Batbayar and the Book with Pictures
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    “Batbayar and the Book with Pictures,” Friend, January 2020

    Batbayar and the Book with Pictures

    a boy in Mongolia reading the illustrated Book of Mormon

    Illustrations by Kevin Keele

    It was a windy day. Nine-year-old Batbayar was walking home from the bus stop after school. He hugged his coat tighter in the wind. Luckily, it wasn’t far to his grandparents’ house, where he lived in Mongolia.

    “Hi!” Batbayar said as he came inside.

    “Welcome home,” Grandma said. “I made some khuushuur for a snack.”

    Thank you!” Batbayar reached for one of the warm, spicy Mongolian meat pies.

    “Wait! Don’t eat any until the missionaries get here,” Grandpa said. “They’ll be coming any minute.”

    Batbayar loved it when the missionaries from Grandma and Grandpa’s church came to visit. He always learned a lot from them. But there was just one problem.

    “Will they ask me to read from the Book of Mormon again?” Batbayar asked. “Reading is hard for me.”

    “That’s why they’re bringing another book today,” Grandma said.

    “What book?” Batbayar said.

    “You’ll see,” Grandpa said.

    Soon the missionaries arrived. They ate Grandma’s delicious meat pies together. Then Batbayar said, “Grandma says you brought me a book.”

    “I think you’ll like this book,” Sister Heitz said. “It has lots of pictures.”

    Batbayar looked at the cover. Book of Mormon Stories, it said. A picture on the cover showed people building a boat.

    “I remember that story,” Batbayar said. “The man didn’t know how to build a boat. So he prayed. And God helped him.”

    “That’s right,” Sister Enkhtuya said. “Will you try reading this book? Then you can pray and ask God if what it teaches is true.”

    “I will,” Batbayar promised.

    That night he read from the book with pictures. He read the story about the boat. Then he prayed. He fell asleep thinking about the man who built the boat and how God helped him.

    From then on, each night Batbayar read a story. Then he prayed. And each night, he fell asleep thinking about what he read.

    When the sister missionaries came again, they taught Batbayar more about Jesus Christ. Batbayar learned about prophets. He learned about God’s commandments. He kept going to church with Grandma and Grandpa. And he kept reading and praying.

    One day Batbayar had something important to tell his grandparents. “When I read the stories in the book with pictures, my heart feels good,” he said. “When I pray, I feel they are true. I think I should be baptized.”

    Today, Batbayar is a member of the Church. He has gotten better and better at reading. And he still reads the Book of Mormon every night!