My stories as a Sister Missionary serving in Mongolia.
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sister Amy Royal5th Fl, LDS Church Bldg, Tokyo Stree 6Bayanzurkh District, 1st KhorooUlaanbaantar13381Mongolia
Friday, November 13, 2015
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
September 27, 2015
Hi Family and friends :)
Hahahaha! It makes me so happy and makes me laugh so hard that I have such a connection with a super moon. They were real the whole time! lol. Also, I absolutely LOVE that talk about the music of the gospel. I have it printed out and put in my "RM" binder. Did I tell you I have a RM(return missionary) binder? It’s full of talks and stuff about being a good person... and a good wife and mom... haha. Typical. Anyways, you and dad always did a good job helping us to hear the music and you were always good at just letting us kids enjoy the moment. So thank you :)
This week, I got a new companion. She is brand new, straight out of the MTC. haha. She is really cute and nice. She is pretty young. You know how on the mission they call trainers moms? Well that is really the case with us. I am a mom and she is my daughter. lol. But we have a lot of fun together :)
So, have I told you about my investigator named M? If you look at the last baptism pictures I sent you, you will see one with a guy with curly hair and a yellow jacket. That is M. He is truly a miracle. He came to church on his own one day and we started to meet with him. From the first meeting, I knew that this guy has seen a hard life. And as I’ve gotten to know him more, we have really become great friends. And he has opened up to me. From the age 13 he started smoking and drinking. He has lived a drunken life until he was 25. During that time, he was in jail, homeless and unhappy. He even said that during that time, one night he was drunk and desperate and robbed a couple of two foreigners with white shirts and ties and black name tags just like ours... When he was 25, he stopped drinking on his own but still was searching for something. So he decided to try religion. The reason he decided to choose our church was because every other Christian church doesn’t like our church, but we never say a bad thing about other religions. That interested him. So he came. And since that time, he has changed so much. He has been meeting with us almost everyday. The other day, we taught the word of wisdom with a member who used to be a chain smoker like M and at the end, the man gave him a priesthood blessing. That night, he called me. He said, "I’m reading the Book of Mormon. Is that blessing that I got real?" I said, "Yes, it absolutely is". And, after a little silence he said, "Yeah, It is real. I don’t feel like ever smoking a cigarette again." My eyes filled with tears. I just love this guy. The gospel truly changes lives. And now, he is about to be baptized into the same church of the missionaries he stole from. The gospel is so true!
I love you :) I hope you have a great week!
October 4, 2015
Hello Family and friends,
Man, I’ve really wanted you this week. haha. So sorry if you’ve been worried about me this week. I got pretty sick up in Darkhan. So, doctor Lewis sent me back to the city to get some tests. It was really pretty awful, especially considering that they didn’t put me to sleep or actually give me any sort of medicine. I really wish you were there for that. But, its over now. As far as everyone is telling me, they are pretty sure I have some sort of bacterial infection. But, it will be ok. Everyone is being so kind to me :) So you don’t have to worry about me. We’ll get it figured out :) 10 more Sundays. And even if I’m sick for the rest of those 10 weeks, that’s ok. The Lord is helping me along. And you really don’t have to worry mom. I got lots of tests done and even though they aren’t really sure what’s wrong, everything else in my body is very normal. I’m pretty healthy. Don’t worry, we are close, even though we actually couldn’t be any farther from each other. And people are taking good care of me :)
I love you!!
Friends and Family
Everything is good here in Darkhan. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but we are the only ones in Darkhan and the work is just soaring! We literally have no time to meet with all of the people we have to meet with! We are trying to go on splits with members almost everyday on top of teaching English at the church and at the immigration office... Most of the time we don’t even have time to eat! But its ok, we won’t be this busy forever. New missionaries are hopefully coming our way this week! And on the up side, I think I”m loosing weight! haha. We are running everywhere, trying to do splits with members every chance we get. We don’t even have time to make food for ourselves... but, its kind of nice being busy. Time really flies that way. I can’t believe its already Monday again! Anyways, Sometimes, being on a mission and having church in a foreign language, its easy to zone out, think about something else, think about my investigators or the lessons we will be teaching that day. But, you just reminded me how important it is to learn from church. And then apply what you learn into your life. No matter where you are or what language it’s in, we can all learn something new each week at church.
