Sunday, February 14, 2010

January 2010 - Seeing the countryside

January started with a spectacular "Ball" on New Year's Night. We were amazed at the show-quality dancing that the Mongolians did. And they looked so beautiful in their elegant clothes!

This month we took two trips out of the city into the countryside. Our first trip was a one-day visit to Darkhan and Erdnet.  Here we are at the center square in Erdnet.

We visited the hospital in Erdnet (on the right) and also saw a returned missionary that was sick.

It was fun to get to see another part of the country. It was very cold (about 40 degrees F. below zero).
We also saw camels (the rare-two humped ones they have in Mongolia) along the roadside.

We even passed a man in a little open booth selling fish on the roadside. Can you imagine being outside selling anything outside in such cold weather!
We noticed that many of the gers were located in sheltered places by the mountains. We also saw many of the short Mongolian horses. The horses stay out at night and sometimes get attacked by wolves.

When we were driving home at night Batbold (who was driving) saw a wolf and chased him off the road trying to get a better look.  After circling around in the snow a few times we saw the eyes of the wolf glowing in the headlights.

A couple of weeks later we made a four day trip with President Andersen and his wife. The first city we stopped in was Darkhan.
This "metal man" by Darkhan marks the metal factory where many of the inhabitants of Darkhan work.

 Here is one of the two church buildings we have in Darkhan. It is always fun to see what nice buildings the church has.

 The man who was pushing this cart didn't want to be in the picture. I think these are frozen sheep carcases.

We also visited Sukhbaatar in Selenge Aimag (Province). It is on the Russian border. On the way we saw these camels. There are more mountains and even pine trees in Selenge.

Here is a Budhist monument on the road side. Notice the blue ribbons tied on a tree. We often see these blue ribbons along the roadside and they are to wish the traveler a safe journey. Here is the Selenge church building--again lovely to see. We visited the hospital in Selenge and found that it is like many--lacking in equipment and facilities. But the doctors are often well trained and the personnel usually have a desire to serve their patients.

Next we stopped in Erdnet. We visited the home of these two little girls.

Their mother was trying to get a fire started and the house was cold and full of smoke. The little girls hands were freezing, so I tried to warm them up by holding them and wrapping them in my coat. We came to see their baby who was born 2 months premature and weighted 2.8 Kilograms.  We were glad that they were being allowed to keep the baby in a warmer building next door. 

Here is a "ger district" in Erdnet. Notice the bright colors. Mongolians like bright colors.

Our last city that we visited was Zuunharaa, a city that doesn't really have roads going to it. It is connected to the capitol city by train. To get there we followed other car tracks, making sure to keep the railroad and some power lines on our right to keep from getting lost. We drove without a real road for about an hour off the main road.

Here is a Mongolian riding one of their short-legged horses Zuunharaa.

In this picture you can see a little better what a ger looks like. They always make the door facing to the south. I think this it to take advantage of the southern sun.

One of my assignments here is to help them establish visiting teaching (and Clair does home teaching). We had some adventures trying to find homes in the ger districts where there are no addresses and no real roads. One sister I visited invited us both back to her house for Family Home Evening. We took a taxi this time, but the taxi could not make it up the hill so we ended up pushing it to the top of the hill. Then we had to pay for the ride! Here is the woman we visited with her two grandchildren and her 100-year old mother inside their ger.

The Mongolians are special people. They have very little in the way of worldly posessions, but they are searching for meaning in their life and they are hungry for the spiritual truths that the gospel brings. They are very anxious go to the temple so that they can have their family sealed to be together forever. They sacrifice a lot to have this opportunity. We helped organized a trip to the temple in Hong Kong--which is three days by train across China. These three families were able to attend the temple on this trip. It was fun to hear their testimonies when they returned and see how happy they were!

This picture of sheep and goats crossing the road is a typical sight in the countryside.  (I am only sorry I was not able to get the picture to behave and move up to the beginning of this blog where it belongs!)


  1. Thanks for including us. We enjoy seeing what you are doing and greatly admire you for being there. Bob and Marj Whitchurch

  2. Great photos and text. Thanks for sharing your
    mission with us. Pehrson's

  3. Great photos! Brings back wonderful memories of our trip to Erdenet, Zuun Kharaa, Sukhbaatar and Darkhan together. We will look forward to our next road adventure.

  4. Wow! This is interesting and informative. Keep it up when you can. Love, Albert

  5. Hi Bert and Annette,
    Thank you for sharing the Mongolian people with us!
    You are doing a great work!
    Carol and Carol