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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas in Mongolia

We didn't really get a blog email for Christmas with Elder Clement but we were able to speak with him on Skpe. He was very sick Christmas Eve but still had a wonderful Christmas. We were able to speak with companion on Christmas day as well. We are so very eternally grateful to the Senior couple Bro and Sis Groesbeck who have taken our sweet boy under their arms.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Just a country boy

Its kinda funny. I am seriously a novelty here. Being a white American is like wearing a clown suit and walking around speaking to clickity language. I'm out in the countryside where there are really no Americans and everyone things its the weirdest thing to see me here. The strangest thing about getting home will be not having everyone stare at me!
My missions going good though. I have a great companion, I feel like im learning a lot about the language, people, and the gospel. I love my new area (way out in the countryside, im in the boonies guys), and everything is going right. This week hasn't been too cold, about the same as utah probably, but the smoke was really bad. The people here burn coal and so at night or on cold days there is just a thick layer or black smoke. We have been given masks so its ok, but its really ugly and dirty.

Alright not much happened this week but I want to share an experience that happened. First of all Mongolians are great, caring, and loving people who will give you everything they have and more, but many also have big tempers. We had a Zone Conference where our two Zone Leaders were  teaching us how to be better missionaries. One of our Zone Leaders is American, and he was clarifying something some missionaries were confused about. Completely out of the blue a missionary started yelling and and angrily asking a bunch of questions. Then his companion piped up too, everyone is completely shocked and frozen because of how unexpected this is. They get to the point that the American Zone Leader asks them both to leave. Everyone I've talked to believes that this was the correct move on the zone leaders part, but it made the two angry missionaries even more mad. Long story short, it got very heated very fast.

What I learned most from that day was not that message that these two Zone Leaders shared, its how the Zone Leader acted that taught me the most. While he was being yelled at, criticized, ridiculed, and told by other missionaries that he needs to repent (all in front of 30+ missionaries), he remained totally calm and collected. His voice was not raised, he didn't call anyone names, or say anything mean at all. He was the perfect example of Christ-Like love, and charity. After the conference I saw him meet with each person, and I watched his face while he did that. A calm, peaceful look never left his face. This is how we should, and Christ would, face difficulties.

Alrighty, I read this scripture this week and I wanted to share it. Its Helman 10:5
"And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will".
God gave this manpower to do anything, and then He said this man wouldn't do anything that is contrary to the commandments of God. We should live our lives so that God doens't need to give us a commandment about every little thing, "it is not meet that I should command in all things", but instead we should try and make our lives something that God knows will be righteous.
-Elder Clement

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Short and Sweet

Family and Friends,
Foremost I want to share a quote I found in a Liahona. I lost it later though and dont remember which one its in. Heres the quote though: "There are times when human words fail in the presence of spiritual clarity".
Ok cool experience. This month I fasted, but I really fasted for something that I thought was important and would really help the work progress here. I fasted that the less active members would feel a desire to come to church, we would find more investigators, and our work would be blessed. That was last Sunday, and this Sunday we had a ton of less actives show up, many who hadn't attended in so long that the members (and us) thought they were investigators. Then yesterday after church, we were teaching a lesson to a little boy, and found out his relative who just happened to be babysitting was a less active and we were able to get her number and invited her to church with a good response. And on our way to that lesson we knocked on the wrong door, and the neighbor of that wrong person heard us knock and thought we were knocking on his door, and he came out and talked to us and was very interested in meeting with us later. And our work since that fast has just been good lesson after good lesson after good experience after good experience. It shows the power of blessings, and shows how obvious blessings are sometimes. Faith is easy if you are willing to look.
Sorry nothing else this week.

Love you all,
-Elder Clement

A little extra Q&A

Momma,

(IN REGARDS TO MY CONCERN AT HIS WEIGHT LOSS)
Yeah Ive lost a lot of weight... some because I was sick, but I have also been working out so that's part of it. I feel healthy so I don't think its a bad weight lost or anything. When I checked in the city I dropped about 35 lbs. A typical meal for us is meat (chicken, or sheep), potatoes, carrot, onion, cabbage, rice, and bread. I think its pretty balanced, I dunno we usually just make soup with rice.

(IN REGARDS TO SOME STRESS I HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH)
You need to remember too, that the best way to relieve stress and anxiousness is to go to the temple. You may find more stress in finding room for it, but going consistently will make EVERYTHING better. You can also make it personal, one-on-one time, with Trent and Jennie and go do baptisms. 

The language is coming a lot better, I was really praying hard as to why I felt like I was in a slump (I wasn't really learning anything new for a while and it was really frustrating), I prayed and received a clear revelation. There are TONS of Liahonas and Ensigns here and I love reading them so in my free time before bed or in the morning I read them. While I was reading one I herd in my head, 'You want to learn the language but you dont spend your time studying it, so how do you expect me to help you?'. While what I was doing was good, there was a better way to spend my time, and that's doing what I was praying for, studying the language. Since then my language has gotten better everyday. I'm learning a lot more words everyday than I was before.

(IN REGARDS TO THE FACT THAT HE IS IN THE COUNTRY AND ASSUMED HE MIGHT NOT GET HIS PACKAGE)
I don't know but I will find a way to get the package, don't worry.

-Elder Clement

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Letter from the Groesbecks

The Groesbecks are from our hometown here in Mapleton. And now they are serving with Tyler. How cool is it to have Tyler's old mission president live just a few miles from us and his new mission president, Elder Benson, married to someone who was in my ward 25 years ago. Now, to have someone else from our neck of the woods in his ward. I know my boy is being watched over.

Hi Sister Clement,
I hope this is the correct address to email you.  Just wanted you to know that we are now serving in Erdenet with none other than the famous Elder Clement.  We were so excited when we heard he would be transferred here.  We wanted the opportunity to get to know him better and now we have it!  And, just so you know (you already do I know) he is an amazing young man.  He is always so upbeat and positive and so happy!  He's so fun to be around.  And he is so very helpful.  He translates for us and is helping with our Mongolian learning.  We have really enjoyed the week we have had together and are looking forward to many more!  His language is so good.  I wish they would teach us old folks the way they do the younguns so we could speak like they do!  But our responsibility is different than theirs and we get the chance to know and work with wonderful Mongolian translators, who we so appreciate!  Anyway, he seems to be doing very well, has a great companion and is anxious to find more people to teach.  As you probably already know, he is teaching an American and is pretty excited about that!  There is lots of work to do here and we are grateful for this opportunity to be a  part of it and have Elder Clement here too!  We'll try to take good care of him for you!
Sister Groesbeck

Sunday, November 24, 2013

To the countryside

What is going on with me you ask? Lots.

I was reading the Aug Liahona and came across this article I really liked. Its written by President Monson and he wrote down four words to live our lives by:
Listen:
I promise you that if we have an ear attuned to the Holy Spirit, if there is a desire for righteousness within our heart, and our conduct reflects that desire, we shall be guided by that Holy Spirit.
Learn:
Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith. DC 88:118
Labor:
It’s not enough to wish, it’s not enough to dream, it’s not enough to promise. We must do.
Love:
They do not love that do not show their love. -William Shakespeare
I was reading in Ether Ch 2 verse 3, and found out what 'Deseret' means as in Deseret Industries.
"And they did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey bee"

This week was transfer and guess what... I got transferred to the countryside!! Im the first American to come here in years!!! Its a place called Erdenet. Its WAYYYY out in the boonies! All the Americans in the city are super jealous. They all have to teach English in the city with their English sponsor but because mine is a church member he doesnt care where I go. Its really awesome! The capital is ridiculous. Tons and tons of cars (you cant even understand how annoying and loud it is. America has nothing on this city!), but the countryside is very peaceful and quite. Its really beautiful!!
Thats all here, love you all
-Elder Clement

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Baptism

гэр бүлээ,
My Family,

My mission is going good. We have a baptism this week. Her name is Enkhmaa, shes in her 20's, and shes been an awesome investigator! We should baptize her this Friday if everything works out alright.

Also I wanted to tell all of you guys about a really awesome member named Otgonbayar. She was baptized as one of the first members of the church in Mongolia! She has no legs (or very small disabled legs), and has to use a wheelchair to get around. Which is really really really hard in Mongolia. Almost all the poor or middle class people rely on buses for transportation and since she is in a wheelchair she cant get on a bus. The church is far from her home and its very very very difficult for her to come, but shes determined. We have since helped her, by coming to her house every Sunday morning and picking her up but even that is difficult for her. The bus travels on rocky uneven ground and the bus sways and shakes, which is hard for someone standing up, but for her and her wheelchair its a scary roller coaster. Her wheelchair will tip up on one wheel then tip backward then tip to the left. Its really scary for her even when we are their to try and help balance her. Her dedication though is steadfast. She WILL come to church, and she WILL partake of the sacrament. 

