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, June 26, 2016

15 Months Down ... Where Did the Time Go?

So transfers came again, and I am still in the same area with the same companion, but we were forced to leave the penthouse.... so sad. We are back in a ghetto apartment in our area that I lived in before. Guess life can't always be perfect.

The weather here has been all over the place- random intense rain showers flooding the streets.... those days are not enjoyable as we are walking down the side of the road, annoying young men driving see the foreigners, and aim, then splash us good.... so annoying... "why you gotta be so mean, don't you know we're sister missionaries.."

We had one day when 4 people feed us full meals all in a  row, so at the last house we just couldn't do it, and she left the apt for a few moments to grab something, I whipped out a zip-lock, and we started shoveling the uncooked eggs, meat, and rice into it... I felt kinda bad, but we literally could not eat anymore.... the struggle.

So, our work has been kind of slow, but we do have a few investigators who are doing AWESOME!!!
Tseegii, the one we teach in English is doing absolutely fantastic! We met with her last Sunday, then again Saturday, and in between that time, she had read the first 17 chapters of the Book of Mormon!!!!! She reads in the morning on her work bus on the way to work, and her co workers ask her about it, or tell her she shouldn't be reading that book or going to our church, but she kindly explains it to them, and bears testimony!!! She told us that she feels it is true because the holy ghost is so strong, that no normal man could have just written this book because of it's complexity, and the words are so powerful. She said when she reads, she prays, and she takes notes, and she compares with the English version. She loves this book, she loves prayer, and she loves God. She is truly changing!

Munhbileg is an investigator who I have been teaching since the first week I got to this area. We have finally finished her lessons and are still working with her to help her quit smoking. When we met her this week, I asked her about smoking, and she said she has almost completely quit smoking! On the really hard days, she might smoke 1, but she is working really hard not to do that. She is confident that she can do this with the Lord's help, and she will be off of it soon. I am so proud of her and it is so amazing to see how far she has come!!!

Maria is doing fantastic as well. She is praying and reading! Moogii is doing fantastic as well! We also have many other investigators progressing and it is so exciting to see Christ's atonement working in their lives :)

Also, on Sunday, the relief society was talking about a child's guiding gift; it was all about how we guide our children and help them know what is right and help them feel the spirit, etc... Anyways, the teacher compared our homes to learning a language. The best language programs are complete immersion. Like me in Mongolia. I am learning the language much faster by being surrounded by Mongolians. Our homes must be the same. We must create a home that is complete immersion for our children in the spirit, in the gospel, in safety, etc.. So cool! We should all try and create a complete immersion home :)

Also, Sunday after church we got to attend a baptism for a girl who I taught a couple times while she was living in our area... and even cooler the guy who baptized her is a new member from Darhan who I had the opportunity of teaching multiple times on splits as well. They were both so excited to see that I came, and it made me realize that every single person I ever visit or teach can be affected in some way or another by me. I know that I was meant to be in Mongolia and teaching these people. I am so grateful to be here. I love Mongolia.


Elections are this week. This is my fav candidate because
he can rock a goutee!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Father's Day!

So a lot has happened this week. Monday we celebrated my comp's birthday with 2 other sisters by going to Millie's Espresso (a legit American diner here) .... the highlight of which was getting a 10% off for being MORMON! That is the first time I ever received any kind of benefit from being Mormon in Mongolia. And they weren't even members... very cool! 

Then we all went to Gandan and fed pigeons and looked at the biggest golden statue I think I have ever seen.... this is what it talks about in the BofM of building/worshiping idols... weird. Tuesday I surprised my companion with presents and cake and decorated mirror of frozen valentines-turned birthday cards. and took her out for Chinese food for lunch, and just had a great day! It was so fun! 

My new view
Wednesday, we were having a great day and visiting tons of people... seriously rocking sister missionary life... when we get a call from Batbold from the office.... we needed to completely pack up our apartment by 8am the next day because we would be moving into a brand new apartment that the mission just got and they would be doing construction on the ghetto one we had been living in... so we had to cancel our last appointment to go home and pack :( lame..... but on the bright side, we are now living in the MOST BEAUTIFUL APARTMENT EVER!!!! It is one bus stop closer to our area, in a college student housing area, has the most beautiful view of the city, and is just amazingly beautiful! This is my comp's registered address, so we are hoping to stay together and for the rest of our missions to enjoy this, haha. We are so lucky!

