Well, first of all, I will be calling you on my Christmas Day at 9:00 a.m., Mongolia time.....5:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Nevada time. I will be calling from the Bayanzurkh building in UB.
Well, not too much to report about this week. Transfers happened, and I am still in Choibalsan, and so is my companion, and also the two sisters. I'm join to be honest, I was a little bummed about it. I love Choibalsan, but it is becoming difficult and hard on me. I have been here so long (8 months) that sometimes I don't feel like a missionary anymore, but more a member of the Branch. Being the Branch President has been a real blessing, I have learned so much. But man, it is sure hard juggling my Branch President responsibilities and my missionary responsibilities. Sunday is the hardest day for sure. So many things to tend to. The youth of the ward seem to show no respect for the church building or toward the leaders, so my companion and I have had to correct behavior a bit lately. I really can't explain it, but it has been a rough week. I always thought that I was sent here because people needed me, but I now realize that it is the exact opposite. I needed Choibalsan. I feel like I have changed so much here, and have really learned to rely on the Lord, but a change would be nice. Don't get me wrong, I will continue to work hard every day that I am here to be the best missionary and Branch President I can be. All week I have just been praying and asking what I still need to learn here, and what does the Lord want of me here? The answer hasn't come yet, and seeing how answers to prayers normally come, my answer probably won't come until I am long gone from my beloved Choibalsan. As all missionaries and prospective missionaries know, "I'll go where He wants me to go," but now I am telling myself, "I'll stay where you wants me to stay, Dear Lord."
Right now, we are about down to practically nothing in terms of investigators. Bold Ah (who has come to church for like 6 weeks now), was unable to meet with us all week, and same with Enkhbat Ah (Togoldor's dad). I truly have gained a testimony that all of our trials are for our learning experience, and nothing is given to us that we can not bear. I know that is true. I have faith in trials, and have set a goal to embrace them and welcome them in as part of this life's mortal experience to prepare me to stand before the Judgement Bar of God, worthy and ready to enter into His rest. Missionary life...it is such a blessing, but sometimes one that takes much patience and long suffering.
Christmas is just around the corner! Man, that is so weird! I hate to say it, and don't worry Mom, or feel sad for me, but it doesn't really feel like Christmas here. Some stores have trees up, and I know it is supposed to be Christmas, but it is just not the same this year. It will be very nice to fly to Ulaanbaatar on Christmas Eve and be with all the missionaries for Christmas though. I'm looking forward to that....and to our Christmas Skype.
This Christmas is special to me regardless the amount of "Christmas Spirit" that is (or is not) around me. I feel like I have started to grasp the the true meaning of our Savior, a topic that no one can truly have a hold on 100%. That is an endeavor I will pursue for the rest of my life, but for now, I know I love Jesus Christ, My Savior and Redeemer. Everyone truly wants one thing in this life, and that is happiness. But something else that everyone cries out for in times of need and sorrow, is understanding. We all want to be understood by others, and in our times of deepest sorrow, whether you feel like you are alone in the crowded comfort of your own home, or whether you are all alone in Outer Mongolia just trying to push through, He understands. Our Prince of Peace was born in a stable belonging to herd animals, and as The Great Exemplar put it himself in Luke 9:58, "Foxes have holes, and … birds … have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.” He went through scorn and torture. He was bashed and bruised, torn and tattered. But as we know, "To this end was (He) born." He was born to rise above all, to conquer the Spiritual and Physical death, for each and every one of us. He is the gift.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
I love my Savior. I love you all. Have a great Christmas, you guys!
Remember, Wise Men still seek him.
I hope you all have a great Christmas this year! What a special time it is for us to remember our Savior and the ultimate gift, the gift of His son. Good luck to you all this coming year, and may we make the Savior more a part of our lives evermore.
"Every knee shall bow, every
tongue shall Confess."
My companion and I in our deels... and Santa hats!
It's gotten pretty cold here when the sun goes down, as you can see, especially for this Southern Nevada boy!
It's cold when the suns up too!
Yea, my Elder's Quorum President is blind, and he is the Asia Champion for Judo in the Para-Olympics. He is going to the World-Para Olympics soon! Holla at a Mongolian!
This is the picture of the ground breaking for the new Stake Center that they are building in Ulaanbaatar!!