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.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

My Transition into RM Life

*Disclaimer: I know there is a lot more to the transition between full time missionary work, and post-mission life, but this is just a small portion I thought I’d address :)

Part 1 The Jet Lag

getting off that plane is the BEST moment

It’s expected coming home from the complete opposite side of the world that there would be an affect, especially when the entire way home you could not sleep!!! I knew I was so close to seeing my family, yet furthering from the land I had come to love so much, and all the while surrounded by people who I couldn’t speak their language with anymore (ex: Koreans instead of Mongolians), and annoying little boys in the seat next to me, so I did NOT sleep at all the whole 3 flights home. But, good for me, the secret to kicking jet lag’s butt is to stay awake until the new bedtime you would like to have. Then, FORCE yourself to get up at a decent time the next morning like 7 or 8 or 9 and then make yourself active and busy because you will be exhausted in every way possible!! Keep this routine for a few days and you will be set.

Part 2 Getting Released
I had a weird situation getting home. I got home on a Thursday night, went all day Friday as a missionary still with my mom as my comp, and Saturday morning was finally released. But getting released is kinda strange. You are excited to begin RM life, sad to be ending mission life, scared to death of what comes next, feelin loved and proud as your stake president and family say nice things to you, and lots of other feelings. As my stake president interviewed me about my mission, he told me how proud he was, and read a letter from my mission president about me and my service and also gave me a blessing as I began my new chapter. I felt an overwhelming confirmation that the Lord accepted my service and that I had done a wonderful work in Mongolia. I was touched deeply as I thought back on all the people I had met and taught and helped. He then had me bare my testimony in English and Mongolian, and boy was the spirit thick in the room. I felt all my emotions about my mission hit me at once and I truly realized what a huge impact this mission had made on me. I knew this was God’s plan for me, and I was so incredibly grateful. And then the big moment hit… He asked me to take off my name tag and told me I was officially released from being a full time missionary, and I left with my family to begin that supa scary RM life…

Part 3 The Ward
the homecoming talk...

You go through this strange period of fame in your ward. Everyone knows who you are, misses you, wants to talk to you and drill you about your mission. You give your homecoming talk and they all stare at you with huge eyes and smiles on their faces. Everyone suddenly feels the need to hug you which is super hard to adjust to- every old and young man alike want to hug you, and well you’ll freak out on the inside as you haven’t even touched a man in the last 18 months let alone hugged one… AHHHH! You are re-introduced in every class. Suddenly you are booked for primary sharing time, achievement girl’s day activity, young men and young women’s mutual, reporting to the high council, and FHE’s. It’s kinda hilarious, mostly awkward as you are some star...
and you may feel like this...

...or this...

… but it goes away. In about a month some other missionary gets home and becomes the star or they just kinda forget, but they will eventually leave you alone, haha. In the meantime soak it in and take the opportunity to tell EVERYONE EVERYTHING about your mission, cuz pretty soon they’ll think you’re annoying if you share another mission story.

Part 4 Alone for the FIRST TIME
ITS WEIRD. Straight up weird. You haven’t been alone for 18 months and now all of a sudden you have all kinds of freedom and people are letting you go places by yourself. I found myself looking around wondering where my comp was, and remembering I don’t have one anymore. I also found myself wanting to be around my family 24/7 because I felt like I had to be with someone. Oh, and following my mom or sister closely around the store as they shop, and then realizing it’s okay to be alone… But, it’s also quite refreshing to go shopping or for a drive or whatever by YOURSELF. No matter how awkward it may feel, you will enjoy it. #feelinlikearebel And the feeling will go away.

Part 5 Clothing
The first moment you take off that skirt and put on that magical pair of jeans or leggings is wonderful indeed...
I personally, ran out into the living room where my family was, started telling them excitedly “look, I have legs, I have legs….” As I kept touching my legs…. Truly a strange moment it was. And from every moment on, leggings and pants mean so much more to you. You feel as though you will never be parted from them again. Now, to prepare you, the closet. I remember opening my closet, which my mom had hung up all my clothing in before I got home, and I was in shock. I mean I had been wearing the same few skirts and dresses the last 18 months with an occasional lend from a comp… I felt completely overwhelmed as I stared at the shear amount of clothing I owned and then proceeded to try on every single piece, and give more than half of it away. You will go between emotions of hate for yourself for having so much unneeded stuff and pure joy because it’s like your own personal mall. Also, there may be one habit that will be difficult for you to break- the name tag. You will find yourself reaching for the name tag to put it on, but then go through a moment of disappointment as you realize that phase of your life is over and you won’t be putting it back on… sad. But, put it somewhere you can see it and be reminded of the 18 months you proudly wore it as a servant of God.

