Saturday, December 5, 2015

Flew to Khovd, Mongolia for the Weekend

Dear Family,

Well I write you today from Khovd, Mongolia, буюу Ховд Монгол.  We are out here on assignment from President.   We are here to go on splits with the Elders, no other reason but to just work with them and report to President on how they are doing.  Being this far away from the body of the church in UB can be hard, ya know.  I remember those feelings when I was way out in Choibalsan a year ago.  It was a special experience to attend church meetings with them.  I gave a talk on tithing and Elder Hatton gave a talk on the atonement.    Khovd is the farthest city away from Ulaanbaatar where there is a Branch of the Church.  If you look at Google Maps, it is like 900+ miles west of UB, so that being said, I just keep up racking my frequent flyer miles seeing more and more of the beautiful country of Mongolia and meeting the faithful Saints from this branch of the Lord’s vineyard!  I have now flown 13 times on my mission, with four flights still left.

Well, we left for Khovd on Saturday around noon, and we landed around 3:00 p.m.….not in Khovd, but in Ulaangom, Uvs Mongolia (Улаангом, Увс Монгол).  So we got off the plane "thinking" it was Khovd.   Seeing an opportunity to have some fun with two young Americans, the flight attendant and a (come to find out) less-active member of the Church who was on the plane also, played with us and told us we got on the wrong plane!!   Elder Hatton and I were kind of worried about how to tell President we got on the wrong flight, but we were also way pumped seeing that we are easily the first Elders to touch foot in the Uvs Province.  There is no church Branch there.  So anyway, after a bit, we realized they were joking with us, but we never found out why we landed there.  After about 20 minutes of just waiting on the runway, we got back on the plane and headed to Khovd.  The mountains were absolutely breathtaking as we flew right at cloud level.  Easily the prettiest mountains I have ever seen.

We got to Khovd and just got to work with the two Elders out here, Elder Mulder and Elder Bat-Orshih.  They are the only two missionaries out here in Khovd.  They are doing great and it has been fun to work with them.  Today we had the opportunity to go to the Western Mongolia National Museum. Here in the Khovd Province, there are nine nationalities, or tribes, of Mongolia.  At this museum, they have each tribe’s National ger, clothes, etc. on display for learning and Kodak moments.  It is safe to say we got tons of pictures of us in all the different clothes. My favorite was the Kazakhstan ger and clothes.  My old companion, Elder Murat, is Kazak, so it was just fun to be in a Kazak ger.  Their culture is really colorful as you can tell from the pictures!  Next we went up a huge staircase to a little mountain to a Зайсан look out point and just took in all of Khovd and it's greatness!   An interesting bit of information...The Khovd Province is known mostly around the world for their….(drum roll).....SNOW LEOPARDS!  Yes Kinzie and Addisyn….SNOW LEOPARDS!  I know that the Snow Leopards we saw at the Boise Zoo are from here. To see a snow leopard in the wild would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for someone, but that time was obviously not today for us!

Next we were off to the airport to catch our plane back to UB, but when we got to the airport we realized our flight was not until tomorrow.  The dates are off a little over here, I guess ;)   So we just made good friends with the taxi driver and will be using him tomorrow for our taxi.  Elder Hatton and I are having a great time and really have become great friends. He is a stud. Honestly the most humble kid I have ever met and he will be a life long friend.  He is truly an amazing disciple of Christ.

Well, the days are getting few…..Don't really know how to describe the feelings I have. Ээжээ дахиад тэврэхэд бэлэн байна гэвч Монгол эх ороноосоо уугуул нутагдаа буцахад яг үнэн хэлэхдээ бэлэн биш шүү. Би бол яахав дээ хөөгдөж явна л даа гэвч зүрх сэтгэл минь Монголдоо үлдэнэ ээ...

Ахлагч Харрис

Thanksgiving Dinner with our District.

 Elder Bat-Orshih, me, and Elder Mulder here in ховд монгол (Khovd, Mongolia).

Western Mongolia National Museum.

 Here we are at the Western Mongolia National Museum.  Elder Hatton and I.

Western Mongolia National Museum.

 Elder Hatton and I are here in Khovd, Mongolia.  We flew here on Saturday and will fly back to UB on Monday.  We are splitting with Elder Mulder and Elder Bat-Orshih.    We took this from a lookout point.   Khovd Province is known mostly around the world for their…….. (drum roll) ...SNOW LEOPARDS!   Yes Kinzie and Addisyn….SNOW LEOPARDS!  I know that the Snow Leopards we saw at the Boise Zoo are from here. They are obviously like a once-in-a-lifetime see for someone, and that time was not today! 

Here is where Khovd is located in relation to Ulaanbaatar in the center of Mongolia.   You can also see Choibalsan in the far eastern part of the country.


  1. We love reading your blog since our daughter received her call to Mongolia (MTC on Jan 6, 2016). Please post the date and place you will report your mission.

  2. We have also been reading and learning from your blog because our son was recently called to serve in Mongolia. He enters the MTC Jan. 6th also. He got his call on Dec. 1 and so we are short on time to get him all ready to go. Could you email me at so I could ask you a few questions?