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, November 30, 2015

Miracles are Real!

This week was great! So many miracles! We finally met with that taxi driver I had mentioned a little while ago... and his friend...twice! They are amazing! Mundag shuu! They really are great and I think they could definitely be great priesthood leaders here, if everything goes well! 

On Thursday  we were doing our big plan at the church, when a random 20 year old boy came in and started talking to us. He grew up without a family, but worked hard and found that he was blessed with musical talent. He sings, dances, and is a rock star on the piano! Everything was going well in his life, and when he graduated from high school he got a job as a waiter. But one time he got in a fist fight with a guy who came to his restaurant and he got sent to jail. He has been in jail for 2 years, but just recently the president of Mongolia released about 2,000 prisoners from jails around Mongolia, he was one of them. We talked for a long time, and he has huge regret for what happened and he truly wants to change his life. He seems to be looking for just this in his life. He comes to all the English classes as he knows it will help him better his situation. We also had the opportunity for his first lesson to have our branch president and the mission presidents' first counselor sit in on the lesson. The spirit in that lesson was the strongest I have felt it in a lesson before. When I taught about families and prayer, I didn't think about what I was trying to teach him... It just flowed. As I talked I knew it was coming from God. I wasn't having trouble speaking and he understood everything I was saying. He even began to cry as I taught him. It was probably the most amazing lesson I have taught on my mission so far!! Oh, and he brings us chocolate bars when he meets with us... God knows we love chocolate so he sent us this investigator, haha. Anyways, he is so amazing and so prepared! (Oh, and mom, no worries about him being in jail or whatever, we will always meet him with a priesthood holder as well)

Two teenage girls I have been teaching since July  are almost ready for baptism I think! Their phones have been off for a couple weeks, and when we checked their addresses no one was home and they weren't coming to church but I finally got a hold of them! We are going to try and meet every day this week and we are planning on them getting baptized next week! We also have 3 others set for baptism on the 11th. I'm praying everything goes well and nothing falls through. They are all so prepared and ready for this gospel. 

We have been checking addresses of less active priesthood holders, with very little success, but we found two this week who want to meet and contacted lots and lots of new people as well! We also have been working a lot with members... and we saw the results this week.  At church, we usually have 40 or 50 people come to each branch, but this week in one branch we had 67 people … and drum roll...... in the other 94!!!!!!! What!?! Yep, that happened! We doubled sacrament meeting numbers in one week - diligence pays off. It was amazing and there were so many new people there. We are making tons of goals to keep it going and make these branches grow into wards so that this district can become a stake. And if it becomes a stake... and if in UB they form 2 more stakes... Mongolia can get a temple!!!

I also learned how to make traditional soiban this week- and it was good!!! I can now make mantuu and soiban and soup and lots of other stuff... woohoo! For thanksgiving we ran out to a mini market of sorts and bought ramen, coke, candy, cookies, pringles, and pickles which we ate at 10pm, haha. It was fun though :)


1. How are you handling the cold and is there much snow?
The cold is awful some days and bearable others- I bundle up (multiple layers of tights, scarf, jacket, hat, mittens) so it's doable. The snow mostly just gets packed down into ice, so we slide around trying not to fall. I have only fallen one time so far :)

2. Do you try to teach about Christmas much?
No, not really. People don't know much about it here, except that the church has a special program around Christmas.

3. Any new foods? What is the weirdest thing you've eaten recently?
Nothing new I think... nothing too weird I think... I don’t know. I'm finally getting used to this food and starting to like it!!! What has happened to my taste buds???

4. What do you miss from back home?
I miss salad... a lot.... and Christmas trees and lights and family and friends :)

That's about all this week. I love you all. I love this work! The church is true and this truly is God's work. I see miracles in people's lives each day that strengthen my knowledge that everything missionaries teach is true! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

White Christmas

It is seriously getting cold here!!! I don’t know how I will survive the winter... yikes!!!

Monday the zone came to Erdenet for zone training, so we had 8 sisters staying in our apt, which was awesome! (6 Mongolian sisters, me, and another American) Monday we got some sad news... Sister Royal, (the other American sister in the countryside) would be leaving her mission a month early because a new Elder needs her visa. She, like me, is lucky enough to have a church visa, and this other elder is having visa trouble, and needs to take hers :( So she will leave tomorrow :( It's sad to see her go, but it's good that our mission has the ability to get the other elder this visa. So, on Monday we ate goat head together, talked about mission favs and cool experiences, and made a music video to Glorious, haha- that was awesome!!!