Part 6 Culture Shock
This will be different for everyone depending on where you served but let me give you a little taste as to how it was. This is how it was for me:
-white people everywhere…..where’s the diversity?
-why aren’t the cars honking? It’s so quiet…
-it smells weird (although I’m sure I was the funny smelling one)
-DOG!!! Pick up a rock!!!! Oh, wait dogs are friendly here.
as one of my mission comps
shows oh so well.... a washer
is something you should
 NEVER take for granted!
-going for a cup of water from the sink, reaching to pull the trigger for the filter, and confused when there isn’t one, then asking yourself if it’s safe to drink… IT IS…. Weird
-the shower… you are prepared for the cold water that you usually endure for the first 50% of your shower, only to realize that its already warm…. What?
-carpet….. my feet aren’t dirty or cold? What in the world?
-washers and dryers----- the oh so real confusion when you can’t remember how they work… and the awe as they come out so warm!!
-salad…. Without mayo, what?
-walmart…. I’ll just leave it at that
-realizing I don’t need to look down when I walk to keep from tripping over rocks or something
-driving- which pedal do I use again? How do I signal, or drive or …. Why is there no traffic?
-money-it’s all the same size and color? How do I tell the difference?
…the list never ends. Culture shock is a real thing, but it goes away.

Part 7 Communication
trying to speak English post-mission
video chatting with old comps
 is the best way to keep those
language skills up, and oh so fun!
You have spent the entire last 18 months speaking an entirely different language. It’s normal to struggle to speak English again. You may, as I did, find yourself stumbling over words, forgetting the word in English you need but completely knowing what it is in Mongolian, seeing a foreigner and automatically start speaking Mongolian only to realize they are Korean or Japanese or American or Spanish or….., awkwardly whispering Mongolian words at the end of a sentence because no one else would understand (“yum chin”, “yum shig”, “shuu”, ….), speaking Mongolian out loud on walks by yourself because you just miss speaking it, and all around missing Mongolian. You might not even feel like talking because you feel like you can’t express yourself the way you’d like. But there is a way to deal with this: message mission people on Facebook, listen to Mongolian music, pray in Mongolian, read your scriptures in Mongolian, etc. (or in whatever language you learned of course)

Part 8 Social Media
Getting back on social media and using technology is going to be weird, exciting, sad, frustrating…. You will have forgotten how to use some things, may not know how to use others as those updates came out while you were gone, will be so happy to get in touch with old friends and add all those new mission buddies, you will be so confused as you notice people with last names you don’t know and then realize it was a friend who got married without telling you while you were gone (thanks guys, not feelin forgotten at all), blown away by all the friends who apparently have CHILDREN now, what?!!!!, and so on. It will be weird. So put some restrictions on yourself. Don’t be an Instagram or Facebook stalker, don’t be a NETFLIX binger, etc. Just use it to catch up and whatnot. Don’t become an ADDICT.

Part 9 Calling
I made a list of goals coming off my mission and one of my goals was to get a calling immediately. Throughout my mission, I learned that what every new member or less active needs is the word of god, a friend, and an opportunity to serve (aka a calling). And I’ve heard the statistics that 1 in every 3 RM’s go less active and frankly, that was not going to be me. So, my first Sunday back, I walked up to my Bishop, and asked, “Can I have a calling?” He was a bit caught off guard and told me he would need to pray about it and let me know. And my 3rd Sunday back, I was called as a ward missionary. It’s definitely helped a ton!!!! Callings add to our purpose and busyness factor, and it’s just plain nice to still be serving. You will have huge yearnings to be back out teaching and preaching again, so having and magnifying a calling will help fulfill that need. So, go get that calling!!!! Not to mention the fact that as an RM, you now have very well honed skills available to share and bless the lives of those in your new ward, so go serve!

