Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 29, 2012

Dear mom,
I was wondering what in the world all of you people were doing in Utah again! Thanks for answering before I even asked. I am feeling much better, just a sore throat every morning, but then it gets better throughout the day. The post-nasal drip is not hindering my study in any way. Elder Collins and I enjoyed our fruit, it got to us promptly on Saturday, thank you! By the way I really enjoyed the pictures you sent last week especially the flowers, I am glad you were so thoughtful to include them.
I understand why you sent the fruit now. My companions thought that you perhaps thought I was not being properly nourished and therefore needed some healthy, low-fat calories when, in fact, I have ample opportunity to sample lots of fruit and vegibles at meal times. I am preparing for hibernation, so I have been choosing to stock up on as much fat and grease as I can. It is probably a good thing that I cannot send pictures right now because you might not even recognize me; I have gained 35 pounds. If you are going to put that on the blog, then I need to add this caveot: I am distinctly aware that this, from an outsider's perspective seems both dangerous and absurd and perhaps a tad irresponsible or childish. I have, however, premeditated this process as well as prepared a plan with the end in mind. By gaining this layer of warm blubber around my entire body I am creating a safety net for the possible events of worms, harsh winter and mission-wide fasts. Also if I reach my gol of 5 more pounds and weigh 200 lbs, then I will have a lot of weight that I can turn directly into muscle. I have begun the physical conversion process here at the MTC in addition to my continued spiritual conversion. If I have a heavy body when I get home then it will be like training in a fat suit so that my legs will be able to carry my skinny body more powerfully when cross-country comes around again. Did I mention that this is the only time in my life I am planning on doing this? So don't worry.
The Mongolian is going super well.
This week was fantastic and it is hard to remember all of the experiences I had. Last Tuesday Elder Rasband of the presidency of the 70 spoke to us and was really quite inspirational. He talked about controlling our thoughts and actions and gave us ways to do so and promised blessings. I took a lot from that and have been stiving to apply it in my life as I more fully do what I know is right and come unto Christ as I am going to ask my investigators to also do. The week went by really quickly! We have not heard any news on our visas, so I am nervous, but I haven't heard anything bad either. Everything is settled with the law, mom, or do I need to do anything else?
We did have one difficult spot this week, an elder in our zone lost his mother on friday night and he is doing alright, but struggling. Then the next day another elder lost his grandmother and that was an equally tough blow. It is incredible to me to see the gospel instantly become so real amidst the trials of this mortal life. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ brings hope and salvation to the souls of all those who have faith. I admire my two friends for staying here to serve the Lord and I know he will strengthen them as they trust him. I have thought somewhat concerning the matter of faith as I pondered what these two elders are going through. I have been thinking a lot specifically on faith this week even before these tragic events occured. As I prepared my lesson on baptism for priesthood meeting I applied faith to every aspect of the Gospel and it seems to me that faith is the fuel and motor that runs our engines. Faith leads to repentance and the first fruits of repentance is baptism. Once we have partaken in this saving ordinance and made a covenant with God to keep his commandments and be representatives of Christ then we must still have faith that Heavenly Father will fulfill His end of the promise and guide us throught the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost can witness unto us truth and offer guidance to our hearts and minds so that we may know what we must do. I am so grateful for this knowledge and for Joseph Smith for restoring the complete authority of God to the earth again, so that we can enter into eternal covenants with God. I am also grateful for the faith that the elders showed who lost loved ones by perservering and believing that there is a plan. I know that God has a plan for each and everyone of us, even if His reasons do not seem logical or apparent at the time. My time is up, but I want to tell you that I know this is where I need to be right now and I am so excited to spread this restored Gospel so that it can bless the lives af all those who have faith and accept its doctrine.
Happily- Elder Chandler

