Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My 21st Birthday in the Mission Field

Хайрт Гэр Бүл Минь (My Loving Family),

So the day has come.  I'm 21 years old!  I will quote the words of a dear friend that I received this morning, "I would like to officially welcome you to the elite class of those who can buy alcohol, handguns, and carry concealed weapons!"  Yes, that day has come, but, uh, no!  More importantly, the time has come that I have the opportunity to serve my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Миний Дуудлага Ямар Агуу Юм Бэ! 

The work is great here is Choibalsan.  Slow but great.  Finding people to teach has been tough this week. We are down to few investigators, and only a few of those truly have a desire to learn.  We have received some great referrals, but they always seem to fall through.  Being a District Leader is a good time, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in this way, and to help others, and to sanctify myself.   Nothing more really to say this week, but Mom rest be assured, today I will be having a nice birthday party at Sister Оюун Эрдэнэ's home, and tomorrow night as well, at Sister Bolor Erdene's home!   It will be a birthday to remember!  But before I go, I would like to make this email a little more interesting for you.  Here are five things that are just...well....."MONGOLIA."

1. The #1 occupation in Mongolia is a Taxi Driver. Why?  Because everyone that has a car is a Taxi Driver. There are not really any "real" taxis here.  You just stand on the road with your hand out, and if someone stops (which they always do within seconds), you hop in and they take you where you need to go!  One km is about the equivalence of 50 cents, so it is dang cheap. 
2. In one week's time, if you have running water in your apartment for more then 3 days, count it as a blessing. If within those three days, there is slightly hot water, count it as a tender mercy.  Also, within those three days, if the water coming out is not muddy, count it as a MIRACLE!
3. Leftovers do not exist in Mongolia.  Sorry mom.  Your  "Make a huge casserole on Sunday, and eat it all week," would never fly.  If you don't finish the food when it is made, it goes straight in the can. 
4. Mongolians tend to believe that an American can't cook, wash clothes, clean, or do many other simple chores like that.   When they ask and you say, "Of course I can clean," they have a puzzled look and just blow it off, acting like they didn't understand you, when in reality, they understood, but think you are full of it.
5. When you go into someone's home, they ALWAYS, not just some people, but EVERYONE, give you a bowl of candy, or bread of some sort, and a cup of boiling hot water.  If they don't have it ready, they panic, and hurry and find something to make up for it.  It is the sweetest thing ever, and they are truly such hospitable people.  Poor, or even poorer, they all do it. 

I'd like to close with the Lord's words to Enoch, "Lift up your heart, and be glad, and look." (Moses 7:44)  This struck me so hard.....especially, "and look."  I learned that if I just look at the Tender Mercies of the Lord that are around me every day, if I look towards the Lord in all that I do, if I look at my companion and district with love and charity, all will be okay, and I will be happy disciple of Christ.   Let's all have a great week.  Be glad, and look!

Love you all,
Elder Harris

Pushing the little "Wolf Pack" around!  They love me so much.  
They are super cute, right?

Visiting a family in our Branch.

Great family! They have the cutest kids. 

Mongolian day to day life.

A little 1st grader with a princess on her shirt! I am trying to learn all the princesses names in Mongolian for the girls!

District meeting. My comp and I with Sisters Tseverlmaa and Munkhnasan. 


My favorite food here! Tsouvan!

Matt asked to see the our Church building.  This is, of course, the Chapel with all the chairs stacked up. It doubles as the Cultural Hall.    

1 comment:

  1. He is so positive and so happy! He is an amazing young man - I think it is so amazing that our boys had to travel all the way across the world to meet each other when they lived less than 8 miles apart in Henderson!
    I am so happy for him and his accomplishments and good vibes!