Well, this week has been another crazy week, to say the least. Let me get started.....
Since my companion and I are white-washing here in our new area (meaning we are both new to the area), we have spent TONS of time just getting to know the area and the people. We live 30 - 40 minutes from our area, so there are plenty of long and crazy bus rides. When we get out to our area, we are either on all flat ground, or all hills, no in between. It just depends on where we are. Our area is huge, so we have to decide what area within the area we want to go to for the day. That kind of stinks, because if we get there and get rejected all day, then we have to spend a lot more money to get to another area. I love it though, really. In this area, there are cows everywhere....on the road and even at the entrance to a store. They just don't care!
So as of now we have 14 investigators, but only about 3 are progressing. Our most promising one is Brother Bimbaa. He is such a great man. He works himself to the bone everyday at his job and then he allows us into his humble ger every night. He has no electricity so we always teach by flashlight and candle, which I really like! He understands all that we teach, and he keeps every commitment we ask him to make. He will be baptized, I know it. The problem with all our investigators is that they live so far from church building and they simply cannot afford to come. So we really pray for them and just share scriptures with them on how much attending church will bless their lives. One of scriptures is 3rd Nephi 13:31-33. I love this area and I love the people. I was asked by our investigator from our last area, Sister Althmaa, if I would be the one to baptize her! Of course I said "Yes!" The baptism was supposed to be this past Friday, but sadly she worked on Sunday and couldn't come to church so it will be pushed back one more week. I am so excited for that experience though! Another investigator is a young mother who just lost her husband. He passed away a few months ago, leaving her with a newborn child. She says there is just no way she can afford to come to church because of the distance. We will continue to pray for and with her so that things will work out that she can attend church.
A few days ago on the bus, there was a crazy altercation between the bus driver and a driver of a car. The bus driver and the small car were going at it. The bus and the car are just driving down the road and they both are jockeying back and forth for the lead position. Who knows why! You think the car would have backed off, but no, he was not giving in. So as we are pulling into our bus stop, the man from the car is on the side of the bus banging on it! Soon the bus driver stops, opens the doors, and everyone quickly gets out. The man from the car gets on the bus and storms down the isle towards the bus driver. Elder Ulziibayar and I are now standing on our chairs to get out of his way. The bus driver gets up and he start duking it out right there in front of us, in this little space in the bus. I am literally so close I could have touched the two men. We just stand on the seat and look for a way out, but I am not moving because I am not getting hit! My companion felt the same way! So after about 10 seconds of punches being thrown, the bus driver lands a huge punch which knocks the other man down. We are just shocked! We then see our chance to escape and we take it! So we are now outside of the bus, waiting for our next bus, and the driver of the car comes out just dripping in blood. He then goes back to his car (which he left in traffic) gets in it and drives off. My companion wasn't too fazed by this. He said it happens all the time.
Also, if you all would please look in the February edition of the Ensign magazine. On page 24, you will find a picture of some members we have here in Mongolia! The bigger man with the red and white stripped tie on was just released from the District Presidency! Also, on the inside of the back cover there is a Mongolian family! We are getting publicity here in Mongolia!!
So as you have heard, my companion's father is expected to pass away this week. It is very sad. His whole family has come from the countryside to be at the hospital with their father. He has a very bad heart and has for quite a long time. So this week, Elder Ulziibayar and I were allowed by President Benson to go visit his father in the hospital. It was honestly so sad. That is the last time he will see his Father in this life. He spent about two hours in the room with him, and then he came out very quiet. We then went to the church, and he still didn't say anything. I am so incredibly sad for my companion. I have so much respect for him. I don't know if I could handle a family member dying while I was here in Mongolia. He is very calm, and just keeps to himself, which is okay. I am here for him and whenever he needs me I'm there to lift him up. His father is expected to pass away this week, so he is really having a hard time. His whole family is begging him to leave his mission so that is really hard on him. They are not members of the church. He is getting advice from President Benson and a decision will be made soon on what he will do. Please keep him in your prayers. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have about families. I know my family is Eternal. I love you guys so much. There is a reason why the second thing we teach our investigators about the gospel as missionaries is that God loves us so much that He has given us families. They are the only way we can return to our Father in Heaven. David F. Evans of the Seventies told us in the MTC, "Endure to your temple endowment, and endure to your temple sealing. That is the only reason you were sent to Earth." Endure to your temple sealing. Become an Eternal Family. Thank you so much mom and dad for your choice to have our family sealed for all time and eternity. The Gospel is true. I love this work and I love you all. I pray for your health and safety everyday. I know the Lord is watching over you all at this time. D&C 100:1-4 says so.
Until next week,
I love this little kid. He's the 9 year old son of one of the counselors in my Branch.
Last sunday was a day that we were turned away at every door. It was so cold... and then it started snowing on us. But I love Mongolia, and I love my mission.
My apartment building. I live on the second floor.
Zaisan Hill in Ulaanbaatar where Elder Maxwell dedicated Mongolia for the preaching of the gospel back on April 15, 1993.