Well this past week, as we all know, I turned 21. I just want to tell you that it was by far the most special birthday I have ever had. Having the calling that I have as a missionary for the Lord Jesus Christ is something that trumps all, and the people here truly spoiled me. Mom, rest assured...I was taken care of by three different families on my birthday, all of which I have never felt so much love. It was truly amazing. On my birthday, we were able to go to Sister Oyun Erdene's home around 11:00 for a birthday lunch! It was great! Many members were there, and I was presented with song, and a great birthday cake! Sister Oyun Erdene even kissed me on the cheek! I was shocked! Later that night after a fireside we held to start our Branch's 90-Day Book of Mormon reading, we went over to Naraa's house for dinner. It was great also and I am so grateful for the hospitality she has shown me for months now! She is a true saint. She and Ganbayar gave me a Chinggis Khaan leather wall hanging and a Mongolian statue. It is cool! Tuesday night, we went over to Sister Bolor Erdene's home and had a feast! I learned how to make Buuz...I am terrible at it, though! But this party was something special. The love that was in that tiny room was something special, and something I will never forget. They truly love Elder Harris. They gave me a traditional Mongolian hat called a "Louz." It is a hand-made fox pelt hat! It is soooo sick, Mom and Dad! Just know I will wear it for every holiday in America for as long as I live. They also gave me tons of "Shagainuud" (ankle bones)! I am saving them up so we can play that game when I get home! Also, they gave me a Mongolian cashmere sweater vest! It is so nice! And so expensive.... 50,000 tougs.... They cannot afford that. That is like $28, and it is a little small on me, and that is the biggest size they had. I felt so bad, but I mean, what do you do? I love it though! I stretched it out a little bit and wore it on Sunday to church! They loved it! Sister Bolor Erdene gave me a birthday card, and at the bottom it was signed, "From your Mission Mom." She then handed me these two little Mongolian dolls. One male and one female. She then told me that the male is for me, and the female is for my future wife. At this point I started to get a little emotional, and Sister Bolormaa, Bolor Erdene's older sister, saw it and said, "Ай ямар хөөрхөн юм бэ! (Oh! how cute!) So I immediately stopped and started making a few jokes to cut the sentimental mood that was happening! Honestly, it was the best birthday I could have asked for!
The AP's (Assistants to the President) flew out on Monday, my birthday. We didn't do much that day except celebrate my birthday! Tuesday I went on splits with Elder Higgs from Ogden, Utah. He played Lacrosse at the Y, and tore his ACL too! He is a real stud! haha! Anyways, we didn't get much done because I was audited because I am the Ward Clerk. One of the senior couples, Elder Frankam from Taylorsville, Utah, came out to do the audit. It was cool, but stressful. It took quite awhile, and then afterwards we had to take care of a lot of issues at the sisters' apartment. The Landlord has totally done them dirty. Anyways, we had a great day; long talk, much needed on my end, I might add. Please pray for my companion. Please pray for the work here. I know your prayers will be heard.
The work is slow here right now. We are struggling, but the end of that rut is near, I hope. I am just trying my best to be an example and help my companion and our district. Charity is key I have learned. Pray for me as I strive to lead this District. The Sisters are great, very hard workers, as well. We should be having four baptisms as a district this month! Our goal is 100 lessons and four baptisms, so we are working hard for that! Those are big numbers in Mongolia, so we have a mountain to climb. But... bid chadna! Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Because I have made many friends at the Airport here, I have come to have a few connections. My friend at the Airport, an Air Traffic Controller named Bold, called me a few days back and said that he was going to the countryside and if I would give him come gas money, he would bring back some wolf meat for me!! Of course I jumped at that!! So I payed him 15,000 toogs (about $6) for about 3 pounds of wolf meat! So today we had a "Wolf Party!" We made "buzz" and "huushuur," and man, was it good! Wolf meat is supposedly really good for your body (so they say). Whether it is or not, that is another thing to cross off my list!
I love you guys! Talk to you next week after I watch GENERAL CONFERENCE!! I am so excited!
Twenty-first birthday breakfast. Ryan, check out the tie! Thanks, bro.
Party at Sister Bolor Erdene's house. Elder Higgs (one of the AP's) was in town. So glad he could meet our members.
Sister Bolormaa, Bolor Erdene's older sister, and me in a traditional Mongolian hand-made fox hat, called a "Louz"! Just so you know, I will wear it for every holiday in America for as long as I live.
Sister Bolor Erdene and I.
Party at Oyun Erdene's house, and some of the members that came out for it.
What's left of the birthday cake from Oyun Erdene's party.
My sponsor in UB, Ukraine Naraa, sent me a cake! Elder Higgs photo-bombing me.
Naraa, our new member, and her son, Ganbayar, gave me this statue and a leather wall hanging of Chinggis Khaan.
Sunday with the fam! I am wearing the orange sweater vest they gave me!