Monday, August 29, 2016

8/29/16 Transferred!

Transfers went smoothly and Nalaikh was looking up last week -- a couple of new investigators! I left Nalaikh and got transferred to Songino (Song-in) it means onion. 

Elder Cowles and I are back together and in the Songino District of UB, the farthest west in Ulaanbaatar. (Apparently they don't want me close to the center of the city or the mission office yet I still have to teach at Ikh Zasag so they put me as far away as they can haha.)

We are in a tri with his companion Elder Munkhtulga (Munk-toll-thug) who speaks perfect English and lived in the US for the past 3 years and went to BYU.  He and Elder Cowles both got baptized around the same time like 2 and a half years ago.  It’s pretty cool! Elder Munkhtulga is in training and has been on his mission for just over a month. He is waiting for his visa to go to the Perth Australia mission. 

The work in Songino is going well, I'm getting to know the area and the members. It’s been only 4 days but it’s going quickly. 

We are thrifty and I like it! Elder Cowles makes a mean buttered noodles! And I'm excited to cook some good old fried chicken for my companions.

Being in the city is pretty different. Songino is in the West Stake (the old UB Stake, a new East stake was organized a couple of months ago and I was in it in Nalaikh). The ward in comparison to the branch in Nalaikh is big and strong, I really want to get to know people really well so that I can help them grow even more. I'm trying really hard to learn the names of people!

Elder Cowles and I are really working on our language. We really want to communicate and make connections like we would in English.  It’s really cool to be with someone on the same page of pretty much everything, language, obedience, diligence. 

Looks like I ran out of time, love y’all

8/21/16 Sickness!

Today’s email will be from the perspective of my companion, and through his poetic words...

"1: Monday night, I (Elder Browning) wake up to use the bathroom and nearly trip over what in the darkness to my tired eyes looks to be a massive, shadow-shrouded slug, recently oozed from the toilet to punish my unhappy night. It turned out to be my companion (Me), who was sleeping on the floor in front of the bathroom door, hugging a bucket. He shifted to look up at me absently (rather like a slug), decided that I was not who he was looking for I guess, and resumed the posture I'd found him in. Anyway, he spent the entire day after that sick out of his mind. So we stayed home Tuesday. And guess what happened to me Tuesday night? Same thing. With the exception that I was able to keep myself in bed and off the floor, thereby maintaining myself as mammal and not invertebrate. Wednesday the pattern continued predictably. I wasn't moving the whole day. Symptoms included but were not limited to: aching, coldness, headache, nausea, wanting to murder my companion for deciding to browse the phone's annoying ring tone selection in the same room as me, being too tired to do so, getting back at him by throwing flour on him as he showered, inciting a nerf gun war with him and the other two elders who decided to crash at our apartment that night, and almost barfing because of too much activity. Neither of us felt chipper Thursday, but were both in the prime of health by Friday. Weird, huh? The doctor's professional diagnosis was that we ate poop-berries.

2: On Saturday, which originally seemed like it was going to be a great day for missionary work, we went to church in the morning as we normally do in order to clean the church. When we got there, all the Nalaikh members had already beaten us there. At first, we thought hopefully that maybe the entire branch had collected themselves and we're going to help us clean. Nope! They were going on a branch activity, and hadn't even told us! They assumed we WERE going, however, because they immediately set us to work putting all the snacks and meats and stuff into the tiny microbus into which we were supposed to fit around 30 people, and then tried to stuff US into it as well. We told them to hold on for a second, then ran home, changed into our outside clothes, grabbed the guitar, and jumped in the bus just as it was leaving. That was a tight fit! The bus in question was only a little bit bigger than a van! We justified going because the Branch hadn't had an activity in a long time, and we've been pushing for them to have one. Gotta support the branch! Plus, there was a bunch of less-actives going, whom we had the opportunity to fellowship (wrestle/eat meat/play cards with). All in all, it was a really successful activity. We ate a bunch of Mongolian traditional food, played in the river, I got to play traditional songs on the guitar while the branch sang along...good stuff! Plus, when me and my companion went to hike up an adjacent mountain."


This week I had also felt rather conflicted. I was thinking about transfers next week and about Nalaikh and myself, and I thought that I wanted to leave Nalaikh, then I felt conflicted that it was for all wrong reasons. Then the branch had an activity this Saturday and all of those fears went away as I got to know the people better and to work more with them. I really found that my language is good and that I can talk well with people, that I love them and that I can handle whatever. I really felt that I have received the Gift of tongues and the Gift of Charity, in greater abundance this week. 

