My stories as a Sister Missionary serving in Mongolia.
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Sister Amy Royal
5th Fl, LDS Church Bldg, Tokyo Stree 6
Bayanzurkh District, 1st Khoroo

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mongolia is starting to get a little cold and so am I!

Hello All,

This week was a big transition from quiet Darhan to the loud city. But it is good to be back because we get to see missionaries around everywhere. Elder Hatton is in my District, and it’s nice to see a familiar face every once in a while. I also got to see Sister Petersen and Sister Cleveland at zone training this week. I missed them! Fall is coming on already and the city has started to be cold. And, naturally, as soon as the weather changed I got a cold as well. But my companion is taking great care of me :)
Teaching English is good. I am just teaching one 7-year-old boy right now. The family is so rich! It is such a contrast because I have been in the poorest of houses and going into her penthouse in Zison (the Scottsdale of UB) is kind of weird. She usually isn’t home, so it’s usually just me and him and the nanny. But he is so cute! I love him already! The poor kid is being stretched to the limit. He goes to school in the morning and has a tutor for homework afterwards. Then he comes home and I come from 2 hours to teach him English. So I try to make the lessons fun for him. I am always trying to be creative, so any fun game activities would be appreciated :)
This week, I am really starting to realize the importance of service here in Mongolia. Because both my companion and I are American, we both have to teach 2 hours of English everyday. That leaves little time for meeting with our investigators. Sometimes, it is hard for me to think of teaching English as being missionary work, but I know that through service, we are planting seeds for the future. We are being like Ammon :)
I was reading a little but about the children of Israel this week after reading an Ensign article and came to an interesting conclusion. After the children of Israel were freed from the Egyptians, they were led for 40 years in the wilderness. As they were led, they never knew how long they would stay in an area. They were "wondering" while they wandered. I think we are all like this at some point in our lives. For me, even though I have been here for a month, I am still pretty new at all of this. I don’t understand the language very well and I am left doing a lot of wondering. haha. Sometimes, its easy for me to think, "I just cant wait until I can speak the language..." just as I’m sure the Israelites though "I just can’t wait until we get to the promised land". But the problem with that is as we wander through our lives always yearning for the future or living in the past, we miss out on wonderful experiences in the now. Just like my mission hasn’t turned out exactly as I expected, all of our lives take unexpected turns. But lets all remember to enjoy the present. Enjoy the journey and it will make the destination so much sweeter.
I love you all!
Don’t forget it :)
Until next week.

Sister Royal 

Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm Leaving Darhan for the UB

First traditional clothing picture. Sis. Magleby is the queen and I'm her servant appearantly. lol
August 18, 2014
Loved ones,
So, I am leaving beautiful Darhan :(  I am so sad to leave the peaceful countryside but, I am excited to get back to the city. I’ve been in Mongolia almost a month now and I have no idea what the city is like. Oh, and next week I will be starting English as well!
This week has been so crazy/funny/hard/awesome. haha Each night when we get home we say, "Man, today has just been the weirdest day." and then we realize that we just said the same thing the night before. haha. First, I want to publicly thank the Hatton Family for the delicious Reeces candy. I don’t know where you are or how you got it to Mongolia, but it was so wonderful. I never thought I would miss American chocolate so much and I also never thought I would almost cry over receiving American chocolate. haha So thank you :)
So, this week, because the work is pretty slow here, we decided to start talking to everyone and also to work with the members. It’s hard in Mongolia (and Darhan especially) because if someone asks if we are missionaries, we have to say no. But, we can at least serve the people around us and maybe they will figure it out on their own. ;) haha.
So, in the name of serving everyone, one day we were walking and a man who owns a picture place asked us to come in and help him with his computer. His printer wasn’t working and the computer was all in English. So, we went in and did the best we could. After helping him, he told us that he would take our pictures in Traditional Mongolian clothes as a thank you. It was so fun! And afterwards, we laughed so hard because we looked so silly. But it is so wonderful getting to know that rich Mongolian culture. And I won’t be surprised if, a few years down the road, our picture will be somewhere hanging up in that Mongolian picture shop. :) haha.
This week was also a week of firsts!
First, I met my first Mongolian drunks. I hear they are common, but I haven’t seen any until this week. It was probably the scariest/funniest thing this week. They kept on trying to talk to me, but
I can barely understand regular Mongolian let alone drunk Mongolian. haha. It was an experience for sure.
Next, I used my first noith (which is basically like a Mongolian outhouse). Because the ger districts don’t have plumbing, they have these big holes in the ground with 2 two by fours. haha. I’ve been so scared to use one! But one night I just couldn’t hold it and I bit the bullet. It wasn’t too bad actually, but boy was it an experience.
Oh, and I also got grabbed by some creepy Mongolian man and I slapped his hand so hard! haha
Um... What else... We met with lots of members this week and they are all so nice to us. They feed us delicious Mongolian food and give us referrals. I just love it here in Mongolia :) I’m sad to leave Darhan but excited for the city :)
EMBARRASSING MOMENT OF THE WEEK: there are many to choose from, but this week, I will choose something that happened during district meeting. We were practicing the second lessons with the elders and they asked me where I thought we lived before this life. And I meant to say heaven but ended up saying "gay" instead. The elders laughed for the rest of the meeting about it... haha. Oh well. At the very least, I’m glad my pain can make someone else happy :)
I love you all! Have a great week and know you are all in my prayers. The Lord loves us all :)

