Earlier this week, we were starting to worry because nothing out of the ordinary was happening. We hadn’t even taken our camera out because there wasn’t anything to take a picture of. Oh, what were we going to do–we didn’t want to subject you all to our “bed-to-bed” lives!!! It was going to read something like this: We got up a little earlier than usual since we just “fell back” from daylight savings time. We each had a wonderfully hot shower–NEVER…EVER take hot water for granted! We ate our bowl of hot cereal, checked our email to see if there was any news from home, and then studied together from Preach My Gospel. Then we walked to work, Elder Francom checking to see if more PEF Loans had been approved and myself logging on to see if I could inform waiting institutes that their projects were ready to move forward. While Elder Francom was busy with Miigaa and PEF Loans, I helped clean out the mission storage room and prepared for the Michigan Test–the LAST round of Michigan Tests we will be administering in Mongolia! As usual, we greeted and helped various Mongolians who wanted to speak English or find a little confidence for passing the test and then walked home, enjoyed a quiet evening, then went to bed. There’s our “bed-to-bed” lives this week!
Thank goodness things started changing by about Wednesday. Sister Cleveland needed to make cookies as a reward for her English speaking class. We both decided that it would be easier just to do it at our apartment since we readily had the ingredients. We invited her and three others for lunch and I thought I’d treat them to BLTs since three of them were American. The one lone Mongolian was NOT even willing to give them a try so she put peanut butter and jam on her bread. By the time we were done eating the cookies were baked and we sent the girls out the door and went back to work. Then, again Thursday, we invited our District for lunch and to District Meeting at our home. We made sloppy joes and a potato casserole and they all put both meat AND potatoes on their buns? I was not impressed but they all went back for seconds. Maybe there just wasn’t room for the fruit salad on the bun, too! It’s good for us to attend these meetings because it gives us an appreciation for how hard the missionaries work. They all make weekly goals and report on them the following week at District Meeting. We studied from Preach My Gospel and worked on better understanding the principles and good ways to present them to investigators. They work hard!
Thursday evening we went to the airport and picked up Chad, the Asia Area Manager, and Marco, the Asia Area PEF Loan Manager. (This was my first time back there since we arrived about sixteen months ago and it was so strange to remember how foggy that time was!) On Friday, we started early and went visiting with our guests. We accompanied Miigaa and Marco to a school where a teacher was in her first year of teaching after graduating with a PEF Loan. It was a fourth grade classroom…SIXTY students in one room!!! Yes, I said SIXTY!!! The kids were so cute and I had a brief conversation with some. Most could say, “Hi, my name is ___.” They were so excited and a bit out of control…SIXTY!!! It was easy to see who was the ringleader and all of a sudden, one boy came to the front of the class and started singing a Justin Bieber song–“First Love” with the entire class joining in on the chorus. So cute! We had our pictures taken with them and then left to visit school we hoped would partner with us for PEF Loans. After lunch we went back for a meeting and then there were more meetings but we weren’t involved. This weekend, Baatraa and Miigaa have taken them to Darkhan but we’re planning on Monday being another busy one and then they’ll leave on Tuesday morning to return to Hong Kong and Taiwan. They are amazing young men with such a wonderful business sense and a strong testimony of Self-Reliance.
Today, I accompanied Sister Lewis to the Uuner Ward for a quilting project. There were about fifteen sisters and four sewing machines waiting for us. We cut fabric and batting, pinned them inside out, sewed around the edges, turned them right-side out, and tied about four baby quilts. We didn’t get to finish tying six others but it was a great day with lots of busy sisters learning how to make quilts and planning a time to finish the remaining quilts. We asked the missionaries assigned to that ward to come and translate and they actually learned a lot about quilting! Two of the sewing machines were not electric and it was amazing to watch the sisters’ efficiency and talent when cranking the wheel while sewing so straight. Give them so much credit!!!
So, once again our week was full and our hearts are grateful for the experience of serving a mission. The “bed-to-bed” days will come someday but we’re hoping that our family will keep them from happening too often once we’re home. We are excited for General Conference and the announcement of our new Apostles and are so grateful that we can look online and get the news almost as quickly as if we were back home. We are grateful for a living prophet, President Monson, and for those the Lord chooses to help him direct His work in our modern day. We support and sustain them and know that we will never go wrong if we follow their teachings.
Until next week…
Elder & Sister Francom