That’s so funny that you emailed me about the addiction recovery program this week because my companion and I were just talking about it this week! We have an investigator who is awesome! But, he smokes like a chimney. For example, at church, he goes out every hour to smoke and sometimes during lessons he says he needs to go smoke a cig... its so bad! So, we just gave him the book on the LDS Addiction Program and my companion is also working on it for her personal study. It’s such a good program. Probably some on my most spiritual moments were when I was working with those people in the program at BYU-I and working for myself. We all have addictions. We all have character traits that we want to fix, but we just can’t. But, it’s through the atonement of Jesus Christ that we can change. And that is exactly what the ARP program is: it’s the savior’s atonement broken down into 12 easy steps. And we all need the atonement. So keep it up mom :) I’m glad you thought of me this week :)
As far as Bayarjav's seminary class, I know him! In fact, I work with him a lot! He is in my branch in Darkhan :) I will talk to him about it. I actually think they would LOVE it. It would be a good chance for them to practice their English. I'll let you know about it next week :) (Note from Patty: The Mountain Pointe HS seminary class are going to be pen pals with the Darkhan, Mongolia seminary class. We are very excited!)
This week has been really busy, but really great! We are back in the city... again! haha we are having a mission conference this week and elder Gong from the 70 is coming. That will be fun! I’ll take some pictures.
The weather is getting a little cold, but its ok, because it means that December is coming soon :) hahaha. I love you!
BTW, I am having a dress made for Lisa’s wedding. I went and picked out the material last week and it is almost done. I think it’s going to be really cute! Well, I sure love you guys.
Welp, I love you a lot!
#1 U___. She is a 22 year old girl who has been an investigator of the church for a year now. I found her when i was in darkhan the first time and I got the opportunity to see her be baptized this week :
#2 Mongolian Art
#3 Meeting with Elder Gong
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Family and friends;
WOW! I just hit my 4-month mark yesterday. Now I’m into 3 months and 20 something days!!!! AHHH. How can I ever leave this place! So, the transfer came out... My daughter left me :( haha. Sister Westover is back in the city and... Guess what?! Sister Altantsetseg and I are companions again! haha. It’s so fun being back together with her. It’s like 2 friends getting back together. We are working in both new and old Darkhan and we are the only missionaries in Darkhan! We are supposed to do the work of 4 sisters and 2 elders between the 2 of us. uhhhh... can you say overwhelming? haha and on top of that, we became the Sister Training Leaders for our zone. We are on a split right now in Erdenet (a beautiful countryside city). Sorry to leave you all waiting on Monday... We decided that in order to make best use of our time, we would just skip our p-day and do net today on our way back to the city.
Well, I hope that all is well with you. It makes me so happy that you have all grown to love and cherish the Mongolian people. They really are special. They are a LOT different than us and sometimes it can be hard to find common ground. But at the same time, we are really similar too. We are all just trying. And I think we have A LOT to learn from these people and their way of life.
Man, I just love when you guys get to learn more about this cool country I’m in! And yes, all of those things are true :) The trash trucks are my favorite! hahaha. So funny. I’m glad that you are happy and healthy :) I love you
To answer your question: yes, I have tried horse milk. It’s really awful. haha. Although, a new rule came out that we can’t drink the fermented horse milk because its slightly alcoholic. haha. So, I got out of that one. YES ;) haha. I love you mommy. I can’t wait for the time when I get to come home, be part of Lisa's wedding, and celebrate Christmas all at the same time. It was almost be too much happiness to handle... almost ;)
So, I’ve actually been thinking a lot about how to control stress better this week. And I haven’t come up with a cure yet, but I have realized something: We stress out about stuff we can’t handle, which makes us stress out even more. For example: I HATE being late on my mission. But guess what, that is just how the culture is here. Sometimes we will get stuck in really bad traffic or the bus doesn’t come for a while. And I just sit there and stress out so bad. I do the same thing when people are late. I wait and I pace and I get angry. But I realized this week that there is literally nothing I can do about it. Like when I’m stuck in traffic. I can’t get off the bus and just walk there. I can’t make all the cars disappear. So why stress about it. I realize that it’s a lot easier said that done and I’m not really sure how to apply that into my anti stress plan, but I just thought I would share that with you. The Mongolian culture is a really laid back culture. And sometimes it’s really frustrating. But, I actually think there is a lot to learn about the way they live life.
