Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week 5 -- Half Way Completed and Barely Ready

Dear family and friends,

Can you believe that I am starting on Week 6 of 10, only 4 more weeks to go, and it feels like time is flying by! I can look back and see the progress that is being made and the blessings that are surrounding me each day, but if I accidentally look too far ahead, it is so completely overwhelming. Lol, those are the moments that I feel like I need a paper sack to breathe into to prevent a panic attack, but I cannot wait to get out to Mongolia. Our teacher took a few minutes to show us some pictures from his days of service (about 2 years ago) and the food was actually terrifying--there were pictures of him holding a roasted sheep head (you can buy it in the streets for about $1) and he had something that he was taking a bite from which turned out to be cooked eyelid skin; so if you ever feel like you are craving something delicious, I guess this is a good go-to out there. I think that I am going to starve.

Sister Guild and Sister Olsen

Sister Fifita and Sister Olsen
Any way, this week has been amazing and I feel like I have turned over a new leaf in regards to the learning and my effort associated with it. It is no longer 'new' grammar rules that we are learning anymore and there are phrases that are starting to become familiar, so now I need to focus on learning the vocabulary words and really mastering the grammar rules, I do not want to just coast for the next 30 odd days. On Saturday was our official 30 day mark and in the morning we gave another TRC lesson and it was the first time that I felt like I flopped and there was no recovery. I mispronounced one word so terribly that the person we were teaching just stared at me and suddenly I lost all of my confidence to finish strong, these are one of the only times that we are evaluated, and afterwards I read that she felt like we really wanted to share a message with her. Even with the good feedback, I just remembered feeling like Mongolian was so far out of reach that I just sat through the following language learning block feeling absolutely defeated. After the class and sulking though lunch (on the inside), I then went to the bookstore, bought yet another 2 notebooks and am trying to change the way that I study because so far it isn't working as quickly as I would hope. Keep your fingers crossed and me in your prayers, I need as much help as I can get. That night, though, we taught another lesson to our District and with only about 20 minutes to prepare (finding the materials, translating sentences), we taught a GREAT 10 minute lesson. When we were getting ready for bed, I sat there amazed that only 30 days earlier, I could barely ask what someone's name was, and now I taught a lesson on the Word of Wisdom, in Mongolian of all languages! I mean, 31 days earlier, I was trying o finish watching all the Star Wars movies.
In the cafeteria with my district

This picture was taken this morning. When you wear jeans they give you a sack lunch to eat in your room. :)
I do have this feeling, though, that I am going to really learn the language once I get out to the field because that I when I will not be able to speak English. As much as I am trying to stay humbled, but constantly being corrected by peers who may or may not actually know if they are saying the words correctly is not necessarily the most fun thing in the world--I feel like I have a live-and-let-live mentality with Mongolian where I am not running around correcting people because I know that I do not have a perfect knowledge. At least with a native or training companion, there is no doubt that they know what they are saying and will teach me correctly--they will just speak a lot faster, so that is going to be a challenge. I knew that this was going to be the hard part about the language learning process, constantly being corrected, so I really am trying to stay patient and understanding that they are really just trying to help and if we do not practice, we cannot make improvement. After all, 'if I have faith, I will speak the language.' Faith being that complete belief, hope, and then doing everything in my power to accomplish the task; learning from others is part of the journey. 

I really just love this picture so much! 

I still love what I am doing and am learning so much about the gospel of Jesus Christ, how to be a good person, and how much God loves all of his children.

I love you!

Sister Olsen 

No comments:

Post a Comment