Thursday  we spent the day moving and outfitting this brand new apartment with all brand new cooking supplies and what not, then I taught English. We had our last interview with this mission president... so weird  He gave me a lot of really great advice for the mission and the future, but it is so strange to think in a couple weeks, he will be gone, and we will have a new president. This week is transfers as well, which I hope is small and I hope I stay right where I am with Sister Harmon :)

We also had a couple of the best lessons with our adorable investigators this week. One was with the investigator we have been teaching in English. Her name is Tseegii, and yesterday we met with her and taught about the plan of salvation and invited her to baptism, and she quickly said yes, and asked, "how do I prepare for baptism?" GOLDEN... so we explained and she is so happy. She prays all the time and her little 5 yr old daughter has started praying as well! She was so excited to tell us that her daughter was learning just by watching her mom!

We also met with Moogii, a cousin of my last baptism. I have been meeting with him for a looong time with little progression, but something clicked this week. We met him at a new lady's house and they became fast friends and she talks a lot about how great he is and how much he is like her son and I think he responds to that really well, because he was listening so well and really excited about the Book of Mormon. Then I also had the thought to download the gospel library app on his phone for him so he could read the Book of Mormon in Mongolian, Swedish, or English, whichever would be easiest for him, and it worked!!! He texted us later in the week and said that he is reading and praying all the time and he doesn't miss church now either. Wow!!!! The app was what he needed because he reads from his phone in Swedish whenever he has time! Thank you technology!!!!

We also met with maria, and invited her to baptism as well - which she quickly nodded yes to excitedly!! She told us how she just feels like she wants to meet with us all the time and got o church, not just on Sundays, and that she feels the holy ghost all the time!!! She's amazing!

I love Mongolia, even with the election posters and people everywhere. I love this gospel. I am so grateful I came on a  mission. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Such a Great Week!

Watching a 5k run (my church in the background)
This week was awesome! As it is summer now in Mongolia, many of those we were teaching moved to the countryside... so our work has been suffering a little bit... okay, a lot. So, my comp and I have decided to start finding through members. We have been meeting with so many members and it was been so fun! I love hearing their conversion stories, looking through albums, eating yummy food, and having fun FHE with them! And it has been working, we have found many people to teach, and we are excited to see how some of those go. 

We met with Maria this week, she is 19 yrs old. She is studying at the medical university here to become a doctor, and is seriously so awesome! As we were teaching about God and prayer, she was understanding so well! She kept saying she really wants to believe and that she feels His love and the holy ghost. Then I had the idea to ask her, if God was in this room with us right now, what would you say to Him? She then pretended to hug someone really tight. and said, "Bayarlalaa!" (thank you). How amazing is that!? She wants to hug God and tell Him thank you!!! We then had this amazing discussion about God and the blessings He gives us and that we really can talk to Him through prayer and that we can feel His love, and sometimes like a hug from God through the holy ghost. It was awesome! Then she said her first prayer and spent the whole time thanking Him for sending us and the gospel and her family... it was so cute! We really love her! AND we might start teaching her family as well!

Also, when I first got to this ward,w e were meeting with a 17 yr old boy who's mom is shamin... well he will be 18 in a couple weeks and so I have been trying to contact him to get him coming to church again and he came Sunday! And as soon as he turns 18, we will begin meeting with him again, and he can't wait for it to happen too!!!! I am so excited!

Goodbye wonderful students!
On a slightly sad note, my immigration English students left for their homes in the countryside this week, so I had to say goodbye. I wrote them cute notes in English  they took pictures with me and gave me chocolate as well. It was bittersweet. I've really come to love them and care for these amazing people. English teaching is a really amazing thing and I''m grateful for this special service opportunity here to teach English to Mongolians.

Back on a nice is great being with an American again! We are sharing clothes, chatting up a storm, and making yummy American food!!! This week we made fettuccine alfredo, banana bread, pancakes, and because tomorrow is my companion's birthday, we are going to an American diner today for true American food!!!!! We are so excited!!!!!

Saturday, we got to go to almost the countryside for a relief society and primary activity and it was so fun! We had REAL Mongolian barbecue, played volleyball, badminton, soccer, and had competitions ... one of which I won - jump roping as many times as possible with a partner together. okay, I am running out of time, so I will just add pics.... I love you all! I love Mongolia!!! I love these people and this work!!!