Sister Royal

 We had a super moon in Mongolia too. 
Strange to think we are so far apart but we look at the same moon. 
But I got to see it a day before you did!

I love the ger districts! 

                          That cow ALMOST ate that apple out of my hand. But I got too scared. haha/ 

Strange Statue

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Rainy Week

 I was walking home after a long day of pretty much 0 success. The sky looked like it was painted on and the sun was setting. People were just walking around, doing their thing and it hit me like a wall. I love this place.
 A fun time was had by all at the district picnict. About 120 people attended.
 It was a beautiful day.
 Mud everywhere. Look at my shoes! I need a pair of rubber boots like my companion.
 Almost all roads are dirt. This makes for a mess when it rains.
 Some of the cute children at the picnic.
A view of the town. Do you notice the colors of blue, green, and brown in all these pictures. The colors here in Mongolia.

August 10, 2014
Hello Loved Ones,
This week has been great! I am finally getting the hang of things as far as schedule goes. Oh, and I love Mongolia! I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I think it was kind of a lie before. But, the other day, I was walking home after a long day of pretty much 0 success. The sky looked like it was painted on and the sun was setting. People were just walking around, doing their thing and it hit me like a wall. I love this place. I love how different it is. I love the people. I love the ger districts. I love everything about it. I see crazy and different things every day and I think to myself, this should be weird to me. But, It isn’t. It’s wonderful. Sorry fam bam, but I don’t think I ever want to leave this place ;) haha. This week was a rainy week! No one told me how much it rains in Mongolia. But it has probably rained more than it has been sunny in my experience of two weeks. And when it rains, the roads (which are almost all dirt anyways) get soooooo muddy. I sent a picture of it to you, along with my muddy feet. It was so hard walking through the mud, so sister Magleby made it into a game and it was actually really fun. I kept loosing my shoes in the mud and we would laugh and laugh about it.

This week was a pretty slow week as far as missionary work goes. No one wants to meet with us! They are all joining this Korean church.. haha for reals. I think they must be feeding them or something. But we are learning how to be persistent. I know that as I love these people as much as I possibly can, they will know the truth. The ward picnic was a blast! I was so scared to go the night before because I literally understand no more than 20% of what any given person is saying to me. Sometimes my comp and I laugh so hard because people will talk to me and I know they are asking me a question, but I don’t know what it is, so I just say yes. I always say yes. haha. I’m probably giving a lot of false information... oh well :) Anyways, I was scared, but it was so fun! Everyone is so loving and kind to me. The old ladies of the ward have taken my in as their pet of sorts. With everything I say they always laugh and grab my hand as if I’m saying something ridiculous. You would think it would be annoying, but it’s so wonderful. I don’t care what I say, as long as they know that I love them and they know that the Lord loves them, I will be happy. The only times Americans are allowed to wear nametags are in the church building. That’s it. And in Darkhan, sometimes we don’t even do that because the immigration is pretty tight here. The Mongolian Missionaries can always wear their nametag though. I’m jealous. haha. At that picnic, I almost didn’t feel like a missionary because we were wearing pants and no nametags. It kind of makes me sad. But it’s ok.

