resolved to follow it. She said that God loves and knows her, and he gave her this body, so she will do as He asked to treasure this gift- okay, how amazing is she really!!! I am so excited to see her become a wonderful member here. She always has plans to entire the temple in a year!
We also have another amazing investigator Amardolai. He is 21 yrs old and from the real countryside (like where you live in the middle of nowhere and milk cows and herd goats and make aruul- oh and he makes really good aruul!), but he is living here for a year with his mom and he studies. He is so incredibly humble and has a huge desire to learn and follow what we teach him. His mom also believes and prays to God and she definitely raised him right (but she worships the 7 star gods and earth and whatnot). She basically taught him to live God's commandments without her knowing that she was. We taught him this week the word of wisdom and the ten commandments and the law of chastity. And everything we taught him something new, he was like, "um, of course we don't do that... of course we need to respect women and be true to them.... of course we don't lie... etc" It was awesome! And his mom completely supports him and might want to start meeting with us as well! Oh, and we had a funny moment the other day with him. We visited him and his mom at their ger, and we were talking about where they are from and what not... and then he asked me (just me, haha) to go with him for two weeks to visit his whole family in the countryside.... hahaha, I then kindly explained again about missionaries... he was kinda embarrassed but then we had some good laughs about it later :) But he really is such a fantastic investigator!!! He will be a great missionary!
We had a really cool experience this week as we met with a new investigator for the first time. We taught about god and prayer and asked her to pray, and she said sure. So this adorable 50 yr old lady then whispered "dear Heavenly Father" and then was silent for 10 minutes. But, she looked like she was praying on the inside so we waited patiently, until we all made contact and she asked if we were going to pray... haha. But, a cool thing happened. She told us that during that quiet time, she saw a vision of a white man with a beard in white robes... we showed her the pic of Christ at the second coming and she said it was exactly like that! She was then amazed that she saw Christ! It was an amazing experience and she is so excited about prayer now.
|No taxis anywhere! Brrr!|
This week we also went to a tiny little community an hour away called Bulgan. There is a group of church members there. They are part of the long distance phone call sacrament available here, and since there are no missionaries there, we went this week to help them with sacrament and then we visited with some members and less actives there. It was so nice even though 4 people came. We found an old gramma later to meet with who my comp actually went to the temple with years earlier! She was so cute and excited to meet with us! Her son was there yelling at me, "American go get me beer!!!" But that's okay, we shared a message with her and made plans to visit her next month! The members there are so faithful as there are so few of them, and it was incredible to recognize their faith!
Well, I'm gonna finish up now, but I want to say Happy New year! I love you all! Please keep writing me emails and letters!
|Bought myself some Mongolian slippers.|
|New Year's celebrations|
|Acting cool with the graffiti|