Sunday, April 25, 2010

This happy group went to the Hong Kong temple this month.  It is a three-day train ride and they have to save their money in order to go.  We help organize the trip and one senior couple goes with them.  They all seemed very happy when they returned.  It was fun to hear their testimonies. 

We were walking to work one day and saw these people in front of us.  They are wearing the traditional Mongolian "Deel" and Mongolian boots--even the little guy.  I couldn't resist how cute he was, so I had to take his picture!

Friday night Clair had the opportunity to baptize Gantuya. She is the woman who came in to his office a couple of months ago. Her member-friend brought her to ask Clair some questions about their deaf child and cochlear implants. He tried to help, but didn’t know a lot about them. So the mother (a non-member) asked him to give her child a blessings. Clair got Brother Stevens to come and help him and they gave a blessing. Clair said the spirit was very strong and they all felt it. The mother translated for the others in the room, since she speaks English. After the blessing she said, I am going to join your church!

                                                                          We had this special group of missionaries over to dinner. One of them (next to Clair) is Elder Tsotgerel who had some health problems. We grew close to him and he used to come in to our office to talk and get advice about his life. He completed his mission this month.

These are the leaders of the Family History program in Mongolia.  I (Annette) help and advise in Family History. 

One highlight of the month was a Choir Festival.  The idea was to get the wards and branches to start choirs. Most of them didn’t have them. Most of the people have never sung in parts. Bayanzurkh had a 17-year-old girl as choir director. She (Miiga) was amazing and did a great job. For the choir festival about 800 people participated with 19 choirs from all over Mongolia.  The Bulgan branch (which was just organized a couple of months ago) had a choir with 3 members and 18 investigators! Many of them included deaf people signing their songs. They had cello and violin accompaniments in some of them. A lady in a wheelchair conducted one choir As I listened to them sing I was very touched by the spirit. These are very special people singing special songs. They all sang hymns. At the end they sang, “The Spirit of God” in unison, had the closing prayer, and then sang a Mongolian traditional song. The audience joined in at the end. We had only about 60 hymns in the Mongolian hymnbook, but more have been translated and we will soon have a new hymnbook with more hymns. The choirs used many hymns that will be in the new hymnbook.

The last picture is our branch (Bayanzurkh) choir.

The Church continues to go forth here in Mongolia.  We have had quite a few baptisms this month.   We are enjoying getting to know the people better.  They are very special.  We are thankful for this opportunity.