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, April 26, 2016

A Day Late

This is exhausted Sister Harker writing you right now. We literally came straight to this internet place from the plane which we just got off of from Khovd (we still have our luggage and everything).
So, for those of you that don't remember, I went all the way across the country to Khovd about 2 months ago for an STL split, and was lucky enough to go again. We left Friday morning at 4am, took a taxi to the airport, flew 3 hours to Khovd and got there in the morning ready to work. We were in Khovd for a total of 5 days and it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! (so amazing that I took 50 videos and almost 300 photos.... be proud of me mom. unfortunately I will only be able to send a fraction of those because it takes way too long to do on the computer, haha)

So here are the main updates:

1) President Benson called me last Monday to explain that he has been given the transfer dates for the year, and they are a little weird  and there is no transfer in September  There is one on August 25th or October 27th, and either way, it is over a month away from our scheduled release date, so we had to make a choice now. We were asked to stay unless we had pressing reasons, so my mission release day will be October 27th meaning that when I finish my mission, I will have served for 19 months and 2 days..... I get a extra month in Mongolia serving these amazing people!

2) Our golden investigator, Ariunzaya, passed her baptismal interview and will be getting baptized this Friday! I am so happy for her! She is so incredibly ready for this gospel.

3) This week we had zone training, and my STL comp and I taught about loving people as well as solving conflict (companionship inventory). It went really well, especially with our continued examples of what not to do and what to do, haha. Everyone loved it and I think it went really well! I did feel like an actress though, haha.

4) Khovd was absolutely beautiful! It has officially become summer here I think. I didn't wear a coat at all the 5 days we were there and, I think I am starting to least a not so white shade of pale, haha

5) I also got one of the realest Mongolian experiences someone could have ... while in Khovd, we went to do service at a less active's ger, and they have over 600 goats. Well, I got to hold newly born goats, and help catch, tie, and brush the wool off of big goats. It was crazy, and I think the goats were in a lot of pain, but I did it and I brushed all the wool off 3 goats!!! I am officially a country girl :)

6) I met and taught someone in Mongolian sign language in Khovd!!! It was a very cool experience and he was very grateful that someone could talk to him and especially about gospel things! I felt that man's spirit so strongly and I think I had to meet him and introduce him to the gospel. 

7) Also, for P-day the Khovd branch president, his family, and extended family took us 4 sisters to  an overlook of the city and then a 2 hour drive away to the REAL COUNTRYSIDE!!! We saw running baby and adults camels, horses with their calves at a small lake, cows and goats and sheep and mountains and rivers and finally ended at a section of rapids inset in some mountains.... it was so amazing! We had a real Mongolian picnic, took tons of pictures, played Mongolian games, and climbed the rocks around there! I won the climbing contests... Tim and David I hope you are proud!....It was so fun and so incredibly beautiful!!!

Well, that was my week, and it was so amazing to have another chance to truly see and enjoy the Mongolian countryside life. I love this country! Also, transfers are in about 1 week, which seems like it happened so fast. Anyways, I love this mission and every person I have met here! They all are so humble and kind and ready for Christ's restored gospel. I am grateful to be here!

A Mongolian game with ankle bones.
One of my previous companion's mother.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Love This Work

So, nothing big happened this week. I teach English 2x a week at the main church here, which is a really great set up because everyone that comes just wants to learn, so they all participate well! I have kids, teenagers, families, and old people and even have a group of immigration officials coming to my class, all of which have been referred here by friends or teachers or whatnot. It's really great!

I figure this week, I will just fill you in on some of our work we have. We are continually blessed with more and more new investigators from other missionaries, members, and even the president gave us one himself! Here are some of the awesome people we are meeting with!!!!

-Ariunzaya: she is 15 yrs old and lives with her aunt and cousins who are all members. She is really amazing and reads and understands the scriptures so well! She has a very strong testimony of this gospel and I love meeting with her and seeing the happiness she gains from this gospel! We will finish her lessons tomorrow and she will be baptized in a week and a half!!! We are also teaching her brother and cousin and soon will begin teaching her best friend as well! 

-Munhjargal Egch and Eeshlii and Nimgarav ah: this is the most amazing family! The father is a less active member who we are reactivating as we teach his wife and teenager daughter. This family is so incredibly prepared and they have such a huge desire to live this gospel. The father will hopefully baptize his wife and daughter in about a month!

-Urnaa Egch: this girl is kinda CRAZY! but, we love her! she is currently 30 yrs old, single, and unemployed but she has the BIGGEST desire to change her life. Her friend is a member and referred her to us. She knows that through what we teach her, she can change, and it's cool to meet with someone who really wants to do so.

-Dorjsuren Ah: He's 30yrs old, his girlfriend is an RM, and he is meeting with us really well! He can only read a little bit, so his girlfriend helps him read our assignments. He understands very well though, and he really seems to enjoy and believe the things we are teaching him! 

-Munhbileg Egch: She used to go to many other churches but her boyfriends' sister brought her to ours. we have been teaching her for a long time now and are almost done with her lessons! 

-Mungunerdene: this girl is about 20 yrs old and has been coming to my English classes. she met our new member at the classes and began asking about church, so she came to the women's conference and a baptism on Saturday and to church on Sunday  and we will begin meeting with her this week! We are very excited to meet with her, because she already comes to things things and likes them a lot!

Well, that was only a sliver of our work right now as we've have been so incredibly blessed as of late with people to teach and visit. I know for a matter of fact that the Lord leads and guides this work and that through him, we his servants can truly do all things. As we pray and keep his commandments and continually try to be better, he blesses and guides us. I know this church is true! I know God lives! He loves you all!