Tuesday was the zone conference, and we learned all about love and charity and how to better love our comps and investigators. It was a really great training and we all set goals to better love and serve those we are serving with.

So, I was seriously missing Christmas this week... so i opened my Christmas package... sorry- I couldn't wait!! Thanks to everyone who wrote me letters! It was so incredibly great to hear from all of you guys! And then.. I found Christmas in Erdenet- there was a tree of sorts outside a chain store here!!! woohooo! 

Also, on Saturday, we did service for a family in the ward. They had tons of wood and needed it all cut, stacked, and stored for the winter ahead. So the elders did the chopping and my comp and I did all the stacking -- an entire shed!!! It was freezing, we were exhausted, but we did it--- and while wearing skirts (we didn’t plan for it, it just happened)!! The family kept asking me if I had done this before, to which I said yes! Thank you to papa for teaching me how at the lake!! Then my comp was reallly cute and said:

Comp: "I'm grateful you are my comp"
Me: "why?"
Comp: " Because you are Mongolian and can do everything a Mongolian can do"

It was so sincere and adorable! Sometimes, I think it's hard for the Mongolian missionaries to be with us because we struggle with the food and language and whatnot. But, in that moment, she was so grateful because I CAN STACK WOOD!! haha It was a great moment!
Also a funny language moment from this week: A new investigator asked me what I thought meant: "How well do you understand everything we say?" so I replied, "I understand everything fairly well."
He repeats his question, "Where are you from?" .... Wooops.... Guess I don't understand everything fairly well, and then we all laughed for a while :) So, I'm not perfect at this language, and I still have lots of moments like that, haha.

That's about all for this week! I love you all! I miss ya! I love this work and it is really progressing here in Erdenet! This place is so special and I truly see miracles in people's lives each day!
Making mantuu

Monday, November 16, 2015

It Almost Killed Us!!

Elders arrive to take us to meet the mission president.
So, this week was crazy! Monday night, the mission president, his counselors and the AP’S came into town without notice, we then threw out plans we had and went on all kinds of splits and visited others instead. I went on a split with Bayarjav Ax- the president’s 2nd counselor and his wife. We visited a way less-active, super offended, young couple, and had an amazing lesson... but that couple refuses to forgive and move on. The husband especially was touched by things I said, and I think, given time, they will come back. Then we visited another family and the experience was awesome! Working with him and his wife gave me a whole new outlook on teaching... they truly recognize needs and teach to needs- and they relate their own experiences so well!

Teaching a member family
This week, in order to visit all of our investigators we did quite e few splits, and one day we did an entire day split with members. I was comps with a “preemie” (she’s working on her mission papers). She has a huge desire, but doesn't quite know how to teach everything she wants to say, so I taught everything and it went amazing! I didn't have any language problems!!! What?!?! Yep, that happened. All the people we visited understood me well and were touched by what I said! I was able to teach the lessons without fear and I felt a strength. I truly felt God strengthening me as I taught. It felt like the many missionary stories in the Book of Mormon. They always say that they were able to do what they did because God strengthened them. Well it's real, and God does it for all His missionaries!

On another note, yesterday we went to pick up the blind lady again and her children had untied their dog. So when we arrived. he came running at the fence (seriously the scariest dog I've ever seen!!!) and THEN when the blind lady came out, the dog came running too. My comp and I were sprinting through the snow praying the dog wouldn't kill us. I got around the corner and out of sight of the dog and waited and prayed. My comp had opened a random unlocked gate and jumped into someone's yard and then closed it a moment before the dog got to her. IT ALMOST KILLED US!!! We called the lady and asked her to take the dog back (which took a long time because she couldn’t find the dog or her house)... so we waited and froze in the snow. Eventually she did it, and we got her and left. Boy was that a scary experience!!! But I lived to tell the tale!

Additional info: I have asked Emily to take a photo of the dogs but she never has and even replied that she can't because she's too busy running away! Here are two photos of common breeds in Mongolia (Bankhar & Tibetan Mastiff), I don't know if these are the same as the dog in Emily's story but it is quite possible.

