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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