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 22, 2012

Hi there!
Well this week was great until last night when I started feeling pretty sick, but no worries, I shall shortly recover and be back up to Ghengis Khan speed! A cool experience this week happened on Tuesday and carried over to Thursday. My feeling about an important speaker was right and Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke to us! He was terrific, but besides that he was a very direct answer to a lot of my questions. Let me explain: Our real investigator had asked us about the priesthood the last time we had met with her. Elder Perry spoke to us on May 15, 2012 -183 years to the day that the priesthood was restored in these latter days. At first I did not think much of it, as the microphone was having problems and we had uncomfortable seats, so I just listened and enjoyed the atmosphere. Then I had a miraculous realization, that this talk was for my companionship and Bothoraa! I began scribbling furiously in my frantic endeavor to capture every segmental of each word so that we could effectively teach about God's power! I took down several pages of notes and we were able to construct a clear, coherent and need-meeting lesson. I am grateful for the mindfulness of The Lord in all things.
I have had many cool experiences like that in my 7 weeks here. Thank you for all of the letters everyone and thank you siblings for your comments! Here are some good thoughts rocketing YOUR way Keneddy! I will try to answer all your questions, mother, while maintaining the mysterious nuance surrounding the institution in which I now reside and thrive in. Zaa, A normal Sunday is typically as follows:
6:30 get up (duh)
7-7:30 eat
7:45-8:00 play prelude
8-9 sacrament (I gave a talk this week and performed a special musical number :)
9-11:10 personal study (yes, it is exactly from 9-11:10 and all other need be times are taken literally. The MTC is a machine, and boy, is it oiled!)
11:10-12 priesthood session
12-I am full:00 lunch
I am full:00-1:00 zombie walk to the classroom
1-1:45 Interviews with branch presidency/personal study
1:45-2:45 District meeting. Here I will take a related and necessary tangent. With that smooth segue, here it is: A companionship is 2 or 3 elders in the same district grouped together and they live together and must always be within sight and hearing of one another (with few exceptions) A district is 1 or more companionships that arrived and depart on the same day as each other and are going to the same mission. There are 5 Elders (2 companionships) in the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar district at the MTC. A zone is a group of 1 or more districts that live on the same floor, or in the mission field this will be all the districts in a designated goegraphic boundary. The Elders in my Zone here are going to Malaysia, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mongolia, Alaska and Colorado. There are some terrific men and women here preparing to serve the Lord.
2:45-4:15 Temple walk. Yes, we do get to walk outside of the fences around the house of the Lord and enjoy the sunshine. There have been Jewish protestors out there for the past 4 weeks, and we have been instructed not to make any verbal, or non-verbal contact with them. IT IS SO HARD FOR ME NOT TO, !! I want to be thier friend! But I am being obedient.
4:15-5:15 choir
5:15-6:00 dinner
6-6:30 get ready for the devotional. I must confess this is time that we get our sillywillies out. This week we played FREEZE! So we and the elders going to Madagascar are in this hall with a class room and that classroom has a 2-way mirrior. When we turn off the light in the classroom the people in the observation room cannot see anything, because they keep the light on in thier room. So we took turns posing in the classroom with the lights off, then when we were set someone else would flip the light on so that the elders in the observation could see the final product. We repeated and rotated for a good half an hour. There were some really hilarious scenes!
6:30-8:00 get seats, sing prelude music and then listen to the devotional
8:20-9:30 watch a church movie
9:30-10:30 get ready for bed and go to sleep.

Yes, I am taking pictures, but my camera is pretty stinking awful. I will try to send you some in the mail if I can get them printed, but no promises. Yes'm I have been keeping a journal. Our native Mongolian investigator is quite a coincidence, but we are thankful for this wonderful opportunity to prepare and apply immediately what we are learning. FInally, my favorite part of the day is classroom instruction with the teachers. We just got a new teacher who is from Mongolia and she is really helping us work hard to understand every word. It is a good thing. Her accent is flawless.
I am running short on time, so I need to wrap up. Oh, I also like gym. But, we took English teaching class this week, and I am a certified English as an International Language teacher! I had a great time learning about teaching and I have seen it help me already in my Mongolian learning and study as well as teaching our other investigators.
Life is good. Sorry about your wrist Jackson. and since when do you go to school dances!? Not as good as stake dances, but still fun if you do 'em right, which I am sure you did! Still no word on our visas, and is there anything I need to do with the law, mom? keep me posted! I will communicate again in one week!
Be happy! -Elder Chandler

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 15, 2012

Hello mother,
Thank you for the Email! I hope you had a good mother's day, and I am sorry we couldn't talk on the phone, but I was thinking of you and we will talk soon! This absolutely HAS been my best week ever! It sounds like all is well at home. There is beauty all around when there's you know what at home!
On Tuesday Elder Christofferson graced the MTC missionaries with his presence and instructed us about The Godhead. It was nice and simple. I have a feeling that we are having a general authority again tonight, so maybe I will have something more profound to share next week.
Some highlights of my week:
I placed my first Book of Mormon! It was my real nice gold one that I got here. I need to figure out where they sell golden Mongolian Book of Mormons, because the bookstore does not. I perhaps will get a snazzy new one in the country. During TRC (teaching resource center) we get to practice our Mongolian by teaching basically hometeaching lessons. A twist that we got was an actual non-member came with some volunteers and we changed our lesson to be about the restoration and taught her as much as we could and explained the importance of reading the Book of Mormon, then I left mine with her as a gift. In Mongolia books are sacred and a source of knowledge, so I think she really was grateful to recieve that from us.
We got a new district this week, they are going to Colorado. The first night they were here I helped them get acclimated to the MTC climate. I laid on the ironing board and pretended to sleep there all night, but really once they went to bed I did too and just got up early and returned to my sleeping perch right outside their door. When they came out they took pictures and I did not laugh or smile even though thier flashes were on and they made lots of noise! They had no idea who I was for quite a while, especially since the next night they were taken on a tour of the campus and saw me at every turn. The back story to this is that my companions are the zone leaders and conducted the tours, so I got the choice experience of perpetually staying within sight and sound without being seen or heard, until I wanted to. Another exciting upside of this was I got to read outloud my Mongolian Book of Mormon whenever the new Elders and Sisters walked by. By next week they should catch on that I am just a normal missionary too.
Finally, this week we are training to be certified English teachers and my companions and I taught some foriegn speaking Elders and Sisters English today! I am learning a lot about English. I am learning a lot about teaching. I am learning a lot about the Spirit. Teaching English is going to be a really huge part of my mission. If you did not know this the Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia mission is the only mission in the world where missionaries are called primarily to be English teachers and teach the Gospel secondarily. (Now I know in my mind and heart that those are in the wrong order, however, there is some article of fath about obeying and honoring the law, so not much I can do about that)
I am indebted to my Lord and Savior for the opportunity to be here and spread his good word of happiness and salvation. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true and restored church of God on the earth today and that we have a living prophet with all the keys and authority of the priesthood. That authority is essential to salvation. I want all to come unto Christ that thier souls can be edified and given hope and peace in this life and in the world to come. Thank you for rasing me to be a hard worker, there is no way I can be happy here if I am not working hard. It is hard work. I am thankful for the challenge of language and people skills that I face everyday. There is no place I would rather be right now.
Have a great week! -Elder Chandler

