We have made some limited progress on VISAs!
President and Sister Andersen had some key government officials come to dinner at their home one night last week and the evening was, apparently, quite productive. Those officials were very helpful and explained why we were having difficulty. It seems that the original agreement between Deseret International Charities (DIC) and the government of Mongolia, did not include our activities as a religious organization. The government, however, is well aware of our religious nature and apparently has decided that they will no longer ignore the discrepancy.
So, we need to refile and amend our original agreement. That will take more than just a day or two and we will need to be patient. But it will be taken care of as quickly as possible.
However, those same officials told President Andersen that he could immediately bring the senior couples here who have been waiting, some for several months. They can apparently be temporarily covered under the same provision as visitors who do not need to have a VISA for up to 90 days. I presume that since the seniors work directly under DIC and are not considered proselyting missionaries, those officials were ok with doing so (though that is just my opinion). Then, within that 90 day period, things can be formally changed and properly approved.
In any event, three senior couples should be on their way within a few days, now, and we are really looking forward to their arrival!! Even though it could prove to be a bit interesting to orient and settle all three at once! We will simply be thrilled to have them here to help with the work!
And, of course, we hope that the young Elders and Sisters will not need to be kept waiting too much longer, either!
Swine Flu. We are also anticipating an end to the quarantine this coming week and are busily preparing, anticipating that we will finally be able to once again have baptisms next Friday and Church on Sunday. Yaaaaayyyyy!