Monday, April 18, 2011

Last chance.....

The end of our mission has arrived.  But, we had several special events in March and April.  Our daughter, Susan and her friend, Lena came to visit.   New missionaries arrived the same day and we all went to Zaisan Hill.  There is a war memorial there, but the real reason we go is because that is where Neal A. Maxwell dedicated the land of Mongolia for the preaching of the gospel. 

 Susan, Lena and Annette visited the Gandan Monastery--which is a working monastery today. 
 Here you will see canisters that can rotate around.  These are "prayer rolls."  Worshippers give them a spin as they go by.  People who need blessings can have their names put inside. 

Here is a ger set up in a empty field right in the middle of Ulaanbaatar.   

 A cute little Mongolia girl.

 We went shopping at the "Zax" or black market.  You can find just about anything there--if you can find it!
 Clothing and fabric selections.
 Mongolian traditional hats.
 Susan in a fox fur hat at the Zax.
 These pictures are from the Gandan Monastery in Ulaanbaatar.
 Llamas at work in the monastery.  They were chanting things over and over.  Sometimes they struck a gong.
 Some women at the monastery in their traditional clothes.

 Buddhist lamas. 
 At the Mongolian costume museum they had costumes from many ethnic groups. 
 Here we are at the Chinggis Khaan large statue.  There is a museum inside and you can go outside up on top of the horse's head.  Left to right are Lena, Susan, Annette, and the family of our guide, Tsog.
 When we visited the Chinggis Khaan large statue they were having a culture show. This is a contortionist. We also saw a dancer and heard throat singing and what is known as "long song."


 We visited "13th Century Theme Park" which features various camps constructed to be like they were in the days of Chinggis Khaan. He had many camps to teach different things: education camp, military training camp, religion camp, craftsman camp, the King's camp, the guard station, sporting camp, etc. At the different camps we could try on clothes, eat a meal, ride their animals, etc. Here is Susan in her warrior outfit.

These wolf fur coats were very warm.

Bactrian camels have two humps.
Susan riding a camel.  Tsog takes his son for a camel ride. 
Lena riding with a Mongolian on Mongolian horses (notice their short legs).
We went to Terelj National park and spent the night in a ger camp. (below)

Above is a large rock called "turtle rock" (because it like a turtle).
Below:  We are climbing inside the "turtle."

Susan in Terelj

We climbed up a mountainside to a "Meditation Temple." Buddhists come here to get healed. The picture below shows a view from part way up the mountain.

This is the view from the Monastery. I thought it was beautiful!

We visited the "100 Lama Cave" where 100 lamas hid when Choilbasan tried to carry out Stalin's orders to kill all the lamas and educated people. 

The Tuul River in Terelj was frozen. 
 The countryside in Terelj.

 Clair, Susan, Annette and Lena in Terelj

Lena took an extra day and went to see the "Takhi horses."  These wre nearly extinct but are now being preserved and helped to come back.  They have a different number of chromosomes than normal horses. 
 Bayanzurkh Branch held a farewell party for us. 
 Our wonderful friends from our family home evening group.
 The English teachers at the Health Sciences University where we teach English gave us some going-away gifts.
 Clair baptized Ankhtuya, Khuder's girlfriend.  This was a perfect ending to our mission.
 Our friends Bayankhuu, Naraa, and Nyama took us hiking the Saturday before we left.  Their friend guided us through Nairamdal park.  He brought his little dog.  Below are scenes from the hike.

We are now back at home in AMERICA.  We have learned to appreciate many things better than we did before and we have made many wonderful friends!