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, August 3, 2015

So Many Firsts!

This week was full of fantastic things! I went to my first traditional hair cutting, my first time baking in Mongolia, and my first baptism! First of all, remember that sheep head and guts I ate before... well, we went back to that family this week, and they were kind enough to cook up the rest of the sheep - legs, ribs, more guts, and who knows what. So yep, I have officially eaten all parts of a sheep. Also, I made cookies and brownies this week for FHE we taught in families' first attempt at baking in Mongolia. It was difficult without measuring tools, or normal ingredients, but I guessed and prayed.... and they came out THE BEST I have ever made! So beautiful and delicious!!! The members loved them!
A couple random notes: our sink broke this week, but our kind and loving senior elder came and fixed it. Then the following day, our toilet broke - it has not been fixed and has been pretty annoying, oh well. Also, EVERYONE here thinks I look like Adele the singer... I don’t see it. But, many of them have started calling me their Adele, haha. 

We did some service with our Elders in our branch. We spent a few hours shoveling rocky dirt for the base of where they will build a gir. That was actually pretty fun, and if we're lucky, we will get to help with the gir building! I also got to take part in an awesome experience this week! In Mongolia, they grow out their children’s’ hair until they are about 3 years old, and then they have a traditional hair cutting ceremony. First, we had a feast complete with all the Mongolian necessities (aryylth, steamed bread, fat soup). Then each person takes a turn cutting the girl’s hair. First I drank from a bowl of milk, then the little girl drinks from the bowl and they hand me the scissors that are tied to the blue scarf. I cut a piece of hair and as I do, I say wishes for the child's life. I put the hair in a pocket of the scarf, give the girl money, and everyone repeats. It was such a cool cultural experience to be a part of!
And last but not least, I had my first baptism this week!!!! Our investigator Ooray (not sure of English spelling), got baptized on Friday!!! It was so amazing! First of all, we were supposed to teach a lesson earlier that day, but no one would meet-- then we went to turn on the water in the font and saw why God didn’t want us to meet with anyone. We would need to clean it; all different sizes and types of bugs crawling and dead in the font, cob webs, dirt, and so much more. We spent a couple hours cleaning the font to prepare it for the baptism.
Ooray is a young mother with a cute little boy. Her husband had to go to UB, so couldn’t come, which was kind of sad, but it was still a great service. We had maybe 30 or 40 people show up, and so many investigators came to, which is AMAZING! The man that baptized her got the words wrong 5 times, and then couldn’t hold her well, so she kind of fell into the water and kind went for a swim, haha. But, all in all it was great and she loved it. After we asked her how it was, and she said awesome and that she felt so cool, and was so happy! Her testimony she bore after was so amazing! Wow, it was awesome and I love her so much!!! I feel so much joy to see her progressing in this way, and her next goal is the temple.

We were asked out this week! A guy stopped his car, walk over to us and asked us on a date that night with him and his friends- we then had to explain we are missionaries, haha that was entertaining. Poor guy :(  I love you all and I love Mongolia and I love this Gospel. I have seen so many blessings poured out as a result of my mission, and I pray that you may all see God's blessings in your life.

1. What is the latest news you've heard that is going on in the USA? (not from emails but just from life)  The supreme court legalized gay marriage in every state, something about how the west coast will collapse into the sea.
2. Does your companion speak English with you at all? Yes, she is trying to learn English
 so she tries to speak English to me and I speak Mongolian to her and we help each other. She also helps translate for me when I really don’t understand people. 
3. Have you seen anyone get married or bless a baby there yet? Married-no. I saw 2 baby blessings in my last area.

4. Even though you love Mongolia, what do you miss from back home? Normal food, people who speak English, warm showers. 
5. What advice would you give to an incoming Mongolian missionary? Nothing is how I imagined in any way. Be patient with yourself and the language and this culture in general. The work is hard, but the Lord loves you and wants to help you. The language will be awesome at first in the MTC, because you learn so much so quickly, but then it gets harder and more frustrating because you learn little by little and it’s hard to see the progress, but just rely on your testimony and the Lord. The people are patient with you as well and they see how important this gospel is by how hard you try. Also, you will learn how to eat things you really don’t like, haha. They talk about the gift of tongues... the gift of a steel stomach is real. Just know you won’t be eating a salad any time soon, haha
One of my favorite young friends!

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