Saturday, March 5, 2016

Happy Saturday!

Hello family and friends,

Oh my heck, life is good on Saturdays and now I get to share it with you? It just keeps getting better and better (P-days on Saturdays are great)! This week, however, there is change in the air and my departure date for Mongolia quickly approaching--13 days and counting with the official flight-plans in-hand. Our district actually received our departure date on March 17th and will arrive on March 19th in the afternoon in Ulaanbaatar; I think that I am still in denial about it all though, like it doesn't feel like I am ever leaving the MTC. So I received the news at lunch yesterday and then just kind of sat there not believing that the paper was real, but all the signs are there that we are getting booted out of here soon. We will have this In-Field Orientation on Friday next week where all the missionaries leaving the next week are brought together for a good-bye message from the MTC presidency and we receive some insight from Returned Missionaries on how to be effective and hit the ground running. Also, next week I am about to put in a good 32 hours teaching English in the BYU English Training Center, I am very excited about this because it is off the MTC campus! Crazier yet is that we are actually going to skype with the Mission President in Mongolia next week so that he could tell us what to expect during the first few days after arrival.

This week has been AMAZING in learning how to really teach by the Spirit, though. For the past week, since three other districts in our zone left, there are about 6 teachers who have found themselves student-less until their new missionaries arrive in 3 weeks, so our Mongolian district gets to reap the benefits and the teachers will come and assist our teachers, meaning we get more companionship coaching sessions. What is even better, is that these other teachers teach in Thai, Cambodian, and Vietnamese, normally and do not know Mongolian, so we get the coaching lessons in English! I feel some completely blessed by this opportunity because it is just a happenstance that this is available.

This week, we had two back-to-back coaching sessions by different teachers, one at the end of the night and the other following during the first language class of the day, and both built off one another so well that I know it was not coincidence, but the Lord really had a lesson to teach me and made it happen. The first night, we had a teacher come and talk to us about how to effectively use our planner in preparing for the next day's activity and bore testimony of the importance in planning well the night before so that the next day you never waste time, but you always have something to do. I told him how I haven't really enjoyed the planning this entire time, but was willing to give it a try. They next day, we had a teacher teach us about how to teach to investigators needs and how to really prepare in the lesson. Can I just tell you, missionaries absolutely LOVE their investigators and plan out the lesson for days before meeting. Honestly, days. Here at the MTC, we have 'investigators' played by our teacher and even though I realize that it is not a real investigator that I am teaching because it is my teacher, I think about the investigator all day long. I want to find a way to help them find happiness and peace when they say that they are struggling and I want to tell them to bring all the goodness that they have from their life and see if we could add upon it. I believe that there is the light of Christ in every person and that light attracts to light, so there is always room for growth through the message of Jesus Christ. I mean, here is a God that loves you with a perfect love and wants you to be happy and successful, that is His whole mission for us on this earth. 

Back to these lessons, though, they both built off of one another so perfectly that we had the most amazing lesson teaching our investigator Ganaa. Walking in, we knew what we wanted to teach about and what his needs may be, but other than that, it was a trust-trial in the Lord. We had the faith the prepare as much as we could, learning the necessary words and the scripture references, and the Lord did the rest of the work. All we had to do was open our mouth. I don't really know how to describe it, but I was able to speak more Mongolian than I thought possible, being able to ask questions in mostly correct grammar and just share a message of how much God loved him. None of this would be possible if not for the help of the Lord because He has been able to take a very stubborn daughter and help her learn a COMPLETELY foreign language and have a mostly-fluent conversation in less than 60 days. Where else and how else could this be possible?

I love this time in my life and know that I am a better person for it. I have learned how to love others more perfectly (I am not perfect yet, but I keep trying to have charity everyday) and how to really trust that the Lord knows and cares about my individual struggles. I know that it is when we are in the action of taking that step into the darkness that we will find the next step lite.

Oh man, let me tell you about this wonderful teacher of mine! Her name is Sister Moldigali and she is from Mongolia and is the sweetest person that I have ever met. I am so excited to go  out there because of how much I love her. What is even better, is that she is actually going over to Ulaanbaatar next week to visit her family and has promised to find us and give us a hug, so it is almost like I am taking family with me. Even more, she is moving back to Mongolia in a couple months for about a year to finish off her degree and will really be around the entire time. I cannot describe what a comfort it is to know that she is going to be there and I am so excited for the time where I can speak fluently enough that we can have a long conversation

The second picture is from last night and these are members from the Young Thai district that just arrived about 2 weeks ago and I LOVE them so much. This is at the end of the night, but they were just saying how they were sad that the older Thai district would be leaving next on Thursday, but glad that we had more time to spend with them. Honestly, you really do meet amazing people in the MTC. 

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I love you!
Sister Jessica Olsen

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