Saturday, November 28, 2009

Update - Again!

We have made some limited progress on VISAs!

President and Sister Andersen had some key government officials come to dinner at their home one night last week and the evening was, apparently, quite productive. Those officials were very helpful and explained why we were having difficulty. It seems that the original agreement between Deseret International Charities (DIC) and the government of Mongolia, did not include our activities as a religious organization. The government, however, is well aware of our religious nature and apparently has decided that they will no longer ignore the discrepancy.

So, we need to refile and amend our original agreement. That will take more than just a day or two and we will need to be patient. But it will be taken care of as quickly as possible.

However, those same officials told President Andersen that he could immediately bring the senior couples here who have been waiting, some for several months. They can apparently be temporarily covered under the same provision as visitors who do not need to have a VISA for up to 90 days. I presume that since the seniors work directly under DIC and are not considered proselyting missionaries, those officials were ok with doing so (though that is just my opinion). Then, within that 90 day period, things can be formally changed and properly approved.

In any event, three senior couples should be on their way within a few days, now, and we are really looking forward to their arrival!! Even though it could prove to be a bit interesting to orient and settle all three at once! We will simply be thrilled to have them here to help with the work!

And, of course, we hope that the young Elders and Sisters will not need to be kept waiting too much longer, either!

Swine Flu. We are also anticipating an end to the quarantine this coming week and are busily preparing, anticipating that we will finally be able to once again have baptisms next Friday and Church on Sunday. Yaaaaayyyyy!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Well, we did it. Feed 112 missionaries and two nonmembers for Thanksgiving! And did it in 12 minutes! Not bad considering the VERY limited resources and equipment available to us. A million thanks to the the couples who worked so hard to bring it all together, especially considering we only had about half as many couples this year to accomplish it all! It was much work but it was even more fun!

We also had good help from a couple of the Elders we recruited to help out. This is Elder Wright who was obviously our Maitre d' extraordinaire!

We had Pork Roast (amazingly like turkey, believe it or not -- actually had missionaries who thought it was turkey!), dressing, potatoes and gravy, peas and carrots, rolls, and jello fruit salad. Don't think anyone went away hungry!

In fact, we had a few leftovers. Never thought we'd see that with missionaries!

For dessert, the missionaries were given a cupcake, frosting, pretzels, candy a cookie and other sundry items with which to make a turkey -- or at least a reasonable facsimile! They really had a fun time with it and were amazingly creative, as you can see!

Look closely at the first picture. It is of a daddy turkey and a mommy turkey and a baby egg turkey! The little sign in front of them says, "Just Married!" We told you they were creative!

The second picture is of Elder Whittle and his wonderful turkey creativity. Way to go Elder Whittle!



Hey, did anyone know that President Andersen could juggle!
Ought not to be too surprising, I guess, with all the stuff he always has to 'juggle' in the mission!