Well another week in the books. This week was long and tiring, but very successful! I honestly have not been more tired in my whole mission than I have been this week. I mean, every night we have 10:10 pm "hits." That's when our heads hit our pillows. Instead of my companion and I staying up and watching a few Mormon Messages (MMs) for another 10 minutes before we pray and go to bed, we just hit the sack and I am passed out within minutes (we downloaded tons of MMs to watch on our little DVD player). Even though I am getting full night sleeps, it is nearly impossible to ever catch up. Seriously, around noon we are both so tired and feel like we're about to die, but as any missionary will tell you, the only way to stay awake and not think about how tired you are, and how great sleeping will be when you get home, is to WORK, so that is what we do. We WORK! As a full time missionary name badge wearer, I can honestly testify that “work” is the answer to everything in the field, combined with sincere prayer of course. Tired? Just Work. Hungry? Keep Working!
This week some very awesome things happened. As I mentioned last week, Monday the AP's (Assistants to the President) came, Elder Odd and Tulga. They are both absolute stud missionaries, and we are so blessed as a mission to have them at the helm under President Benson. I love Elder Tulga. He is such a funny Mongolian Elder! His English is incredible, and the best part is that not only does he know all the “educational/proper” English, but he knows more slang than I do probably! He says stuff hat he has acquired through the years from other American Elders, and it just kills me, he's so stinkin' funny. Along with my companion, his mission will end this month on July 31st. Elder Odd, well I have mentioned it many times, but he is my best American friend in the mission. He is such a great guy. He was Valedictorian in high school, and when he gave his speech at graduation, he talked about how he accomplished so many goals throughout his 4 years, but one was never filled, his first kiss. So he walked over and kissed the girl valedictorian, 100% not planned, and now they are kinda still boyfriend and girlfriend, while she is serving her mission in the Ukraine. He knows exactly when to be funny and have a great time, but also knows when to get down to work. We went on splits for two days, and it was already pre-determined that Elder Odd would work with me. So I was Odd's companion for 2 days, but not long enough. We have been hoping to be companions since I got here, but that hope was dashed when I was sent to Choibalsan. He will never leave UB. Remember, he teaches English to the Parliament Lady I talked about a long time ago. He promised me that he most likely won't be married before I get home. Summer of 2016 is planned pretty tight with Odd & Harris adventures, all of which are outdoor adventures to Zion and all his spots up near Cache Valley. He goes home this December. I am bummed about that. He really wants to come to our house and stay with you guys for a weekend and do a ride-along with dad, and I told him that my dad would love to do that. So expect a phone call okay! He already is pretty much family. He knows everything about us Harris'. I am reading all that I have typed about him, and I feel like Matt & Ryan will make fun of me and say I have a “Man Crush,” but hey, didn't they always tell me that you meet your best friends on your mission?
This week also, the Grosbecks, a senior couple, came to Choibalsan for a few days. They are from Springville, Utah, and will actually fly home on Wednesday. They served here in Choibalsan for a long period of time a year ago or so, and they are just here to say final goodbyes and do some trainings. It is neat to see how much love and affection all the members have for them. I mean there are a lot of people who are too busy to meet us, then all of a sudden, the Grosbecks come to town, and everyone's door is open, with food-a-blazzin' (haha). They have a translator here too, so they get tons of work done. Great people!
Interesting tidbit....We just found out we have an Elder's Quorum President in the Branch. He is very active, but never told us he had a calling, and it was just confusion on both parts, (He is blind, so he has some definite challenges....It is really sad). I don't know how it took so long to find this out. But anyway, his wife, Munkhbayar was just baptized. The translator for the Grosbecks (the senior couple) didn't show up for the baptism so I translated all the talks, prayers, etc. It is crazy how much Mongolian you know when you need to translate. Very cool experience!
As for the Work.....it is coming along. Elder Sims and Elder Ulziijargal had a baptism this week and we have 5 investigators as of now. They are all decently solid, but need a lot of help and faith building. We taught some great lessons this week to them, I mean, the Spirit was there, and I know the investigators felt it too, but only one investigator, the 14 year old son of one of our adult investigators, came to church this week. He is great, and we will continue to teach him, but we are hoping and praying that we can get the whole family in on the message we have to share. The whole family has baptismal dates for August 1st, but we will see if that can happen. Please pray for Sarantoya (the mom) and Togolthdor (the 14 year old son), and also the father. Please pray for all of them.
Other than that, the Work here in the Branch has been good. We had a solid fast and testimony meeting on Sunday, with 52 people in attendance, and great testimonies were shared. I always admire Mongolian testimony meetings. There is never a gap, people are always hopping up to bear their testimonies. Also, I have noticed a little Choibalsan kwerk when it comes to Testimony meetings. Everyone, and I mean everyone, always says an introduction: 1. Their name, 2. When they were baptized, 3. What calling they have, or what calling they had, 4. When they were endowed (if they were endowed), 5. If they hold the Priesthood, what office they hold. It is just kind of sweet and I find myself looking forward to hearing their intro as they walk up to the pulpit.
Well, I have one last small experience to share that happened this week when the AP's where living at our house. One morning, our personal study was just finishing up and I walked over to the kitchen to get some water after I prayed to close my study time. I looked back in the room and every Elder in the house was on their knees in supplication to the Lord. It really hit me and made me realize how close we are to God here. I love this work Mom and Dad. It is hard as can be, and investigators right now are hard, but I know I am doing my best. I know the Lord and my Heavenly Father are blessing us and are happy with us and how we are upholding this part of His Vineyard. Love you all.
Until next week,
Love Elder Harris
Elder Odd and I.
Walking hard, working hard.
The four Choibalsan Musketeers! Elder Ulziijargal, Elder Osorjamaa, me, and Elder Sims at the river.
The 4th of July at a crappy little steak house here. It's the only place with somewhat American food... it was definitely worth it though!
Got to do it for 'Merica!