I've been here over a month now. Only a few more weeks, and I will be heading to Mongolia! On Saturday, we started our online training for ESL certification, and it's so cool! I am so lucky to be going to the only mission in the world where English teaching is a part of our call, and how we are getting into the country! What a special thing! I am so excited to teach the people English and help change their lives in that way.
Our teachers have been sharing a number of stories about Mongolia with us this week. Here is what we have learned. There are a lot of drunk people, and they often want to fight the elders or kiss the sisters, so there are some options: 1) Let your Mongolian companion punch them (yep, our teacher said the Mongolian sisters are that LEGIT) 2) Split and walk around them... they will be confused and won't know who to follow 3) Teach them about the gospel... one of our teachers street contacted a drunk guy when he was new to Mongolia-- he didn't know the guy was drunk, haha. Also, there are wild dogs there that are HUGE and will attack you. Here are the defense/offense options: 1) According to the Mongolian sister here, you just have to be faster than your companion. 2) Also the Mongolian sisters advice: sit down in a ball, and cover your face so they can't bite your face or legs.
3) Teacher's advice: pick up a rock and pretend to throw it. The people there throw so many rocks at the dogs, that most of the time the dog will be scared and run away. 4) If that doesn't work, actually throw it. 5) And if that doesn't work, actually kick it... as hard as you can! Our teacher said its not like kicking a dog, but like kicking a monster! And the last piece of advice: when walking with your companion, do not separate around poles, people, or anything else. You walk with them! It's rude to separate, so just follow the leader.
Mission life is hard! I definitely have had my struggles, as does anyone else, but I know that it is all for my benefit. The mission is meant to stretch me and make me better. Each day is it's own battle, but I, along with thousands of missionaries across the world, just take it one day at a time. Like our prophet has said, "Life by the yard is hard. Life by an inch is a cinch." That's what I'm trying to do. When I get discouraged about the language, or I miss friends and family, or I doubt if I am strong enough, I just look at it as one obstacle to climb over... then onto the next one. I think life is like that too. We aren't meant to fly through life. We are meant to take it step by step, and when we slip, just get up and keep walking. There are so many amazing people here, and they are such great examples to me as well. I love my companion, my district, and my branch! All these missionaries are so amazing! I love being a missionary even when it is hard. I have never been this incredibly happy all the time. There is just a pure joy in being on the Lord's time and errand. There is a joy in bringing others unto Christ. I know this church is true and that it has the fullness of the Gospel on the Earth today. I have a testimony that Christ lives and because of Him, we can repent and live with God again. I know the scriptures are true and that we can find comfort, strength, and guidance in them. I know that if we follow the pattern found in Moroni 10:3-5, and read the scriptures and pray with real intent and a sincere heart to know if they are true, that we will come to a knowledge for ourselves of the truth.