Also this week I will go on another split with some sisters, then teach about inventories at a zone training, and fly out to Hovd again for another splits with the sisters out there! I am really excited to be going back a 2nd time!!!

Mongolian children are the cutest!!!!

She's trying to make her eyes big like mine.

I love Mongolians!!!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

I Love Conference!

I know you already watched General Conference, but in Mongolia they take a week for translations, so we got to watch it Saturday and Sunday.... IT WAS SO AMAZING! I learned sooo much! I learned and relearned a lot regarding the priesthood and the temple. I know that in the temple and through the priesthood, we can be sealed to our families for eternity and receive all of God's promised blessings allowing us to be truly happy for all time. These saving ordinances that can bless us so can only be found in this church through the restored gospel and priesthood. How lucky are we? But, also, how great the need to share these things. 

I want to share an experience that happened as we were watching general conference yesterday. The power went out at the church we were at, but they used a back-up generator so we could watch, but there was no light. Because of this, the room was extremely dark and did not allow for writing notes very well. So, i turned on the flashlight function on our phone and tried to hold it in a way that my comp and i could both use the light to write... then my comp whispered to me, "share the light with Delgermaa." Delgermaa is a new member who was sitting on the other side of me. That short statement hit me hard. SHARE THE LIGHT WITH .... That is simply what missionaries and members alike have been asked to do for our fellowmen. Share our light, this miraculous gospel, with those around us. We must listen to Christ and we must take His invitation. We must find ways to share the light... How? Serving others... being an example... sharing the gospel!!! I know I say this every time I write, but if you are a member, please think about who God would want to to share these things with and do it. JUST OPEN YOUR MOUTH. If you aren't a member, please listen when those around you attempt to share their precious beliefs with you; I promise it is only coming out of complete love and sincerity. 

Other cool things to note:

- We watched general conference at the main building here because they had headsets for English speakers, and while I was there, I ran into some special people: A sister from Erdenet, she was so happy to see me and we got to talk for a while. Hergui and Iimujin from the Bayanzurkh branch- my first area. They were in complete shock to see me because I haven't seen them in 9 months. They told me how much they have missed me and how much I helped them when I was visiting with them last summer (that was my 1st 6 weeks in Mongolia so I could barely speak and we had little work and I felt that I had helped no one) and that I need to make sure to write them letters and stay in touch. I t was an amazing reunion- it was amazing to see that I was able to make a difference in that time of my mission and help them, and it kinda felt like the way it will be after this life, when we will all once again reunite joyfully thanking each other for the knowledge others shared with us... it was really cool!

-I talked to the elders now serving in Bayanzurkh, and gave them information on people I had been visiting last summer who were lost later.... and guess what, we took a guy from the branch as a witness last summer to those places, and now he is the branch president and remembers those people and where they live and yesterday he took the elders to their houses to visit them! God really provides the means, ways, and all in his own time to bring his children unto him.

-Also, last week, I sent a pic of a golden investigator- she is a 15 yr old named Ariunzaya. She goes to seminary and church and in 1 week read all of 1 Nephi and understood it amazingly! She has received so many answers from God, and is already such an awesome missionary- through her we are now teaching her 24 yr old brother, 20 yr old, guy cousin, and will begin teaching her friend soon!
She is amazing and so ready for this gospel!!!!  I am lucky to be meeting with such a special and prepared sister!

That's all for now. I love you all!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Another Week

So, I know it was General Conference for all of you guys this weekend, but not for me. I think I will watch it next week... but I don't know for sure. So, nothing to write about that.

This week was my last week of teaching kindergarten, as I will start teaching back at the church again this week!!! woohoo! I loved the kids because they were so incredibly adorable, but they are definitely a handful and it's pretty stressful stuff. Props to all those kindergarten ESL teachers out there!!!! Y'all rock!

We had zone conference this week and that went really well! We focused on the importance of the Book of Mormon in our lives as well in helping us fulfill our purpose as missionaries and in converting or investigators. We also focused on teaching people not lessons and teaching the restoration with power (which I taught to everyone... it went really well actually, which made me very happy!) 

One of the coolest things from zone conference was the talk our Mission Presidents' wife gave about the Book of Mormon  She also served in Mongolia many years ago, and she talked about her mission experience with the Book of Mormon.... well, she didn't have one in Mongolian  When she served in Mongolia, they only had a few sections of the Book of Mormon translated into Mongolian- Lehi's dream, 2 Nephi 31, 3 Nephi 11, and Moroni's promise. crazy, right? She shared and read those pieces an uncountable amount of times on her mission!!! She would read those pieces with her investigators and ask them to gain a  testimony of the Book of Mormon merely from those pieces. It was hard, but people did it. Then a few years later, when my president and his wife were teachers at the MTC, Sis Benson had a very cool experience. She was teaching an ESL class that had 3 Mongolian missionaries in it the day the translated Mongolian Book of Mormon first came out, and she was there when they first opened their own copies in their language of this book. She said she will never forget the moment they opened those books and began to read. They truly viewed this book as a huge  precious blessing from God. They treated their copies like treasure. She asked herself in that moment, "Do I take the Book of Mormon for granted?" That's a question we should all ask ourselves? If so, change that. 

Read and treasure the words in this precious gift from God every day of your life! Never ignore it, throw it away, and reject that it is God's word. I know of a surety that the Book of Mormon is true, that is is the most correct of any book, and that by reading it we truly can come to know God and His son, Jesus Christ. I love this Book and I never want to take it for granted the rest of my life, but rather feast upon it's words every day that I live.

That's all for this week, but I want to let you all know how much I really love you, and how grateful I am to be serving a full-time mission in Mongolia and teaching and serving these amazingly humble people! 

Burning a shirt to mark my one year mark.