Monday, January 27, 2014


We've just had two weeks of good work.  We had successes and frustrations both.  Last week we taught 18 lessons, a personal record for me.  And this week we taught 22!  That feels great, but we wish our investigators were progressing more steadily.  Still, we keep working and hoping.  We went to one investigator's house whom we are trying to help quit alcohol.  He was busy and couldn't meet with us, but outside we met his son who had come to help his father prepare for Tsagaan sar (New Year).  We told him we were meeting with his father to help him quit drinking.  The guy was impressed with our Mongolian and our goal, so he invited us to his house.  We hope to still meet with him this week.  Another good thing was our work with a family we are helping to return to regular Church attendance.

I bought a cool leather belt to go with my traditional Deel that I got to wear for the New Year celebration.  The belt will remind me of the Lord's blessings to us missionaries because I bought it during this week of good things.  That's good, because things don't always go well.  I thought about this last week while hiking a mountain in search of a house.  It was frustrating, but then I remembered that it has been like this before and then it has gotten better.  What is necessary is to build resilience to know that life will sometimes be easy and sometimes hard.

My companion and I continue to work on our cooking skills.  We bought 2 kg of frozen yak milk for about $2.50 recently.  We melted it and it tasted kind of like cheese.  It was okay when we mixed it with hot chocolate mix.  Then we used the leftovers to make yak pancakes, or as I call them, pancyaks.  Last week I made bread from my mom's recipe.  I had to keep punching it down because we would leave for hours before I could get back to bake it, but it turned out okay.

During the holiday, we will be visiting as many people as possible, and we will be expected to eat the feast everyone prepares for visitors.  Traditionally, one visits parents, older siblings and other older acquaintances.  These families will have prepared thousands of buuz (meat dumplings) and other traditional foods.  They also cook an entire sheep whole, oh, and potato salad.  It's going to be a cultural experience.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Doing Well

All in all, we are doing well.  Elder Hill and I are enjoying cooking some good food together.  It's getting colder, but at least the days are getting a little longer and that makes the work go better.

The work can be disappointing at times, especially when people aren't willing or able to follow through on their commitments.  We feel it is good fortune to start teaching a new investigator, and then they stop meeting with us or have to move or something.  I think I need to evaluate  my missionary skills to see where I can improve my work.  

We are looking forward to the Mongolian New Year (tsagaan sar) at the end of the month.  All the missionaries will be allowed to dress in traditional clothing as part of the holiday.  I bought a deel and can't wait to wear it.  I hope to send a picture if I can.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Same area, new companion

I got a new companion to train this transfer, but I'm still zone leader in the Khailaast area.  Elder Hill is my new companion. He's great and we're looking forward to some good work.  He's also a good cook, and so we are hoping to get some ingredients this week to help us have some great meals together.

Not much else to report this week.  The Mongolian New Year is coming up at the end of January, and people are beginning to make preparations for that.