August 31, 2014
Sometimes, people think of missionary work as one size fits all. But here in Mongolia, it’s so so so different. Right now, my priority is teaching English. Which means teaching gospel lessons takes the back seat. And then we are short on investigators at the moment so we are meeting with tons of inactive and new members. The hard part is changing my view on what missionary work and not viewing my success by how many baptisms I get. I feel like I am in the refiners fire right now. But I can already see little diamonds forming out of the coal. My faith and reliance on the Lord has grown immensely this week.
Thanks for being so good to the missionaries in your ward. Now that I’m on a mission, I realize more than ever the importance of members in the ward. Missionaries can’t do work without strong members doing their part. So I know that it’s sometimes hard to find time, but I know you will be blessed for going out with the missionaries and the investigators will be blessed as well.
1) This week, we had a lesson with a new member named Naran-Erden. She is so awesome! She is 30 years old and her family is all really against the church. The missionaries have been meeting with her at the church or at someone else’s house. So we took her to the Bishop’s house and had dinner there and shared the scripture of Lehi's vision found in the Book of Mormon, 1Nephi 8. He partook of this great fruit which is the love of God, and the first thing he desired was that his family might come and taste of it. As we shared this vision of Lehi, the Bishop had some great insights and the spirit was so strong. As we were walking home, Naran-Erden turned to us and told us that we should come by to meet her mom when her dad wasn’t home. It was such a miracle!
2) One day, we were waiting for the bus to go to English and the bus we needed didn’t come! So we had to take another route that would mean we would have to switch buses and it would take longer. I was so mad about it and kind of fuming on the bus. But, get this: As we got onto the 2nd bus, a man comes and stands next to me. He was staring at me and then he got on his phone and the next thing I know, I hear “Called to Serve” by the Tabernacle Choir playing on his phone! I look over, in shock, to see a video of the Tabernacle Choir on his phone. I turn to Sister Magleby and in complete shock asked her if we are allowed to ask him if he is a member of the church. We weren’t really sure what the protocol was, but we did it anyways. I asked him if he was a member of that church and he replied (in English) that he was. He sheepishly said that he had served his mission in Georgia and is now inactive. We talked to him a little about his family and then asked if we could give his phone number to the missionaries in his area. He said that was okay and as we walked away, he even said that his wife might be a potential investigator. It was such a funny miracle! I know that he was just wanting to talk to us, but wasn’t sure if we were missionaries or not. So he pulled up the Tabby Choir! hahaha.
3) Last miracle of the week. On Saturday night, we got a referral from some Mongolian missionaries who met a guy on the street and seemed interested in the church. We get these referrals sometimes and most of the time they turn into nothing. But, since we are short on investigators anyways, we called him. We didn’t have time to meet with him before church, but we set up a time and then invited him to come to church the next day anyways. I was doubtful that he would come. But we prayed that night that he would have a desire to come. The next day at church, we got a call from him 2 min before church started. He said he was outside!!!! We ran to the door and greeted him. He came to church on his own! And he stayed for 2 of the 3 hours!!!! Seriously, no one does that here. haha. It was such a miracle.
Wow, this letter is turning out so long, but I have a few more funny/cool things to tell you :)
Okay, answer time:
1) I didn’t find a warm coat yet, but that is because they are not selling them yet. I went last week to buy a new bag (mine is sooooo huge and it attracts the pickpockets on the bus) and I bought one (probably for way too much because we are both Americans) and it broke 2 days later! So, today I will go searching for another one at the fancy department store. I’ve become so cheap here! haha. Everything is about half the price it would be in America, but I am still so stingy! Also, I bought a cute pair of new Toms! We found a store (The Dressy Shop.. haha) with Toms for about 15 dollars American money. And they are so comfy! The best buy I’ve made so far in Mongolia :)
2) A typical day in Mongolia starts with going to Sister Magleby's kindergarten for English for 2 hours. Then we do language study at the church and make the long trek to Ziason for my English. I haven’t said much about my English lessons but I just want to say that I love the kid! He is so funny and he loves me. I feel like they will become my second family over the next year and a half. Then, after 2 hours there, we head home and do more study and eat dinner. After dinner, we have just enough time to meet with one or two people at night. My day consists of lots of bus riding and not a lot of talking Mongolian... But I have made a goal to speak to someone on the bus each day. Although sometimes our day doesn’t feel like a typical mission day, we see miracles each day.
3) The food... haha it consists of lots of bread, milk (everyone serves this thing called hiram and its a mix of water, whole milk, and salt. It’s real rough for me to get down...) and fatty meat. We have lots of soup and boads (dumpling things). It all basically tastes the same. But it’s not bad. The other day, we went to this chicken house. It was pretty expensive, but they served sweet and sour chicken and it was soooo good! Also, we live right by the first Pizza Hut to open in Mongolia. We've already been there twice.... haha.
4) The language is so much harder than I ever expected it would be. I've been here a month and sometimes when people are talking to me, I’m still not sure if they are speaking the language I learned. haha. Most of the time, I focus on listening for key words and then just guess from there what they are talking about. It is because their accent is so strong and they speak very sloppily. Lots of slurring words and even leaving out words. But, sometimes I come out of a lesson thinking, "I just spoke in Mongolian and they understood most of what I said. Who does that??" haha. I just have to learn to be patient with myself and to realize that no one expects me to be fluent yet except for myself.
5) Don’t worry about me :) I am feeling so much better from my cold! The Lord has seriously blessed me. My cold only lasted a few days and I am starting to get back to normal :) I am happy here. The work is hard, but I am happy :)
I have seen miracles this week. Missions are hard. I’ve always heard that but I never knew what I was getting myself into until now. haha. But they are worth it. I miss the family a ton though. But I feel your prayers and angles are walking beside me. I pray for you every night :)
I am far away, but my heart is right next to you.
Hugs and Kisses from Mongolia :)
Love, Sister Royal