REAL Mongolian barbeque - ALL parts of a sheep,
the intestines are filled with blood!

Monday, June 6, 2016

New Comp

Lots of excitement for this week! There was a mini transfer this week as the president got permission to send some Americans to the countryside now that school is out... so my mini missionary finished her mini mission, and I have a new comp!!!! I am still in the city in the same area, and my new comp is named Sister Harmon. She is from cottonwood heights, is from the group after me, went to Snow College and later the U. She is absolutely adorable and so hilarious! She is ALWAYS happy (we still have no hot water, but she is happy anyways- a real trooper) and excited and we are very similar. I am so excited to be her comp... oh and a plus is she has some real cute clothes... its like I gained a whole new closet, haha. 

Anyways, we are both excited to be together and determined to do a lot of work. We need to find new people to teach though, so we decided to focus on finding through the members this week. So starting last night, we met with a member family.... and guess what... They made homemade PIZZA!!!! it was so delicious, and we were so happy. We shared a kick-but spiritual thought about Shiblon and how to become like him (and in turn like Christ). The family loved us and kept saying we were the most beautiful sisters and how awesome the spiritual thought was, and then they referred us to a less active family who they would love to go with us to visit. Woohoo!

On Sunday, the member missionary work continued as at church, a member brought a 19 yr old niece, and another young member befriended her, and we will meet with her and that member together this week!!! Then another couple of young girls came with member friends, and they said we should be able to meet with their whole family as well. Then we met with a new member and she has been talking to her neighbor about the gospel and we will start teaching him this week at her house! So much work and so fast all because the members were opening their mouths and speaking about the church with friends, family, and acquaintances.

We also met with an old investigator this week who we teach in English and it was so weird teaching in English!!! But, the lesson went so well!!!! We taught about the Restoration and asked her if she could talk to God, what would she ask him. She thought for a little bit, said "I would ask why my sister had to die so young..." and we then explained that our church believes in the plan of salvation which can answer that. On Sunday, when she came to church I handed her the plan of salvation pamphlet and she read the whole thing before sacrament was over, turned to my comp and asked, "how do I become a member of your church?", so my comp explained, and she sweetly said, "I want to." This women had felt the spirit, she has found through prayer God exists, and she has found through the plan of happiness that she can live with her sister again. We can't wait to meet with her this week and teach her that plan for reals!

This week, I also taught a 3 day English camp to a group of immigration, police, and other related officers. It was so much fun and they were eager and willing to learn. I made a lot of good friends and they even took us to lunch one day :) 

Also, Sister Westover came to town again and it was so fun to hang with her! One morning, all four of us were leaving our apartment, and guess what, it was national health day! They had blocked off all the main streets in UB for a marathon to increase awareness, and we cheered on/watched a marathon/5k/and 10k. It felt nice to be watching a race again... miss races! While we were cheering, my investigator and some English students ran by! It was so cool to cheer them on. That really is what missionaries are, cheerleaders. We cheer people on as they learn, change, grow, and work towards living with God again. The down side today was we had to walk miles to get to our area... but on the way we saw a concert, games, people biking, rollerblading, and so much more fun stuff!!!

So, the sisters here have a fun tradition. We all buy kinders before getting our comps and guess who we will be with. I got one with a birthday theme... and my comp will have her birthday next week! She got one and it was a princess barrette with Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Ariel. I'm having shoes issues (my feet are destroyed and I really need new shoes) so I'm Cinderella. I pricked my fingers on a cactus this week meaning I'm Sleeping Beauty, and I got a sunburn meaning I am Ariel (cuz i'm red).... the kinder egg never lies.

We also had zone conference this week- the last one with this mission president, and it was so fantastic. Our training we gave as STL's was one of the best ones the mission president had seen in Mongolia! He loved it, the missionaries loved it, and it went so well. The mission president taught about the law of the harvest and his wife about stress and conquering our own Goliaths. I felt the spirit so strongly as I sat there, and I know that this gospel is true without a shadow of a doubt.

Well, I love Mongolia, these people, my companion, my area, my zone sisters, my mission president and his wife and children, God, Christ, and this gospel. I know this church is true. I know that because this church is lead by a prophet of God today, and because of that, this church is truly lead by the hand of God.!!!