Also here's a fun thing that comes from teaching English, and learning a new language. You notice patterns and new things about your own language. This is one thing I learned when I was teaching some students about guys' and girls' names. The majority of male names will end in a constant. The remainder will end in a silent vowel. There are very few exceptions like Lee, and Joshua. A majority of female names will end in a vowel, then a very few amount will end in a constant. Fun fact from Mr. Clement.

-Elder Clement

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Life is Good

Family and Friends,
Life here is good. I cant even describe the peace I have felt this week. I don't know if it has come from your prayers or what but this week has been a constant source of peace from the Spirit. Its been really nice.


We are going to have a baptism in two weeks for an awesome investigator so thats pretty cool! She bore her testimony on Fast Sunday a couple of weeks ago and it was AWESOME. She's new and we didn't know her and everyone was kinda just nodding their heads not really paying attention then she ends her testimony with "Oh and Im an investigator". Every head in the audience shot up (including my companion's and I)! Nobody would believe she was an investigator. We all thought she was just an awesome member or something from a different ward. Turns out she was being taught by the wrong missionaries in the wrong area, and she came to the correct ward (our ward) for the first time that week. Shes awesome! I'm really excited. Her name is Enkhmaa.
We also just started teaching a new family two weeks ago, and they came to church both weeks! Im really excited about them, we will probably give them a baptismal date this week!
Here's a little scripture I would like to share. Its D&C 63:9. I've realized as Ive taught about faith, that's its important to remember that we must have faith, before we expect miracles to come.

"But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe."
Sorry for the short email but to end I would like to share a quote from one of our members:
"Marriage is like baptism. As you partake of baptism and marriage you feel like a new person and you become better."
Love you guys,
-Elder Clement

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Rough Patch

Hey Family and Friends,
Sorry for the lack of emails these last few weeks. Its been a hard little patch, but one important thing I learned is that I too have to endure to the end. I teach that lesson very often but I realized I had to do exactly what I preached and do it without complaint. Its amazing how fast the bad memories fade even if they seemed extreme in the moment. The last few weeks were hard but I learned a lot and I feel like a much better missionary because of it. I also finished 'Jesus the Christ' and 'Our Heritage' during the last two weeks. I am loving every part of my mission right now. 

I just watched Conference this weekend. Because they have to translate it into Mongolian we have to watch it a week late, but it was awesome! All the Americans got together to watch it in English and the Spirit in that room was powerful as everyone was intently listening to the Prophet and Apostles speaking. The two most talked-about topics in my opinion were 'Acting' and 'Womanhood'. Both are awesome topics. With 'Acting', I think almost every speaker covered it at least a little, if not a lot. So we just watched General Conference, what are we gonna do? Are we, for a few weeks, gonna talk about how great it was then forget about it til next conference, or will we act on the many topics taught? In this Conference there were five talks on Missionary work. M. Russel Ballard was one of quoted President Monson by saying: 
"Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together … [and] labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him. He has prepared the means for us to share the gospel in a multitude of ways, and He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work".
I can personally testify of the importance and powerful affect members have on brings people to the Gospel. In Mongolia because we cannot proselyte we rely heavily on the members. The investigators we get from members ALWAYS progress further and faster than investigators we get elsewhere. Please please talk with your families on how you can speak to your friends and allow the missionaries to meet with them.
Alright here is a really cool experience I had a few days ago. I was with an American for General Conference so over the weekend we were a temporary companionship. His name is Elder Higgs. It was night and we were had to check in on a ALA and get some groceries. We decided to get the groceries first then go to the guys house (Which doesnt make any sense now that I think about it because we would have to teach the guy with food in our hands). We go to the grocery store by our house, and were surprised to find out that it was closed. Normally it would be open for a few more hours but today it was closed early. We decide to go into another one. We get our food and decide to randomly go through the beer isle to get to the register. We do so and meet a man named Bayaraa. He begins to talk to us in broken English and after letting him know we speak Mongolian we get to know him a little bit. We are talking to him as we are buying our food and after we get it we say goodnight to him and leave the store. We are walking away when we hear a "goodnight!!", screamed a little louder than necessary. We turn around and Elder Higgs tells me he wants to talk to him a little bit. Now we have to be careful because we are NOT allowed to proselyte or talk to him about our church unless he brings it up first. He likes speaking English so I thought it might be a good idea to bring up our free English classes at the church. We tell him about it, and he says "Oh Jesus?" or "Are you guys Christian?" (People just call us Jesus here). We tell him that yes we believe in Christ and he says "Mormon!?!". We tell him again yes were Mormon, and the next thing he says blew our minds. He says to us "I'm Mormon! I lived in Seol, Korea and lived with a Mormon family. I'm Mormon!". We were super surprised and asked him if he was baptized. He replied that he hadn't but he wants to be! We gave him our number and he gave us his, and we talked for a little more before both of us going home. Times like this are just little moments where God allows you to see how in control He is. He knew this man needed the Gospel in his life and God allowed us to meet with him. It was really cool. 

Another cool experience. So Elder Higgs and I were together. He just got to Mongolian and I was the senior in experience and language, something I was very afraid about. I knew that after Conference we would have time to teach a few people and I was very nervous because I knew he would depend on me to know what was going on and lead the lesson. My language isnt the best and I was very nervous. We walked into the lesson and began speaking with them and it wasnt long before I began to understand everything. If asked I couldn't tell you the exact words he said but I understood everything he was saying and I was able to confidently respond. As I began to translate for and help Elder Higgs, I realized the sweet blessing of the Lord by Him blessing me with the Gift of Tongues. I began to feel Heavenly Fathers love not only for me but also for this person who needed a specific message shared at that very moment. I realized then that I was being used as an instrument in the Lord's hands. It was very humbling and spiritual experience.

As far as whats going on with me. Not much, I have a new companion because my old companion got his VISA and will be soon going to Provo, UT. We also just fused two places into my area, so my area doubled in size. 

-Elder Clement

Monday, September 30, 2013

No Real blog... just a letter to mom

Mom,

Thank you, yeah the first thing on my list was how to make brownies! ( I SENT HIM A RECIPE) haha, so I'm glad you included that! Yes I got the package, THANK YOU!! It is awesome!! Ok so I'm sending some pictures. The first is of some AWESOME potato soap I made (I was really craving some, I don't know why). I got the recipe from one of the senior couples here and it was really good. The second picture is of my companion and me in our winter garb. We were dying of heat in our apartment but I wanted you guys to see what I would look like in a little while! The last picture is me kissing/smelling the brownies, and my companion being really confused because he doesn't know what 'brownies' are. 

Hey I have been thinking of a suggestion though. I was reading one of the liahonas, and it talked about how this family did FHE via skype cause their dad was always abroad. We didn't do FHE very often because we always put up a fight (and so did the family I was reading about) but they talked about the blessings they have felt after doing it for a while. They said at first it was full of fighting and complaining but that after a while everyone started to enjoy it.  I've actually been thinking about that for a couple of weeks now. 

I'm glad your going to the temple. I plan on going to every temple in the world when I get back. Maybe a different one every month or something. I heard they made a new temple video, let me know how that is. 

That's really cool about Grandma. (I felt my mom's presence in a recent sealing I went to for my nephew) I totally believe, even more after my mission, that spirits can pass beyond the veil. Just like the priesthood can only be exercised in righteous ways, I believe that if a spirit has a righteous reason for wanting to cross the veil then they are able to do so. 

Things are going good here, Ive been learning a lot the last few weeks. I havn't put all the weight back on, but I'm exercising  and stuff, so Ive slimmed I think. My students are good, I have two. One boy and one girl. They have started school now so I havn't been teaching them. We are going to wait until school slows down more. 

No new 'progressing' investigators. We have a few investigators but they aren't moving forward at all. We are really trying to focus on the members now. We had 2 investigators come to church, and 4 less actives again this week!  

No I wont be able to watch conference til a week after its over. They have to translate it into Mongolian first, then our companions can watch it in Mongolian and we can watch it in English. 

Love you!!!
-Elder Clement

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Continued Blessings

Family and Friends,
So a few weeks ago I told you guys about a cool experience I had with prayer were my companion and I were looking for a house and couldnt find it and finally decided to pray, and my companion felt inspired for us to knock on the door of a house next to us, and the man was interested in meeting with us. Well we were going through some old records and come to find out that this man had been a referral from FOREVER ago, like 2004. But the missionaries werent able to meet with him. I talked to a missionary that served just a little a year before in my area and again the missionaries were able to meet with this man, so his number and address had been lost. Then my companion and I just happened to find him on our own and he wanted to meet. It shows that Gods time isnt always ours, and never to give up on some one. It took this man years to get the desire to meet with missionaries, but now he is very excited about it. Never give up on people!
Alright next thing I learned this week. Never to take things for granted . Theres this LDS video everyone has seen. Its about Christ coming to the Americas. I cant remember the name but anyways, we decided to show it as a church activity on Friday and as the people were watching it I was surprised to see tears coming from many of the people. Then I realized that these people had never seen an actual physical re-enactment about Christ. They had only ever seen pictures and read the Book of Mormon, and to see these things played out in real life brought the Spirit very strongly to these people. Like the church video I had taken for granite, I didnt realize the Spiritual significance of that video anymore. I realized its important to make sure to forget the importance of the things we are often blessed with as members of this church.
Speaking of blessings, I wanted to share this scripture I found recently. It talks about the blessing we will receive through obedience. Its Mosiah 4:12-16.
12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.