Part 10 Work and School
The leadership of this church has strongly urged RM’s to get busy after their mission. Whether that be school or work, get to it. It will seem extremely overwhelming, but it is for your good. Like I said earlier, I got home late on Thursday night, and Friday morning, very jet lagged, confused as heck, and super awkward, I went to a job interview (with my mom in the room as I had not been released and she was my companion and a name tag on my chest). Well, let me just say it was the WORST job interview I had ever given, but the Lord blesses his servants, and well, I got the job! #missionblessings And about 1 week later, I started working. I have been working full time since and it truly has helped me. It’s kept me busy, given me a purpose, allowed me to save for school, and forced me to transition socially as well! So do it. Go get that job or head straight back to school!

Part 11 Social Life and Dating
Guess I haven’t quite transitioned this phase yet. Hehe. I am still working in my hometown where there just aren’t people my age to hang out with. And absolutely no one to date either. I did try going to a couple YSA FHE’s (where there were usually less than 10 people), and even a Regional YSA event a couple hours south, but not super major social stuff or dating at all, so I guess I’ll let you know when I get there on this one, or leave this one to you to figure out. Amjilt! J

Part 12 Personal Study and Prayers
I have found this to be the most important part because you were doing it all for 18 months! Personal study for an hour a day, comp study, language study, prayers constantly, teaching the gospel constantly, and reading the scriptures in the extra time… now, I have other things occupying my time. My calling, my family, college prep stuff, my full time job, etc. I have had to find a time that works each day to read my scriptures. Some weeks it was during my lunch break, some weeks before I got to sleep, some weeks in the morning when I wake up, and well, it doesn’t matter when you are doing it during the day, but the point is you need to be doing this. You need to read the Book of Mormon every day and pray as much as possible. I admit I am not perfect and some days it is a struggle, but I have found that as I make the time, my day turns around and I am 100% happier and more at peace. Keep close to the Lord by doing these two simple things and you will be blessed, your testimony will strengthen and you will not be shaken. I can promise that.

Part 13 Missin your Mission
This is by far the hardest part, I’ve found. You’ve spent the last 18 months giving your all to a people in a far off land, and by doing so witnessed miracles. Miracles in others as well as yourself. You grew and changed and developed and became a whole new person. Through serving the Lord, you became converted. You fell in love with the people, the country, the culture, and the language where you served so diligently. This is expected, and just know you will miss them. You will miss absolutely everything about your mission and think about it a lot. You’ll find yourself wishing you were still there or being a little jealous of the missionaries who haven’t finished yet. It’s totally okay to feel this way. But don’t let it consume you. You shouldn’t feel depressed because you finished. This is a happy thing. Instead channel these emotions into other things. For example, continue to study the language or write letters to your converts or others you taught to encourage them. Find a way and do it. Miss your mission, but don’t ever feel regret or sadness or guilt. You did well, you served the Lord and his people, and you’re not done serving. The Lord still has a work for you to do, but now it’s where you are working or studying. It might be your neighbor, or classmate, or coworker, but someone needs you now. Continue to be the amazing missionary you are, even without the name tag.

Monday, August 22, 2016

I'm Leaving... on a Jet Plane...3 Days and I'll be Home Again

Well, this is it. My final email. It finally hit me yesterday that this is real as I sat in my last sacrament meeting in Mongolian. At the end of the meeting, I was asked to bare my testimony and as I did, I was filled with overwhelming love for this work, these people, and this amazing country. Looking out at so many people I had come to love so much and thinking of the others really hit me. I am so lucky. I've been so incredibly lucky to serve a mission, be called to Mongolia, serve among these people, and learn from them. This experience has changed me in ways I can't even begin to explain. I love Mongolia with all of my heart. I love the Lord and the gospel with all my heart and I know this is the best choice I ever could have made. 

For today's email I thought I would include a couple lists I made this week:

Top 5 things I've learned from my mission:
1) The Book of Mormon is true!
2) How to listen to people, recognize and respond to the spirit, and then to help!
3) The importance of member missionary work!
4) Christ's atonement truly heals each and every one of us in any way needed!
5) How to love everyone!!!

