Saturday, June 5, 2010

May 2010 - Spring slowly arrives

Recently we went visiting teaching.  In the "ger districts" it can be hard to find the right house (ger).  While we were looking for the home, this man came by with his herd of skinny cows. 
Here is Lkhanzmaa and Davajargal (100 years old) whom I visit. 

My companion and our Relief Society President, Dashgerel after our visiting teaching appointment.
These cute children met us at the door.

One Saturday we went outside the city to a national park called Terelj.  Here we are by a typical Buddhist monument.  All over Mongolia you will see pieces of blue silk hanging from trees and monuments like these.  They are to wish the traveler a safe journey. 
Mongolians set up "ger camps" to serve tourists in the park.  At this one we saw an eagle, rode a Mongolian horse (shorter legs), rode a camel and looked at souvenirs. 

Here is Annette riding the one of the Mongolian two-humped camels. How would you like to have a stick through our nose leading you around all day?  Remind you of some of the nose rings we see?

This rock is called "Turtle Rock."  There is some fun climbing on this rock. 
Are there really dinosaurs in Terelj?

Annette riding a yak.

One day we ate at the "Mongolian Barbecue."  You pick out your own selection of meats (including horse meat), vegetables, noodles, and sauces.  Then the cook puts on a show tossing your food and chopping it with his two swords. 

This is a typical "ger district."  In the background is a huge cemetery.  In the ger district a person fences off his "yard."  Then he puts up a ger, an outhouse, and if he is lucky eventually builds a small wooden house.  Two thirds of the people in Ulaanbaatar live in gers with no running water.  They usually have electricity.  As you can see the "roads" are really just spaces between the gers where people walk or drive.

One Saturday we helped plant flowers at a school for homeless children.  It was so windy that day that we had to be careful the seeds didn't blow away. (Pictured here are Elder and Sister Powell and Elder Caldwell)

All but 6 young American missionaries left Mongolia this month.  We are a little sort on translators now.  We have about 120 Mongolian missionaries who are doing a great job as missionaaries.
One day we took a long walk ane enjoyed the sights of the city and the signs of green along the river.  Spring has arrived finally!

The senior missionaries celebrated "Cinco de Mayo" with a camel-shaped pinata.  Clair broke it on the first swing.
The highlight of our month was being able to return to the U.S. for Mark and Jana's wedding.  It was a long trip (but short in time there).  It was fun to be in the Salt Lake Temple with all our children.  We are very happy to welcome Jana into our family!