Me and my companion

Yup, winter is here!

Layers, layers, layers!

Beautiful Mongolian people! (Gers are hot inside)

Having fun with the elders

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Transfer Week Came .. Where Did I Go?

So I know you are all waiting for the big news on the transfers, so here's the low down....

Transfers was Thursday, so Wednesday, we were given the big transfer news... which had been prefaced by jokes by our ZL'S and DL's on the few days before... so annoying! Transfers is not something to joke about!! Seriously!

So, the greenies came and the transfer was BIG! Lots of people got transfered and far too! My comp (Sister Solongo) got transferred to a branch in UB and she is training on of the new American missionaries! Quick shout out to my MTC comp, Sister Westover who became a mother this week!!! yep, she's training a newbie... she rocks!!! Mundag shuu!

As for me... I'm STILL IN ERDENET!!! woohoo! I'm so lucky!! AND I still get to work in both branches, so I don't lose any of my investigators! Seriously lucky! And my new comp is Sister Bolor-Erdene. She is from the real countryside in Mongolia, but was in UB the last few years for school and work (she is a teacher). She is 23 yrs old and also from my GROUP (we will get to be together for our half-way mark at Christmas). Also, do you remember my 2nd mission "mom" Naranzulth. Well she was Bolor-Erdene's trainer as well, so that makes us step sisters in the mission (Naranzulth was my 2nd mom "step-mom").She was trained in Erdenet, and when I came here, I took her spot and now she is back! It's awesome because I don't have to teach her the area, she knows lots of old investigators who she has already contacted and we will begin meeting with again... so our teaching pool has grown even more!!! I love her so much! She is really awesome and we get along great! We are going to do great work together- I can already tell. We both looove this area and these people and it's going to show for sure :)

Oh, and Erdenet has 6 missionaries now! 4 elders and us. One companionship of elders works in Erdenet 1 branch (both American), and one works in Bulgan and Erdenet 2... but we work in both!!

So because of transfers, Wednesday night we didn't sleep much as my comp packed and prepped to leave. Then Wednesday, we rushed like mad women to get tickets for the 10 o'clock bus to UB, went to seminary to say goodbye to the youth, got her glasses at a member's house where she left them, finished packing, and left. We got into UB around 4, then sat in a taxi until 5ish when we got to the mission home. We met a couple of the newbies (they are so scared... was I like that?), I did some errands really fast (got things we can't get in the countryside), then at 6 left with my STL's, one of their new comps (a mini missionary) and the new Erdenet Elders for the overnight train back. My comp was serving in Darhan, so at about midnight the train got into Darhan, dropped off the sisters and picked up my comp, then we all continued onward to Erdenet. And we got back Friday, cleaned, unpacked, planned, and met people! Woohoo! Lots and lots of traveling in very little time!

Also, news on our work here in Erdenet!!!
1) A very cute couple who Bolor-Erdene taught when she was here, and who I have been teaching ever since will finally be able to get their marriage certificate today!!! Which means, if all goes well, that they will do their interview this week and get baptized next week!!! They are so ready... they have a rock solid testimony and will be amazing leaders here!
2) An investigator who Bolor-Erdene taught all the lessons to and even did and passed his interview, but then went to the countryside is BACK! We are meeting him today and he too should be able to get baptized soon! 
3) Another golden investigator is almost done with all her lessons, and if everything goes well will be baptized with the couple next week!

WE HAVE TONS OF OTHER INVESTIGATORS AND FAMILY WHO ARE PROGRESSING AMAZINGLY!!! The work in Erdenet is definitely hastening and I'm so glad to be a part of it! My previous comp and I did a lot of finding and teaching and now, with this comp, we get to do the reaping (well, the Lord does the reaping, we are merely his tools to do so).

On a different note, I think last week, I told you guys about the blind ALA lady here, right? Well, yesterday we left 2 hours early to pick her up and take her to church and then brought her home after. She was so incredibly thankful and kept talking about how God was using us to answer her prayers and bless her life. This experience truly felt like what the scriptures talk about when they say we should leave the 99 to find the 1. This is missionary work. This is what the Lord desires, that all his lost sheep may be found and brought back to the herd. It was an amazing experience, and we will be doing this weekly now, so that she can come to church :) I love her and I love this work!!!