Ахлагч Jonathan Wilding


This week we did a fun split with the Zone Leaders I took Elder Lu out in Nalaikh and we did some great work! We also planned it so that he could touch a camel which he had yet to do and this is his last transfer so... he simply had to, haha.  Any way we recorded some English Songs for the Missionary English program and that went well. We also had a great zone training. This week there were also puppies and I helped build a house! The work is still like it is in the summer, but I feel my personal effectiveness rising as I focus on goals and work hard! 

On another split in the city I ran home with Elder Rodriguez probably 2 miles in 15ish minutes to make it home on time. That was a blast of a race against the clock and we made it! 

All in all Read the Book of Mormon and pray daily and go to church, that is indeed the thing that helps the most with retention and activation in the church. I have seen people start it and seen their lives change as well as the opposite. I know the gospel is true! ​

Love you all! 
Ахлагч Jonathan Wilding
Chinggis Khan Statue for P-day ​

Our oven exploded (died in a flash of electricity), and it turns out you can do most things with microwave and a water boiler... I made pasta in the water boiler and sauce in the microwave.

8/7/16 Blessed by the Swiss and said Hello to the future

We met a couple of travelers from Switzerland two brothers they asked if they could bless us before they left, and we were like... sure... it was a prayer, they prayed for us and it was really nice. We met a man named Ireedui = Future.

So this week was pretty good, we had a baptism, Blorerden. She really wanted to be baptized, and it went really well. Not very many people but her mom was there and she had been baptized last month and has a really great testimony so she helped out and was excited for her daughter. Our new investigator and his less active wife have been reading the Book of Mormon which is very encouraging. This week I have really been working on Charity and my Purpose as a missionary. I want to be more effective as a missionary and to love and serve the people with all that I have. I've been going into preach my gospel more and more, therein lies the secrets to missionary success. Following the promptings of the spirit and the council of the prophet.

The biggest thing that I learned this week was to just follow those little promptings of the spirit. We ran into a couple of Swiss brothers that were traveling through Mongolia and I saw them trying to communicate with a taxi and thought, we could probably help them considering we know Mongolian, and they looked like travelers (who in my experience almost all speak English). Sure enough we helped them out and spent about an hour walking with them and talking about the gospel and our beliefs (which is really different in English). They were really cool guys and had really great faith in Christ it was awesome to see, and hear their own beliefs in the savior and his saving atonement. I had an English Book of Mormon on me and gave it to the one, some seeds planted as we walked along the Mongolian wayside. 

Also this week while we were checking a potential investigator, Iweel his brother Ireedui told us that he wasn't home, but he gave us a ride, and in the car we found out that Ireedui"s wife was a member, and his younger brother was too and had served a mission. So that has helped our understanding of Iweel's interest more understandable and now we will try even harder to meet with him and his family.

We got helmets for the bikes too, and while Elder Rodriguez was in Nalaikh we had him take a look at them and do a quick tune up, he worked in a bike shop before his mission, it was really cool. I have some pretty decent bike fixing skills, but I learned more from Elder Rodriguez. 

I just saw the pictures of the new Philadelphia temple and it is incredible! Philly Temple Pictures

Ахлагч Jonathan Wilding

Peanut butter and hot sauce straight from America

Bikes with helmets

Bolorerden's baptism

7/31/16 Bikes and the work is growing :)

This week we have been blessed with a lot of new potentials and a new investigator. A member of the Sansar ward called us on Friday night and gave us a list of her family members who were less actives and a co-worker of hers that lives in Nalaikh. Her co-worker isn't a member but is interested in the church. She came to church on Sunday, but says that we can't meet at her house. I think that her family members don't know that she is investigating a Christian church and she is afraid to meet at her home because of that. Regardless she sat in all of church and asked really good honest questions, I hope that we can meet with her and find some way to teach her. 

We talked to the Zone leaders and they gave us the go ahead to get bikes and we did. We got them on Saturday, and they really changed the work in Nalaikh. Because we have to walk everywhere in the area, bikes cut travel time down by half at least. It’s a lot more efficient and I think that we can check a lot more people and not have to worry about going all around town. If we get burned by an appointment we won't have wasted so much time in just walking there and we can get back out to try more people! This week is going to be really good! I'm going to give it my all. 

We're going in to the city and are going to record some songs by the request of Senior Elder Maynes, so that will be a good project to help out with. 


Ахлагч Jonathan Wilding

We got bikes
Went out to Gordok on a split with Elder Lamb
and we checked some addresses, and took a couple of pictures.