Our eight-year-old grandson, Carter, brought this to our attention this week…yes, among all the bad, horrible, unspeakable catastrophes in our lives, being “deported to Mongolia” might be among them. But on the other hand, it might be one of the most fantastic, stupendous, awesome blessings in our lives, too! I guess it’s all in attitude and experiences. More negative than hair on fire and attacking woodchucks or locusts are the lack of HOT water, common language, and dirty streets. Thank goodness we choose to see it as an amazing blessing that we are experiencing. So we remember that we’re grateful for water (no matter the temperature), fantastic fruits and vegetables, good people who try to help bridge the language barrier, and wonderful ways to communicate with our family at home. So, we might laugh a bit at this cartoon but if you all knew Mongolia like we know it, you might want to be “deported” right here…or to many other places. AND…we’re sure that these places might be just as great if you gave them a chance, too. The world is an amazing planet full of kind and caring people because we are all children of our Heavenly Father who watches over all of us…ALWAYS!!!
On Monday President Benson took all the Elders on a fun day of training with activities up at Telege which is about an hour up in the mountains—“Out in the country-side” as Mongolians would say. On Wednesday, the Sisters did the same thing. The weather was beautiful! The missionaries trained one another and then the President took his turn. Afterwards, we had activities that illustrated some of their points. Eggs were really delicate new members that needed to be treated with TLC (tender loving care) so they could feel secure. Teamwork was illustrated by many who gathered around a rod and with one-fingered help from everyone, they lowered it to the ground. And finally, they lashed poles together to form a tower that was strong enough to hold any team together (and provided a place for converts—I mean eggs—to be tested). We’re proud to announce that the Sisters out-did the Elders by a ginormous margin! Surely it was our influence on Wednesday!
We are excited to announce that we received the scores from the latest Michigan Test and we think our weekly classes are helping. We had four people pass with a score above 75% and we had about six who were so very close—like 74, 72, 71. We’re starting another round and tweaking some of our activities with high hopes for a new group. We have 20 students at BYUHawaii right now and President Odgerel hopes to see 60 students there soon. We won’t be discouraged!
One day, a beautiful young woman came in and asked for help. I recognized her from our Michigan Test Prep Class from the day before. She was enrolled in a BYUH online class and wanted some help with her writing. Her assignment was to write about the most difficult time of her life. As I started helping her I realized who she was and was in awe of her beautiful spirit. She and her husband were able to go to Utah to study. They lived in Murray. Her husband went to the gym one day, experienced cardiac arrest, and laid in the Intermountain Medical Center without hope of recovering. It is Mongolian tradition that only parents can decide what to do with a body since they were the givers of life. His family rush from Mongolia to his side and, on Easter Sunday, decided to remove the life-support machines with the help of his sweet wife. All the Mongolian saints were abuzz about it–so young, so much in their future, so hard to see this happen. So, here I sat with the hardest paper she had ever written. We talked, we shed a few tears, and we finally edited and wrote what she wanted to express. Her English is very good since living in America but she was one of the few that almost passed the Michigan Test and she is determined. Oh, we are just as determined to open new doors of success for her. She has a great life ahead of her and it would be wonderful if she could do it in Hawaii!
We hope we pass on the right spirit about Mongolia. Yes, it frustrates us at times but we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people–President Uchtdorf said it so well in a recent talk. We enjoy the love we feel from these people and are amazed at how the older people seem to try so hard to communicate with us. Oh wait…maybe that’s because we’re “older” too! We love them all! So, when you get frustrated with members in America, remember that we are all imperfect in our own ways! BUT…so perfect in so many ways!!!
Take care of one another on your road to perfection!
Elder & Sister Francom