Well, we returned 12 missionaries to their homes on Wednesday of last week; five local Mongolians and seven from the states. Good missionaries, all. But they had served well and their missions were complete, so we wished them, Bon Voyage.
Then, on Friday, we sent 24 new Mongolian missionaries off to begin their missions, and most of them will serve here in Mongolia. We had firesides for both groups, one on Tuesday and the other on Friday.
The new group had just returned from their training at the MTC in the Philippines. It was good to hear their testimonies and of their experience in the MTC and of their first visit to the temple. It brought back memories.
Two and a half years ago, there were 12 young men and 18 young women serving missions from Mongolia. Today, there are 72 young men and 54 young women serving in the Mongolia mission alone. And there are around 100 more serving in other countries. That’s amazing!
But, as you can likely figure, most of the referred to new missionaries have only been members of the Church for one or two years. And most are the only members in their families. Several of those had nonmember family members in attendance at their farewell fireside and were then sent off to their assigned missions/areas. Some of those missionaries shared their desire that their family might accept the Gospel and join the Church soon. All expressed their appreciation for the help and support that they had received, even from nonmember parents. There was a good Spirit there and it was an enjoyable evening.
Actually, most of the young people who are members of the Church here, do not have parents who are members. Therefore, the Church is the only place they can look to for support and guidance regarding such things as the Word of Wisdom, chastity and other things which tend to plague the youth today. That adds somewhat to their challenge of remaining true and faithful. But true and faithful is what they are, none-the-less.
It was interesting and strengthening to hear the depth and breadth of the testimonies from these new members and missionaries. They truly are house of Israel and much of good is yet to come from them and from Mongolia.
Oh, and our new seniors are sure terrific! It's wonderful to have them here!