Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Monday, June 29, 2015

3 Months Down, 15 To Go!

Okay, so this week something hit me... I have been out 3 months! I have been in Mongolia a whole month! What?! And my trainer goes home this week! With all these things happening this week, it finally hit me that I am actually on a mission in Mongolia. It's kinda weird that it didn't hit me until now, but it's real. I am here for 15 more months to try and have the biggest effect I can for good here. I really want to use my time to the best of my ability and help as many people as I can!

On Friday, we were in one of our sketchy apt areas when I start to hear loud chanting/singing, and then... a Mongolian army (some were dressed in Mongolian traditional clothes and some in normal camo) marches on down the street singing! So what did I do, I of course ran after them to try and take a picture! So yep, there I was running down a sketchy street chasing a singing Mongolian army (imagine the scene from Mulan with her army singing, "A girl worth fighting for"---- it was like that!) It was so weird, but awesome!

I haven't really explained my English teaching situation yet ... I am helping create a program to teach from. Every Tuesday and Thursday, I spend 4 hours working on PowerPoints to be put on flash drives that missionaries can just plug in and teach from. They are based off a certain book, but we make the PowerPoint so missionaries don't have to spend that much time prepping. Then on those nights, Sis Westover and I teach our PowerPoints we've created at the church for free to anyone that wants to come. It is such a cool experience and I absolutely love teaching there. We have people of all ages and levels that come and some parents bring little kids who speak zero English, but it’s great! They all come because they want to and they all have a desire to learn!

Spiritual thought:
Alma 34:8-10 read it, it's all about Christ’s Atonement
Alma 34: 32 This is the time to prepare to meet God, so we do so by doing good and using the Atonement to become better
Alma 34:41 When things are hard, be patient and have hope. Christ knows and is always there. He felt everything we feel and he understands.

We did some service this week. We went to a member’s house where they had taken down their gir. We got to wash all the wood pieces of the gir so she could build it again for the summer... people here change their girs for the summer so they are cooler. Other than that, life is good, I love my area, I love the people, I love serving the Lord, I love Mongolia!
In response to questions:
 1. Do you have A/C in your apartment? Nope
2. How many people come to sacrament meeting? 40 if we are lucky
3. Are you better at speaking, writing, or reading Mongolian? Speaking and understanding... I can read but not understand it
4. What items can you NOT get in Mongolia that you wish you could? Any American food... SALAD
5. What is the best deal you’ve found in Mongolia (shopping)? Everything that’s not American
6. Have you spoken at district or zone conference?  I gave the thought at district meeting last week
7. What is the most expensive thing on your mission? Anything American
8. Do you, or any missionaries, every ride bikes? only a few people in the country
9. Any ‘real mail’ from anyone yet? nope :(

Teaching English
District Meeting
With my companion & a ward missionary.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Drive by Shootings & Climbing Mountains

This last week was a little different because my comp and another roommate are STLs (sister training leaders) and had to go out to the country to do splits with sisters there, so it was me and Sister Bayersetzig for two days. We worked in her area one day, then mine another and boy was that stressful – trying to remember who people were and how to get to their homes and so on, but I DID IT! I was so proud, especially since gir districts are so hard to maneuver. Anyways, it was a cool but difficult experience only communicating in Mongolian for those days. I taught a lot more of the lesson than usual and in my area I led the lessons…wow was I scared! But let me say, if you trust in the Lord and let the Spirit work through you, miracles happen. I could speak decent Mongolian and they understood me and they seemed to be feeling the Spirit …so amazing!

We went to visit a less active member who lives at the top of a very tall hill but she wasn’t home, so instead we decided to climb the mountain behind her house. It was amazing! You could see most of Ulaanbaatar and the sky was breathtaking – just inspiring! It was nice to take a step back and look at the big picture and realize there is no reason to get down because not everyone has been taught and there will always be someone else who might want to listen and learn. It really has motivated me to be diligent in this work.

