Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Grateful Heart

I woke up this morning at 5:00 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep. Within a few minutes I found myself crying. Not because I didn't get my cast off yesterday, and not because I was in pain. Actually, I found myself thinking about the opening scene of "It's A Wonderful Life", a depiction of the heavens with some voices wanting to know who all those prayers were flooding heaven for? And I thought of all of you, on both sides of this earth sending up prayers in my behalf. I wanted to somehow thank everyone, and this seemed the way to reach the most people!

A mischevious young friend of ours (who turned out to be a wonderful stake president)commented on one of our blogs that this arm seemed to be the most popular topic on the internet! Well your concern, expressed in many ways, serious and other ways, has made this a much easier challenge to bear. I love you all and thank you for your concern. We have heard from friends we haven't seen for years. We've seen grandchildren on short videos, heard of, and felt, countless prayers, fasting, advice, and heart felt concern from family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. We know we were not sent to "Outer Mongolia" and forgotten.

And not to be out-shinned by the internet, our seniors here in Mongolia have stepped in and been a loving and helping "family". We have the best of heaven and earth watching over us, and we are truly grateful. Paraphrasing the words of Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol": God bless (you), everyone!

I wanted to share a little about my medical care here. Wednesday I went back to see my doctor, translator by my side. Here in Mongolia, you don't make appointments--you wait! When we arrived, the "waiting room" was FULL. My translator had me take off my jacket and my shoes and put on some plastic shoes. They don't want germs in the office. She grabbed (literally) a nurse and told her I needed to go first because I had a broken arm. We were escorted right in--to where the doctor was slurping noodles! He is so nice. He greeted me with a big smile, and took me to his patient room. He has been taking English lessons from our mission doctor and he was going to do this appointment in English! I may be his only English speaking patient. He asked me where I was from and if I had any pain (related questions). Then he told me my face looked better! Oh, the magic of Mongolian medicine! He did get through the appointment without the help of my translator and he was so pleased. He turned to his astounded nurse and said, "She missionary", obviously pleased he was helping the work along. X-rays and a cast: $30; a kind doctor: priceless!

It just doesn't get much better! Thanks to all of you!!

Sister Caldwell
Ulaanbaatar, "Outer Mongolia"

The Good, the Bad and the . . .

It's Christmas again! Two of the packages promised from home (you know, the ones mailed over a month ago!) arrived in the mail yesterday! In fact, 40 packages arrived in the mission yesterday! It's surprising what a package from home can do to lift one's spirits! I think we managed to get everything in the picture. As you can see, everything arrived in great condition. There was one Reece's that was partially smashed and that was it!

And every single items is just what the doctor ordered! We are really going to enjoy this stuff!

On a more solemn note, Sister Caldwell went to the doctor today. The news wasn't exactly what we had hoped for. It would have been nice had he at least replaced that big old cast with a smaller one. What he did do was rewrap the original one and tell us it has to stay on for at least two more weeks!

He did replace the bandages, as mentioned. And in the process was able to wrap it so that the cast is supported much better. That has helped. We just hope the next two weeks go by really fast!

But the other couples continue to be a great support and help. One of the senior Sister's is a registered nurse. She accompanied Sister Caldwell to the doctor while I taught a workshop that was scheduled some time ago. Then, she rounded up some larger clothes, had Sister Caldwell try them on, and altered them to accommodate the cast. Melba now has a new wardrobe -- one she can wear with the cast, thus allowing her to get out and about more. For both of us! I could use the help at the office!

There is a small silver lining in all this after all!

Note: In the last post, Dave Osborn commented about getting out of the apartment in the event of a fire, in view of all these locks. Good observation. Hadn't really given that much thought. However, I think a major fire is pretty much impossible in these old buildings. The walls, ceilings and floors are all of concrete. And we mean ALL of the walls -- outside walls, inside walls, partions -- everything! A fire's not goin' far in this old place! Might manage to burn the wallpaper off the walls, but I doubt it!

Monday, January 12, 2009


In her comment on our last post, Amy hoped that the latchless door was not our front door. Just thought I'd include some pics of our entry way and the security involved.

From the inside, you can see our front door in the first picture. Well, at least you can see the first of the doors. Open that door and you will find another, as shown in the second picture.

The first door (the inside door), only has three dead bolt type locks.

On the second door (the outside door) you can see a closeup of four of the 17 dead bolt cylinders that constitute the locks on that door. That's right -- 17! Eleven down the front edge of the door (as shown in the picture) an 3 more on each the top and the bottom of the door. It requires two complete turns of the key on that door to get them all locked!

With the three on the inside door, that makes 20! And that, of course, is why there's no latches on the inside doors. They are all on the front doors!

How's that for security, Amy?!