Living in a Winter Wonderland
September 28, 2014
So, yesterday marks 4 months on my mission! And how fitting that on that day I woke up to a snowstorm! haha. I woke up, looked out the window, shed a few tears (not a joke.. haha) and then decided to get to work. Its definitely getting cold here, but people are taking care of me. Last night, we went to dinner at Nomin's house (a new member) and her grandma always greets us with a kiss, tells us how cute we are, and makes us yummy food. This time, as we were leaving, I began putting on my layers of clothes, which included 2 jackets, one big scarf, 2 pairs of leggings and my boots. Her face was priceless. Haha. I’m sure she was thinking, "This girl is already bundled up and it’s not even the beginning of winter". She then told me she had something for me and started digging in her big chest. After a few minutes of waiting, she pulls out a big blue pea coat. She told me that it was real cashmere and will keep me warm. She handed it to me and I was speechless. As I looked around at her small, 2-room house and all that she is in need of, I couldn’t help but think that she needed this jacket more than me. But she said that she wanted me to have it. She told me that it was too big for her and her daughter anyways (I guess I maybe could have been offended about the too big part... haha) but my heart was so filled with love and gratitude for her. As we left, she said that she loves taking care of the missionaries because one day, when her daughter serves a mission, she knows someone will take care of her too. And I immediately thought of you mom. I didn’t know how to tell her this, but I thought of how much my mom does for the missionaries in Arizona and how there is a mom in Mongolia doing the same thing for me :) I’m wearing the jacket right now and I’m toasty warm :)
This week, I’ve made a really big effort to just talk. To talk even if it’s wrong or if people don’t understand me. To talk even if I don’t have it planned before hand what I will say. And boy has it been hard. Let’s just say I am really learning humility while learning Mongolian. haha. But I’ve seen an improvement in my language. Each lesson I walk out and I think, "Wow, I just spoke Mongolian!" haha. One cool experience in particular was when we were meeting with our 3 most progressing investigators. Their names are Tsogbataar, Bayerjargel and Koma. They come from a part member family and they all have a strong desire to do what is right. They are right now struggling with the word of wisdom, so we gave them a lesson on obedience. As we taught, I all of a sudden got really down on myself. I didn’t say anything almost the whole lesson and I was almost in tears! In that moment, I said a fervent prayer that the Lord would help me to know what I should say. I then got a strong impression to just open my mouth. It was one of the scariest moments of my mission especially because I had no idea what they were actually talking about or if what I was going to say would be relevant but I did it. I quietly said "I’d like to bear my testimony" that was a weird thing to say, I thought to myself. Who says that? haha. But what followed was a true miracle. I bore a fervent testimony that the church was true and that I don’t know all things, but, I know when we follow God’s commandments, we are always blessed. Tears came to my eyes, but this time they were tears of true testimony rather than of sadness. After that, Tsogbataar ask me how I knew the church was true and I bore my testimony that this is God’s true church on the earth. And then, I asked him if he would come to church and know for himself and he said he would! Man, it was probably one of the coolest moments on my mission so far!
I love being a missionary! It’s so hard. Like really hard. But it’s so great. This morning, I was looking down as my knees and realized I have calluses on my knees from kneeling in prayer. It made me smile. That’s the best kind of calluses to have :).
I love you all! I hope you can feel my prayers. And I hope you are all praying that I stay warm! I need it ;)