It is very nice here. It reminds me of Iowa because it is flat (UB is next to mountains). You can see forever. It also reminds me of Florida (although I have never been there) because it has trees. I haven't seen trees for a long time, and they have planted some lovely lines of trees to beautify the city. Okay, so they aren't palm trees, but it is just greener here and so I thought of Florida. It is still Mongolia, of course, since everything is written in Cyrillic script and fresh yogurt is for sell in every store.
Anyway, I am in Choibalsan only for the summer to teach English temporarily. My school in Ulaanbaatar does not offer classes in the summer, and so I am free to work elsewhere and they needed a teacher here. This means I also get to be a missionary for this small branch. It isn't part of a district; it is just under the mission. So, I am now Second Counselor in the Branch Presidency. Another missionary is the Branch President and a local member is the First Counselor. I conducted Sacrament meeting on the 8th! It was interesting to do that.
We are teaching some people the Gospel, but our presence here is small and we keep a low profile. The weather here is different than in the capital. It has gone back and forth between perfect, rainy, and sweaty. But it's nice. I like the apartment because I actually have a mattress to sleep on. In my last apartment, we had box springs but not mattresses. I slept on some blankets. So this mattress thing is really nice. We are working on getting a washing machine installed; there was one before, but this apartment hasn't been used for a while and it was removed.
When the mission president called to tell us we were going to Choibalsan, we had just a few days notice to teach our area to some other Elders, baptize an investigator, and get to the airport. It was a great baptism, though, and we feel our new member will be strong and happy. He's humble and diligent about coming to Church. An older gentleman was also baptized. On that same day, another investigator we taught was baptized in her new branch (which we found was outside of our area).
So here I am where mail doesn't reach Elders very often. Choibalsan is Mongolia's 4th largest city! Population: about 40,000. That's Mongolia. It's great!
|Baptism in American Denj Branch (just the street name; it's not an American Branch). |
My companion is second from the right.
|Elder Sims in Choibalsan, June 2014|