Allllright, well although you didn't write me for this week, that's ok, i'll still write you! I made sure to write down a bunch of stuff to write about for this last week so hopefully this e-mail will be interesting.
So this last Saturday and Sunday we watched conference. It was fantastic! I loved every moment of it. Every talk just had something to gain from it and the SPirit was ever present. The Prophet's counsel to us in his closing remarks was so true. We need to make the most of our time, right now! "Find joy in the journey, NOW!" The neat thing is, he talked about that same thing last time in conference. I suppose we aren't doiing a good enough job living to the fullest and enjoying the life God has given us. After all, the doctrine of having fun is in the scriptures. 2Ne 2:25 says "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy". So there ya go! Whether the economy is collapsing or you're cramped in a Meeker in Mongolia, enjoy yourself! After all, joy isn't found in the amount of income you bring in or any of those wordly things, it's found in caring for people, teaching the Gospel, spending time with family. Those things can all be done without a sweet paycheck. Of course we all need money but I've learned that I should never have to worry about that. Jacob gave the Lord's promise about that in the Book of Mormon. If we seek first the Kingdom of God, everything else will fall inline. Isn't it wonderful? One verse specifically states that after we receive a hope in Christ we will obtain riches, if it is our desire. The Lord's plan is wonderful, the specifics may not be the same for us all, but the final outcome is all one glorious goal: eternal life and immortality. That's the richest you can get!
So, this last Tuesday, it SNOWED! It was crazy! It like rained a bit before so the snow didn't stick but for most of the time, the snow was going sideways. It was way sweet. I hadn't bought all my winter stuff so i ended up having to get 3 fingers amputated because of frostbite. Haha, just kidding. But it was pretty cold waiting for a meeker that never came for 45 minutes with the wind blowing every bit of heat out of ya. I enjoyed it. Needless to say, today I am going to go to the black market (zakh) and get everything I need for the winter.
Oh, so I had a pretty funny experience with prayer recently. At our last zone conference, they reiterated the importance of having another male in the household when you visit with people. That is very hard in Mongolia in the summer and fall because all the men usually work and they don't like to listen anyways. So, our other option is to take church members with us. in our branch, that is also very limited. So recently we really had very little chances of meeting with investigators unless we could get a branch missionary to come with us. So, we had a lesson set up for thge following day and we were looking desperately for a male to come with us. We had asked the lady we would meet with if her husband would be home and she said no, he usually got home around 830 or 9. So, we had a hope in one branch missionary that said maybe, we would ahve to call him again later the day of. So, we prayed so earnestly for a male to go with us. later the day of, we went out and taught english. When we finished, we called the branch missionary and to our dismay, he said he was busy. It was rather disheartening. Still, we headed down to the church to see if there was anyone that could just go with us from the church. After a fruitless attempt, we figured we needed to go to her house and at least tell her we couldn't find a male to come with us. We headed to the meeker stop and waited. And waited. And waited. 45 minutes we waited, in the snow and cold and no meeker came. We tried to call her from a phone and somehow lost the connection. Well, after awhile, we headed back and did someother work. Just contacting and setting up appointments becauee we couldn't find a meeker to get out to her place. Well, the funny part about all of this is that between the time we talked with her the night before this all happened and when it happened, her husband became sick! therefore, he didn't go to work that day and was at home! When we found that out, I was shocked! The Lord has answered our prayer! We had prayed for a male to go with us so we could teach, and there was one there! So, I said to my companion, "next time we need to pray for a male AND a meeker". haha. anyways. That day I did gain a stronger testimony that this is the Lord's work and that he will help the prayerful missionary fulfill his duty.
Oh, another neat thing I did this last week was dig a toilet. In Mongolia, a lot of places don't have running water. Hence, no toilets. So, they dig one the old fashion way! These last two weeks we have helped dig two. They usually go 3 meters (about 9 feet) and so you can't do it all in one setting. We usually just help what we can. Anyways, so we go to this one house on the top of a mountain and start to dig one out. This place was PURE rock! We started out with 2 shovels, 2 pickaxes, and a metal rod used to break up rock. When we had to stop working, we had 2 shovels, and the metal rod. What happened to the 2 pickaxes? I broke them! The stress from pounding through all the rock just split the wood in half. It was way funny. We all took turns using the pickaxes (there was 4 of us) but they always broke in my hands. Haha. So that was fun.
Also, the other day, we hopped on a Meeker and headed to our area. The problem was, my companion took the last seat and so i had to just kind of stand up in this van. So if you can imagine, there are 4 rows of seats with 4 people in each. Most of the people almost hit the roof of the car when sitting down. Now I'm standing up in this meeker, pressed up against the sliding door and leaning over. So here I was folding up hanging halfway into the aisle. to make things worse the lady I happened to be exactly over was breast-feeding her baby! It made for quite an awkard meeker ride. I rode that way for about 10 minutes. and my legs were way sore after it. haha
So, lastly, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you Mom! I love you alot! It seems like things back home are getting harder and harder and yet you're still doing your best. It's because I had a mom like you to raise me and instil in me those traits you have that I'm here now. You and Dad did such a great job raising me and I am forever grateful for both of you. NOw, indirectly, you two are blessing the lives of these Mongolian people as the Lord leads me to their lives. This work is true and whether we're on the ground doing it, or supporting it, we are working. And everyone can do this work, everyone MUST do this work! I love you all,
This is what I sent james but he didn't get it before he wrote his email.....
I hope you enjoyed listening to conference. It was good, but I always enjoy reading it a time or two to really understand everything. We had a good week. I took 3 days off work and took the kids on a camp out with other single parents up on the Mongollon rim near Bear lake. It was really cold there, about 40 degrees at night, so i am glad to have a warm bed and hot shower again( I don't know how you handled cold showers for so long, but I guess it's better than nothing!) My hair still smells like campfire smoke after 2 washes. Joseph and Cali got to ride ATV's around the trails and Hopper had a great time too. She swam in the lake we went fishing in and ate everyone's leftovers. There were a lot of little kids there who gave her attention too, so she was in heaven. Cali caught a fish and Joseph got one on the line but it got away. Everyone had a fun time, so i am glad I made Joseph come, even though he protested about going.
I am working on what to do for a Chrsitmas program and I thought it might be cool to get all the missionaries in our ward to write or record a message from the mission field to be read or played on Christmas morning. I know your camera has a video mode, but I didn't know if you could use it to record a message and email it to me. Even if we just had a written message that someone in the family read would be cool.
I hope you are doing well and I am grateful that you are serving the Lord and the people in Mongolia. We love to hear from you and look forward to being inspired by your testimony each week.
I know the Church is true and it gives me hope and comfort and makes sense in a world where things tend to be confusing.
We love you
Keep the fire burning!