So, I was involved in a drive by shooting this week … yep, you read that right. My splits comp and I were walking along the road when a car drove by and SHOT ME! Yep, that happened. I was shot by a little kid with a squirt gun, haha. It was a super hot day too, so I was super happy. :)

We went to our other area for church this week. It is an hour out of the city on bus. It amazes me that the church truly is the same everywhere! Sacrament meeting while in a different language is the same, Sunday School while the classes are small and we end up getting asked to teach the minute before is the same, and Relief Society while there may only be three ladies attending is the same. In fact, they even had a pretty tablecloth and fake flowers! Also, I get to teach and visit the kids. Mongolian kids are the cutest!

Like I mentioned, on Sunday we were asked to teach Sunday School last minute. So I opened PMG (preach my gospel), chose the topic missionary work, picked some scriptures and began. I talked for a bit, then we read the scriptures, then we read a story, then I shared an experience, then I asked Elder Mcham to share his own conversion sotry, and then we challenged everyone to write down one name of someone they think would come to church if invited and we challenged them to ask this week. I hope they follow through! It was so awesome though because while I am new and my Mongolian is not great, I did it! I taught Sunday School on the spot and it went well! Elder Mcham’s conversion story and testimony seemed to touch the people’s hearts since they too are all converts to the church. That’s one thing that amazes me here – they are all converts but they are working so hard to stay strong, build up this church, and it doesn’t feel like the church is new here. It feels like church anywhere else.
The church.


1. What time do you get up?
6:30am like every missionary around the world.
2. Do you have a regular bathroom/shower? Is the water hot?
We are the lucky sister in the mission to have a nice apt so yes we have a bath/shower but we don’t’ have warm water currently. During the summer many people only have cold water. I think it’s because they do pipe work – so yah, just lovin’ the ice cold showers.
3. Can you drink the water from the tap? Do they have bottled water?
We have a filter on our tap that we use and there is bottled water everywhere for cheap.
4. Is there different soda in Mongolia & have you tried it?
Not really, but they have more flavors of Fanta. I don’t really drink soda because I’d rather have water.
5. Would you say you walk or ride most days?
We ride a bus out to the area, then walk and walk and walk all day long.
6. Are you teaching anyone English?
I teach every Tuesday & Thursday, a free class open to anyone and since I’m sponsored by the church, I can wear my nametag during the classes.
7. Where do you email from?
An internet place for gaming.
8. Do you hang out with other missionaries at all?
We live with 2 other sisters, so yah, and we see other missionaries all the time and I do English with Sister Westover.
9. Do you feel like your budget is going to be sufficient based on the past two weeks?
Yep, it’s definitely a missionary budget, but it’s doable. Things are way cheap here.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mongolia, oh Mongolia

Another crazy, but awesome, week down! I had a couple awesome experiences this week. A RM (return missionary, someone who previously served a mission) came to visit Mongolia this week. Brother Tooler served here 10 years ago and served in my area for 19mths so he knows the people and area REALLY well! He showed us apts and houses with less actives he taught, and he gave us their back stories. It was amazing the things we learned about these people. Mongolia has over 10,000 members but only about 1,000 active members. It's so sad to see and we are working so hard with these members, trying to bring them back. Anyways, these members he was telling us we knew nothing about and had somehow become lost sheep like so many do here. We are currently working on contacting these people. While he was with us, he also told us mission stories, taught us Mongolian (his Mongolian was soooo good), and just encouraged us. It was great.

At one point, we were walking in this area we had never been to, looking for someone Tooler remembered. Well, we didn’t find them, and we kinda got lost... as we were walking around lost, a super cute family waved us over. We started talking to them, and Tooler (since he’s not a missionary and is allowed to talk about it) shared about our church and that we are missionaries. The family was a mom, dad, and two little kids. The dad is a Mongolian wrestler! He also just had this light about him. I feel so strongly that he has been prepared for us, and that the Lord placed them in our paths and got us lost on purpose. We will meet with that family this week, and I'm so excited for it!