13 And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.

14 And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the devil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.

15 But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.

16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

Alright random fact for the day. So I guess I look like a Russian/German. I have been told over and over again lately that I look like a Russian, and then sometimes I get German. Haha, maybe its my big coat!
-Elder Clement

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Super Short - Super Snore

Family and Friends,

Alright first off I'd like to share I scripture I found during my personal study. Its 2 Nephi 24:16-17. This verse is talking about satan, and how we will look at him after we have been received into Heaven, it reads:


16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and shall consider thee, and shall say: Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?  17 And made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof, and opened not the house of his prisoners?
I really liked these verses because it shows how much greater God is, than the devil. If we were able to see satan as he is, than the temptations we are faced with would seem ridiculous to us. Sometimes it hard to remember to have the Eternal Perspective and not an Earthly one.

Something kinda cool. Maybe it has to do with the political thing in Russia but the Russian President was in Mongolia. They stopped ALL traffic and ALL people in the entire city. They had just a ridiculously big police force and wouldn't let anyone drive or walk for about 45 minutes then the next thing we know 30 black cars with SWAT teams and sirens came barreling down the road. It was awesome!

Alright some funny things that happened to me.

A DEAF PERSON HEARD ME SNORE!! I slept next to one of the deaf elders last night and he heard me snoring... and hes deaf!!! He can hear REALLY loud things sometimes and I guess my snoring was loud enough for him to hear. Am I proud? Yeah more than a little I guess! :D

Ok here's a good example of Mongolian stores. I was in a store the other day trying to buy a bottle of water. I'm looking around and I cant find one. They have a whole wall of beer, a little fridge of soda, but not a single bottle of water!!!

Anyways that's me this week, love you all.

-Elder Clement

Sunday, September 8, 2013

DOG'S GOT NOTHING ON ME

Family and Friends,


A couple cool stories about the intense power of prayer. My companion and I were looking for this ALA. At first we didn't even know the area where he lived but after asking people we found out he lived kinda close to our apt. We finally find our way over to this area but we cant find his building. We look and look but nothing. We finally start knocking on doors asking if people know this guy or maybe the house but no one knows either. We are about to head back when I ask my companion if we can pray for a moment. He was a bit hesitant (we were in the middle of a building complex where many people could possibly see us, but he soon agreed. We then prayed that Heavenly Father would direct our actions as to what we should do at this time. After the prayer I asked my companion what he was feeling. He said he felt we should return to one of the houses we knocked on, and see if they are interested in hearing our message. My feelings confirmed his and we knocked on the door. The father answered the door, and my companion and I began introducing ourselves and asked if he would like to know more about our message. He indicated that he had previously went to Hawaii and had met with someone at BYU-Hawaii. He knew who we were and told us he would be interested in meeting with us. He then turned to me, and in perfect English (rare here), said he was currently entertaining guests, but would like to meet next week. We spoke a little longer, got his name and number and left, but the two blessings here are that, although we were looking for someone else the Lord knew what we should do and directed us somewhere unexpected. The other blessing is that this man speaks perfect English so the things I cant express in Mongolian I can say in English with him completely understanding. 

The other blessing dealing with prayer was when we were again looking for addresses. We were in another spot we had visited a week earlier. We had searched for the better part of an hour in this small area and could not find the place we were looking for. This area was a VERY rich part of the city and there was no one that was outside or that would open the door for two strangers. So this week we looked and looked again but could find this place. My companion was angry over some personal VISA issues he was having and he realized we didn't have the Spirit with us. So he recommended we pray, then continue to search. I agreed and offered the prayer. When we finished we both felt re-energized by the Spirit and we both felt finding this man was a possibility. We turned a corner and to my complete surprise I see the number '6' house, the exact house we were looking for!! It was right by the main entrance, we had walked by it several times the week before and today!! Upon seeing the house I screamed (I didn't mean to but I was really excited) "look, 6, its house 6!!". We both couldnt believe it. I believe the Lord provided this experience to show us how important having the Spirit is, and the sometimes forgotten power of prayer.

Alright little update on other things. Not the greeny anymore. The new missionaries have come in and its really great having them be here. I was kinda getting discouraged with where I was with the language but seeing them here and the little language they know shows me how far I have progressed. They are also all really nice and cool. Funny story about them. In the MTC as a joke I made some funny raps. One was about Preparation Day and the other two about our 2 MTC teachers' girlfriends. They were just short funny little things I made but our teachers thought they were really funny, especially the P-Day one. A few months ago I got an email from one of my teachers telling me that the new group had added lines to my rap and that I was now an MTC legend! I thought it was funny but when the new missionaries got here they started singing my songs, and I immediately loved all of them! There are 4 Elders and 2 Sisters.
Funny story.
So I've always had this theory that if a dog would run at me, instead of running away, I would run at toward it. My theory was that they probably wouldn't expect it and would probably get scared. This week I had a chance to test this theory, kinda.
My companion and I were walking in this area of Khan Uul, and we realized we walked into an alley. We kept walking though thinking maybe there was a small side street we could take. As we get closer we both hear barking from the other side of the fence and immediately two dogs come sprinting out of the gate right for us. My companion saw the dogs coming and started booking it in the other direction. When the dogs saw my companion run away they got excited and started running even faster. I didn't move though. I raised my bag, and held it over my head waiting for the dogs to get close enough to bop them one on the head. As the dogs got closer I was starting doubt the brilliance of my plan when, about 10ft away, the dogs just stopped. They kept barking but they were too scared to get any closer. My companion seeing the dogs stopped, grabbed some rocks and started throwing them at the dogs. This combined with the face that I wasn't moving was enough for the dogs to run back into the gate with their tails in between their legs. Moral of the story, dogs got nothing on me!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

New Companion and Area

Family and Friends,

My new companion is awesome! He is Mongolian, and his name is Batkholboo (pronounced Batxolthba). He is an incredible example of obedience and dedication. His previous companion warned me he likes to work, and I was thinking 'sweet so do I', but man this guy is working me to the bone!!!! I'm loving it! We are in a new area now and its a lot smaller than my first one. We are now able to visit a lot more people in one day, which I'm loving. My old area was so big and so far away we couldn't meet with a lot of people before we had to go home. It was really disappointing. Now in this new area its right by our house so we are teaching lots of people! Its awesome!

He has been teaching me a bunch and told me flat out that one of his top priories is to help my language. We have been speaking a lot of Mongolian and I feel like I'm learning a ton!! I already love my new companion and cant wait to teach more with him.


My new area is a place called Khanuul. Its half apartments and half gers (small tent-like houses). There were only 2 Elders there, but now there are 4, so we've had to split places. My companion and I have the apartments. Little side note, most of the buildings here are Russian, almost all of them have basements that were used for storage and small jail cells. There are now many people living in these places. These are the people I teach. Very poor and very humble, and I love them all.

Investigators. Right now my companion and I are learning names, areas, and personal information so we can better teach these people to their needs. Right now we have three investigators we've gotten to know pretty well and taught a couple of times. Like I said they are very humble and very poor. They are very willing to hear our message, the problem lies in them understanding.



Weather. Summer months are good, not too hot and not to cold its really great. Only problem is that it rains at least once a week. Its always super wet! haha I haven't had a winter yet but from what Ive heard it got to -56 last year. I'm pretty pumped!

Alright here's some stuff I learned this week. There is an awesome Liahona story called Transparent Adversity. Its about how sin is transparent to God. Sometimes our vision is blocked by the potential 'fun', or 'self-rationalization', but God sees through that and knows the dangers that lie behind it. Just like a bee cant see the glass that blocks him from going outside, sometimes we cant see the adversity that blocks us from freedom.


On the bus to work one morning, I took a window seat. Before long I became aware of a little bee trying to get itself out of a fix. It was trapped between the two glass panels of the window, and no matter how hard it tried, it couldn’t find its way out. Encased in a transparent prison, it could see freedom but couldn’t find an escape route. Perhaps frightened, it beat its wings furiously and desperately threw itself against the glass.

I’ve always been a person who didn’t like to see anyone or anything hurt. So after observing the bee for some time, I began to try to get it out of its difficulty. But lacking trust and understanding of my desire to help, it didn’t take advantage of the assistance I offered. In fact, all it did was continue to throw itself against the window. Finally I began to get a bit irritated.

But then I started to think about how sometimes people find themselves in similar situations. We get into predicaments—some not of our own making. We also make mistakes, even serious ones. Like the bee, we may feel imprisoned by these adversities. Unfortunately, even though the Lord knows what we need in order to escape our trials, we often don’t turn to Him—or to those He has called to lead us—for help in our times of need. We give no heed to the whisperings of the Spirit and try to face our challenges on our own, rather than relying on those who have greater vision.