Top 10 things I won't miss
1. The pollution
2. The traffic
3. The freezing cole winter
4. Drunk men hitting on me, the poor foreigner
5. People speaking to me in Russian (do I really look Russian?)
6. Constant stomach sickness
7. Buuz
8. Jam packed buses
9. Aruul
10. Evil dogs

Top 10 things I will miss
1. The people
2. The sky
3. The peaceful, beautiful countryside
4. Being a missionary
5. Speaking Mongolian all the time
6. Really funny taxi drivers
7. My English students
8. Super cute emmes (grammas)
9. Tsuivan and fifty-fifty ice cream
10. Kind delguur/zah/building ladies

Well, I guess thats about it. I love this place and I dont want to leave, but soon I will. I will miss all those I met. Family, see you soon!

Hairtai shuu!!!!

2 hr drive to see this magnificent statue
of Chengis Khan

The sweet family that drove us on this day trip.

My district

Authentic Mongolian hats ... too $$ for me. :)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Its the Final Countdown...da da da daaaaa da da da da da

Well, it's official, I'm old (mission time wise). I had my last zone training this week and I was asked to share my testimony because I am leaving, and well that was weird. How do you sum up your entire mission into a few sentences.... difficult to do. Also, every member, investigator, missionary, etc keep telling me how long I have left, like "did you know you only have.... days left?" um, yes I am aware, haha. And our mission got a new senior couple this week, and we saw them out on the street and said hi, they asked me how long I've been here, I told them and they said, "Oh, wow, guess we don't need to learn your name then.".... thanks, feelin the love, haha

But, besides the fact that I will see y'all next week, God is definitely keeping me busy! We had been struggling to find people to meet with, but something happened yesterday at church, and all of a sudden we have an absolutely full week!!!! We don't have enough time to meet with everyone we would like to meet... I think this is a tender mercy from God to keep me focused and dedicated to the end... THANK YOU ! 

As an update on people we are meeting:
-Tseegii is finally meeting with us again (the lady we teach in English) and she is doing fantastic! We talked about the importance of sitting all 3 hours in church, and yesterday she did it! We were so proud of her! She also is sharing the gospel with her cousin, who we were able to teach a lesson to and pass to another area's missionaries. And, overall, she's rocking it!!! Oh, and random fact- her daughter is a gymnast and contortionist, and this last week she took part in a Guinness world record: 420 contortionists performed in the square here in UB... check it out on Youtube, way cool!
-Maria, is a member now, and we met with her to begin teaching her new member lessons and she is doing great! She said she feels the spirit so strongly now, and even more so when she repents and prays, etc. She is so incredibly happy! I love her!
-Lhagvadulam- a 10 yr old girl we teach is also doing fantastic! We gave her a children's Book of Mormon and when we showed up to her ger this week for a lesson, she was laying on the bed with her youngest brother, reading the Book of Mormon. She loves it and reads it and the pamphlets we give her all the time! She also prays constantly and she is repenting as well! She said that she is trying to be a better sister and daughter by saying sorry and trying to help her mom and not make her siblings angry... so cute!
-We also visit a member regularly who is very lonely. She is a super cute old gramma, and this week we were doing some service for her, when she said that one of her friends from college 40 yrs ago is interested in the gospel. So, the next day, we went over and met with the 2 grammas and it was sooooo adorable!! 

I know that truly everyone can share the gospel! Tseegii is with her cousin, Maria is with her mother and sister, lhagvadulam is with her neighbors (all the neighborhood kids come sit in our lessons now), and this old lady with her college friend. I was reading in Moroni 10:31 yesterday and it invites each member to strengthen and enlarge Zions stakes! We should all be working to build up, strengthen, and grow our home wards and by sharing the gospel. So do it! There is someone you know who can here this gospel and someone who is just waiting for you to share it with them. Don't be scared!

A rainy day in the mission.

The best hot chocolate I've ever had!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Friends Visiting Me

It is so hooooooooooooooot here!!! On Wednesday it hit 104 degrees and bad luck on our part, we got burned by multiple people that day so we walked around most of the day... resulting in burns for me and my comp and I got heat stroke :( That was rough, but with the help of hydration packets and salt water... getting over it :( Moral of the story.... stay inside when its hot - unless you are on the Lord's errand, in which case nothing you can do, sorry :)

We had some highlights this week! Shinebayar is headed off to Korea until September (after I am gone) so on Monday we had our last meeting with him- a goodbye meeting. I was not prepared to start saying goodbye to people yet. Now it's real. Anyways, we taught him, and then we all went and got round table pizza together!!! It was fun to be out with them, and I'm definitely going to miss teaching him!  

