Saturday, November 15, 2008

Our first visit to a branch

We attended Church today in the local branch. Didn't understand a thing, but we attended! Acutally, we had a translator behind us who whispered in our ear and we could get the jest of everything.

There were four or five new people who attended the entire block today. People who had been told by a friend that they ought to attend or who were just passing by and thought they ought to stop in. Apparently, that is a common occurance here. Most branches have a regular baptism schedule each week. And nearly every week there are new members being baptized. We are definitely in the mission field!

Tomorrow, we will be officially in our office in the Employment Center for the first time. At least for a couple of hours! Still have things to take care of and meetings to attend, as well. But we are excited to get to work!

Haven't really had too much difficulty with jet lag. Seems we have adjusted rather quickly. Apparently what we did enroute helped, but it made the journey a bit more challenging.

Pictures tommorow!
Thanks for all the posts! We are still working from the office computer, when we get an opportunity to be there. So far, we have been very busy getting settled in. Come next Monday, we should have our internet in the apartment online. Then we will be much better able to upload pics and do more with it.

We do have some pictures of the apartment and will post them on Monday evening, our time. Probably early Monday morning your time. But be aware. The apartment is a bit cramped in some rooms. But is is nice to be able to reach anything in the room without getting up!

We will try to post some pics of the places we have been shopping, too. They, too, are a bit . . . . . interesting.

They are having a senior couples party for us right now and I guess I'd better get back to it.

Love ya'!

Friday, November 14, 2008

MOM: I expected to get more praise and glory for making the airplane flight without a complaint! Actually it was pretty cool. I think I'll work on one of those 2 engine CESNAs next!

We met President Anderson at the airport. (If you could call it an airport). Provo has a bigger airport than this "international" airport. It was a joke! Sister Anderson took us out to a hamburger place because President Anderson was very busy. He did meet us, but he had several appointments (and of course our plane was late).

We were told we had a very nice apartment, NOT! At least not compared to America. It took us a little while, but we realize that we have a very nice Mongolian apartment. We are going to do a little work on it though, against everyone's advice of course.

We slept very well (as dad told you). I think we were too tired to do anything but sleep. We have a hard of hearing lady next door. But she did turn the sound off of her TV at 9:30. I got up this morning at 6:00 and started to unpack things. First thing I unpacked was my family pictures. Second thing was the tissues. But I think I have it under control now.

We met with President Anderson for an hour and a half. He is very nice. We have met lots of the couple missionaries now. Everyone is treating us like we are very special! Hey! We are! We got two packages from home already (from Marcia). Someone let her know we are ready for Christmas. She packed in stockings, music, Christmas candy, scarves, mittens, etc, etc. Some one be sure and let her know how fun it was to open them. And let everyone know it came US Post Office regular mail in just 8 days! Amazing. I don't know why I've been using Priority!

Dad: Sister Anderson took us shopping this am. What an experience! I will never, NEVER, EVER complain about Utah drivers again! They are wonderful! The best drivers in the world! And then they told me they wanted me to get a license so I can drive around here! Ain't goin'a happen!

It is really crazy! You can't wait for some one to let you into flowing traffic. They simply won't. You must literally force you way in. And clearance is maybe one or two inches between vehicles. It's insane!

The stores they took us to were very interesting. Mecury (name of one of the larger food stores) is simply a complomeration of individual vendors selling their wares. And you pay each one from whom you purchase anything. Some have duplicate items and different pricing from each other. But few prices are posted and you have to ask the price. Of course, they do not speak English much so they just type it into a calculator screen and show it to you!

I should mention that we first went to the bank and I withdrew 300,000.00. That's about $300 but it sound more impressive the other way!

Well, go to go. One of the senior couples is taking us to dinner and we are already late. More later.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just a really quick note to let you know we are here and have hit the ground running! Our experience as already proven very "interesting". We'll let you know more soon. We do not have internet access in our apartment yet. We just need to get it turned on and will do so as quickly as we can. Our apartment is . . . interesting!

We slept really good our first night in our apartment and we are really excited! We haven't even had time to read the comment from our last entry but will try this afternoon.

But we are off to the bank and shopping!


Elder and Sister Caldwell

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Finally got our computer going and have a bit of time left before our next flight. As mentioned, mom is now a seasoned traveler. You won't believe it, but she hasn't even taken a single Dramamine yet! The snacks and treats you provided sure have been nice, though!

While at Incheon, we had the opportunity to take a tour bus to a local Buddist Temple. The buildings are over 1300 years old as is the tree (see pics). It was quite a place and we really enjoyed being able to visit there. We really were afraid that we wouldn't be able to see any of the country after having come all this way. But it was really fun! And our tour guide was great! A young Korean girl named Kim. She taught us a little Korean along the way. After we repeated what she said a few times, she told us that it meant, "You are beautiful!" Then she said, "Thank you very much!"

I can see from your comments resulting from the comment we made to our last post because we couldn't get at the new post area, so we just made a comment along with your comments which triggered your comments about our comment . . . . well, you get the picture. Anyway, we're going to have to be really careful because of certain people who shall remain nameless (and likely family-less if it keeps up!) who just can't resist being really bad dogs!

Well, got to go. Next flight and last portion of our trip getting close now. Trying to . . . stay . . . . . . . awake . . . . . . . . . 'til evenin . . . . zzzzzzzz.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just a quick post on a borrowed comp0uter. We made it to LAX! Mom was surprised at how easy it was! She did really great! We spent nearly 1.5 hours just getting to the next terminal and getting checked in! This place is huge!

But we are getting really tired! Got to adjust to a very different time zone!

What a great send off we had! You are the best family ever!

Better go! Love you all!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Well tonight we went to our farewell devotional! Yikes! I can't believe it is getting that close. We will be on that airplane before you know it. Everyone remember to pray for me, this will be my FIRST time on an airplane. I don't want to hear any stories about plane crashes. I have instructed Mike to delete them! Today we heard a story on "Sounds of the Sabbath" about a terrible plane crash and then in church we heard about an engine going out on a plane President Hinckley was on! What are the odds that I would have such a day?!!

Relief Society talked about preparing for the Second Coming. I couldn't help but think the MTC has been a good taste of the Millenium. We are with such good people here and the Spirit is everywhere. One day we slipped away to Wal-Mart (OK for seniors to do), and WOW-the world came "crashing" into our lives! (Opps! I wasn't going to say the "C" word).

Tonight President Boone told us about a letter he received from a missionary. It said, "Write my mother and tell her I won't be coming home. I've signed up with the three Nephites!" Vince Lambardi said, "The more we invest in a cause, the harder it is to surrender." I'm sure we haven't even begun to understand that. Once we emerse ourselves in this mission, I'm sure it will take on a lot of meaning.

One more quote: To every man there comes in his lieftime that special moment when he is figuaratively tapped on the shoulder and offered a chance to do a special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talent; what a tradgedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be his finest hour. (Winston Churchill) The brethren were so wise to start our missions with an experience like the MTC. It isn't the "real" world in here, but it sure fills your cup to overflowing. You feel like you could convert the world (and with the caliber of missionaries we have been working with, perhaps we will!!!)

Mongolia, brace yourselves. Here we come!

Elder and Sister Caldwell