Well how is it over there on the mainland of America? Choibalsan is great! I love it more and more everyday. The people are great, the food is rough sometimes, but the work is rolling along. I wouldn't ask for anything to be different.
Well, I have to be honest, this week was pretty rough. We had a really hard time meeting with the people who had committed to meet with us. We came off a 23 lesson week, and this past week we only taught 9 lessons. It was really frustrating at times. We are trying so hard to get the Branch situated and organized the way it should be, so missionary work is almost taking a back seat, and I do not like that. We are trying to figure a way to manage both, with both being 100%, not one or the other taking the back seat, but that is stinkin' hard. I'm leaving this week feeling like I didn't give it my all. I feel pretty overwhelmed, handling both the Branch and the missionary work. This past week was the "lets try to get in the swing of things and get everything rolling smooth," week, but it didn't work. My companion and I finally just sat down in our apartment, at a time when we both felt so overwhelmed, and we talked and then we prayed for heavenly blessings on us as we are trying to do what needs to be done. We immediately started devising a new Branch Action Plan, very detailed, and the list of things to do is a mile long. We will be extending new callings for all the organization leadership positions, with exceptions to the Primary President and Relief Society President. We have a lot of responsibility on our shoulders, but I know that Lord trusts us with this or else we wouldn't be here, alone, hundreds of miles away from everyone else.
On a brighter note, our investigator, Tseengoon, WAS BAPTIZED on Friday, May 16th and received the Holy Ghost on the 18th! It was so great! As I have said, this week was rough, but as we filled up the baptismal font and got ready for the service, it was incredible to feel the Lord take the burdens away and just let us savor the moment. I am so grateful for that. For the three or so hours we spent getting everything ready, the font, clothes, food, ect., I felt such peace, and I felt my Savior's love. I don't really know how to describe it, but I just want to testify that I know the Lord is watching over us here. It was so obvious in that little way while filling up the baptismal water. After the doors to the font had been closed, Tseengoon, expressed his happiness and joy of being baptized, by splashing around in the font. I mean, it was probably a little irreverent, but you couldn't help but laugh and smile. The joy was just radiating off his face. He bore his testimony afterwards to a little congregation of about 10 people, and through his young testimony, you felt the Spirit. The ordinance of Baptism really changes people. The look on his face, his countenance, was different than it had ever been. I also want to tell you about a 17-year old young man who will be baptized on May 30th. His name is Ganbayar. He is a good, strong, studly kid. Most of all, he is a leader. He stands out in the crowd. We see him everyday, and he asks to accompany us to all the lessons we are teaching to others. He has expressed great desire to be a missionary in the next few years. I told President Benson that he has a Leader from Choibalsan coming his way in the near future. I am really excited for him.
I want to close by saying that this is what missionary work is all about. You have a really tough week, one where you feel like you are letting the Lord down, then instead of smiting you or telling you that you aren't good enough, the Lord lifts you up on eagle's wings, and gives you the hope to keep pushing along. That's the way I feel at the end of this week.
We had a primary activity on Saturday! Great turn out! Aren' they stinking cute?!
This is a memorial or the Russians here in Choibalsan. They defeated the Japanese here in Mongolia. The man is one of our member's husbands. He is a non-member, and his whole family are members. We are working with him to start taking the lessons... but he is not interested. He's a great guy, he loves us, just not ready. He is also a big wig in the Army here.
We went out to visit a member of our branch who is now in the Army. I actually served with him for a short time before he left his mission. The Mongolian Army compound was pretty sweet. I would love to get some Mongolian Army clothes, they are so sweet.
The view East from the Army compound. China is out there somewhere, about 20 miles.