Maria got BAPTIZED!!! She took the dip on Thursday and she was so incredibly happy!!! Her uncle baptized her and she almost started crying while bearing her testimony because she felt the spirit so strongly! She said she truly knows these things are true and she is so grateful to be a member now. A couple of my member friends from Erdenet and one of my new members came to town to visit and met up with me! It made me so happy!!! I love and missed them so much- such an awesome surprise!!! I was teaching English when they walked in and I got a wee bit distracted, haha.  My comp and I can officially cook, clean, and sew! We were all about that domestic life this week, let's just say I am prepped and ready for post-mish life, haha. Well, that's about it. Talk to you all next week!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

I Love Mongolia!

First off, it is getting soooo hot here!!!! And on top of the heat, we spent a lot of time this week checking less active address, which meant hours wandering around hot and dusty ger districts..... Mongolian addresses are rough. One day we spent a good two hours walking almost our whole area trying to find one house. We did find it but when we knocked, the husband answered and yelled some very very mean things in Mongolian and English at us.... first time that has happened to me on my mission- got a little taste of what it must be like to proselyte and knock doors... my heart goes out to all you missionaries who have to deal with that every day! On the bright side, this girl is getting an awesome foot tan, haha.... but my poor shoes are already starting to fall apart- so sad :( just hoping they will last a few more weeks!

Oh, and one day we had a surprise thunder storm/ hurricane! It was crazy! Out of no where, as I was teaching English it began straight pouring down rain and all the streets were flooded within 10 minutes! The struggle was real trying to get back to our area after class- drenched to the bone!!!

But, besides the rough weather, our work is doing pretty well actually!
1) Maria- we finished her lessons, she did her interview, she passed, and she will be baptized on Thursday!! She is so incredibly happy and she said she can't stop smiling and she is just so happy!!!! 

2) Moogii- Is doing great and meeting with us well. He has a huge desire to be baptized and soon, but he doesn't understand the gospel super well and it is super hard for us to find witnesses to meet with him all the time, so for his sake, we passed him to the elders. We were sad to pass him, but the elders will do great and I think it will be better for Moogii.

3) Munhkbileg- Also doing great! She still is not smoking- such a strong women! All of her lessons are done and this week we went over the baptismal questions with her! She is so incredibly ready for baptism as she understands, believes, follows, and has received confirmations of everything!!! the only roadblock in her way is that her and her boyfriend don't have a marriage certificate. She really wants to follow the law of chastity though and we helped her set a goal of a date she will have everything talked out and decided by.... I really hope she decides to and finds a way to follow this important commandment- I know it will make her all the happier in her life! She says whenever she prays or reads from the book of Mormon she gets so happy that she feels like singing, and I know that if she follows this commandment, she will feel all the happier!!!

4) Shinebayar- met with us four times in one week- has a huge desire and understands everything so incredibly well, I feel like he is teaching us the lessons!!! We are struggling to get him to ask for himself through prayer though if these things are true, but he said he is scared that he won't get an answer, but we spent a long time talking about that and he is going to do it!!!!

5) While we were checking LA addresses, we ran into a member who has been a member for 19 years, and brings all of her 4 young children to church every week, and well it turns out that her 10 yr old daughter hasn't been baptized, so we are teaching her the lessons now so she can quickly be baptized. That young girl is awesome though because she already knows everything, she understands the scriptures well, she loves the church, she really wants to be baptized, and she loves god and Christ!!!! God truly blessed us with this young investigator :)

Everything we did this week-teaching awesome lessons, walking around the ger districts, meeting with members, etc seemed to really hit home to me a couple things; I love this work and I love serving the people of Mongolia, I love this country so much and it truly is my second home, and this mission has changed my life! 

The air is good except when smoke from Siberia forest fires blows in.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Burned, Burned, Burned

So this week has been a bit frustrating as EVERYONE has been burning us (meaning they set up and confirm appointments with us, but then minutes before, they cancel, or they never tell us and we show up and no ones home....ugh).... and Ulaanbaatar has been covered in thick smoke from a forest fire somewhere. Someone told us it was coming from Siberia... kinda ironic I guess. Even though we got burned 15 times in one week, we were still able to do some good work, and have made good progress with some people. 