As Latter-day Saints, we actually do know how to overcome adversity: we have the scriptures, prayer, and the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Our leaders have been called by the Lord and are ready and willing to help.

Before I got to my stop and after the poor little bee had suffered much, it managed to get out of its predicament. From it I learned that we also can overcome trials—suffering less if we turn to and trust in Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, to whom all adversity is transparent.
http://www.lds.org/liahona/2010/06/transparent-adversity?lang=eng&query=transparent

Ok a really cool blessing happened to my companion and I a couple days ago. We were far from home and at a baptism for someone in my companions old area. We needed to get home, but we didn't know what bus to take. My companion felt inspired to take this particular bus. We got on and realized it didn't go anywhere near where we needed it to go. We were desperate. We talked to the driver and he said he would go to our area. We sat in the back both praying silently he would be good to his word, because his current route would take us far from home and if he decided he didn't want to take us anymore we would be stuck there for the night. The bus makes all its stops and finally pulls into the last stop. This is it, if he turns around we're ok, if not we're in big trouble. He turned around!! He went to the opposite side of the city and dropped us off. My companion, over and over again, said how much of a blessing this is because he has never seen any driver do this before. It was truly a blessing and an answer to our prayers.

I love you guys, keep strong in the faith and trust in God

-Elder Clement

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The wheels on the bus go round and round

Family and Friends,


 Well I kicked my companion out of the country! haha. My companion (and half the American missionaries in Mongolia) left this week. My companion is from Denver so he went there, but because BYU starts so soon he will only be home a week then leave again for school. Because of VISA issues and things seriously about half the mission went home this last week. Until this Thursday we will have several empty zones. It was sad to see my trainer go home but im excited to take things on my own. As a trainee you kinda just follow your trainer around, slowly getting to know the people and area. Let him speak all the time, cause your learning the language, and that. . But when your trainer leaves you have no choice but to kick it into high gear, so that's what I have been doing.

This week I have had the privilege of being with a Mongolian companion this week. His name is Elder Mainbayar, and he is incredible. He knows the scriptures and he knows how to teach. He really has been a blessing to me. Both of our companions left this week and so we were put together. Hes been teaching me Mongolian and I've learned a TON from him. Im also in his area so I don't know the people yet or anything but I'm learning. Its been great, I really love my new companion and we are already solid friends. This area is really different from my last area because my old area was really really poor, but this area is half apartments and half gers. Partly rich and partly poor. Its interesting to see the two new types of people.

Cool experience. There are some Mongolians who really do not like Americans, and then there are many Mongolians who really do not like missionaries. Elder Boyd and I were on the bus a few days ago when we met a man who does not missionaries or Americans so we could see that this could get bad. The bus was already moving so we couldn't get off, so we just ignored him. The man was drunk so he couldn't walk over to us on the bus, but he was yelled at us and calling us very inappropriate things. This happens often to us so we ignored it, but pretty soon the ticket person on the bus comes over and defends us (never happened before), tells him to shut up and leave us alone. He doesn't listen and pushes the lady away from him. The bus driver who was already angry with him for yelling at us got even more angry! He pulls the bus over at the stop gets out of his chair and starts walking over to the drunk angry guy (the bus driver is a VERY large man), and goes face to face with this guy and says "Can I help you, or you gonna get off yourself?". The man now very quickly left. The bus driver looked to us and apologized. As he was doing so I happened to look out the window and notice the scenery was moving, but that didn't make sense because the driver was standing in front of us. Then it hit me, he didn't put the E-brake on and the bus was rolling backward. My face must of shown my thoughts because it promoted him to look outside too, and as he realized this too he, as quick as a chubby man, can he ran back to his chair and grabbed the e brake. It was cool though because usually no one defends us, but these two people did. It was a nice change!

 Random fun fact here, I am teaching the son of one of the most famous film directors in Mongolia! I actually met the guy, he seems pretty nice.

 Well unfortunately I don't have too much time (I am with a Mongolian companion this week and they don't have anyone to write emails to so I have to be quick), but I just want everyone to know that I know, without a doubt in my heart, that this gospel is true. The Spirit has born testimony to me time and time again, and I have received too many blessings to be able to deny them. I love this church and feel it a true opportunity to serve a mission. The Lord gives missionaries challenges and experiences to build them up and I feel blessed the Lord is helping me to grow like Him. Love you all! -Elder Clement

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Working Through The Spirit

Alright so first thing is a really spiritual experience I had happen to me this week. We did a 24 hour split with the Zone Leaders and my companion and I. My companion stayed in our area and took one on the Zone Leaders then I went with the other Zone Leader in his area. The zone leader I was with is Mongolian and he's great. His name is Manbair and he was really great at teaching with me. He knows that I struggle with the language so in our first lesson we are teaching a 15 year old girl, and he will teach a section or two then turn it over to me for a section then he will go again, and as he is doing this he tells her what I am going to teach (in case Im lost and dont know what I should say). As we are teaching we are getting towards the end of the lesson and I am really struggling with my section. Finally I feel prompted to stop and just bear her my testimony. So I tell her that even though my Mongolian is bad, and I cant always say what I want I know this church is true..., and I bore her witness of this church from the very center of my being! As I testified to her she began to cry, and the Spirit filled the room and testified to all of us of the truth of my words. That this truly is the restored and only true church, that the Book of Mormon really is God's word, and was restored in this dispensation by a Prophet of God, and that we have in this day a living prophet. I continued to testify until I had said everything I felt inspired to say, then in finality I ended in the holy name of Jesus Christ. As we ended our lesson I though of Brigham Young, and his conversion story: "If all the talent, tact, wisdom, and refinement of the world had been sent to me with the Book of Mormon, and had declared, in the most exalted of earthly eloquence, the truth of it, undertaking to prove it by learning and worldly wisdom, they would have been to me like smoke which arises only to vanish away. But when I saw a man without eloquence or talents for public speaking, who could only say, ‘I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of the Lord,’ the Holy Ghost proceeding from that individual illuminated my understanding, and a light, glory, and immortality were before me. I was encircled by them, filled with them, and I knew for myself that the testimony of the man was true" I am having a difficult time with this language, but because of this experience I realized that it is by allowing the Spirit to speak through us, not by words, but by the peaceful feeling brought by the Holy Ghost, that we are able to convert and teach about this Gospel. I am so humbled and grateful to have been able to have this experience because of all it has taught me. When I heard that the Spirit would speak through me on my mission I assumed it would be by words, but this experience helped me realized the Holy Ghost has a much purer language He speaks by, and that is through the comforting love of our Heavenly Father. Alright another cool thing, I had a baptism!!! His name is Naranbaatar, and he was great! He has been coming to church for five months and loves the church! He prays everyday before leaving his house and reads the Book of Mormon everyday!! He's going to be a great member. We baptized him on Friday, and on Sun he got confirmed, and then next week he will receive the priesthood! I cant wait! Alright well that's all for this week! Love you guys, -Elder Clement

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Baptism in Mongolia

Family and Friends, This last week has been awesome!! I'm having a BAPTISM!!!!! Its Naranbaatar, the one I've probably talked the most about! He's really excited and so am I! He has been meeting with missionaries for five months and he is finally ready! He has a HUGE desire to become a member and he cant wait! He prays every day before leaving his house, and every time we talk about something he forgot or doesn't know he looks it up on his own and finds the answer!! I'll send you a picture in the next email. Also another cool story. We were doing service with some other missionaries; Elder Robbins, Elder Williams, and Elder Tolog. When we finished we split up and went our different ways. Elder Boyd and I went to teach someone else and on our way Elder Boyd saw an old man he used to teach. Turns out 3/4 Elders we were with had taught this family. Elder Boyd and Tolog had taught the old man then Elder Robbins had taught the family and they all just happened to move into the same enclosure area!!! It was awesome, we got a bunch of old/new investigators!! At English last Tuesday the nanny our my Sponsor's house made us homemade lasagna and we played UNO. She made the lasagna completely from scratch though. She even made the noodles from dough and stuff! Funny story real quick. So as you know the government here does not like us for some reason. We are not allowed to wear our nametags outside of the church and members homes. We are also not allowed to talk to people on the street or track doors, but everyone knows who we are. We'll always hear people whisper "Jesus". They don't know exactly who we are but they know it has something to do with Jesus. We literally take His name upon us here. Anyways we were walking past this little area that is kinda touristy and we hear in English: "Oh man look, its the Mormon Mafia!!" (there were two other companionships with us then). We turned around and there was this old man just laughing his head off, its was really funny. Well I know this is kinda short but that's all I can think of, so love you all and see ya!! -Elder Clement PS Pres. Benson is doing good. All his kids seem to always be in good moods, and President Benson has reserved time for his family, like on Family Home Evening and things. They go to an English speaking ward, its kinda far away but the kids understand so its better. President Benson is awesome. He is really able to do more than previous mission presidents because he can speak the language so well. Its really great, hes an incredible man! My companion is leaving on the 22nd. He's pretty excited!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Reader's Beware - Not for the easily grossed out!

