Friday, August 21, 2009

A special experience

Just had to create a quick little post about a special experience we have had.

Despite very busy schedules, we have committed ourselves to invite missionaries into our home to teach investigators whenever we can make time. The mission president has recently asked that they teach in homes as much as possible, rather than at the church.

And we have had the pleasure of having a number of such opportunities over the past couple of months. Elder McMurtrey has brought some of his investigators to our home and he has become one of those we have gotten fairly close to. He has told us that he really likes coming to our apartment. He said that our place really feels like home to him and that he enjoys coming here. That made us feel pretty good! He is a zone leader in UB and is one of many really great Elders we have gotten to know here. And his companion, Elder Adartseren, is a really good one, too! And, of course, they really like it when we invite them to dinner!

The two of them have been bringing a couple of investigators to our home for a while now. One of them, Ulsiibayaruun Uranboler, was baptized last night and she asked if I would perform her baptism. Most seniors may go their entire mission without having that opportunity. So, I felt very grateful for this one.


I even learned the baptism prayer in Mongolian. She was quite surprised when she found out I was doing the prayer in here native language! I was, shall we say, a bit nervous! But it went ok and others said they could even understand most of it!

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Thought you might find it interesting to see the Mongolian version of the baptismal prayer! At least as close as we could get our computer to type it!


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Monday, August 17, 2009

A couple of days ago, the new District Young Men’s Presidency went to a place about 80 kilometers from here, called “13th Century” as a way to help us get to know each other. 13th Century is an area where they have found artifacts left from seven camps occupied during the days of Chinggis Khan. It has been fascinating to learn about him while we have been here.
Chinggis Khan was very intelligent and thorough. This 13th Century park has recreated the area of his encampments here in Mongolia.

He was the first to organize the Mongolian people who had previously pretty much kept to themselves in separate tribes. He brought them to this area and set up these different camps, each having it's own purpose and each about .5 to 1.0 km apart. We visited all seven camps.

Camp #1 was the guard camp, set at the entrance to the area and intended to, well, guard. Anyone who wanted to enter the camp, would enter here – at least theoretically. It was also here that training was held for the soldiers. The structure underneath the larger ger is where training took place during the winter. If you look close enough you will see animal statues on top of the poles. Each represent a different tribe.

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Next, was the Craft Camp (Camp #2). As Chinggis Khan conquered an area, he would bring the best artisans and craftsmen back to this camp and would quickly adopt any new and advantageous abilities the conquered people possessed. The advantages of doing so would be obvious.

Everything in the way of supplies that were needed to be made, were created here, including tools, containers, gers, etc. A variety of wild animals were also kept in this camp (wolves, eagles, etc.).

There was one master craftsman with as many laborers as he needed in order to get the work done.

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Camp #3 was the Education camp. In one of the conquered territories, they took a highly educated man and brought him to this camp. It was under Chinggis’ rule, that the first Mongolian written language was developed. They would also bring children to this camp to receive formal educational training.

The main ger in this educational complex was larger than a normal ger, as you can see from the inside panorama. Not too bad, really but it still lacks indoor plumbing!

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Nomad
Camp #4 was the Nomad camp. Here, all of the livestock was cared for. That
included horses, goats, sheep, yaks, camels.

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Oh! Did I say camels?! I did! And, of course, we had to ride them while we were there! So here’s the part you are all really wanting to see! Sister Caldwell riding a camel! By the way, most of the high pitched screeching in this one, is NOT the camel!

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Way to go Sister Caldwell!!

Around the perimeter of the camp, these towers were built to monitor the wind. The construction is such that wind produces sound as it blows through the top part of the tower. Differing sounds would tell them the direction and strength of the wind.

Next post: We finish our visit to the 13th Century with some surprises you’re not going to want to miss, including more on the Mongolian/American connection!
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