Well, I made it safe and sound to Choibalsan. I flew here on Saturday with my companion and Dr. and Sister Lewis, and will stay for five days. We will fly back to UB on Wednesday, June 3rd.
Man, I love being back here! Right now, I am back here in the Clerk's office in the Choibalsan church building writing from my old computer. Man, I miss this place. Church on Sunday was so great and I was so blessed to reconnect with so many old friends and faces again. I just might gain five pounds here in five days, but we will see. The members were surprised and happy to see me and said that I've lost a lot of weight…That is good news, I guess. Yesterday I ate at three different member’s houses after church: Oyunerdene Egch, Damdindorj Ah, and my new members Naraa and Ganbayar's house. There are so many great memories and flashbacks here to some of the most spiritual parts of my mission so far. The best news of my trip (and possibly my whole mission) is that Naraa is preparing to go to the Hong Kong Temple in September for her endowments! She has money saved for it and everything, and has her mind set on going! Also her son, Ganbayar, has started his Mission Papers and will have them turned in this month. May 30th was his one year anniversary as a member, and I was so happy to be here with him for that. His availability date is September 19th, his 18th birthday! It is truly overwhelming to look back and see how these two children of our loving Heavenly Father have changed into Covenant Keeping and Covenant Making members of His true church. Words cannot describe the happiness I have for them and the gratitude I feel to have been their missionary. If Naraa goes to the temple and Ganbayar leaves for his mission before I leave Mongolia, well, there could literally never be anything that would make me much happier. This church is true. I love my Savior. He is my Redeemer. This is His church.
Today we have a huge Branch activity down by the river. They bought two sheep for it. Yep, they slaughterd and cooked them and made horhog. (Susan’s note: I found this definition of Horhog on the internet: Horhog is a traditional Mongolian meat dish, which is very popular in camping and outdoor activities. It is not a dish for two. It should be made at least for 5 people. Horhog cooking is a lot of fun. It entails the spirit of togetherness and sets the beginnings of friendship. The cooking process is simple at first glance, however, it requires practice and intuition. Meat cut in large chunks is cooked with hot stones in a tightly closed aluminum can until it forms a hearty stew. When the cooking is done, the stones are taken out first and given to all horhog eaters. While still hot and greasy, stones should be rolled between palms or held with fingers. Rolling or holding stones with hands is supposed to be good for health because Mongolians believe that the heat and grease from just cooked meat eliminates fatigue and boosts stamina.)
This past week in Sansar was pretty good. My companion and I have been able to do pretty good work with our investigator A…….. She is 20 years old and should be baptized this coming week on Friday. Most likely though next week due to us being here in Choibalsan. She is great, active in church activities, and has made many friends in the church. I am really proud of her for all the work she’s done to get to this point. I’m even more happy and grateful for the work our Heavenly Father has done with her. Her testimony is strong.
Hey Dad, could you take time and send me the story of Grandpa Harris' conversion? Sister Lewis, the doctor’s wife, is here with us in Choibalsan and she told her father’s conversion story last night. It made me think of Grandpa Harris a lot. He changed a lot of lives and the history of our family when he accepted the Gospel. I never really realized it until last night. He is a pioneer in our family, and a man who although I didn't know very well, is someone who I love very much. I love you dad. Thanks for being a great Father to me.
Love you all,
Elder Marc Harris
Last year at Naraa’s baptism, with her son Ganbayar and me. Ganbayar has started his mission papers, and Naraa is preparing to go to the Hong Kong Temple for her endowments. This makes me so happy!!
My MTC group. The sisters are getting ready to go home. Their time in Mongolia is up.
More goofy shots.
My MTC group, Huckvale and me!