Let me just start by saying that this is written in Tyler (typical teen age boy) lingo. I'm not altering anything he wrote so you may just want to pass on the funny story section of this email.

* You have been warned *

Family and Friends,

A little about the work and my thoughts:

So we have an ALA (less active member) named Damdenporev. He is the poorest man I have ever met/ heard of. Him and his family of 6 lives on about 50 cents a day. They buy wheat and flour and makes these bread things and that's what they live on. Their ger (house) is very very run down and old. They are very very poor. We went and taught them the other day and they had just saved up enough money to buy the wheat and flower again and they were making the bread stuff. After they were done making them the first thing they did after taking them out of the steamer was to offer them to us. We told them they just ate and were full, so we didn't take any but it really struck me just how humble and giving these people were. They had literally nothing and they offered us everything they had. It was really an eye opening experience for me. The Lord has given us so much its important we stop and take notice and thank Him for everything we have.

Alright I was reading Jesus the Christ again (I love it soo much), and I came to a part that was explaining the similarities between Moses when he lifted the stick with the snake on it and Jesus. It explained that just like all the people had to do to be healed was look upon the Moses and the snake, all we have to do to be healed spiritually is to look upon Christ and follow Him. It sounds so simple but if we follow the example Christ has made for us and we take advantage of the Atonement which he has provided then we can be healed and saved in the final days. 

Funny Stories:

Ok so for the whole time I've been in Mongolia I've had diarrhea. Its every single day basically! It hasn't been bad though. I'll go to the bathroom a few times in the morning then a few times when we get home. It hasn't interfered with work so I've just been dealing with it. This last week my companion told our mission doctor and he decided to take me to the hospital. The doctor decided to do some tests. One of which was a colonoscopy. What is that you may ask, its when they stick a camera up your butt. So yes this last week I have the pleasant experience of having a camera shoved up my bum!! They also made me drink laxatives. And if you don't know what that is, laxatives, are something that make you poop everything in your stomach until you are peeing out your bum. So yeah that was fun, oh and I also had a Ultrasound, ya know the thing pregnant women before having a baby. Yeah I had to lift up my shirt and they did an ultrasound on me!!! THERE WERE PREGNANT WOMEN IN LINE AFTER ME!!! The final result, there's nothing wrong with me!! It was for nothing, although I am having solid poops now so that's nice.

 
My companion was complaining about something and as a joke I said something to him and now its become our companion phrase. This is the phrase: "If babies could talk they'd sound like you right now".

I don't know if I've said this already or not but I was having a problem with falling asleep. After getting here with the stress of the language, the lack of decent mattresses, and other things I've developed some really bad sleeping habits. Anyways I was sitting on a bus and the seat I was on was big enough for about 6 people. It was my companion on one side of me and a random girl on the other side of me. So as we were heading to our area (its about 45 mins away) I fell asleep. I woke up to my companion nudging me. When I woke up I noticed I had a nice pillow I was laying on, then as I woke up more I realized my "pillow" was actually the random girls back that I had fallen asleep on and she was too embarrassed to tell me. She leaned forward I guess, and then somehow I had fallen asleep on her back. So for 45 mins I (a missionary) was sleeping on the back of a girl.

Then as a funny add-on to this story. There are A LOT of deaf Mongolians so we have deaf sign language Elders. One of those elders was staying at our house last night and in the Mongolian Sign Language I've learned I told him that story and it was super funny because part of signing is acting out so the whole thing was just really funny.

-Elder Clement

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Answers to Questions

 Momma and Family,
I'm really anxious to hear more about your mission. How much longer do you have your companion?
 
I only have a month left with my companion before he goes home. Then I will probably get put with a Mongolian missionary.

What does a typical work day consist of? A p-day etc 
A typical work day:
Wake up at 6:30 and play soccer with the other elders that live nearby

8:00-11:00. Personal and Companionship Study. During our personal study we read the scriptures, a Liahona, Jesus the Christ, or whatever we feel is best for that day. Then during Companion study we talk about what we learned, practice teaching out of Preach My Gospel, and work out of a book called the 12 Week Program
11:00-9:00. Out teaching. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday I teach English for 1 1/2 hours each day. Then we ride a bus for about 45 mins to our area. Then we follow our plan and teach people. Almost everyday we have to take off our shoes and socks and cross a river to teach an investigator. Many times people aren't there so we teach our backup people.
9:00-9:30. First thing we do when we get home... plan. First we write down our numbers for that day. Pres Monson says:
“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates". Then we plan the next day. We decide who we are teaching, and what we are teaching, and when we are teaching.
9:30-10:30. Free Time. We write in our journal, usually eat dinner, whatever we need to do.

Tell me some fun and happy stories.
Fun story. Well I was pooped on. We were walking under a building and next thing I know there was poop all over me. Also the bird had diarrhea. It was right before we started teaching English so I had to teach English with poop all over me. On a positive note, my students made fun of me... IN ENGLISH!!! They are doing great with their English.

Another fun story: The mission doctor out here had four of his grand kids visit, and one of the grandsons came out to teach with us for a day. So the whole day I translated for him because one of us had to teach and one had to translate. Since my companion has better Mongolian he mostly taught and I translated. It was awesome! Such a confidence booster to realize that even though my language isn't that good, just three months ago I was like him and now I am able to translate. I couldn't translate everything but I could usually get the general idea across. It was really awesome!

What have you learned?

Here are some things I learned from personal study recently. I was reading Jesus the Christ (which is awesome), and it started talking about Jesus as a child. It said something really cool I never thought about. I've always assumed Christ was born with a full knowledge of His heavenly kingship, but in Jesus the Christ it said that Jesus learned precept upon precept, grace upon grace until He realized His heavenly role. It says Christ was born "a dependent child" just like any other.
Also another cool thing I learned. I've always wondered about Free Agency and God's Foreknowledge of our decisions. I never knew how God could know what decision we would make before we made it if we had the free choice to make any decision. I found the answer in 'Jesus the Christ', the Book of Mormon, and Preach my Gospel. Its kinda like the analogy of a father who knows that his sons favorite ice cream is chocolate so he knows that if he presents a chocolate and a vanilla ice cream his son will choose chocolate. Our Father in Heaven knows each of us so well He knows what decision we will make before we are ever presented with it. So even though we have the right to choose, and we have our Free Agency, God knows His children so perfectly He knows what we will do before it ever happens.

How is it going with your investigators?

Alright a little update on my investigators' status. Naranbaatar, our most prospective investigator, had his baptismal date set for this upcoming Sunday. Unfortunately we were going through the baptismal questions and come to find out he hadn't yet repented, and his knowledge about God was seriously lacking. Its really frustrating because we've gone over this over and over. We ended up pushing his baptismal date a week back to make sure he has repented and has a good knowledge of the gospel. We may have to push it back another week too, just to be safe but we are playing it by ear.
Did you celebrate Nadaam?
Nadaam: Awesome! A popular food here is called Howsher. Its deep fried bread with meat in it. During Nadaam they make SUPER good howsher!!! We bought some and it was super super good. Also a HUGE part of Nadaam is the tournaments. They have the three manly sports: wrestling, archery, and horse riding. My companion bought tickets to the event months ahead of time and we got President's approval so we were able to watch the wrestling. They have this really big traditional dance and performance before the event and we watched it live and it was incredible!! I still havnt worked out the picture issue with these computers but as soon as I do I'll send pictures.

Another fun thing we did was make "American" Howsher. We had Apple Pie Howsher, Bacon Chicken Howsher, and Garlic Chicken Howsher. Sooooooo good!!!

We were also able to go to a music concert too. Elder Boyd's English Sponsor (the person he teaches English for) bought us really great tickets to this music concert. They have preformed in Carnie Hall and other places. They were soooo good!!!!

Well that was Naddam.

Well that's it, love ya mommy
 (Ya, I know this may embarrass him. I don't care. LOVE MY BOY)
-Elder Clement

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Music's Role in our Lives

Family and Friends,

First I wanted to talk a little about the power in music. I heard a lot before my mission about the influence music can have on our Spirituality and lives. I already listened to pretty uplifting music to I didn't pay much attention to the council from so many of the people teaching about it. I found while being on a mission that music is more powerful than I thought. We sing hymns every Sunday at church, even throughout different faiths across the world hymns are one common factor. Why? Because of just how powerful they really are. God promises us in D&C 25:12 that he will answer songs to Him "with a blessing upon their heads". So what about songs negative songs, songs that don't uplift? Let me share an experience:

In Mongolia there are many people that believe in Shamanism. They do weird dances and call devils and evil spirits. They beat on drums in different patterns and beats, praising the devil and calling on his spirits. Now I didn't believe in voodoo and that kinda thing before my mission but coming here has altered that belief. You can feel the evil coming from not only the people that are doing it, but from the music itself. With every beat you can feel the Spirit leaving. There is music in our lives like that.

