We had a baptism on Friday, July 4th! It was the wife of one of our members here in Choibalsan. I was able to perform the baptism. This new sister was very happy to be baptized, but she was too shy to bear her testimony at the service. That's ok, of course. The Sunday, however, that she received the Gift of the Holy Ghost was also Fast Sunday. I was fasting for her that she would become a strong member of the Church. Somewhat to my surprise, she got up and shared her testimony in front of the entire Branch. It was pretty good! I was glad to see many members expressing their appreciation to her after the meeting. They knew she was shy.
Afterward, I was thinking about it. I realized that after her baptism, she hadn't the courage; but after receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, she had been able to stand as a witness of Christ in front of a large congregation. I can't say it was a direct cause, but it was an interesting comparison. Either way, bearing testimony strengthens our faith.
This week is Naadam, the national holiday to celebrate Independence. The biggest celebrations are in the capital, of course, but there will be a couple of different ones here in Choibalsan. We are allowed to watch festivities because we otherwise have a really hard time making appointments during the holiday, but we will always be mindful of an opportunity to fellowship investigators and members.
The other American serving in Choibalsan and I celebrated the 4th of July by going to a nice restaurant in town and ordering steak. It felt like a holiday, since we would otherwise not spend $9 for just one meal!