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May 8, 2012

Hi family,
Thank you for the thoughts and all the good news! Who won Biggest Loser!?! I have gained a total of 23 pounds in this first almost month. I am very happy here and getting into the groove of prison/school regimen. It is fun to watch elders come and go from our zone and see how they go from scared and really quiet to comfortable and happy. That comes from working hard.
We had a cool workshop yesterday about our hearts and minds. We spent some time on "understanding". Understanding means more then mental comprehension. Elder Bednar said "when the thoughts of our mind move to our hearts, that is the beginning of understanding" Through the Spirit our thoughts can move to our hearts. I have always thought less about feelings and just wanted to comprehend the doctrine, but being here in the MTC I have realized I need to have the Gospel written in my heart so I can testify of its importance to everyone I teach. I would rather teach words all day, but I need to express feelings and communicate heart to heart better.
I got to see elder Collins and Haas this week, which is always a treat. They will be great missionaries! We had mission conference on Sunday and it is great to hear our MTC presidency speak to us.
In other news, teaching is going great and I have had some really almost crazy experiences of teaching by the Spirit. I love all of our investigators. We got to teach a real investigator in Mongolian on Thursday.
A few highlights of things i said:
"Hi what's my name"
"Is learning Mongolian difficult?" "three"
"I do people's nails for a living" "oh, cool! So you write books!"
"I read about the man who brought the people out of Egypt" "uh, huh. Red Waters"
I have had a few experiences like that, but it keeps things loose and helps our investigators feel comfortable. I think it is funny. I left my notecard of things to say up in the residence hall, so I will have to write more next week.
Oh, sorry to say this, but in the MTC we do not phone home on Mother's day due to the insufficient supply of telephones. I will let you know when I will be in an airport so I can call you then. I believe June 25, but I will verify and communicate my findings as we approach the designated time.
Glad to hear things are going well. Hi, Fontana! There is a letter coming before the end of the month! And good luck this week Jackson.
Talk to you all soon, bairte -Axlacktch Chandler

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May 1, 2021

Thanks for the Email mom,
The tie traders have officially been banned in the Provo MTC, as of the fireside on Sunday night when President Brown outlawed pyramids and tie trading. It was getting out of hand. I am with my companions the entire stay at the MTC, all 12 weeks. I have seen Elder Orr, Coffey, Smith, Thomson, and Hatch, the latter 3 from SVU. Elder Kruse gets in tomorrow, and I am stoked!
I won't be doing any tracting in Mongolia. Our mission rules do not allow for proselyting door to door or even on the streets. We cannot mention the church in our English lessons, so most of the referrals come from members or people contacting us. There is a lot of work being done and baptisms being partaken of (that's how they say in it Mongolian).
Thank you for the package! That was a nice suprise and good to hear you were in town and enjoyed the conference. I too had some special experiences dealing with prayer. One note that hit me was in class our teacher told us that when we are reading or listening to revelation we are in the MODE of revelation, including prayer. But the most important thing for me was that the thoughts that come to you are not always a distraction from your task at hand; I would often brush off thoughts of things I should do while reading the scriptures or praying, thinking they were just my mind wandering, but I have taken to writing down everything I feel I should do while I am in the MODE of revelation.
Our investigators have been doing great! We have 3, I don't remember what I told you about them last week, but we are teaching (my 2 companions and I) with only a notecard each. Last night was a tough lesson, because we had prepared a bomb lesson about the Restoration and we were super ready and had everything down. Then Galthmanduxk asked about baptism, which was in his reading assignment and we had to rewire everything! But it went relatively smoothly and the Spirit was definately present, which is the most important.
Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke to us last Tuesday about True Doctrine and we had a talk on Sunday by Brother Swenson about being happy, having fun and being good. I enjoyed that. I have been having fun, being good and I am happy. My companions were called as Zone Leaders on Sunday, so I get extra personal study time while they are at meetings. They are terrific missionaries and I am blessed to be with them.
Thank you again for all the love and prayers, I hope everything is well at home. I will talk to you next week!
-Elder Chandler