Music has a big impact on our lives. By singing hymns to Heavenly Father we receive blessings, and by listening to music that uplifts we are happier and our lives will be better. That doesn't mean we need to delete everything off our iPod that isn't a hymn but if there are certain songs or artists that detracts the Spirit from your life, I encourage you to delete it and listen to something else.

Also I have been feeling, and many of my friends on missions have been feeling, doubts about the language, people are teaching, our capabilities, etc. I read this talk in the Liahona about these things:

As a young man I was called to serve a mission in Hamburg, Germany. At the Language Training Mission—the predecessor to today’s missionary training center—I struggled to learn the language. As the first and then the second week passed, I noticed that the others in my district were progressing much faster than I was. While they were advancing to complex concepts, my dies, ders, and dases were a disaster.
I started to become concerned—and discouraged. How could I serve a successful mission if I couldn’t communicate with the people I was called to teach?
I prayed for help and sought a priesthood blessing, which provided some reassurance. But I continued to search and struggle, and one day I felt more uptight and worried than ever. As my companion and I walked down the hallway, I stopped at a small janitor’s closet. I asked my companion to wait for me for a moment. I slipped into that tiny room and knelt down on a mop. I began to plead with Heavenly Father for some relief.
The Lord answered that prayer. I felt this thought come into my mind: “I never called you to master the German language. I just called you to serve with all of your heart, mind, and strength.”
I immediately thought, “I can do that. I can serve with all of my heart, mind, and strength. If that’s what the Lord has called me to do, I can do that.” I stood up feeling tremendously relieved.
From that point on, my measuring stick changed. I no longer gauged my progress and success against that of my companion or other members of my district. Instead, I focused on how the Lord felt I was doing. Instead of looking to the side to compare myself to others, I began to look up, so to speak, to know what He thought of my efforts.
I don’t know that I learned the language much faster or much better from that point on, but I no longer felt the concerns I once had. I knew what the Lord wanted me to do, and it was in my power to do it.
I began counseling with Heavenly Father in the morning, telling Him that I didn’t know what the day would bring but that I would do my very best. “Whatever I can learn, allow me to learn it,” I prayed, “but no matter what, I’m going to give Thee my very best today.”
At night I would pray again to report on what I had studied and what I had done. I shared with my Father in Heaven my struggles and my successes alike. I had begun to turn to Him—not to others or even myself—to validate my progress.
That lesson that I learned in a tiny broom closet more than 35 years ago has stayed with me all my life, through a number of callings and assignments. Whenever I have been asked to do something where the expectations seem greater than what I have the capacity to do, I remember that experience and say to myself, “Wait. Who called you? Who are you serving? Who are you trying to please?
This not only applies to missionaries but also to everyone's lives everywhere. Who are you? You are a child of God, creator of everything and your Heavenly Father. Why are you here? To return to the Celestial kingdom through God's grace and obedience to His commandments. Who are you trying to please? Our Father in Heaven.
I have learned so much from this mission and I am so blessed to be able to apply the things I learn to my investigators and to all of you. God is truly a loving God, and He wants to best for us.
On a less spiritual note...

I had my first Mongolian Shepard's Pie. Not bad, not as good as Mom's of course but still really good. My English sponsor's nanny cooks us lunch whenever we teach and its always super American, its great!!
Fun Fact, did you know that JK Rowling possibly might have stolen her line in Harry Potter about Death being the final enemy to defeat from the Bible? True story.
1st Corinthians 15:26- "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."

-Elder Clement

Monday, July 15, 2013

The People of Mongolia

Family and Friends,

A little about the people here. They are nomads to the very bone. Even the best of members will randomly pack up an leave for the countryside for a couple of months. So on that note on of my baptismal candidates left for the countryside until August so he wont be able to get baptized for a while. But we have an investigator named Naranbaatar, who is incredible. He has such a strong desire to learn and be a part of this church. He loves meeting with us and we try to meet with him multiple times a week. We can always count on him to be able to meet us. We have a baptism planned for him on July 26! In Mongolia investigators have to come to church for 5 consecutive weeks before they can be baptized.


A little about my personal study. I have gained such a strong love for all things pertaining to church reading materials. I read one Liahona, my scriptures, Jesus the Christ, Preach my Gospel, and the Missionary White Handbook everyday. I wish I could read biographies of Joseph Smith and things but missionaries arent allowed (after my mission!). I love reading my books, especially the Liahonas. They are modern scripture for our day and the testimonies of the people in there are awesome. I also love the Jesus the Christ. I've learned sooooo much about my Savior from that and I love learning more and more.


I dont know if you have watched the new mission broadcast but it is awesome! 100% inspired! Here is the URL if you want to watch it. http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/watch/the-work-of-salvation/2013/06?lang=eng
It talks about the importance of Ward Mission Leaders and Ward Councils and also the new strides in mission work! Its really exciting to be a part of this new movement. Also I new several of the people in the MTC choir in the video.

Funny story here:
In the MTC I made up a song called the "Preperate Song". We sang it as a MTC group all the time and my teachers loved it. They thought it was hilarious. Come to find out that my teachers sang it for the new Mongolian MTC group and they made up a new line to the song. This is a part of the email I got from my teacher telling me about this: "Elder Clement you will go down in MTC lore as author of that song. Ta nar shuu! (Your the man)".

Also heres something fun. Mongolian food sometimes looks funny, but most of the time I just eat it and go. Anyways a couple of days ago I was eating this weird round looking thing that was sliced like a piece of baloni. I am about half way done when my companion tells me what I am eating is corrugated sheep blood. Apparently they take the intestines, fill them with blood then cook it and eat it. Thats what I ate. Thick, nasty, sheep blood intestine.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Yummy Sheep Blood

Family and Friends,

A little about the people here. They are nomads to the very bone. Even the best of members will randomly pack up an leave for the countryside for a couple of months. So on that note on of my baptismal candidates left for the countryside until August so he wont be able to get baptized for a while. But we have an investigator named Naranbaatar, who is incredible. He has such a strong desire to learn and be a part of this church. He loves meeting with us and we try to meet with him multiple times a week. We can always count on him to be able to meet us. We have a baptism planned for him on July 26! In Mongolia investigators have to come to church for 5 consecutive weeks before they can be baptized.


A little about my personal study. I have gained such a strong love for all things pertaining to church reading materials. I read one Liahona, my scriptures, Jesus the Christ, Preach my Gospel, and the Missionary White Handbook everyday. I wish I could read biographies of Joseph Smith and things but missionaries aren't allowed (after my mission!). I love reading my books, especially the Liahonas. They are modern scripture for our day and the testimonies of the people in there are awesome. I also love the Jesus the Christ. I've learned sooooo much about my Savior from that and I love learning more and more.


I don't know if you have watched the new mission broadcast but it is awesome! 100% inspired! Here is the URL if you want to watch it. http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/watch/the-work-of-salvation/2013/06?lang=eng
It talks about the importance of Ward Mission Leaders and Ward Councils and also the new strides in mission work! Its really exciting to be a part of this new movement. Also I new several of the people in the MTC choir in the video.




- I am in a branch, which we are really working to strengthen now. There are many many non-actives, and all the good members have like 5 callings or more, so its hard for them to do them all well. Which means there are a lot of things that dont get done. We dont have a ward mission leader anymore (he randomly decided to move to the countryside), and the branch presidency dont meet together so thats our first step to strengthen the ward. Help the branch presidency to meet every week and get a ward mission leader called. We found that we "cant get new members until we strengthened our ward"*, so thats what we are focusing our efforts on. We are meeting with many less actives and helping them understand the importance of being active in the church.






Funny story here:
In the MTC I made up a song called the "Preperate Song". We sang it as a MTC group all the time and my teachers loved it. They thought it was hilarious. Come to find out that my teachers sang it for the new Mongolian MTC group and they made up a new line to the song. This is a part of the email I got from my teacher telling me about this: "Elder Clement you will go down in MTC lore as author of that song. Ta nar shuu! (You're the man)".


Also here's something fun. Mongolian food sometimes looks funny, but most of the time I just eat it and go. Anyways a couple of days ago I was eating this weird round looking thing that was sliced like a piece of bologna. I am about half way done when my companion tells me what I am eating is corrugated sheep blood. Apparently they take the intestines, fill them with blood then cook it and eat it. That's what I ate. Thick, nasty, sheep blood intestine.



-Elder Clement


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Short but Sweet

My week has been really good. We were able to teach more than usual this week, and we feel more accomplished. On Saturday we taught four people (which is a lot even if it doesn't sound like it), and lately I have been trying more and more to talk. I make A LOT of mistakes but I'm learning. I'm trying to learn 4 words a day (its hard!), and yesterday my Mongolian was compared to that of a 2 yr old. Haha they were discussing it right in front of me. If Mongolians weren't so naturally blunt Id be offended but its just how they are!

