Water…Water…

…everywhere and not a DROP of HOT!  Last Friday night was the last time we saw it.  Then, we had no water on Saturday–none!  However, it returned on Sunday–only the cold.  It was a smart tactic of someone to take it away completely so we’d appreciate any water because we don’t even care about the temperature anymore–we’re just grateful for that beautiful liquid flowing from our taps!  So, we have a new routine of heating water in our “water boiler” and then mixing it with cold water from the bathtub tap to create a “puddle” to sit in.  It reminds us of being kids again!  Of course, washing our hair is another matter that gives us brain freeze as we rinse under the tap but we’re still alive and feel as refreshed as when we used to take those good old showers.  One day this week as we were walking to the mission office, we met up with some Elders who were in shorts and T-shirts.  They live in the old Russian apartments that we moved from and they hadn’t had water for several days so they had walked to the Assistants to the President’s apartment and begged a shower.  After that, we knew we couldn’t complain because we have glorious water when we turn on the tap.  The word is that someone is working on it somewhere and it could be off two…three…or even four weeks.  Oh, we might forget how to shower!  Thank goodness our washer heats it’s own water and the dishes get washed with water heated in our boiler, too.  When we asked Mongolians if they have water they shake their heads, yes, and shrug their shoulders like it’s no big deal.  OK…OK…almost no big deal!

On Monday, we had an outing with the Sisters on their P-day.  We rented a bus and went up behind Ziazan–the hill where Elder Neal A. Maxwell gave the dedicatory prayer to open the preaching of the gospel in Mongolia.  It was a beautiful day with lots of enthusiastic young women.  When the hike started–the Sisters were GONE!  They climbed that hill so fast and they were nowhere to be found when the seniors arrived at the top, even after being asked to stop in the meadow.  Finally, they appeared at the bus when it was time to leave and then we treated them to a wonderful meal at a great restaurant.  What a nice day for a little rest and relaxation!!!  Oh, President Benson was traveling out in the country side so us old people were in charge and we didn’t lose one sister!

We know we are starting to sound like a broken record but it was another week of no English teaching.  The contact person is hopeful that this coming week will product some teaching moments but the following week we start our month-long vacation so we’re wondering if they should even bother.  Yes, of course we’ll go if they come for us.  Since we’ve been here a whole year, the Ministry of Labor is trying to renew our Visas so we think that shows they still want to be our sponsors.  We’re waiting and ready with lessons that we’ll have to review since it’s been so long!

We’re very busy otherwise.  We have started researching some projects for DIC.  One is with wheelchairs and we have an appointment on Monday to go to the Rehab Center to get documents on the last few so we can receive our final shipment from last year.  Another project is to replace frozen pipes in a school so the kindergarteners don’t have to walk out to the outhouse and can wash their hands in little sinks. Can you imagine a school of 1,300 children with no running water?  We need to get on this one.  We are also going to help a blood center up in Darkhan by furnishing some supplies and helping with materials so they can fix the sidewalk in front of their building.  And, there’s an orphanage that wants building materials and fabric so they can make their own beds and bed-coverings.  Lots of needs and what a blessing the church is as they help like this throughout the world.

This week we have been preparing for Candy Lau’s visit.  She is the Area Self-Reliance Manager for Asia and she lives in Hong Kong.  We spiffed up our office–it really needed it, too!  I think the Englands (the couple before us) must have gone through everything and thrown old stuff away and then we did the same thing when we arrived.  Now, I find myself doing it again and the couple after us will wonder why we didn’t throw away more.  Guess it goes with “making it your own.”  Candy arrived late Thursday and on Friday, we walked to the Chinggis Khaan Hotel and escorted her to the mission building.  She and Baatar went and visited schools and businesses then we had a workshop (we facilitated it) then a meeting with all of us.  Then, we had another workshop for writing an appropriate CV (resume in America).  Elder Francom talked about hiring and the importance of a CV since he did that for many years.  My contributions–COOKIES!  I baked a batch a night during the week and they all disappeared within moments.  The night was successful.  The rest of the weekend will be full with other Self-Reliance activities and showing off Mongolia.

As we are trying to understand our responsibilities as the DIC couple–part time–we are so grateful that so many of God’s children respond to the commandment to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”  Even though distance, culture, religion, and race separate us, our Heavenly Father has a plan that helps us reach out to the needy in far-reaching places of the world.  When we pay our offerings we can all be assured that it is being used wisely and is truly are helping those in need.  Hopefully, we can all know that we are doing our part.

Thanks for helping take care of our Mongolians and make sure you take care of each other!!!

Love,

Elder & Sister Francom

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