Monday, November 17, 2008

Rekh Metchlen

Saturday I baptized a guy named Shijirbaatar. My MTC companion baptized his daughter at the start of his mission and I ended up teaching the dad a year later. It's kind of amusing the way everything ended up. So I started meeting with him 4 months ago at the request of his daughter, Oktyabri. We met with him and everything was good and then out of nowhere his daughter tells us that he's offended and will only meet with Mongolian elders. So I say whatever and send the other 2 over there to meet with him. I keep track on him for the next few months but never really talked to him until after I had his interview with the Zone Leaders. We're talking and out of nowhere he just says "I'm sorry". After staring at him blankly for a few minutes, I finally stumbled out a confused "’bout what?" He explained that the reason he got offended was every time he asked me a question about proof, I responded with the fact that anyone could tell him a billion things and talk and talk and talk (rekh metchlen) but none of that would matter if he never prayed and asked himself. After about a month and a half of that he got sick of it and thought I just wouldn't tell him. Then he asked the other elders all the same questions and after all they had to say all they could really say was "ask on your own". And then he did. And the rest is history.

Other than that it was a pretty nutty week. One of the church members lost her baby at the 4 month mark. We had been expecting something might happen but in the best part of a bad situation it happened while she was at church during my weekly meeting with the other missionaries. Sister Anderson and I helped with as much of the initial response as we could and got her on a couch after we cleaned everything up and then I ran down to the hospital, which is fortunately spitting distance from the church building. But in a rather sad light of country emergency response, I had time to get out of the sub basement, down the road and back in the church and be peeved before the ambulance finally got down the road. We got her into the hospital and into the best wing before leaving. This was all at about 11 in the morning. We kept working on things at the church to get everything sorted out when we got the feeling to go check her out even though she said everything was going to be taken care of a few hours ago. We walk in and found out that the people who had promised to get her food had flaked out and the doctors hadn't even looked at her yet. We got her some food and found one of the nurses who is a church member to make sure she was looked after. Then to make a long story short we got from the hospital to home, paid to have her go see a private doctor because the local doctors had said she was perfectly fine when it was obvious to anyone with better than blind vision that she was still sick. But now she's doing pretty well. She's a sweet heart. Even after all this, she found out I had a cold and showed up to choir practice with the Mongolian equivalent of chicken soup in a big canister. I was talking with the branch president who had been talking with her a little earlier, and we had all commented on the fact that even as sad as this all was, since everyone knew she would get to raise her baby in the next part of things that it softened the blow on everyone. Plus her daughter is just as awesome as she is. I worry about them, but in a lot of ways I feel like I'm worrying about them for me than them needing me to worry.

Then a lot of other things happened too but they all pale in comparison: (1) I translated the stake president’s talk on the pre-mortal life into sign language for 3 hours and learned a lot in a lot of ways. (2) Wrestling is now BANNED in the Mongolian mission; it's the end of an era. (3) The new American elder got here, his name is Shiozawa and I speak more Japanese than him. (4) My companion tried to run a sustaining vote without branch president permission for a calling that doesn't exist. (5) We built a ger. (6) I learned a Mongolian rap song. (7) You can slam spike in badminton. (8) The handy-tool is sweet. (9) I’m out of time.

1 comment:

  1. Sad but thought-provoking stories this week. Thanks for sharing them.

    also, it's too bad about the ban on wrestling. I can't think of too many other sports that could be played indoors without equipment. I guess now it's time to move onto "table-top paper football"

    Best wishes, Chris. I'm looking forward to your next letter.