Church was good, its always hard to understand in church but testimonies are easier to understand. The youth went on the 2nd ever Trek in Mongolia, and they just got back, so at church they all bore their testimonies about it. Everyone at the Trek promised to bear their testimonies but we weren't sure they would, but sure enough as soon as the testimony meeting began they all stood up together and bore their testimonies one after another. They all supported one another and it was a really powerful spiritual experience. It was powerful to see them all stand up together and then to hear them bear their testimonies was awesome. I LOVE THE SPIRIT! I didn't bear my testimony though, not enough time.

We had a good 4th. There is a KFC here (the only real American fast food place here), and we were going to go to that on the 4th but our schedule didn't allow it.

We taught 4 lessons in one day and it was the most lessons my companion has taught for months! It's really hard to teach people here. But there is always hope. We just got a Golden Investigator. He just moved back to the city, from Korea, and came to the church and got OUR number and called US. Then he met with us that day and we were asking about him, turns out he met with missionaries for 5 years and just keep pushing off his baptism. He flat out said to us "I'm ready". He was quoting the Book of Mormon, and the Bible and he knew everything we taught him. He realized he has been missing out and hes ready to change. Its really exciting to meet an investigator like that, THEY REALLY EXIST!!


Yes we have dates for the baptisms, what we have to do here is make them go to church for 5 weeks in a row before they can be baptized. Its to make sure they are dedicated to the church and really have the desire. There is a lot of inactivity here so that's why we do it.
Well I love you,

-Elder Clement

Sunday, June 30, 2013

It's been a "Holey" week :)

Ger Booth bus nadz,

Family and friends,

First off missionary work is awesome. Its incredible. There are hard moments but you quickly forget them because of all the moments you feel good. A couple days ago I was blessed with the most comforting peace I have ever felt. I don't know why, but I just felt so comforted and peaceful all day. It was really nice.

I brought my journal today so I could like to share a few experiences and thoughts with you.
There is this thing here that Mongolians don't realize they do. They will look at you and give you an extra long blink. Its a subconscious expression that they care about you. Its got no romantic connotation or anything it just means they like you. I've been blessed to be the recipient of that a few times and its really humbling and it makes you feel really good.

I have been having a confidence issue with the language here. I can speak but there are a lot of 'ums' and 'uhs' and I cant look people in the eye which is a problem. So I've been working on it. A little while ago I was in a lesson and it was my turn to testify and I did a quick silent prayer and let the Spirit speak through me. I looked with the people in the eyes and bore solid witness of my belief. I testified with my whole soul, and afterward I felt the Spirit and I could tell they did as well. It was really powerful reminder that God is all powerful and by trusting in Him you can do anything.
Ok I don't have much more time, next time will be primary about the work more. But here are my overall feelings about my mission. Its such a blessing. I'm glad to be teaching but this has been great for me. Its a great feeling to go to bed each night knowing that you have worked as hard as you possibly could have. I feel the Spirit so strongly here and its interesting to be a part of so many church responsibilities. Because everyone here are converts we do a lot of teaching about callings and helping people fulfill callings. We were able to be a part of fast offerings a few weeks ago, and last week we taught young mens. Its really cool. The members here who are faithful are really incredible. They travel sometimes 1-1/12 hours to get to church by bus, then do the same thing home. There is this woman who is probably in her 60's and she walked with us for 3 days non stop showing us where people live and introducing us to people. The addresses here are a joke so it was really helpful. The faithful members testimonies here are insanely strong, I cant wait for fast Sunday next week.


----
Ok now a few funny things:
- I ripped my pants AGAIN!!! I was digging the most pointless hole in the world for service with the sisters in my district and I bent two far down and ripped them again (same pants, different spot). So that was embarrassing. I had a shirt on over my white shirt that I had to tie around my waist so they wouldn't see my garments.
- We play soccer or basketball every morning with some of the elders in our area and one morning we were walking to soccer when this drunk guys started following us yelling that he was gonna do this and that and whatever. Anyways we walk faster and ignore him but he follows us onto the soccer field. To ovoid any contention we ask him if he wants to join us. He said yes, so we started playing with him (careful not to offend him). At the very end of the game he gets scored on by an elder here and the drunk guy goes crazy! He starting punching and kicking. He punched that elder and another one. The American elders were standing back to ovoid any other contention and the Mongolian elders were talking with him telling him to calm down and stuff. He wasn't. Me being my friendly self go and try to talk to him. The only relevant words I know though are 'peaceful' 'crazy' and 'friends'. So I walked up to him and just said 'friends' over and over again. It didn't help much but made me feel better. Anyhow we eventually just ditched him and ran out. Everyone was fine.
- My shot. I had to get a shot at the doctor, and as you know I hate shots. I was really nervous because the doctors here are really iffy. Anyways when I went I was shaking a ton and almost probably died from heart failure. Good news, turns out I'm good now.
- OK more about the pointless hole. There is a superstition here that if you build a house on trash (like if trash is in the dirt) its a bad omen. Most members stop believing in that stuff but this lady didn't. So she asks us to come dig this hole for her. We get there an she tells us where to dig and why we are digging (we didn't know what the hole was for beforehand), and tells us to start digging. So over the course of two days, a ripped pair of pants, and rain we dig a hole 4ft deep, 10ft long, and 3ft wide that will eventually be reburied all just without the dirt. 
Q&A
Also... has the facebook thing affected your mission?
Not yet, we heard about the announcement but I think it will be a little while before it is implemented everywhere.

How are you feeling?
I'm feeling good. I had a viral infection last week, and I had to get a shot (I was more nervous than usual with the whole Mongolian doctor thing and all but it was fine). I am completely healed now.


What type of food do you make for yourself?
We eat out almost once a day, at least. Its about two dollars a plate so its really cheap, plus we can teach more people that way. When we eat at home we make a popular Mongolian dish with rice, chicken, potatoes, and carrots all mixed up. I cant remember what its called here but its really good and cheap and fast. I also drink a lot of soda and juice. They are both really cheap here, sometimes cheaper than water, so we have that a lot. The soda helps settle the stomach after an oily meal.

Any investigators?
Yeah we have around 5-6. We are focusing most of our efforts on strengthening the ward. We have to have a strong ward to bring investigators to before we can really convert them to the gospel.

p.s. we got three baptismal commitments this week. My first three!! :)
love you all
Elder Clement

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sickness in Mongolia

Tyler couldn't email much last week due to the fact that he had food poisoning. So, here we sit glued to the computer waiting to hear from him this week. Stay posted.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cold showers and drunk people?

Family and Friends,

Well I meant to bring my journal today but I totally forgot so I am probably going to forget a lot of what I was going to say. Also it may be in random order because as I think of it I am going to write it.
Anyways Mongolia is awesome! Day 2 I helped build a ger (a house out here), that was pretty cool. I also got to ride a bus on that day. Buses/all drivers out here are INSANE. A one lane road is really a three lane road of people serving in and out of lanes and cutting people off. To say the least you become accustomed to horns blaring all the time. Also the buses have no person limit so sometimes they are like tuna cans!! It's kinda awesome!! We have had a couple rides where you don't even need to hold on to anything because your so tightly pushed in that no one moves when the driver suddenly slams on the brake or cuts someone off. Its really fun.
I have been learning a ton since being here. My companion will be leaving in a few months and his Mongolian is really good. He's been teaching me and members like to help as well. I've been told a few times now that my accent is really good which is nice since I need to work on my vocabulary.
My thoughts on Mongolian food. Its good. There's a lot of meat, and a lot of rice. They usually have veggies as well; potatoes and carrots mostly. Elder Boyd is really good at budgeting plus we are always outside teaching so we usually go out to eat once a day sometimes twice. Food is really cheap here. A good plate of food and drink will usually cost you about 3 American Dollars. I'm still learning the names of food here but there are things called bodes, and prisky which are both really good. I don't know, I like everything. I haven't had anything too gross yet so that's been good. I drink a lot of steaming hot water, and this salty milk stuff called Hirum I think. Also portions here are HUGE!! That's been the biggest struggle, just eating the whole plate!! Haha its great!
There's a whole lot of awkward going on here. Yesterday we had three different women breastfeed in two different lessons as we were teaching them.
Weather. Its been normal mostly. I think its been around 70-80 degrees the whole time I've been here. Yesterday it rained and it dropped down a bit. We were walking to a ger and by the time we got there we were soaked completely! There is also a lot of dust. My shoes are covered in a nice sheet of dust within the first hour. Also when you sweat (or walk in the rain) the dust sticks to you so you are just super dirty all the time!!! Also our hot water is out, and is supposed to be for a couple more weeks, so we've had -0 showers for about a week now.
Fun Fact. The Book of Mormon has:
   54 Ch. dealing with wars
   21 Ch. are historical
   55 Ch. on visions and prophecies (that has to be aligned exactly with the bible)
   71 Ch. on doctrine and exhortation (that has to be aligned exactly with the bible)
   21 Ch. on Christ
Yesterday I almost got attacked by a drunk guy, then he fell and it kinda looked like I pushed him down. My companion, Elder Boyd, looked back right when this guy fell and he thought I pushed the drunk guy (I'll be honest I thought about it).
Also saw the biggest dog of my life! It was probably as tall as Trenton. Not exaggerating even a little. I would of taken a picture but the owner REALLY didn't like us and we were already afraid he was going to sick the dog on us. My companion peed his pants a little I think.
Ok just one of the many things I noticed here. The LDS Mongolian sisters here are like moms. We were walking (two sisters, one of them Mongolian, and my companion and I) and all of a sudden the Mongolian sister stops us all and tells my companion to tie his shoe. He said he was fine and he kept walking but she told him shes not letting us go until he tied his shoe. And then twice Ive been at a less-active's house with the sisters in our district (a different Mongolian is in this companionship. Her name is Sister Onon.) and they gave us bread. And me, trying to be nice, just used a little jam (they don't have much so I try and take a little as possible) immediately Sister Onon took my bread (both times) and smothered it with jelly. There are just a bunch of things they do that are super motherly. Mom I'm well taken care of here.
What is my area like? I live right in the middle of the city right next to the church, but my area is about 30 minutes away. We get there by bus. We serve in whats called Ger Districts. Its like a new city. All there are are gers, lots and lots. They will extend all the way up hills and down into valleys. Its usually dirt roads and pretty hilly. The gers they live in are usually kinda small. They are round (like a navaho tent) and have a stove in the middle. They have two beds on either side of the stove and then dressers and a maybe a fridge/sink. They have to get water from a nearby well and they store it in big containers inside the ger, usually by the door.
I think that's everything. I'm doing really good though, teaching lots and meeting a lot of people. I really love Mongolia. It already feels like this is my other home.
I love you all,
-Elder Clement
Mom:
- Ok mom you can ask me questions now (haha.... my first email had a ton of questions in it so I held back this time)
- In the package you said your sending please send a one or two packages of brownie mix, and a good sized flash drive.

