We attended what we would call a special baptism in our little Nailakh Branch.
First, a little bit of background.
In a recent zone conference, President Andersen asked all the missionaries in the audience who had a family member who had been baptized, was being taught the lessons or been reactivated since they began their missions, to stand up. Over half of the group stood up, including two senior couples. Then he added that, ‘Your families are blessed when you serve a mission and he challenged each missionary to find and help bring to the Gospel, members of families of the missionaries who are serving. He asked the 23 new missionaries to stand and asked how many of them were the only members in their families. Nine stood up.
A little side note. Three of those twenty three also had siblings currently serving missions. Not bad for a little country like Mongolia!
About seven months ago, we sent out another missionary from our little Branch – Elder Amarbayasgalan. He was called to serve right here in the Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia Mission. And he’s really a good young man, but like so many others who serve from Mongolia, he is the only member of the Church in his family.
Make that was the only member from his family.
As we mentioned, the recent Nalaikh Branch Baptismal Service was a special one. Elder Amarbayasgalan and his companion (who are serving in Ulaanbaatar) traveled to Nalaikh for that baptism with President and Sister Andersen (we had to be there early for a meeting and to feed dinner to the missionaries serving there!). That young Elder then had the special privilege of baptizing his mother, his older brother and his younger sister. It was the first baptisms he had performed as a full time missionary.
This is a picture of he and his family. Elder Amarbayasgalan is the one dressed in white on the far left. The three who were baptized are on the far right. That’s President Andersen crouched down in front and Sister Andersen standing behind him.
In that referred to zone conference, President Andersen also mentioned that approximately 1% of the Church membership here in Mongolia were currently serving full time missions. Now let’s see. If 1% of the entire Church membership were serving full time missions . . . how good are you at math?
One will need to remember that sisters serve for 18 months not 24 and that there is a constant rotation of new missionaries and returning missionaries during a two year period, but the result is that there would be about 200,000 full time missionaries serving at any one time – about 4 times the number that are currently serving. Come on folks! Everybody else has a bit of catching up to do!