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.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

One Year Mark!!!

I HIT MY YEAR MARK THIS WEEK!!!!!! So incredibly crazy! It doesn't feel real that I am 2/3 done and really will be back in America in 6 months.... wow. I've been reflecting on my time in Mongolia a lot this week, and I realized how incredibly amazing my mission has been, and how much I have changed and how much I have learned, and how many people I have helped. It's so hard to count or understand, but I did realize that this mission is changing my life as well as many lives here. I am so incredibly grateful for the prompting I received to go on a mission as well as the choice I made to come, and I'm grateful to have been called here to Mongolia! This country is truly special, and God has prepared these people for something great. I love this work and I love these people and I love the Lord and I love this gospel!

This week, for my year mark... I got to move! yay....ugh. Yep, we moved and are living in the
apartments that I lived in when I first got to Mongolia. I've been getting complete deja vu as I live in the same place and the weather is officially warmed up!!! weird. So, for my year mark, I ate my favorite Mongolian ice cream, moved, and now I have a giant bed and a huge TV and a real washing machine!!!! Best year mark ever! Oh, and we bought Chinese food for my one year & our roommate's birthday! I have yet to burn something because we were moving and what not, but I will this week, I promise!

Happy Easter by the way!!! For Easter  us and our roommates were invited to the senior sister who lives above us, and she made us a yummy dinner!!! Other than that though, we didn't do anything, just work and more work, and no one here knows about Easter so they didn't talk about it at church either.

We visited a new member yesterday who we have had to focus on this transfer because she is really struggling. She is a 46 yr old woman who lives alone and is kinda gangsta but also a giant teddy bear :) Well, we had planned to teach her about following the prophet and prepare her for general conference, but it changed when we got there. She hadn't prayed in a week, hasn't been reading her scriptures, and drank once too! When she told me, my heart sank and I just talked to her sincerely for a while about how incredibly important those things are in our life. I shared a personal experience, asked her some questions, and then got firm with her about how she NEEDS to do these things to conquer Satan's influence. She then started talking for a long time about how she had been an investigator for 8 YEARS! Do you know how many missionaries she went through???? SO MANY! But do you know how many she told us have affected her... 4. Those 4 including 1 Mongolian sister many years ago who was very loving but very firm with her, so when she didn't do something the sister would say "well, if you didn't do your homework then I'm not teaching you today" and leave. This really affected her, and she wold then do those things. Then this last 6 months, 2 new sisters came along- Sister Hartley from my group and Sister Tao my comp. She then explained that these 2 were the most annoyingly loving and stubborn people she had ever met. But because they loved her so much and would not give up on her and were so persistent, she changed, gained a real testimony and got baptized!!! Then when Sister Hartley got transferred and I came along, she didn't want to meet with a new sister because she felt that she would not love her and she would be like all the other missionaries she'd had over 8 years. Well, who was the 4th missionary she spoke of... me! I was so surprised and so touched. She then went on talking about me for a long time. She explained that while she did not want to meet with me at first, that with my insistence, she did. And guess what?! She loved me! She said that I love her a lot and she knows that. She said that I listen and understand her well and then I teach her what she needs to hear. She told me that she has gained a huge respect for me and as such the words I speak to her enter into her heart and soul powerfully. She said that like that Mongolian sister many years ago, I am firm with her. I teach not softly, but with strength, which makes her want to follow what I say to her. She said that because she respects me, she sometimes fears me... that was weird  but coming from her, it was good. She said that She loves me dearly, that she knows I was supposed to teach her and help her through her post-baptism struggles, and that she continues to learn so much from me. I almost started to cry as I sat and listened to her say these things with such sincerity.

Why was I so touched? Because, this transfer, work has been slow and investigators had not been progressing and while we have found so many people, they have all seemed to fall through. I had begun to wonder why I was in this ward. I felt that I was not needed here and that I was not changing anyone's lives. I felt that Erdenet needed me more than this ward. I had even decided maybe I was transferred here not to help people in the area but instead my zone sisters.. But, I was wrong. In this lesson, I found God's answer and comfort to me. God told me through this woman, that I was indeed needed here. I had truly and am truly helping this woman. I am needed here. This lesson was not for her, but instead for me.

God truly knows us, loves us, cares about us, and always answers us! He provides answers, confirmations, revelation, and comfort. God lives, and I know that He loves and knows me perfectly. He brought me to Mongolia and placed me here at this time to help certain children of His.  If you don't know that God lives and knows you for sure now, then I am inviting you all to pray and ask God if He is there.; Ask Him anything you are wondering, talk to Him about your life. You will feel His love and presence, and you will gain an answer. I promise.

I love you all! Thank you for your continued support! See you all in 6 more months!!!

Getting my stuff together for the move.
Roomies eating dinner.
My new HUGE bed!!!!
Heaven = a washing machine!
Some Buddhists we pass on our way to teach.

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