So, we have this one inactive member that we have really been working on this week. He never goes to church because he has started drinking again and he doesn’t feel worthy to go to church or even to pray. I though about him a lot this week as I studied and I have come to the realization of the power of forgiveness. We have all made mistakes and we always will. That is just the nature of who we are. But, that is the beauty of the atonement of Jesus Christ. The lord doesn’t expect us to be perfect in order to go to church. In the case of our less active he doesn’t have to become totally sober before he starts praying again. All we have to do is try and desire to change. The lord looks upon our weaknesses with mercy. Always. And he will make up the difference. That doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be hard though. In the book of Enos in the Book of Mormon, we read about his story with repentance. And he says it was a wrestle. But, the joy he felt afterwards was even more than his guilt he felt before. I’m so grateful for the atonement in my life and that it gives me hope for my weaknesses.
Well, I sure do love and miss you all! Know that I think about you always and that I always feel your love and prayers! xoxox
Sister Royal

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hello From Mongolia

 I can't believe I'm here in Mongolia!
 The Mongolian Airport
                                   The Mongolian countryside of Darkhar.

The hills and sky go on forever.
A typical Mongolian ger

August 3, 2014
This week has probably been one of the craziest weeks of my life! Flying to Mongolia was an adventure on its own! The flight here was crazy. China is crazy. We were so worried about getting caught in Immigration! And now that I look back at it, it is funny to think how seriously we took things! But, we made it through without any problem.
Once we got into Mongolia, the APs picked us up and they took us to lunch and then to the immigration place to get our teaching visas. The whole time, I was trying to speak Mongolian to my immigration officer and they kept speaking English back to me! I was so frustrated because all I wanted to do was practice my language! I come to find out that I wasn’t even supposed to know Mongolian (because I’m here as an English teacher) so, the whole time they were telling me to be quiet. haha whoops.
Anyways, the next day, we went through some training and then went off with our new companions! My companion is Sister Magleby, She is from Rexburg Idaho and has been here almost a year and a half. This is her last transfer! I am so happy to be with her! Her Mongolian is so good! She is so nice and it gives me hope because She speaks such good Mongolian! But, we can also speak English when we need to ;)
This week has been a blur! I’ve been in lots of gers and ate lots of INTERSTING things already. But I have been blessed because I haven’t been sick once! (knock on wood for me). I just ate it because I wanted to show the people that I loved them. I am so happy to be here and take in all the culture. The culture is so beautiful here. But, sooooo different too. But, I am so interested by it! We are in a small city in the countryside four hours north of the city, (The UB, or Ulaanbaatar) called Darkhan and it is beautiful! It’s a lot smaller which means there are a lot more ger districts, but it also means that it is so much more beautiful And friendly! They are so kind and willing to give you so much even though they have nothing. I think the most different thing about Mongolia is the way of living. The city is pretty big and modern, but where I am, things are a bit more rural. And almost all the roads are dirt and every car is a taxi. haha. We will just stand on the side of the road and a random car will stop and pick us up. Oh, and the ger districts are intersting! From the outside, you think that it is such an impoverished area. There is trash everywhere and cows and dogs just walking around. But then you walk into the ger and there is a flat screen tv and nice furniture and a nice floor. Everyone told me how lucky I was to go to Dackhar and I understand it now! The hills go on forever! We are only here for a few weeks before we go back to the city for English, so I’m soaking it up! The city, Ulaanbaatar, is huge and busy, but I like how alive it is.
What else.? Oh, I can’t understand anything anyone is saying... haha so, that made church on Sunday interesting... but I know I will get better. And people are so willing to help my language here. I’m happy here :) It really feels like I am on a different planet, but the culture is so beautiful :) I love you all and I feel your prayers constantly!
Until Next week,
Sister Royal, 

Write Amy,

Sister Amy Royal
Mongolia UB Mission
UB-49, Box-242, 
Bayanzurkh District
1st Khoroo, Tokyo Street-6
Ulaanbaatar- 13381, Mongolia