Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fall is here!


Well, it seems awfully early but fall has come to Mongolia! As you can see, the leaves are turning in the mountains and, at least temporarily, it is quite pretty. And the mornings are getting downright brisk, too! Supposed to be down around freezing -- or below -- for the next couple of nights.

Don't know if we are fully ready for the change just yet. Winters tend to be a bit long and cold here! But they also tend to be a bit slower in the work load department. That part might be somewhat welcome! This summer has been a bit brutal at times!

This is Trelj National Park again, but this time we stopped along the way and had a bit of fun working with this eagle. Eagles are plentiful here in Mongolia but they seem to be a bit different than the types we are familiar with in the U.S.



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On this latest little trip to the mountains we were with our area visitors from Hong Kong (Elder and Sister Gibbons -- actually they were the reason for the trip), and we talked Elder Gibbons into riding a camel. And low and behold, he and Elder Caldwell ended up having a camel race back to the finish line! It was sort of fun! Never raced on a camel before! (the two ladies wouldn't have anything to do with this one!)

Oh, and Elder Caldwell, of course, won!
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Monday, August 31, 2009

Vegetables!!

The Church is encouraging the members here to grow their own vegetables, if at all possible. The results would be significant for these folks. With incomes below $3000 per year (U.S.), growing their own vegetables would be a definite help with the family budget.

But they are not used to the concept here. The growing season is quite short and it has been assumed that some vegetables (i.e. tomatoes, peppers, etc.) could not be grown here, anyway. And there are other problems so not much effort as been made. But several have caught the vision as the Church as increased it’s encouragement and helped make available the means for them to do so by providing such things as seeds and a few other supplies.

Chinbaatar (whose family, you might remember, we accompanied to the Hong Kong temple to be sealed earlier this year – see older post) has really gone over the top! He not only grows most of the vegetables which his family eats, but is also making some decent money selling what he grows!

If you look closely at this first photo, you will not only see some really impressive looking cucumber plants, but you may also note that he has managed to build a nice little greenhouse to grow them in, thus elongating his growing season.

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And then there’s the cabbage! Those are some really nice looking plants!

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They insisted that we have a bit of dinner with them and much of what we ate was out of their garden. Also pictured are Elder and Sister Gibbons from Hong Kong who are visiting with Sister Caldwell and I. They are our area leaders.

And, of course, where there is food, the full time Elders seem to always just happen to drop in! This is Elder Snow and Elder Bigler. We think they look a lot alike!

Chinbaatar is doing a lot to encourage other members to grow vegetable gardens. Elder Caldwell is working with the youth in the Nalaikh branch to really push the branch members to start preparing ground now and making ready for next spring. It will be interesting to see how many jump on board next year!
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