Monday, June 6, 2016

5/22/16 digging latrines and building gers

Missionary work this week has been good. 
The Zone Leaders came out to Nalaikh this week to do splits with Elder Browning and Bird. It was on Saturday and we all had district meeting together and they really helped us out. We came up with a plan to meet with more members and to help out the branch. All of the previous efforts to help strengthen the branch have been in the past and were all top down approaches to get the leadership and whatnot do their callings and it didn't work in the slightest.  Anyway, the ideas proposed and enacted were to work from the bottom up and try to meet with all the members in the branch and serve them. The problem with doing this in the past came from gerchs (witness- we need another adult male with us to visit women) (there are a lot of women members in Mongolia and the men are often working or not around), not having them or always getting burned (not meeting with us or avoiding us or forgetting and leaving sporadically for the countryside), so meeting with members never really worked out. 
The Zone leader suggestion was to work in Nalaikh with greater unity between the four missionaries, If we have nothing to do, do the other elders need a gerch? Also go together to meet with members and we won't have to worry about a gerch and the members can get to know all of the missionaries.

So we tried it yesterday, and it worked incredibly well! We went to three members houses. At the first visit, Elder Sexton really had to go to the bathroom and asked if he could use the noith-bathroom (latrine), they didn't have one, and had been living for some time without one. Instead of sharing a message we got to work digging, we only had half an hour so we didn't get very far, but we'll go back all together on Tuesday to finish the job.

Also we are organizing a talent show among the branch on 6/11. We hope that it will help build greater unity among the members! 

I've been in the country for 2 months last week!

Studies are going really well I will finish my "42 principle notebook" (Preach my gospel has 42 principles outlined to teach to investigators, president Benson wants every missionary to create lesson plans for each principle and put them in a journal to have with you so that we are prepared to teach anything anytime) on June 6th, I finish the Book of Mormon tomorrow, and will then begin a new study on Faith and Miracles for the next 3 months and read the the Book of Mormon again. 

The language is coming, I have a goal to become conversationally fluent at my 5 months in country mark, and I think that I'm going to achieve it! 

(2) How your English class is going?
really good, I am really starting to love the kids we teach, this has made it a lot more meaningful to teach them, without charity we are nothing, and english to children is impossible. Our last day is on 6/1. 

(3) How are things with your companion?
fantastic, I am really enthusiastic about making goals and progressing. Elder Sexton has shown me a lot about those things. Through Goals we can accomplish so much more!

I got to help build a ger for the first time. We were trying to meet with an investigator but they were just about to go and help their neighbor set up their ger so we offered to help!
Service is fantastic!

p.s. your letter came through the pouch mail right after we finished skypeing you on mother’s day. I just forgot to tell you last week.

(editor's note: In mid March I sent 2 identical letters the day before Jonathan left the MTC in Provo: regular mail and "pouch". He did mention a few weeks ago that the USPS letter had arrived...just not the date. He didn't realize I was conducting an experiment.)

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