Saturday, August 1, 2009
Everyday is a new experience here in Mongolia. The drive to Choibalsan was long, but the countryside was absolutely beautiful -- one of the good things about all of the rain we have been receiving. Miles and miles of rolling hills covered with tall green grass, bushes, etc. July is typically the wet month here but it has especially wet this year. And the landscape definitely reflects it.
Several in our party found it necessary to make the obligatory stops along the way.
You know, 'when nature calls, nature calls'! But there were rest stops along the way just like in the states.
Well, maybe not JUST like in the states! But they did have the local version, at least. Outhouses are better than nothin'! Even when they are like the one pictured; no seats, mind you, just a crack in the floor boards that you do your best to aim for! Some were quite concerned about the safety of those flimsy little boards they were expected to stand on! But we had no mishaps and were soon on our way again.
This particular 'rest stop' was in a little town called 123 -- 123 km from Choibalsan. We were almost there!
We also stopped along the way at a nice river to have lunch. And between the two cars we really put together a good lunch! It was kind of nice but it was starting to get hot at that point.
Finally we arrived and 0ur visit with the saints in Choibalsan was very nice. We discovered yet another thing that we take for granted in the states. The members were absolutely thrilled to have visitors from the local church headquarters here. I don't think we have ever been hugged so many times in one visit! They may only have visitors two or three times in an entire year, there. It is likely we will look at visits from our stake leaders a bit differently when we return.
While we were there, one young man received his mission call. But many of the youth here, are the only members of the Church in their family. So, family support for such things as mission calls is often missing. But we all gathered around in the Chapel as he opened his mission call. It was rather touching as we watched him carefully open his call and read where it was that the Lord needed him. We gave him hugs, congratulations and then all sang, "Called to Serve". By the way, that song sounds just as wonderful in Mongolian as it does in English!