Well this Thursday, December 11, 2014, I will hit my one year mark. Wow, it has flown by so fast! I only have a year left in this desolate and cold, yet amazingly awesome country that I have grown to love, and man, the realization of it is hitting me! See you all in a year, I guess.....haha! During this past year, I have been privileged to have had seven companions, served in three areas, and I helped six people enter the waters of baptism. I have been told to "zail" more times than I can count (it means to "get lost," but in a lot harsher and more offensive way). I have had a few punches thrown at me. I have been called the name of my Savior, mocked, offered cigarettes and alcohol, and many other things that I choose not to write at this time, but it has all been worth it. I LOVE this work, and I will continue on with Thanksgiving in my heart for the opportunity I have been given to come to Mongolia. The Purposes of God will roll forth, I can assure you of that. Thank you so much, family, for this year of support and prayers on my behalf. It has been felt, and I will never forget how much closer I feel to the Lord. More than I ever have in my life.
This week has been good, successful week.....and tiring too. For some reason, this week I was just drained...literally no energy. Most of the week was taken up with getting more coal out to the members in need for the winter, and in getting groceries for the families in need. It is such a great feeling to minister to people like we do, and to have the calling that we have. Also, what a blessing it is that our Church is able to provide for people in need the way they do. Truly amazing, and only something our Heavenly Father could have planned.
This week, I have studied about "Ministering" versus "Administering." This is what I found: Ministering is a sacred privilege and responsibility that I took upon my self when I was turned 12 and received the Priesthood. Ministering is standing as a representative of Christ in word and in deed, doing what He would do if he Himself were here in my place. It is caring for people's temporal and spiritual needs and acting upon them with the pure love of Christ to strengthen them and support them. This is my role as a Priesthood holder, missionary, and a Branch President. I have members that stand in need of Christ's help, and I can minister unto them. Some are obvious, and some are harder to recognize, but everyone has needs that need to be attended to by the love and ministering of the Priesthood. President Anderson taught me how to be a minister. Through using my priesthood, and looking at the members of my branch with spiritual eyes, I can help them come closer to Christ, and support them when they have no one to lean on but the Lord. I need to be active in ministering, and not wait for the needs to come to me. That is something I wish and pray to be better at. Seeing all people through Christ's eyes, and being able to attend to their spiritual and temporal needs with out being told by them what that need is. This is what I learned this week.
Well, this Friday, we will have a baptism! Actually two! I am super excited for it, and it has been a long time coming. Patience is key, I have learned. It all happens on the Lord's time frame, and how He wants His work to move forward.
This week we also were able to meet quite a bit with Enkhbat Ah, the father of the family we found. He is having some experiences with the Spirit in his life, but is having a hard time recognizing it. He needs to make that leap of faith. He is keeping his reading commitments and prayer commitments, but he didn't come to church yesterday, which was disappointing. Sometimes I don't understand why people make that decision, but I just try to understand that this is bigger than me, and His plan is greater, and we all have our free agency to choose. Enkhbat's son will be baptized this Friday, so we hope that will be a big motivation for him.
Also this week we met with our 50-year old investigator, Brother Bold, quite a few times. He is really quiet, and hard to teach. He just sits there and listens and nods his head to everything. We ask questions to get him involved, but man it is rough. He understands it all, but is having a hard time making the connection on why baptism is vitally important to him. He comes to church every week, so we will see where it continues to go.
I love my companion and we get along well. He is funny, and fun to be with. Soon I expect him to take the reigns of District Leader....Man, that will be nice! It will be a big help to me!
I think I could summarize this year of my life in this scripture: "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." -Philippians 4:12
I feel so blessed and full, and so pleased with the Work I have had the privilege of being a part of this past year, but it is not over. One more year, and Boy, am I Hungry! Dad, be assured that I am thirsty too!
I love my God, my Savior, and His work. Nothing like the Best Two Years!
Love you all,
This past week, my young friend, ErdeneMunkh, went on "splits" with me. He will be a great missionary in a few years. ("Splits" is when two missionaries, who are companions, split up and go out teaching with other members in the Branch, doubling their efforts).
President and Sister Anderson (who are filling in for Pres. and Sister Benson while they are in Utah) came to Choibalsan a couple of weeks ago. What great people they are! I learned so much from President Anderson in the short time he was here. He served as Mongolia's Mission President a few years back. By the way, Sister Benson had a healthy baby boy this week. Their family will be coming back to Mongolia soon.