So, I'm in Mongolia! It was a LONG trip, but we made it! We left Provo on Tuesday morning, took the Frontrunner and the Trax, then flew to Houston, 7 hour layover, flew to Beijing (15ish hour flight), then a 14 hour layover in Beijing (we got delayed), then to Mongolia.... we got here Friday morning Mongolia time. I am so done with traveling!
Friday we had to do some training stuff at the mission home, had dinner with Elder Wong of the 70 and the president’s family, and we went to a sketchy hospital. Let me just say I have never seen a hospital like that. They had to do some tests for immigration purposes, and they drew blood.... BUT they did it FROM MY HAND!! It was the worst, and the entire top of my hand has been bruised since then!! I'm trying to come up with a story about how I got it... accepting suggestions.
On Saturday, we got our companions and started our mission life. My companion is Sister Sneddon from Park City. She is absolutely amazing!! She has been out 18 months and extended her mission a month to train me (I'll have her for 5 weeks, then I'll be given a different trainer). We have two areas: Bayanzurkh and Nailakh. We have the biggest are in the mission, so we definitely have a lot of work to do. The areas are both gir districts, so the people we teach are extremely poor. It is so humbling to be in their homes, eating the little food they have that they give us, and walking around those areas. I love the people already and am so amazed by them. They will walk miles carrying their gallons of water that they get from a well... wow!
Sunday, we went to church at our branch. There were about 40 people. I was asked to stand and introduce myself and bear my testimony, so I did and they seemed to understand, woohoo! I also had a couple conversations by myself with people... woohoo again! I don’t understand most of what is being said, but I can pick out words and follow along and give my input. I've even taught a few lessons and they more or less understand what I'm saying.
We went to visit and teach a less active family yesterday, and when we walked inside their tin fence towards their gir, their dog attacked me... I saw my life flash before my eyes... seriously though, and they are building a bashin (house of sorts) out of bricks, so there were piles of bricks behind me. I had my jacket in front of me ready to go all matador style on that dog (or monster I should say). Luckily, the kids got the dog in time and took it away, and we went inside their gir to teach. I was lucky enough to get away without a bite.
It's so crazy walking down these dirt roads. There are cows and wild dogs that wonder the streets. It is so different and amazing. I love it here.
This morning we went to a monument where Mongolia was actually dedicated for the work. It was amazing!! President shared these thoughts: When he was serving, a member of the 70 came and spoke, and during the middle of his talk stopped and said, "I feel impressed to share that the pure blood of Israel runs through your veins." God truly has preserved Mongolia for a special purpose. In Jacob 5, it talks about the lord’s vineyard and the 4th period is the gathering of Israel... that is happening here in Mongolia. I feel so privileged to be serving here and helping these people.
Also, as we were walking back from the monument, I stepped into a stinging nettle, and boy is it bad... I have a lizard-like bubbly foot now.. oh well. Tis the life of a missionary in Mongolia.
|My first Mongolian meal!|