Well hey guys! I am just here at some video game computer cafe writing this email because I hear you can send pictures from this one! Keep your fingers crossed and let me know if the pictures come through!
This week has been such an adventure! So let me give you guys a run down of my typical day! We wake up at 6:30 a.m., work out, eat, and shower. At 8:00, Personal Study starts followed by Companion Study at 9:00, then the 12-Week Training Program at 10:00, Language Study at 11:00, then lunch at 12:00 noon! We make it to the bus stop by about 12:45 p.m., then ride the bus 15 minutes to our area. The bus costs about 25 cents. We make it to our area, and if we have lessons planned, we head there. As of right now we only have two progressing investigators so we don't have too many lessons planned. If we are not teaching lessons, we are just walking around, up and down hills, trying to find member's homes to get referrals from, and we also do ITL's, which is pretty much street contacting. I really can't do that since I'm a "foreigner," but my companion can, so that's nice. After a long day of walking, hiking, and being barked at by dogs, we make it back to our bus stop at about 9 p.m. and then home we go! We get home, plan for the next day, and I am out like a light!! Next morning, wake up, repeat... and so on and so forth.
I really love my area though! Our area is set in between two mountains, with the main road running in between. Our area covers pretty much from the bottom of a big hill, all the way to the top and over the other side a little bit. As I have said, our area is pretty much all hills. It could be worse though, so I don't complain about it. The best part is the view! We have a member, who is pretty much our Area Mother, and she lives at the TOP of a mountain in the area! It is a hike to get to her house, but when we go, the view is breathtaking! You can literally see all of UB! The best feeling though was a few nights ago when we were trying to get over to her house to teach her two kids a lesson about tithing. First off, we went up the wrong mountain, so we hiked along the ridge of two other mountains to get over to her house, a "ger." We left at about 5:00 p.m. on our journey and made it there just as the sun was setting! It was so pretty! Then after we left her ger, it was about 8:45 p.m., and we started our trek down the mountain to our bus stop. I cannot tell you how gratifying it was walking down that mountain in the dark of night, with the city lights off in the distance, knowing we put in a long hard days worth of the Lord's work!
As of now we have two progressing investigators, Sister Althma and Sister Ochbayar. Sister Althma is so great! She is so ready for baptism, and we know the gospel has truly blessed her life already. Her testimony is so strong! You can pretty much call her the Golden Investigator. She will be baptized on March 14th if all continues the way that it is, but I know nothing will stop this Sister. Sister Ochbayar is great as well. She was referred to us from a member, and we have met with her three times now. I had a really incredible experience with her a few days ago during our first lesson with her. We taught her about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and how we can have a relationship with our Heavenly Father through prayer. I taught her the "why" and "how" of prayer, then we asked her to pray. She didn't really want to, so I prayed first, and she agreed to pray after. Well she prayed for US, my companion and me! I honestly did not understand a single thing she said except for "Dear Heavenly Father" and "Amen," but I will tell you that I felt the Spirit so strong! We all felt the Spirit in that room. It was so powerful, and in our next lesson we asked her how she felt when she prayed and she talked about how peaceful it was and that she wants to keep on praying!
I am so grateful for the Spirit that is connected with this work. Like I said, I can hardly understand anything anyone is saying, but the Spirit speaks to make up for it. This work is real. I am so blessed to be a part of it!
This week I also went to the Mongolian Immigration Office and was "accepted," I guess! They took my fingerprints and asked a few questions. I had to wear street clothes so that was nice! The undercover work here is great! HaHa. No word though on when I will begin teaching English.
I had one of my "firsts" this week: For the first time, a dog actually posed a threat to us....so nothing like a little rock to the leg....I was 1 for 1!
I love you guys so much! Thanks for all the support! I am so blessed to have a family like you. All the members that I show my family pictures to just look at you guys and smile ear to ear! I love it!
Until next week,
Love, Elder Harris
My companion and Trainer, Elder Olzyybayr and I.
Walking through a tunnel on our way back home for the night...
My area... See, all hills!
My area. see the "ger" on the hill to the left? They're all over.
Elder Olzyybayr and I.
Where I sleep.... and yes, it is pink.
Home sweet home!
Inside our Branch President's ger. By the way, a "ger" is the traditional house of the nomads in Mongolia. It is tent-like with a wood frame and covered with wool. It can break-down and collapse easily and also can be put together again after its been moved.
This is our Church building. It's called the Khilthaast building. It is kind of like our church buildings back home, but three floors instead of one. Also, is is narrower in width than ours at home. It only has one hallway on one side, instead of both sides. It is like 30 minutes from the mission home.
Looking through the gate in my area, into a yard. You can get a good look at a ger.