Thursday, January 22, 2009

And they lived happily ever after!

We recently attended a wedding here in Ulaanbaatar (‘recently’ being a relative term – it was prior to Sister Caldwell’s accident). Weddings here can be (as one might expect) a bit different than we are used to. We are accustomed to the reception being held on the same day as the wedding, in the majority of cases. However, some even in the states have departed from that custom and will hold a reception as much as a week or two following the wedding itself.

Here in Mongolia, the bride and groom can hold a formal reception as much as one year after the wedding. That custom evolved due to the difficult financial struggles witnessed so much here. If the couple can not afford a nice reception when they are married, they often postpone it while money is saved sufficient to pay for one. Going into debt for a reception is rare here. Perhaps we could learn a bit from our Mongolian brothers and sisters!

As you can see from the pictures, it is a rather nice affair. This is, once again, the chapel in the building where our office is. All of the podium furnishings are removable, as well as the chairs and other furnishings. The area where the repeat of the wedding vows was performed, is the area we refer to as the stand or the podium. The Elder performing the ceremony is President Clark, 2nd Counselor in the mission presidency. He and Sister Clark have done much to help Sister Caldwell and I through our little broken bone ordeal.

This was a very nice evening, though we missed part of it as a result of obligations we had downstairs by our office. But they were kind enough to save us a nice serving of the evening meal and we enjoyed the portion of the festivities we were present for.

And you might note that the traditional sheep’s head was also present as part of the meal provided for the evening.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just a quick update to let you know how we are doing.
Sister Caldwell is having a really good week this week. Why, she even got herself dressed (see pic)! That only took an hour, but it was a big accomplishment. She has also learned to make homemade tortillas with one hand. She has read 7 books and is working on Jesus The Christ by Talmage. She should be healed by the time she finishes that one--because it is so long! She still hasn't been back to the office, yet, because she hasn't a warm enough coat to be able to walk over there, but she does go and help teach English twice a week at the National Archives. We have a driver that picks us up in front of the apartment. Tonight, we start teaching the head judges for Ulaanbaatar. That should be interesting!

Elder Caldwell has had to take on some new roles, and since he is always in a suit, we had to find him an apron! What do you think? We couldn't resist the little kittens! He has been a tremendous help around the house. He is a great cook and even cleans up after himself. He keeps saying though that maybe he could get a "break" from all the work too some day! I don't think our family could deal with another one right now.