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.

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!