This week, we had a big mission get together and went to go see a culture show. It was the best thing I’ve ever seen! I LOVE Mongolia!!!! It made me never want to leave! And there was a throat singer there and you know what? When done correctly and when you know the meaning of the song, it actually is really beautiful. He was singing a song about mothers and I think I even felt the spirit! haha I don’t know, maybe I’ve just turned Mongolian... haha. Anyways, all is good here :) I’m happy :) I hope you are happy too!
Anyways, Being sister training leader isn’t really that different except for the fact that we have to travel all over the country to go on splits with sisters. We went to a small place called Erdenet last week and this week we are doing another split. The only thing that really scares me having to give a presentation for zone trainings... IN MONGOLIAN! But, it’ll be ok. this week has been sooooo hot here too! It got up to 40 degrees Celsius. What is that in degrees?
I found this picture in the Liahona this week and it really stuck with me. So often, we choose to take the hard path in life. We choose to row the boat on the sand and complain about how hard it is, when the water is just across the way. Jesus Christ and is healing atonement are always within our reach. But he can force us to come into him. It is our choice to get up, and enter the healing waters of Jesus Christ’s gospel. So DONT CHOOSE THE SAND. Seek the living water and we shall never thirst again. I love you all! ;) Have a good week xoxoxo
Monday, August 10, 2015
August 9, 2015
Mom and Dad! You are sooo cute!!! I thought about you 2 a lot this week. Maybe I’m a bit partial, but I’m pretty sure my mom and dad are the best parents in the world! And I’m so proud of you! You spent your anniversary looking at cars?? Mom, you must really love dad ;) haha. He better have taken you out to a REALLY nice dinner ;) And Dad,
Wow, you really are one lucky duck! Mom was a good sport and went to all those car shows for you!! She must really love you :) Or maybe its making up for all the times she has gone out to eat these past 30 years ;) haha. You two are just the best parents ever! I thought about you two a lot this last week! I don’t know if its because I’m getting trunky or what but I’ve been thinking about marriage a lot these last few weeks. And I can honestly say that I hope my marriage is as good and stable as yours has been. You 2 have been great examples :)
Wow, our family has really been unlucky with car accidents huh?? I am soooo grateful that you have all been ok! The Lord really does answer prayers!!! Thanks for your insights on the plan of salvation. It truly is a wonderful plan! Probably one of my favorite things about missionary work is teaching this lesson. Because in Mongolia there is nothing to answer these questions. There is no real religion that gives any sort of peace for the next life. People don’t know about life after death. Whenever I ask my investigators, they tell me that they just try not to think about it. And then, we teach them this beautiful plan of happiness and they finally find peace. It’s a beautiful experience each time I teach it :)
I had a really amazing experience this week! So, I don’t know if I’ve ever said anything to you before, but I was pretty scared to come back to Darkhan because a former companion was here. I was with her for only 6 weeks before, but it was the hardest, saddest, coldest 6 weeks of my life. And then she went to the countryside and I just felt like I’d never see her again. And I was ok with that. I used to think "How could President Benson send me back here with her?!" And now, I’ve spent 6 weeks with her again. I see her on a pretty regular basis and slowly, we have really become friends. I have seen how much she's grown and changed these past 6 months. And I have grown and changed also. And now she’s going home this week. Yesterday, we had a surprise going away party for her. I made yummy baked chicken and mashed potatoes and salad. And as we ate together, she was sharing her experiences and the things she learned while on her mission. And she told me how sorry she was for the time we had together. She started crying and told me how much she had learned from me and how I will be her forever friend. And I realized in that moment why I was supposed to come back. It was for us. Because I truly love her! I want the best for her and am sooo grateful for the time I had with her because I really did learn so much! And then I realized how grateful I am to be here on a mission. And now that my mission is coming to a close, I can see all the little blessings in disguise. Because missions are hard. And you want to go home a lot. And you are soooo tired and stressed. But you learn so much. And you have so much fun! And you laugh so hard. And you meet people that change your life forever and you change peoples lives forever. I love these people. All of them. It’s not hard anymore. I just want to do all I can to help them. I want to give them everything I have just so they can be happy. Yesterday, we had 7 investigators come to church! 7!!! and we had inactive members who haven’t come in years come to church. This last week, we met with this lady who stopped coming to church because she was offended. She is pretty poor and her son, who is an active member in the church and planning on going on a mission, is their only source of income. This last week she told me, "I will NEVER come back to church" But even as she said it, I saw the pain and hurt in her eyes and I knew that there was something in her. That she still had faith. Mom, I’ve never prayed so hard for that lady and her family. And guess what, they ALL came to church this week!!! Ahhh, there is just nothing better than this work mom! I've never been so happy and tired and exhausted in my life :)
MIssions are the best!!! Thank you for raising me in a way where I could be worthy to go on a mission :) Please share this email with the rest of the fam :) But you can take out names if you want :) haha. I love you! Have a safe trip home!!
