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