Let me know if you have any questions! I would love to hear from all of you! Miss ya! Praying for you all! 

ADDITIONAL INFO (an email 'conversation'):

Mom: Do you think more missionaries in UB get to become trainers because there are more people that have to stay in UB because of their visa/English teaching requirements?

Emily: Yes, lots of people in UB become trainers because almost all American missionaries teach at schools so they have to be trained in UB (there are only 8 church visas - teaching English classes for free at the church like I do). It's possible that I could train a Mongolian because they can go anywhere. My visa is a blessing because the mission president has full freedom of where he can send me... no restrictions!

Mom: How many missionaries are in the mission total?

Emily: There are only Americans and Mongolians in this mission (Americans of different ethnicity, but Americans). Right now I think there are just under 60 American missionaries here. The other visas are all schools or organizations- universities elementary, high school, some private schools, some organizations, etc.

Mom: Did you get a new older couple?

Emily: No new senior couple but a new mission doctor and his wife arrived this week, woohoo!

Mom: What?

Emily: Yep, there are two missions in the world with a doctor and ours is one. Something about the food and conditions here means we have to have a doctor. Missionaries are constantly sick here, so there is a real need. In fact we had another elder leave 3 weeks ago because he was sick :(

Mom: What kind of sickness?

Emily: A lot of it is digestion stuff. The food and what not here is sketch... we have to bleach veggies and filter water and take vitamins and use special sanitizer and so on.

Mom: You're just telling me this now!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????

Emily: I think I told you before... most missionaries get diarrhea at least for a while and some people get way worse. I’m fine so don’t worry about me at all! 

Monday, November 2, 2015


This week was AWESOME!!
Monday my comp and I decided to get soiban (traditional yummy dish here) from a place here in town and it was the best soiban I've had on my mission and the best meat I've had in Mongolia! I’m not sure what kind of meat it is, haha!

Tuesday we visited a blind ALA (less active) lady - she is amazing! She is absolutely adorable! She has super long hair (to her knees) because she believes it's God's special creation and shouldn't be harmed. She was baptized 5 yrs ago, but hasn't been to church in 2 yrs because she lives with two of her children who hate our church and anytime she attempts to go, they threaten to burn her scriptures, so she doesn't go. She told us that she has been praying for those 2 yrs that she would be able to come and be able to pay her tithing. She is so amazing! We are going to start picking her up and taking her home from church so that she can go. She is amazing and her spirit and testimony are so strong! I love her! Also Tuesday we played minute to win it games and Uno at mutual and the youth were awesome!!! So fun!

Friday our investigators got baptized!! Tuyatsetseg has been an investigator over a year, her husband is an RM (return missionary). Her daughter got baptized one year ago and now they are all members. Her husband baptized her and it was such an amazing experience!

Batbayar is our golden investigator. He was so prepared and received all the lessons and got baptized in about a month! We taught him most of the lessons then gave him to the elders because we ran out of time. The day he was baptized, he shared the most amazing testimony about a burden being lifted from him that day! He wants to leave on his mission in one year and then study at BYU Hawaii. Such an awesome kid!

Saturday and Sunday we with 60 of the Erdenet members to Darhan for a District Conference. The mission president and a Member of the 70 (high up church leader) came and gave great talks. We had about 15 investigators come and they all had awesome experiences! The sisters in Darhan look like our twins, so all weekend long people were asking if we are related, haha.

This week is the big transfer, so we will see, maybe next week’s email will come from somewhere else, but I hope not. I can go anywhere. erdenet, darhan, hovd, troibolsan, murin, zone haraa, selenge, baganore, or UB... I think that's all the areas. We pay for transportation from funds they give us then we get refunded by the office later.

1. What kind of animals do you see all the time? I see beautiful horses, sheep, cows (they wonder everywhere even in town), dogs(most of which are way scary), cats (also evil here), goats, and sometimes yaks.
2. Are baptisms the same in Mongolia? Baptisms are the same, same program, and missionaries plan it all and bring the refreshments.
3. Do Mongolians know about Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas?  They know about them, teenagers celebrate Halloween, no one celebrates Thanksgiving, and only church members kinda celebrate Christmas.
4. How cold is it now? Are you dying? It flips between absolutely freezing and normal fall temps.
Frozen tundra
The awesome youth