Their Long Journey Back to Mongolia
A Long Journey Back to Mongolia: A "No More Strangers" Podcast
It’s no secret that students who attend Brigham Young University very often leave with more than just a college degree. For many, they leave with a spouse, too. Such was the case for our current guests in this Latter Day Radio podcast episode.
Oh, those single wards on campus!
The expressed purpose of “single wards” is to take a varied assortment of members of the Church from places with strange-sounding names and pair them up. Think of it as a sock drawer! You just can’t leave socks as a loose collection of footwear; your job (if you’re the bishop, for example) isn’t done until they’re all rolled up together.
And, sometimes those socks would never have been paired up if they hadn’t been dropped into the same drawer!
Such is the case of Nadmid Namgur and Mayumi Yamanaka. They are both returned missionaries; Nadmid is a native Mongolian, and he served in San Diego, California, arriving in the mission field hardly speaking English. Mayumi hails from Kobe, Japan, and served her mission in Tokyo. So, when they met, they were forced to use English–their second language–as their primary means of communication.
But, they had one thing in common: a commitment to live the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. That was their glue.
She joined the Church as an eight-year-old when she and her mother were baptized; Nadmid’s conversion came later as a young college student in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, the world’s second largest land-locked country sandwiched between Russia and China. Its altitude is about the same as Salt Lake City (4,300 feet) and sits astride the Tuul River with a population of 1.3 million, nearly half of the country’s 3 million inhabitants.
Nadmid explains that it was the appearance of two young Americans in white shirt and ties, speaking–for them–a very foreign tongue that attracted his attention. His was no quick conversion; as he explains in the podcast, a new green missionary who spoke very little Mongolian made an impression that eventually led him to the waters of baptism and then to his surprise, a call to serve in the California San Diego mission.
Opportunities, scholarships and the Hand of the Lord gave Nadmid and Mayumi an opportunity to travel to Mongolia with their two small sons where he, with his newly minted MBA from BYU, was offered a job with Rio Tinto and a chance to serve as branch president in Ulaanbaatar.
A few years later, they found themselves back in Utah raising their two sons, David and Daniel, in the Daybreak “settlement” of South Jordan, Utah, in a nice, cozy cottage within walking distance of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. Oh, and a new dog. Currently, Nadmid works in the Temple Department in the Church Office Building in downtown Salt Lake City. They both can be counted on to serve in any calling they are given; he’s on the High Council of the South Jordan Eastlake Stake, and Mayumi works in the Relief Society…that is, until July 1st.
That’s when Elder Nadmid Namgur and Sister Mayumi Yamanaka Namgur and their boys, 14-year-old David and 11-year-old Daniel, will relocate…back to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where “President Namgur” and “Mission Mother Namgur” will preside over this far-flung mission once the province of Genghis Kahn and his Empire.
This podcast is the first of many to come in a new category that we’re calling “No More Strangers,” patterned after a series of books written a generation ago by Elder Hartman Rector, Jr. We hope you’ll like our first one, featuring Nadmid and Mayuni Namgur, leaving soon for the Mongolian Mission.
You can learn more about their long journey by pressing the “Play” button on your smart phone or computer. And, in three years, we will are planning on their appearance again on Latter Day Radio.