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, 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!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

New President

So, first off, I believe I promised to write the cool story that Pres. Benson shared at his going away fireside. This is a story about Tuvshin Ah, one of the first members here. In his time, there was no Book of Mormon in Mongolian here, just little translated sections. But, he felt the spirit of the message of the restoration and was baptized. Then, as a new member, he was walking passed Nalaik in the countryside area. One Sunday, he showed up to church at 8am, long before church would start. Pres Benson, then an elder, was there early setting up chairs and what not. He asked Tuvshin Ah why he was there so early. Tuvshin Ah then explained that the buses that go out there don't start early enough for him to make it to church on time, so instead, that night he had waited until the moon was high in the sky and began to walk. He walked all through the early morning until he reached the central building in UB... just so he could be on time to church. What amazing faith and sacrifice, right? In the book of Mormon it talks about Moroni and it says if every man was like Moroni, Satan would have no power... well, I think if every member was as dedicated as this man, Satan would have no power as well.

As for this week, elections happened in Mongolia, so we got to stay home on Thursday until we received a text from the AP's saying it was okay to go out... at which point, we had no one we could visit.... but we finally found someone and got burned.... so yah. But we did some mad Liahona collaging that day which was awesome!!! 

This week we also did service for a lady by helping her make buuz..... but we spent 2 hours cutting veggies and then had to go, so we didn't actually help MAKE them. Oh well, we did the gritty work.We also met with a new member this week who tried to gift me a pair of drag queen heels, but they didn't fit, so my companion inherited them, haha. Guess she's set for post-mish clubbing, haha. 

Our new mission president came this week!!! President and Sis Harper are so amazing and it was so fun to see them again. Sis Harper ran up to me, hugged me and started chatting away... so adorable. A little bit about them: They are both from Idaho, grew up on farms close to each other, she liked him starting in 7th grade, but they didn't get together until post mission. He has accomplished a lot.... high school state wrestling champion, senior year voted most handsome, president of a potato company for 31 years, and he will receive the Russet Aristocrat Potato award pretty soon. Cool guy, right? I'm excited to have such a humble, spiritual leader for the last part of my mission. 

We taught Maria about the plan of salvation this week and it went so well! She understood it very well and she said it makes her so happy. When she closed with a prayer, she even thanked God for sending the sisters to her and helping her learn about this church and plan. She is awesome!

We also finished teaching the plan of salvation to Tseegii. Her older sister passed away years ago, and she really struggles with that. As we taught the plan to her, we focused on the fact that she can be with her sister again and that her sister is not gone forever. She was so interested and quiet as she sincerely was listening. At the end she told us how amazing it sounds and she too in prayer told God thank you for teaching her that she has the opportunity to be with her sister again.... and we taught her about following the prophet and the word of wisdom this week and it went well. She is going to stop drinking tea even though thats very hard for her, and she said it all makes sense and that she wants to follow God. She is so amazing!

We also got 1 new investigator this week named Shinebayar. He is 27 and is a programmer/IT engineer. He is dating a single mom in the ward and he has been coming to my English classes for a while now. He understands very well and every time we bore testimony, he would say, "i know that too. or I believe that too". He is awesome and I can't wait to see him continue to progress!

Well, happy 4th of July everyone! Today to celebrate, my comp and I will be getting pizza and going to a dinosaur museum! I love you all!