Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thought you might like to see a couple of more shots of where we live.

The first is of the stairway
up which we must climb to get to our third floor apartmant. Yup! Three flights of stairs everytime we come and go! And look at those colors! But don't get excited. That's just painted cement! Let's see, then there is another flight to get to our office at the Church building. Then we climb four flights up to get to various offices above us. There is an elevator, but we generally choose to take the stairs. And there's always the forty or fifty foot rise up the little hill before we reach our apartment from the street! We are in pretty good shape!

The second is of the door through which we enter our apartment building. I don't think we have ever mentioned that right at the foot of the stairs, is a tiny little space right under that first flight of stairs, where a caretaker type person lives. You know, just like the space Harry Potter is given to be in for the first Harry Potter movie. That caretaker cleans the stairway, removes the garbage we put out in the hall, and sweeps away the snow out front. For that, she gets this 'nice' little place to stay and $50 per month!

And the third picture is of the Chenggis Hotel, across the street from our apartment complex. Our apartment building is actually in the second row back from the street. Makes for a quieter experience!

We just finished our 2nd Career Workshop today. We had nine attendees again -- seven members and two non-members. These really seem to be helpful to those who attend. We focus on helping them realize they have good skills to offer an employer, identifying what those skills are and how to have a good interview with a prospective employer.

We also help young men and women apply for college, usually at the Church College of Hawaii. I have been helping one young man named Tuguldur - not a member of our Church. As I would help him, I had the opportunity to explain some of our beliefs to him. I wasn't sure of his reaction, but was glad to share, just the same. But somehow, he seems to have taken a liking to me as I helped him fill out his paperwork and get the needed interviews. At least, that is what the missionaries now tell me. Yup! He's started taking the lessons! We'll let you know what happens.

Things seem to be settling down a bit today. We continue to make some significant modifications in our office area which should make thing much more efficient AND allow us to help job seekers better. And I am trying to learn to just be happy with what I can do and not feel overwhelmed with what I can see really needs to be done.

And we are seeing more and more Christmas decorations around now. The Chenggis Hotel has quite a few things up both inside and out. We'll take more pictures and show you.

One last thing. We are really feelin' good tonight! The American Store (that's it's name) got a new shipment from the states in the past couple of days (they only get them once every few months). Today, we were able to buy Cheerios, Chex Mix, Western Family Bran Flakes, Raspberry Jam, Boysenberry Pancake Syrup . . . and Pace Salsa! I never knew salsa could taste so good!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Night at the Theater

Some how, we managed a night at the theater here in Mongolia. Actually, we made these arrangements with a local member of the Church -- a good brother named Galsa-- before everything went so crazy (we have become VERY busy this past week)!

It was a fascinating evening, as you might expect. And, as you can see, it was a very colorful evening! This is a play about a very wise man, the wisest man in Mongolia. He fears his father has died and is quite sad. But soon his father is found and he is very happy. His father wants to be taught by his very wise son, who is very hesitant, insisting that he is not one to teach his father.

But soon, the son is teaching not only his father but also the people of the land. The poor ones listen as he tells them not to drink, not to smoke and to take care of their families (no this was not a Church production!). But the rich laugh and make fun of him. We think (not understanding the language even though we had a translator) that the wise man ended up teaching only the poor -- the only ones who would listen. Sound familiar?

The play was made a bit more memorable due to the special celebration it happened to be. The theater is celebrating it's 200th birthday! So, that theater is almost as old as our country!

You'll have to excuse the quality of the pictures. We didn't have our own camera with us (didn't leave from our apartment and didn't think to take it when we left this morning), which we think would have taken better pictures.

It was an enjoyable night, even though we were way too tired!