Thursday, October 29, 2009

Update on October 29, 2009

Lunch at Batbold's
It's past time for me to update my blog. Going back through my calendar, I see that on Monday Oct. 12th President & Sister Andersen, Elder and Sister Lasson, and Wes and I were invited to lunch at Batbold's apartment. He is the 2nd counselor in the mission presidency. He also works for the mission taking care of missionary apartments and other emergencies and being a driver for the mission. We enjoy knowing him. He is going to come to California when we return home and Wes will take him fishing in the ocean. He has never seen an ocean. (Mongolia is a land-locked country.)

His wife served a wonderful lunch with several courses. It made me nervous that she didn't set a place for herself and sit down, but maybe that is the way they do it here.

Their apartment is lovely. It is on the 10th floor of an apartment building. Brother Batbold has decorated it beautifully. The apartment has an American style kitchen with lots of counter space. He and his son did all of the work themselves. The elevator in the building wasn't working. They had to carry all of the building materials and furniture and appliances up 10 flights of stairs. They ordered all the furniture, wallpaper, kitchen cupboards, and appliances from China.

Gloria Wheeler
Gloria Wheeler returned to Mongolia on Tues. Oct. 13 for about 2 months. She is working with the university here in Mongolia, where she taught last year on a Fulbright scholarship, to get it accredited by a U.S. accrediting agency.

1st Khoroo in Ulaanbaatar
On Thurs. Oct. 15 Wes and I had the opportunity to attend a meeting of the 1st Khoroo (a neighborhood group) and tell about the DIC programs (wheelchair, wells, neo-natal resuscitation, and vision) and present a boy with a wheelchair. I was impressed with this group which was trying hard to help people in their own khoroo with their special needs.

UB West Stake Conference
The weekend of Oct. 17/18 was the first stake conference of the UB West Stake since its organization last June 7th. It was an Asia Area broadcast covering 17 stakes and 16 districts. I really enjoyed the broadcast. Two weeks in a row I was able to hear messages in English (General Conference and then this area broadcast).

The speakers were Elder Watson of the Asia Area presidency, Sister Dalton of the YW presidency, Elder Oaks, and President Uchtdorf. Sister Dalton spoke on obeying with exactness.

Elder Oaks spoke on the unique features of the Church. 1) The Church was established by Jesus Christ. 2) The Church contains the fulness of his doctrine. The central message is the atonement of Jesus Christ; the Book of Mormon is a 2nd witness or testimony of Christ and his atonement. 3) The Church has the power of the priesthood. We have a prophet who has the keys for revelation for the entire Church. The Church is restored Christianity.

President Uchtdorf spoke on many subjects. He said the Church is united despite political boundaries. We're united in our testimony of Jesus Christ. We are never alone in the Church. Just as it's been said, it takes a village to raise a child, the Church is like a world-wide village. We help and strengthen each other. He said he was grateful for members' prayers and dedication to the Church. This is a strength to the Church and to the communities in which the members live.

He spoke to the young men. He told them the Lord has a work for them to do. They are to prepare. They are to study Preach My Gospel, particularly chapter 3. They are to read, ponder, and pray. Preach My Gospel should be used for family home evening. They are to decide now to go on a mission and to commit themselves to Heavenly Father. There are many good people to be loved and invited so they are no more strangers. This is a great and marvelous work, a modern miracle.

Ask yourself what am I doing to a) increase my faith and b) strengthen my marriage and family. Prayerfully reflect and ask the Spirit to guide you. Listen to the Spirit. The promptings of the Spirit will be specific to you. The Lord has promised you will be taught from on high if ready according to the Lord's timetable. You must follow the promptings you receive.

It is hard to focus on what is most essential. Life is distracting. Set goals in terms of outcomes. The gospel of Jesus Christ will give you a clear focus. Evaluate where you are in your journey back to your Heavenly Father. Where do you need course correction?

Always share the gospel message with family, friends, and neighbors. In Romans 1:16 the Apostle Paul said "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." Your testimony becomes stronger by sharing it. Share your joy with your spouse and your children. Set a good example for your family. Labor diligently for your and your family's conversion.

He concluded:
1) Hold a current temple recommend.
2) Study the word of God daily.
3) Speak with your Father in prayer daily.

Farewell to Dr. and Sister (Timothy and Nedra Anderson)
On Saturday Oct. 24th we had a farewell party for the Andersons. They left on the morning of Wed. Oct. 28. It was sad to see them go. They're a wonderful couple. Dr. Anderson was continually kept busy with the medical needs of the mission and other people who needed care. Sister Anderson was continually involved in doing good to others.

We are still having a problem getting visas for new missionaries to come in from the states. We have 3 couples and 13 young missionaries waiting to come. This Sunday will be a fast by the missionaries to soften the hearts of government officials so we can get visas for the waiting missionaries. Family, we'd like you to join with us this Sunday in fasting and praying for the visas as well as for Wendy Rae and Travis.

A couple, the Whitmans, serving a mission in Hong Kong, arrived the same afternoon on Wed. Oct. 28 to help in this mission for a month. They came under a tourist visa. Elder Whitman was a former dean at the B.Y.U. Law School. He will be helping Soyolmaa work on the legal aspects of the visa problem. His wife Sister Whitman is a nurse. She is stepping in to fill the gap left by the release of Elder Anderson. Today was her first day in the office and she was busy all day with medical problems.

Cupcake Week
Monday evening was our evening to go out and help with the singles family home evening. The youth teach the lesson and conduct the games themselves. All we do is provide refreshments. We brought chocolate cupcakes and served the remainder for Addiction Recovery on Tuesday night. In Addiction Recovery it was step 2 (hope) of the 12 Step program. We had 10 people in attendance besides the staff. Thursday night for English, since it's close to Halloween and they know something about it, we did some Halloween activities and again had cupcakes, this time with orange frosting.

Transfer Day
Saturday morning (Oct. 31) will be transfer day again for the missionaries. Supposedly it is a small transfer, but there will be a lot of changes. Since the American missionaries haven't arrived, some proselyting areas will be temporarily closed down.


Suzanne said...

What did Brother Batbold do career-wise before being in the mission presidency?
It sounds like a great stake conference!