Well, this week, I actually have a lot to say, but I really don't know how to go about saying it all, so I will just tell you what this week has been like for me this past week..."A week in the life of Elder Harris" style!!
Monday: Wake up at 5:30 a.m., eat the same breakfast, eggs and toast. Head to the church to teach seminary and then email you guys. Head back home. Grab things I need to teach English and then hop on a bus to go to the airport to teach English class, lasts 2 hours. Come home. Eat lunch. Do all of our studies for the day. Now it is like 3:30, and we have 3 hours left for p-day. Oh, what shall we do for the remainder of our Beloved P-Day? Ward members call and they need us to come help them, now! We go to the church and help members fill out Perpetual Education Fund paperwork. Go home. It is now 5:45. We lay down for 20 minutes. Now it is 6:10. So we go the church. Family Home Evening will start in 20 minutes. Stand there and wonder where our P-Day went. 9:00 head home. Plan. Sleep.
Tuesday: I wake up and I am sicker than I ever have been in the mission field. I try to get up. Can't. Call the mission doctor and report that I might die. What medicine do I take Doc? Ammoxicilian. Okay I will take that. "Elder Harris, go back to bed," he says. Okay, I won't argue with that. I sleep till about 8:30. Get up, eat, then shower and start studies. Lunch comes and goes, and we need to go to the church for interviews and training. I am so sick and my body is weaker than I can explain. We get to the church, interviews start, so I lay on the floor in my Clerk's Office and sleep for about another hour and a half while my companion interviews many people. Now it is time to go. We have a dinner appointment, and also a lesson to teach. We go home after dinner because the lesson bailed on us and I am about to fall dead in the road and be eaten by stray dogs. Plan for tomorrow and sleep. It is strange, I feel like when missionaries get sick, it is not just like little cough or runny nose, it usually feels like death is on the door step! But it always comes and goes quickly, so I am grateful for that.
Wednesday: I wake up. Still sick. Well, luckily for me, my English-teaching Boss is a great guy and is really hung over from the night before. He allows us to skip the rest of the week of English classes. Yes! He truly is concerned for me, and says over and over, "I am so sorry, my friend!" So we just study, then head out for the day. There were a lot of things to be done this week and a lot preparation for training and the baptisms. All three investigators come to the church and pass their interviews for baptism. Yes! The District Leader applauds us for finding such great investigators. That was nice. We find out that everyone in our Branch does not need to be baptized again. Yes! They found the records in the files in UB. Yes! Such a blessing. But, many men need to receive the Priesthood again. There is no record of that, and unless we can find 2 witnesses to vouch that these people received the Priesthood, they must receive it again. Well, seeing that we have only four active "Witness" aged people in the Branch (2 being my companion and I), that can't happen, so they must receive the priesthood again. Go home. Plan. Sleep.
Thursday: Same ole, same ole. Still not feeling well. But for mutual, we plan a fun activity down by the river. We get everything ready for that. Around 4:00, we head out to the river and two sisters from the Branch start cooking food. The way they cook is unreal! Mongolians are unreal! Their food is the best! About 25 youth show up, eat, play volleyball, work on Duty to God and Personal Progress, and then we have a little testimony meeting. It was a great time, and I wish I had more time to tell you about it....but I included pictures in this email for you to enjoy!
Friday: I am not sick anymore. Yes! Today is baptism day! We get a call, our female investigator. She tells us she can't be baptized today. She must go out of town for her work for a few weeks. Well that is a bummer. We get everything prepared and ready to go for the 2 young men who will get baptized. Font is ready, and we are dressed in white. Ganbayar, the 16-year old boy arrives. My companion will baptize him. Ekhbayar, the 15-year old boy, doesn't show. I was supposed to baptize him. Great. So only 1 baptism happened, and I was awkwardly in all white for no reason. Oh well! Ganbayar's baptism was so great! He was so ready, and he will be a missionary someday. He is a great leader and is 100% one of the ELECT that we found. I will never forget this kid. Friends forever!
Saturday: We have a great day planned! We are excited! 8:30 a.m., phone call comes and a member needs help moving. Of course we will help her! So we help her for a few hours, and that throws off the entire day. We get no lessons in and weren't able to contact Ekhbayar, the kid who didn't show to his baptism. Pretty rough day.
Sunday: A few investigators came to church! Great! Ganbayar confirmed and received the Holy Ghost, and we went to his house for dinner that night. We find out that his older brother died a few years ago. That is always a hard one to hear.
Today, President Benson is sending two new Elders to us way out here in Choibalsan. Elder Sims and Elder Ulziijargal. We are picking them up at the airport in a while. We are very happy about that! They will help us out tremendously. So we will have 4 Elders here! The Work will go by so much smoother and progess faster I hope! I know the Lord has a plan for us here.
Something else exciting is that these elders are bringing with them our MAIL! I've been told the package that you sent over two months ago is with them on the plane too! I'm so excited to get mail and to open that package!!
Well that is about it. Sorry it is not the best email I have written. Just tired, recovering from my sickness, and I have a lot on my mind.
I love you guys,
Ganbayar and my companion.
Ganbayar's parents. We went to dinner at their house after the baptism.
This was one for the memory books. They have a tradition here in Mongolia that when a baby is born. they do not cut their hair for a few years. Then out of tradition, someone will cut their hair and pronounce a blessing on the child. So yes, I grabbed some scissors, I blessed her with good health, and cut a lock of hair from the back of her head. Such a cute little girl.
My companion and I.
The mutual activity at the river. We had a great time, and the food was better!