Thank you for the great thoughts and letters! Your natural man comment made me remember a great workshop I had last week about convertion, that is true conversion. I left my notebook at the residence hall, but here my basic thoughts:
We watched Elder Bednar's talk that he gave at the MTC (highly classified) I would recommend it if it was avaliable to the public. He spoke on convertion as it meant changing our will to match Christ Jesus' and thus turning away from the natural man. Having a testimony does not necessarily mean being converted. True conversion takes time and a testimony is what you believe to be true. So, Elder Bednar says, if a testimony is what you know and believe, than conversion is consistently doing what you know is right. There was a lot more, but that was the main idea that I internalized. I am grateful for the fabulous teachers here.
Food is still going great! As a matter of fact, in the 13 days I have been here I have added 13 pounds to my weight, and I feel great! I don't look much different, I am just kinda jiggly when I do things...
A few more highlights of the week were:
Learning Mongolian, we are progressing quickly through diligent study and we commited an investigator to baptism we can speak pretty well without notes, but we can teach a decent lesson with notes. If this was a Cyrillic keyboard I would love to write a little for you , but my morning salutation in Mongolish will have to suffice I suppose.
I am in a 3-way companionship and there are 2 other Elders going to Mongolia in our district who are a seperate companionship and we all are goofy, but motivated and we have fun at the right times.
The tie-traders leave in 1 week! Good heavens, they stress me out! I should have brought some trading fodder, to keep them off, because I brought the ties I did for a reason! That is what makes a mission hard.
We are being taught Mongolian by three great Returned Missionaries. They are all American, but they are fantastic teachers. We started teaching 2 new investigators this week as well. The names of our investigators so far have been: Bataa (warrior/firm) Monhoo (eternal land) and Gathmandkha (rising fire) I think they are pretty cool!
I have been working hard to turn my wordly cares over to the world as I strive to lose myself in the work. I know He will bless me as I study and pray and love my investigators and my Savior. I hope that everyone back home is having a survivable time at home without me. I am profoundly happy here.
OH, wait! Some other information that the general audience may be interested in about Mongolia that I have been learning, I would like to impart:
Everyone has a dog and people live in gers with a fence around it, so to "knock on the door" you just shake the fence so that is rattles and alerts the dog of your presence. Then the aggressive dog charges towards the gate as the ger-owner yells"Xkhen vwe?"meaning who's there? then the acceptable response is "Be bain" which mean literally It's me! Then they say Be bainoo? or who is me? so we tell them Nomclucktch, missionary. Then the person will come out and cover thier dog's eyes as we tiptoe into the ger and get fed goat fat and dumplings. Excellent.
I am nervous about the dogs a little, but that will be okay.
The other thing is that fermented horse milk we were talking about. The put it literally straight from the animal into a container, don't add anything and let it sit. So I filled up an empty water bottle with 2% milk and it has been on my window sill now for 5 days and is seperated into tofu-ish stuff and milky liquid. I can send some home and you can try it in 10 weeks!
That is all I can think to share, but again, I am really happy and so much good is happening in my life and I hope your's as well as we continually improve and give ourselves to the Lord. The Work is True!