Saturday, December 11, 2010

November in Mongolia

 November was pretty much an ordinary month.  We were busy teaching our English lessons--we teach four 90-minute classes and two one-hour classes a week.  They take quite a bit of prepartion.  The students are fun--but don't study much.

One of our students gave us some fish from one of his fishing trips.  Fresh fish is hard to get here (since Mongolia has no ocean or commercial fishing), so we enjoyed eating it.  (See Clair with his fish dinner.)

 This is Khuder.  He was a missionary who had a kidney transplant.  When we first arrived in the mission he was in kidney failure.  We were told he would be on a long waiting list for dialysis.  Fortunately, we were able to get him on dialysis.  Then he was  able to receive a kidney transplant from this sister.  Here he is with his doctor.  His sister and younger brother are both now serving missions outside of Mongolia.

Khuder wanted to do something for the hospital where he got his kidney transplant so he arranged for Deseret International Charities (the church's humanitarian organization here) to donate wheelchairs to them.  They didn't have any and now the patients who have a hard time walking can use them.  This is Elder Lasson demonstrating the proper use of wheelchairs--and a happy patient.  We are very impressed with all the good DIC does here and throughout the world.  

On the left are Elder Adartsuren (who was an assistant to the President and worked in our office building with us for quite a while), Javaa (a new member who is very enthusiastic and very helpful to us) and Elder Tsolman (who also was an assistant to the president).  We have gotten to know these special people very well.  Elder Adartsuren taught Javaa the gospel.  We have come to love these special people.

We had Thanksgiving with the other senior couples and a family from the U.S.  This is the first year they have been able to get turkey for a reasonable price here in Mongolia, so we enjoyed dinner with all the trimmings!

We have learned to be even more thankful for our blessings since being in Mongolia.  Even for simple things like running water, indoor bathrooms, enough to eat.  We are very blessed.

This Relief Society activity was making baby clothes for seven new babies in our branch.  We also had lunch together.  They usually serve hot buckthorn juice--it is supposed to be very healthy and comes from berries grown in Mongolia.  

One of the highlights of November was another choir festival.  This one was not a country-wide one like the one last spring, but it did include all the wards and branches in Ulaanbaatar.  This is our branch choir practicing.  We had a good turn out for the performances and even had one of our investigators come.  The choirs have fun and learn many good things working together.  They also played fun games together between the two performances.

We miss all our friends and loved ones, especially at holiday times.  But we are happy and hopefully are helping build the Lord's kingdom here in Mongolia.  You are all part of the many blessings we enjoy!