1.) Yup... That’s Russia! It was a beautiful spot! My mission is the best :)
2.) We went to a countryside spot up by Russia for our last zone conference! It was so fun :) This is Sister A and a member from my ward named D. I love these people :)
3.) Missionary splits with the STL’s! I got to be with Sister A again! It was so fun :)
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
August 2, 2015
Hi Family :)
Ok, I’ll let you in on all the Hong Kong details and then you can pass it down:
So, I had to go because I have been having some visa problems. And while I was down there, they figured I might as well get my sponsor changed to a church sponsor, Which means I can teach at any church in all of Mongolia. Which is a huge step! And, while I’m teaching, I’m allowed to wear my missionary nametag! Anyways, me and one elder went together. We got paired up with a companionship there in Hong Kong. Because Hong Kong is such an international place, all of the missionaries have to know English. So there are some Mandarin, Cantonese, English and Tagalong speaking missionaries there. I was with the Mandarin speaking missionaries and they were just so cute and nice! I got to wear my nametag everywhere and I even did some street contacting! It was so fun! Hong Kong is such a beautiful place! It’s full of huge buildings and nice grocery stores. haha. I actually was really overwhelmed when I first got there. We walked into a grocery store and I actually had tears come to my eyes... not because I was happy or sad but just because I was just really overwhelmed... I can’t imagine what it will be like to get home... I received so much love from the Hong Kong missionaries! They bent a lot of strings to get me to the temple on my last day! It was a wonderful experience! And that night, I stayed the night with the mission president and his wife... in the temple! Haha!! Their house is on the basement floor of the temple... weird right?? On my last night, after going through the temple and receiving so much love from all the missionaries, I couldn’t sleep just thinking about how blessed I truly am. I still don’t understand what I did to receive so many blessings in my life. I am just trying my best to pay it forward here in Mongolia!
So, I headed back to Mongolia Friday night and I’m now back in Darkhan! It’s actually really nice to be home! I missed this place! And I sure missed speaking Mongolian! haha It was sure a fun adventure! When I got back my companion and I met with a new convert family. We had a family home Evening with them and talked about going to the temple. we had family home evening last night with a new member family and we set a goal to get them to the temple. Families here are so committed to sacrificing everything for the temple! It’s so wonderful :)
Mom, I’m so sorry to hear about your fingers :( I will be praying extra hard for you! Have you gotten a blessing from dad? You should. Blessings are power! Also, I know you might be feeling overwhelmed about the old testament, but it will be so cool to learn more about the stories in there! My companion has started reading the Old Testament and it has kind of made me want to too! Should you and I read it together?!
Well, this week is your anniversary! How many years again ? Is it 34 years? Wow, So long! You two have really been great parents! I hope you have fun on your little get away! You deserve it!
I love you mom and Dad!
Love, Sister Royal
1) My purchases at the grocery store! haha Sooo yummy! PS, mom, you'll be so proud of me: I got all my fruit on sale because they were "about to go bad" But I don’t know what they are talking about! The fruit was better than any of the fruit I can get in Mongolia! #barginshopper
2) My cute Hong Kong companions!
3) A five hour plane ride and it looks like I’ve arrived in a different planet! HAHA. Mongolia is so beautiful :)
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
June 28, 2015
Hi Family and Friends,
The Fourth of July is this week. This is a really important day! haha I never thought I would be patriotic.. but, living in a third world country for a year has really made me appreciate the blessings we have in good ol Merica :)
I can’t believe that you will be ALONE for the fourth of July Dad?! You should hang out with Lisa. Have a yummy bbq or something :)
Kevin is getting so old! I wrote him a nice email this week. Mom, you are so full of wisdom! I think that advice you gave him to have the best experience at efy is great. He needs to; 1) If you see a chance to serve do it. 2) If you feel like being selfish don't do it. That is good advice for ANYONE! I’m going to try that this week.
