Sunday, October 14, 2012

Off to Mongolia--October 8-14, 2012

We contacted the Family History missionary couple in Mongolia last week about us coming to do training with them. Tom had been dragging his feet until one of the other senior couples reminded us that the we are here for support of the missionaries in other countries and that they need to see us face to face. In many cases they are isolated from socializing with other missionary couples. Monday morning, Oct. 8, we visited the travel coordinator about travel plans to Mongolia. At that point things progressed very quickly and arrangements have been made for us to go on Thursday, Oct. 18. We will  visit Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan, and Erdenet. We were asked to speak in the two branch Sacrament meetings in Erdenet. We will have a translator with us.When we checked the weather we discovered it will be cold around freezing and it is around 85 here.

We had a very good Family Home Evening under the direction of the Browns in which we discussed how adversity can be a positive thing in our lives and the Lord's tender mercies.

We were checking the 1940 census and found Tom's biological father and grandfather. In the 1940 census we discovered that Tom's biological father had several siblings.

We worked on updating some Power Point presentations for us to use in Mongolia for the training of the Priesthood Leaders and the Family History consultants.

Tom got his first haircut in Hong Kong on Wednesday. He was amazed that he got his hair washed three times before the haircut and again after the haircut. Getting a haircut in Hong Kong can be scary because the hair stylist speaks limited English.

Tom is striving to learn Joseph Smith's First Vision in Cantonese. He feels he has to understand each word regardless of structure in order for it to stick. Cantonese structure is much different from English.

Tom has been working on more of Grandpa's Pearls of Wisdom. However he does have a hard time, in my opinion, putting into understandable language for young children. I guess that comes from working with high schoolers all his life.

For our trip to Mongolia, one of the other missionaries brought us $90,500 Tugriks (pronounced tooks) which is worth about $510 HK or $65.80 US.

Friday evening we went to dinner with some other senior couples at BLT Burger. It turned out to be an expensive hamburger with an Oreo Cookie milk shake, $403 HK. Then we went to the opera La Traviata which was performed in the Grand Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Center.The musical score was performed by Hong Kong Symphony. This was our first true opera. It was sung in Italian. Thank goodness there were English sub-titles so we could understand the story. It was way too much culture for two Idaho bumpkins. Earlier in the fall we did attend a performance of an outstanding pianist and the Hong Kong Orchestra in the same venue.We enjoyed that very much.

Saturday and Sunday was spent watching General Conference. We were inspired and touched by the talks that were given. We expect there will be a flood of missionaries with the announcement of the reduction in the age of service for young missionaries. It is exciting!! We are also excited to receive the First Presidency letter concerning the renewed call and higher vision for family history and temple work.

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