Sunday, August 9, 2009

Update on August 9, 2009

Outgoing Pouch Mail Discontinued
We received notice on Monday that outgoing pouch mail has been discontinued. That will be a disadvantage, particularly to senior couples. People can still send a folded sheet of paper with the pouch address and a stamp to the mission. However, anything we send to the U.S. other than official correspondence will have to go through the Mongolian post office. That will be more costly, slower, and less secure.

We still continue as busy as ever with our responsibilities for the office, Monday night YSA home evening, Tuesday night Addiction Recovery, Friday night baptisms at the Chingeltei building (3 branches: Sukhbaatar, Chingeltei, and Khailaast), Saturday morning piano classes, and Church. We need to bring refreshments to the Monday night home evening and the Tuesday night Addiction Recovery. In September we will again add two English classes on Tuesday and two English classes on Thursday. Some day I'll enumerate our office responsibilities; we're too busy doing them right now to list what we do.

Last Monday night (Aug. 3rd) we attended the YSA home evening. Afterwards they usually have an activity, but this time there was no activity. They were hurrying home to read their mission calls. Three members had received calls, one to New Zealand, and two to Mongolia. Later I learned they were all going to be together to read their calls, and we could have joined them, but we didn't understand that at the time. Elder Battsagaan, at whose house we had previously had dinner and attended family home evening, received the call to New Zealand. His English is already pretty good. His father was an English teacher.

Thursday night we had the pleasure of inviting Elder and Sister Lasson to our apartment for dinner. New couples are invited to the apartments of all the senior couples in UB to welcome them and for us to get better acquainted. We are no longer the newest couple here; we've been here three months.

Friday night we had a fast for the missionary work here in Mongolia. There has recently been a lag in the work. Also the fast was for Elder Godfrey who has only been here since July 2nd. He started having problems in the MTC, and they are getting much worse here. He is in constant pain; the medical people think he has fibromyalgia. He so wants to serve his mission, but unless he gets better, it won't be possible. We ended the fast after the Friday evening baptism.

Three people were baptized. A young girl Bolormaa was baptized from Sukhbaatar; another girl and a young man from the other branches were baptized. The other girl baptized was a sister of the missionary, Elder Galmandakh, who baptized her. There is a tradition at baptisms here. After the new members are baptized, when they return to the chapel they are called on to stand up at the pulpit and bear their testimonies to those present. There were about 70 people at the baptism.


Suzanne said...

When you're together for the YSA evenings are they spoken in Mongolian and have a translator, or do they speak English?

Joan said...

The lessons are in Mongolian. Either a missionary or someone else who can speak English sits by us and whispers a translation to us.

For sacrament meeting the last couple of weeks Batchimeg, a recently returned sister missionary from Australia, translated for us. She showed us her engagement ring; her boyfriend waited for her while she was on her mission. They will get married in September or October, and then they will go to the Hong Kong temple trip in November to be sealed to each other.