Maria is doing AWESOME! We will finish her lessons this week and next week she will get baptized. But the biggest news with her is that she had been praying really hard that when she talks to her boss, that her boss would understand and she could get Sundays off (hard thing in a non Christian culture)... well she didn't make it to church until the 3rd hour, but she showed up extremely happy! She talked to her boss and her boss said she CAN HAVE SUNDAYS OFF!!!! She said she felt amazing and she knows God answered and is blessing her! It was a huge testimony builder for her. She learned about temples this week and she wants to go so bad, but she is even more excited about her baptism coming up and she is invited all her non member family and friends! She's the bomb!

We also taught Shinebayar a couple times and he is doing great! We taught him about the priesthood and Christ and the great apostasy and Joseph smith and he understood it all perfectly!!!! He will definitely be a leader in the church someday! The coolest part came as I was teaching about Joseph smith and I shared the story and kept asking him things like: if you were in Joseph smith's place, what would you do, what would you think/feel, what would you ask God if you could see and talk to Him, and he loved it! He truly was relating himself to Joseph smith on his own and he said he wants to ask and know now as well! He also asks awesome questions like how are prophets chosen, how do people receive the priesthood, who organized all the churches after Christ died, ....etc. We also set a baptismal date with him and he is very excited about it! He always thanks god for helping him become a member of this church when he prays :)

This week, something adorable happened during English. I was helping a 12 yr old who doesn't speak very much English understand, and we were talking about if we could have three wishes what would you wish for, and these were her 3 wishes: 1)to be happy 2)to help people 3)to do well in school
Well, she is just a rockin and humble 12 yr old, and then she said she was interested in the church, we got her info and her and her friend came to church on Sunday and their families will meet with the missionaries this week!!! The service we do here of teaching English truly brings miracles.

Oh, and we are only getting more famous here in Mongolia, everyone keeps telling us they saw us on tv, that our clip is getting all kinds of shares, and there is a meme about us now!!! Crazy! (This was the TV interview).

Moogii is doing great as well! He is reading and understanding super well and we taught him about repentance this week and he understood super well and said he will start repenting! Lots and lots of other stories from this week, but no time to write them all, so I will end with a quote I really like:

"Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can- working, hoping, and exercising faith, bearing hardships with fortitude, even when the desires of our heart are delayed. patience is not simply enduring; its enduring well!!"   -Pres. Uchtdorf

I have one month left on my mission, and I know it is going to fly by, but I love this place and am so grateful to be here. Love you all!

My area.

Trying to keep my shoes dry.

Monday, July 18, 2016

I'm So Happy in Mongolia!

This week has been fantastic, and we have had our best week work wise so far as a companionship!!!! Woohoo! Here are the updates on our people:

-Munhbileg finally QUIT SMOKING!!!! I have been meeting with her since i came to enhktaivan and i have been continually impressed by her progress, but she did it! She finally got over one of her biggest barriers! She has been off of smoking for 1 week now! She has been able to do it with prayer, scripture reading, a priesthood blessing, and most of all faith! She is so close to baptism now :)

-Maria is still golden. We taught her about the Sabbath day this week and the lesson was going great when she started crying. she cried for a few minutes and then explained to us that she knows these things are true and she wants to follow god's commandments so badly, but she just got this job that she will not be able to rest from on Sundays. she can get enough time off to come to church, but not for the whole day. We then talked to her about praying and having faith and talking to her boss, and she will today. It was amazing how faithful she is and how much of a desire she has to follow the commandments! 

-Tseegii is also still doing great! When we met with her this week, she told us that she has been repenting and that she is trying to stop gossiping about her boss... and her nonmember mom and coworkers have noticed and are asking her about it! And, she is following the word of wisdom and trying to teach her 5 yr old daughter to eat veggies, and she's teaching her daughter to pray!!! So cute!

-Moogii met with us this week, and well it went great!!!! He has read a TON in the Book of Mormon and is praying and doing awesome! He told us he really wants to get baptized soon because he will be leaving in auigust to study in either america or china and he really wants to be baptized here first. He explained that he knows these things are true as well, and well, he wants to meet with us 3 times a week now!!! Yay!!!!

