Sunday, October 11, 2009

Update on October 11, 2009

A lot of the events recently have involved other senior couples in UB although we only have four couples left in UB now, plus the President and his wife. The Lassons are in charge of Deseret International Charities and also English teaching until the new couple arrives. The Caldwells are in charge of Employment Resources. Dr. and Sister Anderson are over medical care, but will be leaving soon. We’re the Office Administrators.

On Tuesday September 29th there was a wheelchair ceremony at the Children’s Center under the joint sponsorship of the Red Cross and Deseret International Charities. Deseret International Charities is the Church’s humanitarian organization. In fact the Church is in Mongolia under the Deseret International Charities charter.

Although both groups sponsored the event, the wheelchairs came from the Church. The Church sent an order for 750 wheelchairs to be distributed here in Mongolia. Elder and Sister Lasson are the DIC country directors and were in charge of the program. We went to the ceremony with the Lassons and Caldwells. There is a great need for medical care here.

The missionaries were involved in unloading the wheelchairs and putting the wheelchairs in storage at the Red Cross and also at the Khan-Uul church building. Then a district of missionaries came to the ceremony to help set up the wheelchairs and to put people into the wheelchairs. Some people were carried in to the ceremony by family members.

See about one man's need for a wheelchair. Alcoholism is a blight here in Mongolia. We're involved in addiction recovery which is a very needed program.

Tuesday afternoon we'll meet with the governor's office from our khoroo to tell about our addiction recovery program. After the ceremony we went to Millie’s for lunch, a restaurant which serves American food. The following evening we went to dinner at the Caldwells and had the opportunity to visit with them.

On Saturday October 3rd we went to a performance of the Khoomei-Taiko Ensemble at a theater in the Khaan Bank with the Lassons and Caldwells. It was a program combining Mongolian and Japanese music. It was interesting, but I prefer programs with just Mongolian music. A lady played a Japanese koto who was very good.

On Sunday October 4th Elder and Sister Stroud who were CES missionaries in Mongolia a year ago gave a fireside. In Mongolia all you have to do is to announce a fireside in the morning at Church, and the room will be packed with people for the fireside in the evening. The Strouds came back for a sealing at the Swiss Temple of Richard Huy from Germany and his wife Baagi.

Tuesday October 6th was Zone Conference. The theme was “Enduring to the End,” and again we were prepared in case we were called on to speak.
Enduring to the End

The President’s birthday was on Sunday October 4th. We decided to surprise him with a birthday breakfast on Wednesday October 7th. It was a very nice breakfast, but I am not sure a surprise is such a good idea. His wife told him there was an emergency downstairs, and he went barreling down the stairs with his heart pumping. When he walked into the room, we yelled Happy Birthday. I think it took a while for his heart to settle down. There are many emergencies in our mission. When he got back upstairs from the breakfast, he found that a missionary had jumped out of his second story apartment window and broken his foot.

Yesterday (October 10) and today (October 11) we were able to watch General Conference with other senior couples and expatriates in the President’s apartment. Here in Mongolia, General Conference is watched a week later after they get a DVD from Salt Lake.
We really enjoyed watching all of the sessions of Conference. Yesterday Sister Caldwell made cinnamon rolls during the Priesthood session. We enjoyed them together after Priesthood meeting. Today between sessions we had a potluck dinner with wonderful food.

For me there seemed to be two main themes to the Conference: 1) learn to receive personal revelation and follow the promptings of the Spirit, and 2) love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. Then there was Elder Holland's strong talk on the Book of Mormon.