I’ve been praying a lot this week about change. Remember that one story that Elder Utchdorf gave about the little kids and the marshmallows? Even though that example was supposed to be for a chastity lesson, it can be applied to a lot of different things in our lives. Lisa wrote me something that really stuck with me. Its all about saying goodbye to different phases is our lives. At the moment it seems sooooo hard. Like when I was leaving on my mission or in a few months when I will go home from my mission. But, you say goodbyes for reasons. Changes are really good.
I am still stranded here in the countryside with no clothes...thanks to Sister Perersen for letting me borrow. BUT, I’m getting my companion this Thursday!!! We'll go back to the city on Thursday and then I really don’t know where I’m going... haha. It was going to be Darkhan, but I’m not really sure anymore. I’ll let you know this next week.
And then, I don’t know where I’m headed! So next week will be a surprise!
Also, this week I finally tasted.... Sheep Head! Finally almost a year later... I got to eat both the eyes... and an ear. The eyes are a special treat reserved for the women to eat and you have to eat both eyes. Pretty gross huh?? haha If I’m being honest.. it was Pepto Bismol for most of the night after eating that head... but it was worth it! But hey. YOLO!
That’s the joys of a mission: you do and experience and feel and become things that you would never be able to do otherwise. It’s such a wonderful experience. The best part is getting to meet the people. Wherever you will go, you will get to meet people from all different walks of life. And there is no better feeling than watching the gospel and the words that are placed in your mouth make a change in another human's life. And when you go on a mission, you will LITERALLY save souls. There is no grater work than that. And you know what else, missions are FUN! haha. Missionary work is some serious work that requires some serious fun! You and your companions will have sooooo much fun on your mission.
I’m just so excited for my little bro Kevin to experience a mission. You can be honest with me: Are you feeling nervous about serving a mission? What are your worries? What are you excited about? You can tell me because, guess what? I’ve probably felt exactly the same way. And I can help you!
Ok, I love you all :) Have a good week!
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
June 21, 2015
At our 1 year mark.
Sister Petersen and Sister Royal
Hi Family and Friends,
Thanks for your testimony of Jesus Christ! I have been studying a lot about him this week and it’s been so great! The only hard part is that the more you study about Jesus Christ and his atonement, the more you actually realize how much you just can’t comprehend! Please continue to send me your testimony of Christ.
send a letter
Sister Amy Royal
5th Fl, LDS Church Bldg, Tokyo Street 6
Bayanzurkh District, 1st Khoroo
Here is Mongolia, they don’t celebrate Fathers Day. That’s probably because there aren’t that many great father figures here. And it just makes me realize even more how lucky I am to have a poppa like mine!
Look at you have people over on Fathers Day! haha I remember how much I used to dislike when you would invite people over for holidays and stuff. And just now am I realizing that that is the biggest missionary work anyone can do, just caring for people. If there is one thing I am SURE I will do after my mission is visiting people in their homes. Caring for those who are lonely or needy. And VISITING TEACHING!!!! So, thank you for being such a good example :)
PS, We did a split this week with the STL's from the city and I got mail!!!!! haha I got a letter from Brother and Sister Rogers. Will you tell them how much I appreciated it? Thanks :) BIG THANKS to... Patriarch and Sister Rogers
I love you all :)
Have a good week!!!
Love, Sister Royal
There was no hot water for our baptism.. so we were trying to warm it up with some boiled water. haha. PS, we meet in an old apartment building here, so there is no font. So People get baptized in this pool. haha
We had to hike forever to visit this Less active family. We were literally in the middle of nowhere.
We were walking around and started playing what are the odds... She asked me what are the odds that I would go ask this kid if I could ride his little kid bike. I obviously picked the biggest odds possible- 1 out of 40. And guess what... We both guessed 12!!! hahaha.... that was embarrassing...
We got a balloon for kids day.. and then felt kinda dumb so we gave them to some actual kids. haha
Mongolian countryside baby!