-Also, cool moment this week: We were meeting with a new member who hadn't been reading the scriptures, so we decided to read with her for the lesson. So we began where she left off in 3 Nephi. It was all about christ and the law of moses and how he fulfills it, and she was not understanding. so I began to explain, and the words and explantion was just coming... and i was able to explain it super well in Mongolian!!!! And she said it clicked for her and that she loved it!!! It was an amazing moment for me because i realized i know this language and this gospel now, and i can teach it. So, 16 months into the mission and i can finally do this, haha :) The spirit was seriously so strong though!!!

Oh, and we are famous in Mongolia currently, everyone we have met with and eveyr membner and some random other people have seen the video of us on TV and they all keep telling us, haha. And we gained a fan club this week of three 8 year old boys who started talking to us, memerized our names and fallowed us around for a while. They asked us really funny questions like; "If you are from America, how did you learn English so well? Is Barrack Obama your president? Is he angry? Is his wife's name Obama too?" haha, and they tred to take our pics, so we selfied together. Oh, and our relief society president is a cook at a vegan restaurant here and she invited us there for dinner and it was delicious!!!!! We had a green smoothie, dumpling soup, and a vegan burger... If i was rick and had a personal cook, I would definitely be vegan, haha. And the best part of it was when we were almost done eating, in walked our mongolian AP and one of the city ZL's... for a vegan dinner... but the second they saw us, their faces went red and they asked us not to tell anyone... haha, too late, their manliness dropped a few points...

Overall a great week! I love this place so much! I love this gospel so much!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Happy Naadam!

This week has been busy for sure! I'm short on time so I will have to put it in bullets for you:
- Thanks to the Youngs for the awesome letter and smarties!!! My comp and I definitely enjoyed them!!!!
- 4th of July - Got some delicious round table pizza and checked out a dinosaur museum!
- My new date for coming home has changed - I will be coming home a month early instead of a month late... see y'all the end of August!!!
-We were meeting with Munhbileg and we were talking about what she feels when she reads the BofM or prays or goes to church and she said that she feels the holy ghost. She said that for her, the holy ghost makes her want to sing church songs :) So cute!
-We also met with a member family this week and RM that I served with, his new wife, and his mom, and we decided to just talk about the importance of the Book of Mormon and all share our testimonies about it, and I guess his mom, who has been a member for years and years, has never made it through Alma in the Book of Mormon, but she said that she finally is going to read the entire BofM. that listening to all of our testimonies of the scriptures we shared has made her want to actually read it all.... how cool is that?! God definitely helped us know what to share with this member family. Missionary work is not limited to investigators.
-Another member we visited made us pancakes!!!!!! So cute... but not very delicious, but it was the thought that counted :)
-We also met with a new member Enhkmunhk who has NOT been reading her scriptures or praying and I decided to be very blunt with her and I even pulled out an intense scripture talking about Satan.... well it finally hit her, something clicked and she promised for now on to read and pray every day and she said she would never miss a day again! She has been texting us almost daily as well to tell us that she is doing it!!!
Sister Wilkins & I
-Also, we met with Maria and followed up on her commitment to repent, and she told us about her experience repenting and tat she loved it and when I asked her how it actually felt, she said it felt like her soul was unlocked!!!!!!! She rocks!!!
-I also did a split with my new STL- Sister Wilkins from my group!!! It was weird working with her but also super fun to catch up and to both be understanding and speaking so well.
-And no week in Mongolia would be complete without FOOD POISONING---- kept me in bed all Sunday :( Lame Mongolian meat....

Today is Naadam - a Mongolian national holiday with wrestling, archery, and horse racing.... huushur huushur and more huushur!!!! We got tickets to the opening ceremonies this morning and it was exactly like the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. It was that big and awesome!!!!! We then did some looking around, and I got stopped by a news crew and they interviewed me in Mongolian on TV. I'm famous now! They thought it was so cool that a foreign girl had been living here over a year and speaks Mongolian. Anyways, got to go, but I love this place and its hard to believe my time here is coming to a close. But, I'm grateful for all those people God has given us to teach and how great they are progressing in this gospel!!!

Naadam opening ceremonies.

A flower ger.
American food for July 4th!