Monday, September 5, 2016

9/5/16 A Good ol’ Email

The interesting bits:

Mongolian fall has indeed begun, school for the masses started on the first and there are a lot of people in from the countryside, so the city is busier and the buses are fuller. It’s straight up sweater weather. At nights I even need to wear a jacket! The coal smell has just barely begun and you can definitely smell some in the morning and night time. It's very familiar, it takes me back to my first month in Mongolia. 

My English teaching starts on the 15th and I have been moved out of teaching children. There are 6 Elders that work for my sponsor Ikh Zasag at their various schools, and we are going to be doing an English Lab this year at their international university Royal Academy. Like any College lab class teachers are going to give assignments to do in the Lab and we are going to help. I have gone from Elementary teacher to College TA.

definition: huduu = countryside

In the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission we are in the country to be English teachers. So our visas are actually sponsored by teaching organizations, different schools around the city of UB. Once upon a time missionaries were working at wherever the mission could get them. As time progressed there has been a great effort made to be more selective, weed out the bad sponsors and graft people into good ones. Ideally everyone would be teaching at a high school or university. It takes a while for these changes to be made because, barring exigent circumstances a missionary stays with their sponsor for their entire mission. There are only a handful of church visas for missionaries (they teach English at the church). These missionaries are more often sent to the huduu. Regular missionaries with regular sponsors have to stay within commuting distance during the school year, but have the opportunity to go out to the huduu.

A more formal email:

   This was a real pick up in work this week, we hit 13 lessons with 8 MPs (Melchizedek Priesthood age men) ! It was a real change from the average of 4-5 and peak of 7 during the summer. The Unity of the trio is working out pretty well, we don't need a gerch (witness) and can meet with all of the women. We also are teaching really well cause we all follow the spirit in the lesson when one of us stops the one of the others picks up with what the person needs. I would definitely say that the language is a killer. Especially at church where it is just three hours of listening, I feel like on those days I just can't even speak. 
   I'm starting to get to know the area some more, as well as the people. By Thursday of this week I think that I'll be pretty comfortable in the area, knowing where things are and who people are. 
   There is a less active in our ward that Elder Cowles has been working with for his whole time in Songino, Batsaikhan and he has just made great progress recently. My first Sunday he came for all of church and met with the bishop. He got a calling as a ward missionary and this week he came for church with a white shirt and nice slacks I can even see a change in his life over just two weeks, it’s truly a miracle to witness the church change someone's life.
   We've got a new investigator from the Unur Sisters, Natsagdorch, and she is already super committed we were able to meet with her twice this week, the first time she talked our ears off, which is particularly painful in Mongolian (mostly because it gives you a headache trying to process it all) but she has a great testimony and is reading the Book of Mormon. She is super excited to get baptized on 10/8. 
    I am really looking forward to English, I think that the Lab at Ikh Zasag will be really good, and that it really is the future of the work here. I like that I'll get to be working closer with students that will have more English experience than just 4th and 5th graders. I really have wanted to be able to connect with students and people in general, this will be good for that I think and will really work to suit our skills better as native speakers and missionaries. I think that it will also progress the work more and that more potentials will come from it than from the more classroom setting.

Ахлагч Jonathan Wilding

And just for fun.

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