Q & A

What time do you email on Mondays?
 Around 11am Mongolia time

What do you do on P-day?
Grocery shop, clean, study, read

Where is your companion from?
He is from Denver, Colorado

If you can't proselyte, how do you meet investigators?
We teach less actives and referrals

When do you exercise?
We exercise every morning for 45 minutes

Sunday, June 9, 2013

First Email from Mongolia Q&A

How was the flight?
Flight was fine, just really really long. I didn't sleep the whole time until the last six hours so I could adjust to Mongolia time.

How long did it take you to get your luggage?
Took me 4 days to get my luggage. I used some extra clothes here in storage and a suit from my companion Elder Boyd.

What is your home like?
I'll send you a picture of my home. Its not much different from a regular appt. Just imagine an American Appt but really really crappy.
 
How many people live there?

Only my companion and I live there but if people need a place to sleep we are the ones they come to.

Have you been grocery shopping?
No grocery shopping is today.

What type of food have you eaten?
I've eaten everything! They have lots of American food now, so I've had (brick oven quality) pizza, then things called bodes, I'm not sure how to spell it in English, and a bunch of other stuff I don't know what its called. I accidentally had tea yesterday. The lady gave us a white drink and usually its milk, with water and salt and sometimes oil. But she made tea and told us it was the other drink (they look exactly the same). Some fun food customs here, you HAVE to eat all your food (and they give you a ton), and you HAVE to drink everything they give you. And all the drinks are INSANELY hot. I have burned my lips multiple times. As far as if the food and drinks here are bad. Nope, maybe its the spirit helping my taste buds but everythings ok so far.
  Are you allowed to proselyte?
No proselyting, no badges outside of the church or member's homes.
 
Did Bro and Sis Clark know you?

Yes they knew me. I see usually 1-2 companionship's a day.

How often do you see the other elders in your district?
My companion is really great. His name is Elder Boyd. He has been here for almost two years. I'm "killing" him, or I'm his last companion. He is from Denver.

Have you adapted to the time change yet?
Yeah I'm totally adapted to the time change, it wasn't too bad after a couple of days.

How are you feeling stress wise etc....?
I'm feeling good, just a HUGE desire to learn the language so I can talk to people.

What are the people like there? \Did you get to go to church? How was it... members etc? 

Elder Boyd is REALLY good. People here are really nice! They have a huge respect for their elders (not us, the old people). If there isn't a seat open when an old person gets on someone younger will get up without even thinking. They are really patient too with the language and they love to see Americans speaking Mongolian. The drivers on the other hand are INSANELY CRAZY!! A two lane road is actually a four lane road with people serving on the opposite lane to pass people and horns flying. Its crazy, and walking across the street is a nightmare! No speed limits, so its basically don't hit people is the only rule. Yeah went to church. We have about 500 members with about 70-80 active people. Got lots of work to do.
 
How is the language? Can you understand what is being said?

Language is being worked on. I can understand basic subjects, and more if its in context. But I'm learning and my companion is helping! So its good. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Hole in One?

 
Family and Friends,

Last email from the US of A!
 
First spiritual experience time. Ok so people talk about the Gift of Tongues all the time and the Spirit of Discernment, I had experienced it by way of learning the language faster than usual but I hadn't suddenly understood everything an investigator was saying then magically had been able to communicate perfectly back to them, which is what I thought the Gift of Tongues was. This week I was able to experience the true gift of tongues as it was intended. We were meeting with an investigator here at the MTC and the Mongolian words were flying left and right. She was speaking really fast and I wasn't understanding. I hadn't talked in a while and I knew she would ask me a question. I prayed for guidance and help. When I concluded my silent prayer the investigator, sure enough, looked right at me. She wanted to join the church but she was being beaten by her husband and she was afraid. I understood that much. She was looking expectantly at me, so I opened my English scripture praying what I needed would be right there, it was. Isaiah 41:10. I had her read the scripture in Mongolian out loud and, though I struggled, I spoke to her in Mongolian about the scripture and told her she has no need to fear as long as she has faith. The moral of this story and what I took away from this experience is that the Gift of Tongues may not manifest itself as a powerful sudden fluency, instead it could come as a few simple sentences you struggle through, and a scripture that manifests itself at the opportune moment.
 
Ok now how about a funny story? Mom you especially are going to love this and feel free to give me grief about it! Ok so I had just gotten done with a string of meeting on Sunday and I was headed to breakfast. They don't let you take things into the cafeteria so I dropped my stuff off outside the cafeteria, next to the wall. I ate breakfast, all was normal, until I went to pick up my stuff. I thought I would be kinda silly and pick them up kinda dorkily. Well as I bent down to pick up my stuff I hear a TREMENDOUS rip. I pause from sheer horror as I realize that came from my backside. Then quicker than a speeding cheetah I shot up, grabbed my companion by the arm and positioned him behind me.
 
"Get behind me and DON'T move" I told him.
"NO! Why?" Elder Standley said.
 
Apparently his, and my other companion Elder Hayter's, first thought when I told Elder Standly to get behind me was that I had horribly pooped myself. I finally got Elder Standley to escort me to the bathroom, and on the way Elder Hayter asked me:
 
"Did you poop yourself?"
 
And I not thinking or really caring, said "No, worse!"
 
And his lovely, heartwarming response to that was a long shake of his head and the following words "I am embarrassed to know you".
 
We finally got to the bathroom and I examined the damage.... Remember when I ripped my pants on that date, yeah I would have rather had that rip than this one. It was HUGE! All the way from top to bottom! Anyways so my companions had to walk me to my Branch Presidency meeting where I had to explain to everyone that I would be late on account that I had ripped my pants and I had to change. All total probably the most embarrassing experience of my life!
 
Ok done with that, here's something random. Mr. Mendinhall who teaches music at MMHS also plays the piano at the MTC, and I've seen him like 5 times here.
 
Alright here is a cool Missionary Statistic: There are currently as of this month: 67,000 missionaries serving, and with the age change and the new wave of missionaries there are 31,000 new applications. So by the end of the summer there will be approximately 98,000 missionaries serving missions!!! That's super exciting!! And my friend Elder Shorts has, with many other missionaries, moved into the new Rain tree appts with the MTC expansion!
 
Sorry I know my mind is on a random spree but here's something else kinda cool! I can say hello and goodbye in 12+ languages!! I know some Kiribis, Mandarin, some crazy little island language I cant remember the name of, Tongan, Samoan, and more!!! Its awesome!!!
 
--
 
Ok so this is my final email in the USA, let me just quickly bear my testimony and feelings right now. I feel really тавэн , or peaceful.The Lord blesses His missionaries in many many ways. While I'm nervous, its not to fly or to be in a different country or any of that, I'm nervous that I wont be able to teach the gospel as effectively as I want to. I feel prepared and I feel like a have a basic enough understanding to be able to survive in Mongolia. I love the Lord and I have already grown so incredibly close to Him. I know God exists because I have grown to know Him. I know this church to be true and I have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. If any of you have doubts pertaining to the Gospel, then lean on my testimony because I KNOW THIS CHURCH TO BE TRUE. I have no doubt in my mind, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
 
I love you all and am very grateful for the support,
 
- Ахлагч Клемент