On Saturday, our apt had no water, and it was soooooo hot outside!! The struggle was real! Oh, and my comp and I had food poisoning from the night before, so that was rough. Anyways, we went to meet with a less active member in Sharxad, and when we got there, she needed to get water from the well. Well, we offered to help, not knowing what we were getting ourselves into. She pulled out 6 huge metal buckets with rope handles, and pointed us to a steep hill. We went up that hill, filled up these gallons and gallons of water, and carried it back. We assumed we were done, but we were so wrong! She sent us back again, and again, and AGAIN! It was so hot, we were so sweaty, our hands hurt from the rope, and we were exhausted. But, it was so amazing to be serving this woman and to help her in that way. Also, we went to our other area this week. It is way out in the country and then we went to the far end of the area, which is real Mongolian country. It was so cool and so incredibly beautiful with the many rolling hills!

Last note, so we have the coolest branch president ever! He went to BYU Hawaii, so he speaks English, which is so helpful. He also does Spartan races and... waitforit.... fire dances!!! He has a crew and everything and they are even performing in a big concert for 10,000 people on Saturday. So basically he is way cool. Well, he has the cutest pregnant wife and 2 other little kids. We went to their house yesterday for FHE.... and I got to speak English the whole time since the kids don’t know Mongolian. It was so awesome, but surprisingly hard to teach in English, haha. Anyways, it was such a fun night!

Those are the highlights of this week. I have definitely seen the Lord's hand in my life while I've been here, and it has strengthened my testimony immensely. I know God watches after us and helps and protects us. I know that he knows us and loves us perfectly. I promise that if you put your trust in Him, pray to Him, and follow his commandments, he will bless you. Read 2 Nephi 4:20-21.

Riding a camel. :)
We walk across this every day.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The official arrival photo from the mission office.

One Week Down, So Many to Go!

I've officially been in Mongolia longer than a week.  Life as a missionary in Mongolia is definitely hard but so worth it! I love this place and the people! I don't have much time, so I'll have to make it shorter today... and I don’t have my camera on me because we went to the black market this morning, so no pics this week.

So, we constantly get burned by our investigators and less active members (they cancel last minute), which is frustrating: partly because it messes up our plans but mostly because we want these people to learn and feel the Holy Spirit so badly! We have gotten to meet with some awesome families in the ward though, man are they great! The people are so wonderful and while they have nothing they give so much. It is truly humbling. One lady even made me awesome scripture covers... she’s amazing!

Other notes:
They drink this stuff that’s boiled milk, water, and salt. Most of the time I like it, but we did have one that was cooked with bones and it had a straight layer of oil on top of it, that was hard to drink. We have also had some sketchy meat and other things, but I just push through and try and swallow fast... I'm honestly not a fan of the food yet, but I'm trying to like it.

Buses are NUTS! We ride them every day- crowded and loud and it is so hard to keep from falling with the crazy driving! I don't know how these people don’t get in more car crashes! We were in one part of our area at the far end, actually the end of the bus line. At the end of the bus line are a bunch of pubs, and there are always drunk people. Well, one day on our way back to the bus, there was this crazy drunk guy who saw us, yelled "white" in Mongolian, made kissing noises and signals, and started chasing us... yep chasing us! And boy was he fast for a drunk guy. He chased us around that area, and we jumped on the bus. Well, we weren’t thinking and we sat in the back (where we were cornered), he got on after us and was coming at us when the bus driver ran back, kicked him off the bus, and yelled at him. He tried to get back on a few times, but each time the driver saved us (I don't know that bus driver, but thank goodness he protected us). The drunk guy also tried to stand in front of the bus to stop it, but the driver just honked and kept going, haha.

I went on splits on Thursday with a Mongolian sister who lives in our apt. We both started our missions at the same time, but she has a leg up on me with the language and knowing the area, haha. We worked in her area and surprise... I almost got eaten by a dog again- I think dogs just hate me here, everyone else seems to be fine.

Well, that’s all I have time to write. I miss you all and hope all is well! Keep in touch! I am praying for you all!