Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Winter Descends

It snowed!  Winter has begun. Some say it will melt and warm up one last time before winter, but it has been pretty cold lately.

We have had some great successes lately with less active members attending Church more regularly.  We are happy to see families coming together.

In 2 Nephi 33:4 Nephi has already seen in a vision that his people will eventually be destroyed, but he prays diligently for them--and he knows of a surety that the Lord will 'consecrate his prayers for their gain'. I think that is interesting wording. In our mission, sometimes we pray things for our investigators and such. A little while ago, we invited a man to come back to Church. We fasted that he would come to Sacrament meeting, and we both felt it was right.  But he didn't come. Still, I don't feel that our fast has gone unanswered.  I know the Lord will bless that member because of our faith and prayers. It doesn't matter if the Lord brings him back right when we ask. Sometimes He will bless the way was ask and sometimes another way, but He will always consecrate our prayers for the gain of those we pray for. That's my feeling, anyway.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Unbirthday

My birthday box arrived a little late, but that just gave us a great excuse to celebrate my Unbirthday!

This was a great week.  We learned that Elder Gong and Elder Rasband are coming for our mission conference next week.  I didn't get transferred, so I get to stay here with my companion.  And we got to eat pizza!  We had budgeted so we could go to Pizza Hut on P-day, and on our way there we ran into a member who insisted on buying our dinner for us!  It was delicious.  The next day, I had a lot to do at my college and so we didn't have time to go home for lunch.  My boss took us to his Korean restaurant; that was also delicious!  Just fun stories.

Monday, September 8, 2014

You have Agency. Be happy.

2 Nephi 10:23: "Therefore cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves--to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life."

The simple message I find here is that we can trust in God's providence because whatever happens, we have Agency which gives us the power to choose eternal life. Our agency coupled with Christ's Atonement is powerful enough to overcome all other influences and opposition in the goal of gaining eternal life.  Even if times are hard, we have the agency to choose to serve God and please Him.

It has started to get chilly this week. I hope we will have one more course of warm before the onset of winter; for me, once it becomes true winter, it will just get colder and colder until the end.

But I'll still be happy :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

School and weather

We start school tomorrow--the college where I teach English.  We had a little opening ceremony today.  When I walked into the room, the students started cheering. I'm not sure how genuine it was, but it was funny.  This semester will go right up until I am going home.

Now that it's getting cooler in Mongolia, I joke with the students that I am going to escape to America in December because it will be so cold here. It's strange how the year is just long enough that every summer, no matter how short, is just long enough for you to forget what it's like to be cold....

We met a kid one day walking near our apartments who spoke perfect English. It turns out he learned English in three years when he lived in America at about the age of 8. It was fun to meet his family, all of whom speak English to some degree. We were happy to introduce them to the first lesson about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Not much else to report here.  I know the next few months will go fast, and I'm working hard to focus on using my time as a missionary well. 

Here's a little poem I wrote while flying from Choibalsan to Ulaanbaatar in August:


The sun retreats, the sky grows dim as clouds grow thicker overhead.
The hope of sunshine growing thin, we wait for raindrops to be shed.

Though heaven's metamorphosis from light to dark spells no sure doom,
we know that as the clouds persist, they cast on earth a certain gloom.

The sun who bears the light of day casts cheer on every human soul.
To see this beacon fade away can dull this joy and take its toll.

The cheer we knew a day before can even fade from memory,
And in the rain we may implore to have the day brought back to be.

But don't forget, the sun's not gone; it lies untouched beyond the mist!
The land the sun smiles down upon will see the light clouds can't resist.

Of course, this comes as no surprise to us who've seen our every day
That when the sun sets, it will rise e'en though the clouds push it away.

Today the clouds bedeck the sky, but I'm aboard an aeroplane!
And at the altitude we fly, we see the sun without restrain.

Quite rightly are the heavens named; up here whenever it's not night,
E'en where the earth by storm is framed, the sun shows forth its mighty light!

I see the clouds which, dark below, are crowned on top a snowy white!
This landscape spans, for all I know, from coast to coast all glowing bright!

That's not to say the land's not dark; that's not to say the sky's not dim.
But I wish only to remark that we must all remember Him

Who sees each day from past the clouds and we cannot peer in return:
Despite the veil that thickly shrouds above, as ever His Glory burns.

Though clouds may come, and sure they will, the rain is not a cause for doubt.
When darkness looms, remember still That Light above has not gone out.