By now, all July 24th celebrations should be completed at home and Naadam is over in Mongolia and summer continues. We are finally having a few days that are around 90 degrees and again, quite a bit of rain. We know…Utah is a much warmer with less rain but…it’s summer!!!
Everyone has come back to regular routines and we are in the middle of helping young people practice for The Michigan Test. We have about 18 people signed up to take it with high hopes of entering BYU-Hawaii or other English-speaking schools in the near future. We have practiced twice with one final practice session on Tuesday and the test will be next Saturday. It is a hard thing to see Mongolians being introduced to college-level Grammar, Vocabulary, and Reading excerpts. Now…after teaching school for 27 years, I know quite a bit about these areas…and even with my Master’s Degree I’ve never even heard (or cared) about the Past Perfect Continuous form of a verb!!! Really??? Many of the young people know those forms so I’ve schooled myself a bit…”The Past Perfect Continuous form is a sentence that shows something started in the past and continues to another time in the past.” There are other complex issues, too so when young people ask “WHY?” sometimes we just have to say, “Because it sounds better that way!” I do take comfort in the fact that IF I did have that higher knowledge to explain it, they probably would be more confused than ever! We administer this test three times a year so we’ll take a break after next Saturday until November rolls around. These test hopefuls will drain you of all your energy if you teach them as much as they want sometimes but you have to give them so much credit for wanting to speak English.
Yesterday, we returned to last Saturday’s experience but this time it was with the Sister Missionaries. We decided that the rain spoiled some of last week’s fun so we wanted to experience the place again. Now, we knew not to go unprepared so we packed jackets and umbrellas but it was supposed to be so warm and nice! We repeated everything, including the Kentucky Fried Chicken and the homemade cookies. Then, we started with the learning stations and…here came the rain!!! No…not again!!! We hunkered under trees and had a few umbrellas–earlier, we had decided to leave ours in the vehicle!!! Finally, we made a mad dash for the bus and cars and found our way home. (Everyone decided that the Francoms were going to stay home next time so the sun would keep shining!!!) We finished the workshops in the building and the day was a success and another wonderful experience.
Before leaving for the mountains, we stopped the get the chicken and Elder Francom just couldn’t refrain from snapping a few pictures of the similarities and differences from home. I think we’ve eaten more KFC in the past week than we did back home in a year!!!
We are so happy to have a new granddaughter!!! She is one-week old today. She has dark hair, a sweet Francom nose…and big blue eyes. According to her parents, she doesn’t lack for hugs and kisses with four older siblings. Her name is Sloan Ruby Francom. Her first name is an Emery family name and her middle name is my father’s middle name!!! He would probably really chuckle to think that someone intentionally has the name he tried to hide from all of his life–but Ruby is a girl’s name so she’ll wear it proudly. We continue to skype with them and we’ve seen all her fingers and toes so we’re almost there. Next is Kurt and Alanna in January!
One day this past week, I got up to take a shower and there was NO HOT WATER!!! We had one other time when this happened so, once again, we heated the electric kettle and as soon as it was hot, we tried the water again and hot water miraculous appeared!!! It was so nice–but, as I got ready for the day I decided that it was not so horrible. There are so many people who live in gers (gairs) who don’t even have any water so I am truly grateful for running water no matter the temperature. This is a very simple life and it is free-ing as we have time and choose to do the important things!
We are grateful to serve and grow and hope this finds you all well at home!
We love and miss you all, Elder and Sister Francom